It's official: When Netflix releases Neon Genesis Evangelion on June 21st, it will have an all-new cast of voice actors.
While it was rumored Netflix may redub the series, confirmation came when Amanda Winn Lee, the original voice actor for Rei Ayanami, released a tweet clarifying the situation.
FYI Not only were our roles recast in Evangelion, but they never had any intention of even auditioning us in the first place. So stop wondering. No, Spike, Tiffany, Allison, and I are not in it.— Amanda Winn Lee (@amandawinnlee) March 23, 2019
Spike, Tiffany and Allison refer to Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant and Allison Keith, who famously portrayed Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Sohryu and Misato Katsuragi in the original ADV (anime dubbing company) dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Manga dub for End of Evangelion and the Funimation dub for Rebuild of Evangelion. Funimation recast Rei for its Rebuild of Evangelion dub, with Brina Palencia voicing the role.
However, things became even more complicated. Lee followed up this tweet by continuing:
They let us audition- AFTER we found out auditions were being held and raised a fuss. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they threw out the files as soon as we left the studio. They never had any intention of involving us.— Amanda Winn Lee (@amandawinnlee) March 23, 2019
Lee was not the only dub actress to respond, however. In a Facebook post, Tiffany Grant revealed how she dealt with the knowledge that she would no longer be voicing Asuka. :The truth is that I have known for months that we were all being replaced," she said. "I flew myself out to LA in early December to audition -- for the first time -- for the role of Asuka. It was the most surreal moment of my life."
Grant's post confirms two very important things about the Netflix release: the original dub will not be available for streaming, and that the original actors auditioned for their roles. It is unknown if they were ever considered, despite speculation from both Lee and Grant that they were only humored with an audition.
Neon Genesis Evangelion was first released in America by ADV back in the early days of the anime dubbing industry. The original dub has been out of print for years. While many fans hoped that the Netflix release might restore the original dub, it is unclear if Netflix will make it available. It is highly possible that the ADV dub will not get another official release.
Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant and Allison Keith remain cast as Shinji, Asuka and Misato in Funimation's Rebuild of Evangelion. The fourth chapter of which is expected to be released in Japan in 2020. Its stateside release remains unknown.
Neon Genesis Evangelion will hit Netflix on June 21.