Official product pages and a YouTuber unboxing provide ample views of the new ROG Maximus Z790 Hero EVA-02 Edition, its second collaboration with popular mecha anime by Gainax, Neon Genesis Evangelion. This motherboard is centered around two leading characters from the anime: Asuka and the EVA-02. To go with the flow, the motherboard has a red-and-orange theme just like the anime with its signature Polymo Lighting displaying both characters.
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Theme design differences between the Maximus Z690 Hero EVA-01 and Z790 EVA-02 look very similar, with only minor changes. The same goes for the motherboard layout until you see the rear I/O options, with additional USB Type-A ports. The other key addition to this is the motherboard backplate with the EVA-02 theme, while the Z690 just has the designs printed on the motherboard. Such backplates also give rigidity to the motherboard, providing more support. This certainly makes this a very good collector’s item for those who are a fan of the Asus ROG and Evangelion series. It is just a shame you can’t flaunt the motherboard’s backplate on a complete build. But anyone turning on the system can still see the Asuka-themed POST screen.
It is a rare treat to see a spelling mistake on higher-tier motherboards or any big-brand hardware. Someone at Asus may be in trouble as ‘Evangenlion’ is written instead of ‘Evangelion’ in the area next to the motherboard’s Polymo lighting display. Veteran leaker ‘Momomo’ points this out too. This rarely happens as you’d expect a team from the motherboard designer and the anime studio to inspect and approve such a product over multiple stages.
Since the spelling error is also on the website’s motherboard images it is likely that many (if not all) of these EVA-02 production motherboards will have this spelling error. It’s also not known if Asus was able to catch this on time and spellcheck this. It is a funny story to talk about once in a blue moon, regardless!
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YouTuber CEHunter has a hands-on video providing feedback regarding the Maximus Z790 Hero EVA-02, mentioning there are two selectable options on the Polymo display: Asuka’s and EVA’s standard mode. The Z690 EVA-01 had EVA in ‘berserk’ and ‘standard’ mode. It is safe to say the Polymo display seems to be limited to two display variations but it could be misinterpreted as a ‘waifu bait’. The same for the POST and the BIOS displays. This wasn’t the case with the EVA-01 Z690 motherboard. That said, Asuka is an iconic character like EVA and many would agree omitting that is just unfair. Naturally, this comes down to preference but the criticism is valid from a fan’s perspective. It would be interesting to see how future iterations will handle this.
PC Hardware Brand’s Collaboration With Anime
Apart from the EVA-02 theme, there is no difference when compared to the Asus standard Maximum Z790 Hero variant. The Intel Z790 chipset-based motherboards fit LGA-1700 socket CPUs from 12th, 13th, and 14th Gen CPUs. We reviewed the Z790 Hero motherboard last year.
Asus also had collaborations with other mecha series with two collectible Gundam variations using a Z490 WiFi Gundam edition motherboard: a white-based Earth Federation’s Gundam, and the red-themed Zeon’s MS-06S Zaku II mobile suit.
Anime collaborations are not exclusive to motherboard brands. Both MSI and Asus have respective Evangelion edition motherboards using the Intel Z690 chipset. MSI launched parts for its Evangelion 2: Project which included a CPU cooler, case, power supply, and also the B660 Tomahawk EVA e-Project motherboard.
Apart from mecha anime, Asus previously collaborated with another hit anime ‘Demon Slayer’ using one of its TUF series motherboards. So it is very likely we’ll see more of these cool products from Asus.