You may have heard that Neon Genesis Evangelion, the groundbreaking 1995 anime series that is ostensibly about giant mech battles, but far deeper and more disturbing than that, is coming to Blu-ray for the first time in the US, UK and beyond. What you may not have heard: When that news was first announced almost two weeks ago, it was only for a limited edition of $275 Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s Ultimate Edition whose US edition of only 5,000 copies sold out in the blink of an eye.
Today, GKids corrects that with a standard five-disc edition that costs just $60 and will ship a month earlier than those $275 copies, technically making it the factual first official Blu-ray release in the United States when it arrives on November 9. And if you still regret not being able to get the 11-disc Ultimate Edition? Well, there’s also a new 11-disc Collectors Edition for $220 that you might like, shipping on December 8.
Both are available for pre-order today, and should feature the same 1080p remastered footage (with an aspect ratio of 1:33:1) and with DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio for both English and Japanese.
Each edition includes the entire 26-episode original series, as well as: Evangelion: Death (true)² — which older fans may know as Death & Rebirth – and The End of Evangelion, as well as bonus features including “animatics, TV commercials, music videos and more.” The Collector’s Edition also comes with a full set of extra discs featuring the original classic English dub of the entire series, two additional hours of bonus features including the Japanese cast auditions, plus a 40-page book and 8 art cards.
The Collector’s Edition looks something like this:
That’s obviously not as lavish as the Ultimate Edition, whose included 156-page book is nearly four times the size and comes with nicer art and a NERV ID badge, but I think I’ll survive. (The UK version of it is not sold out at the time of writing, in case you’re interested.) Here’s the distribution of the Ultimate Edition:
Evangelion was one of the first shows that introduced me to anime, and some of the more disturbing moments are still alive in my head without rent. When the series and sequels finally arrived legally in the US via Netflix (where you can still watch them today), we called them “the perfect story for this moment in history.” And that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.