Fan content has long been an important part of the anime otaku community, and the Khara announcement acknowledges that. The guide (written in Japanese) starts by explaining that it is for ‘fans to create fan art with peace of mind, so please check it before you enjoy your creative activities.’
They add that the guidelines are not meant for corporations or individuals to use for commercial purposes. ‘Any act for the purpose of advertising, promotion, or sales promotion is for commercial use, even if it is distributed free of charge,’ the guide states. It adds that people interested in commercial use should contact Khara.
Be Respectful and Understanding
Once you get past the free fan content vs. commercial content legal issues, the first rule can be boiled down to be respectful: ‘Please create with understanding and respect for this work. Also create with respect and understanding for the activities of the existing fan community.’
Continuing on along the same lines, it asks people to avoid ‘damaging the feelings, honor, way of thinking, etc. of others.’ Don’t use Evangelion for politics, religion, or other beliefs.
They also ask people not to create ‘overly violent and grotesque’ art, or pornographic stuff. In other words, no hentai.
Fair Use and Other Guides
In the guidelines, Khara also adopts something of a ‘Fair Use’ policy. (‘Fair Use’ is a U.S. legal doctrine, but it seems to apply here.) If your fan content uses official material, such as audio, video, still images, or text, ‘please keep it within the scope of quotation,’ the guide states. (The Japanese term used here is inyo, which can mean ‘quotations’ or ‘citation’.) They also ask people not to use Evangelion audio, video, and music.
They also ask people who upload to YouTube, Twitch, Pixiv, Nico Nico or other services to take precautions. Don’t let Evangelion be your ‘main content,’ and ‘do not engage in excessive commercial activities.’
They also state that there could be a follow-up report regarding ‘the sale and commercialization of fan art.’
Perhaps not coincidentally, the fan art guidelines arrived just as Pixiv announced the Evangelion x Pixiv Project, an Evangelion fan art collaboration event. Starting on 19 January 2021, the event will include an Evangelion battle illustration contest. There will also be a painting contest on the Pixiv Sketch app. During the events, Pivix will feature Evangelion illustrations by Timbougami, Zeronis, Vinne, Airi Pan, Grandia Lee and other creators.