Today Netflix premiered their new English redub of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The decision to redub the show was a controversial one when it was announced last November. For those unfamiliar with the show, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a seminal anime, especially with many American viewers. When it arrived in the U.S. in the mid-90s/early-00s it joined The Big O and Gundam as one of the few options for giant mech battle delivery systems without subtitles.
Viewers probably also connected to its deep religious and mental health themes. But, like, giant mechs battling aliens, you guys!
But it’s understandable that English speakers and fans of the show were upset that the voices they originally connected with the characters would not be available on one of the largest streaming platforms on the planet.
So why would Netflix make such a seemingly unnecessary change? Were they not getting enough publicity? Did Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett have money left over in the budget but not quite enough for his own Evanglion, so he decided to hire a bunch of voice actors instead? Does Netflix just hate you, personally?
Sadly, the answer is probably much less exciting. Polygon speculates that a series of legal issues and the collapse of the original North American distributor, ADV Films, may have prevented Netflix from being able to use the original English voice tracks.
When the original announcement was made last year, several of the original voice actors expressed their disappointment at the decision to record new dialogue and supported a petition to get Netflix to use the original tracks. However, since then most–if not all–of them have congratulated the new voice actors and asked fans not to harass them.
Congratulations to the new dub cast of Evangelion on Netflix! It's an amazing show and a talented cast. Looking forward to seeing what you guys do with the franchise. Hang on to your hats. This will be a wild ride. ?
— Spike Spencer (@spikespencer) June 21, 2019
Are you a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion? Have you had a chance to watch the new dub yet? What else are you going to do, read subtitles? Let us know in the comments!
Billy is a freelance writer living in Indianapolis with his dog, BoJack. He enjoys TED talks, video games, sunny days, football, and the salty tears of his enemies.