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GKIDS Bringing 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' To Blu-Ray in 2021

Sunday, October 4, 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the classic anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.  The Gainax series lead to a boom in TV anime, launched an army of clones, and began a massive franchise that would lead to movies, manga, and an avalanche of merchandise that has kept the series in Japan's public consciousness ever since.

Despite the original show's important role in anime history, it remained unavailable in English for many years. It had not made the jump to Blu-Ray and the DVDs were long out-of-print since US and UK licensor ADV went out of business. If you wanted to see Evangelion for many years your only choice was the newer Rebuild movies. That was until last year when Netflix unexpectedly announced that they had picked up the exclusive worldwide streaming rights to the original '95 show and its movie companions Death and Rebirth and The End Of Evangelion.

To mark this anniversary American distributor GKIDS Films have announced that they have acquired the home video rights and will release both the series and the two movies on Blu-Ray and as a digital download in 2021. This will be the series first Blu-Ray release in North America, and a rare foray into TV for GKIDS (their only other TV series release so far is Ghibli's Ronja, The Robber's Daughter).

Created by Hideaki Anno, the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION television series is considered one of the most influential animated series of all time. Since its 1995 premiere in Japan, the story of teenager Shinji Ikari has remained one of the most iconic titles in animation history, and a global pop culture phenomenon.

The details of the release are to be announced, but anyone hoping it might include the original ADV English dub shouldn't get their hopes up. The streaming version features a newly recorded dub that proved somewhat contentious with some fans. Rights issues (like the fact that ADV is no more and the Japanese rightsholder allegedly did not care for the first dub) mean it's highly unlikely.

UK distributor Anime Limited have confirmed that they will release the series as one of their hefty Ultimate Editions in the UK during 2021. We'd expect that some similar kind of special edition would also be available to US customers.

"Neon Genesis Evangelion was one of the first titles that transformed my idea of what animation is truly capable of," GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. said in a statement. "GKIDS was created with the intent to distribute the best animation in the world, and it’s an honor to help share such a groundbreaking work with North American audiences in new formats."