Neon Genesis Evangelion is a classic mecha anime from the 90s, known for being simultaneously controversial and exalted. Originally aired in 1995, the well-known anime received a dubbing reboot from Netflix this year, 24 years after its initial release. There were high expectations and overall mixed reviews from audiences everywhere.
One thing is agreed upon by anybody who watches this anime: whether you watch the old or new dubbed version, the content is still as brilliantly confusing as ever, so it's worth another viewing. Here are some of the best things about the new dub, along with some other things we aren't so sure about.
10 Love: New Cast
This anime series has been around for over two decades, arguably gaining a following unlike any other. The voices that accompany the characters were an iconic element of the earlier dub. However, these voice actors were not asked to reprise their roles, likely due to licensing issues with the original dubbing company.
So, going into viewing it, an open mind is necessary to fairly judge the new dub. While the original dub was great, the simple feat of bringing the beloved characters to new life was impressive from the new voice actors. The cast did their best to pay respect and live up to performances from the franchise's past.
9 Don't Love: Pronunciation of Nerv
We can all agree that Nerv, the organization that Misato, Ritsuko, and the Ikaris work at and the whole show is based on, is pronounced like the word nerve, right? Wrong! One thing this dub fails to do is correctly say the name of the organization, calling it "nairv" and "nirf".
Though it seems like a minute problem, it's an integral aspect of the show... so maybe they should have pronounced it the right way? For die-hard fans, this mispronunciation is jarring and occurs frequently throughout, making it pretty hard to overlook.
8 Love: Accessibility of Netflix
One great thing about this new version of Neon Genesis Evangelion is that it's on Netflix. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn't have access to a Netflix account.
A service this large has an expansive reach; there's no doubt that users have been scrolling through their Netflix account, trying to decide what to watch, and choose this anime as a result. Since it's a new addition, the title stays close to the top of the page when users are browsing.
7 Don't Love: Translation Discrepancies
This new dubbing has some...discrepancies from the original. Some translations are definitely less important than others, but when it comes down to the meaning of important words and phrases, it's no surprise viewers become picky about what's right and wrong.
Subtle nuances of language are often lost when anime, TV shows and even video games are translated for a new audience, so this is a tough one to judge too harshly. Nevertheless, certain turns of phrase are definitely more than a little jarring.
6 Love: Potentially New Viewers
The NGE series first came out in the mid-90s, so there's a good chance that a lot of the younger generation born after that time may not have seen the anime. Its recent reboot has the potential to pique the interest of new viewers, curious about all of the buzz around it.
The simple fact that it has become available to a different generation of people implies that interest is likely to increase as well. What's not to love about giant robots and monstrous angels waging war against one another? Seems like something teens would be into!
5 Don't Love: Difference in Tone
There is a palpable difference in the tone of the new dub. Many avid Evangelion fans have said that the recent dub is dull and lifeless. Sadly, the original dub had such flair and liveliness that any difference of mood would be easy to perceive.
For instance, profanities were excluded from the Netflix dub. The perfect example of this is when Shinji stands over Asuka's comatose body in the hospital. In the original dub, he says "I'm so f****d up," but the Netflix dub alters this line to "I'm the lowest of the low." It sounds insignificant, but these are the subtle shifts in tone and intensity that really make the difference in the impact of some of Evangelion's most emotionally-charged moments.
4 Love: Quality
One advantage of modern-day technology is that it can improve and remaster an old series like Neon Genesis Evangelion in a way that wasn't possible when it was created.
Honestly, no-one can watch the Netflix version and say it doesn't look fantastic. It's Blu-Ray quality, a coat of paint that breathes new life into the series. Old fans may disapprove of some of the changes that have been made along the way, but they're sure to appreciate the fact that this version really is a treat for the eyes.
3 Don't Love: Kaworu and Shinji's Relationship
Kaworu's single-episode appearance towards the end of NGE was a monumental shifting point in both the narrative and Shinji's characterization. Kaworu's character represents Shinji's chance for love... or, at least, he did in the original.
The new dub changed some very important lines, as we've reported previously. In Shinji's eyes, Kaworu is now worthy of "grace" rather than "love." It's a huge disappointment that this relationship was skewed by the difference of a few words.
2 Love: Getting to Rewatch the Series
One of the best parts of a new version of a show is getting to go back and rewatch it with fresh eyes. Neon Genesis Evangelion is no exception to that rule, and actually, viewers benefit from this greatly.
It's pretty undeniable that the show's a bit confusing, considered convoluted by some. Viewing it at least a few times helps make sense of it all. If you initially disliked this new dub, who knows? It may grow on you as you watch. At the end of the day, you're still getting to rewatch the series, and that seems like a pretty good deal.
1 Don't Love: What Happened to Fly Me to the Moon?
"Fly Me to the Moon" was crucial to Neon Genesis Evangelion. So, what the heck happened to it, Netflix? For some reason, they decided not to include the song that originally played throughout the end credits of each episode.
Needless to say, fans are not happy, to the point of starting a petition to urge Netflix to do the right thing. The petition has well over 1,000 signatures and counting. Obviously, it was a huge let down for fans that the song didn't make the cut for the Netflix dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion.