Spring is here, and Neon Genesis Evangelion is coming. Back in November Netflix announced a smattering of titles due out spring 2019, NGE among them. This streaming premiere, however, will be with a new cast of voices.
Evangelion‘s Netflix debut has since been rescheduled to June 21 — which I guess is still spring, barely — 26 episodes, Death & Rebirth, and The End of Evangelion will be locked and loaded. Whether you’re a misty eyed, nostalgia struck veteran, or a new initiate ready to take the plunge, its an exciting moment to be sure. An iconic and influential piece of media, being able to say that the new home of NGE is Netflix serves as a huge win for the streaming giant in the anime scene. It’s a series that’s near and dear to the hearts of many, it’s the kind of media where any deviation at all could be seen as sacrilegious.
Accompanying Netflix’ announcement late last year were a number of hashtags in support of the original voice cast. Likely due to financial hangups or licensing issues, the state of the English dub was still sort of up in the air. But in light of last week’s most recent March 22 “reveal,” it would certainly seem that show has indeed been redubbed.
“The truth is that I have known for months that we were all being replaced,” wrote Tiffany Grant, the original voice of Asuka. “I flew myself out to LA in early December to audition — for the first time — for the role of Asuka. It was the most surreal moment of my life.” Amanda Winn Lee, the original voice of Rei, weighed in as well on Twitter: “Not only were our roles recast in Evangelion, but they never had any intention of even auditioning us in the first place. So stop wondering.”
Of course, there’s always an argument to be made that the series could use a fresh coat of paint after two decades. Judging from the nightcore-esque musical accompaniment of the reveal trailer (embedded below), the powers that be might have own goals and priorities when it comes to the IP’s presentation. Whether or not art should be altered rather than simply curated, is another discussion altogether.
A bittersweet footnote in the chapter of a storied franchise, we’ll just have to wait and see if the new cast can live up to the legacy. If you’d like to read about other transitions into the digital landscape, check out this piece by our editor about the state of Halo.
Editor’s Note: This article originally assumed the authorial intent of Netflix as a single production entity. The language has been updated to clarify the multi-modal methods of media creation.
Image Source: Gainax