You might have heard that Neon Genesis Evangelion, the seminal 1995 anime series seemingly about giant mech battles but far deeper and more disturbing than that, is coming to Blu-ray for the very first time in the US, UK, and beyond. What you might not have heard: when that news was first announced nearly two weeks ago, it was just for a $275 limited-edition Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Ultimate Edition whose stateside release of just 5,000 copies sold out in the blink of an eye.
Today, GKids is rectifying that with a five-disc Standard Edition that costs just $60 and will actually ship a month earlier than those $275 copies, technically making it the actual first official Blu-ray release in the United States when it arrives November 9th. And if you’re still bummed you couldn’t get the 11-disc Ultimate Edition? Well, there’s also a new 11-disc Collectors Edition for $220 that you might like instead, shipping December 8th.
Both are available for preorder today, and should feature the same 1080p remastered footage (with a 1:33:1 aspect ratio) and with DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio for both English and Japanese.
Each edition contains the full original 26-episode series, as well as Evangelion: Death (True)² — which older fans might 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 additional discs containing the original classic English dub of the entire series, two extra hours of bonus features including the Japanese cast auditions, plus a 40-page book and 8 art cards.
The Collector’s Edition looks a little something like this:
That’s not quite as lavish as the Ultimate Edition, of course, whose included book is nearly quadruple the size at 156-pages and comes with fancier art and a NERV ID badge, but I think I’ll live. (The UK version of that isn’t actually sold out as of this writing, in case you’re interested.) Here’s the Ultimate Edition’s spread:
Evangelion was one of the first shows that introduced me to anime, and some of its more disturbing moments still live in my head rent-free. When the series and its follow-up films finally legally arrived in the US again 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.