The Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ultimate Edition Blu-ray set that GKids announced last week is coming to Australia and New Zealand courtesy of Madman Entertainment, but you’ll want to get in quick: it’s limited to just 500 copies in this corner of the world. (There’ll also be Collector’s Edition and Standard Editions up for pre-order later, though.)
The set brings Hideaki Anno’s influential Neon Genesis Evangelion anime to Blu-ray for the first time in the West, collecting all 26 episodes of the TV series and the films Death (True)² and End of Evangelion into one package. In an effort to summarise what is a rather complicated history of film releases: Death (True)² is the final, director’s cut version of the first part of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth, a two-part film pulled together somewhat hastily in an effort to close out the anime on a tight budget. Rebirth was the first part of an ending that couldn’t be completed due to time and budget constraints, and forms the first part of The End of Evangelion. In short, Death (True)² and End of Evangelion together form the authoritative version of a pair of films that have seen a lot of re-edits and re-releases over the years.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ultimate Edition is an 11-disc set, including both the current official translations (sub and dub) and the original (“Classic”) sub and dub, and seven hours of bonus footage. It also comes with a 156-page art book, a set of art boards, a Sachiel resin paperweight, a NERV ID card and lanyard, and limited-edition packaging with exclusive artwork. All of this doesn’t come cheap, though: the Ultimate Edition will set you back a cool AUD $519.95, with pre-orders opening on September 1, 2021.
Details about Collector’s Edition and Standard Edition haven’t yet been revealed, but pre-orders for those versions will open on December 1. Madman has also confirmed that the series and movies will also be released in a buy-to-own digital format, for folks who don’t want a physical collection but do want something a little more permanent than Netflix. Due to licensing reasons, none of these releases will include the original “Fly Me to the Moon” ending theme, though, sadly.
Neon Genesis Evangelion originally aired in 1995, garnering critical acclaim and a dedicated fan following around the world. Despite its surface appeal as a mecha anime (and with its share of grandiose battles that come with that) it’s best known for its dark, psychological themes, religious motifs, and deep, harrowing study of depression. The original series, Death (True)², and End of Evangelion are currently available to stream on Netflix, while Amazon Prime Video has the four-part Rebuild of Evangelion movie series—a remake of the the original (with Hideaki Anno at the helm) with a different ending in the just-released Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time.