Neon Genesis Evangelion is coming to Blu-ray in North America for the first time, thanks to distributor GKids, which will release an 11-disc Ultimate Edition collection of Hideaki Anno’s influential anime series this December. The Neon Genesis Evangelion Ultimate Edition box set includes the original 26-episode television series and two follow-up films, Evangelion: Death (True)² and The End of Evangelion.
Pre-orders for Neon Genesis Evangelion Ultimate Edition go live Thursday through GKids’ online store, and cost $274.99. (That’s the pre-order price, mind you; the standard price is a whopping $349.99 and goes into effect Dec. 7, 2021.) The collection will be released on Dec. 8.
GKids describes the Ultimate Edition Blu-ray release of Neon Genesis Evangelion as a limited-run set; only 5,000 copies will be released in North America, the distributor said.
The Neon Genesis Evangelion Ultimate Edition will include dual localizations of the series and films: the “Classic” dub and subtitles from the original home video release, and the “Official” (read: the version used for the streaming version of Evangelion on Netflix) dub and subtitles. The Ultimate Edition release will, like the Netflix release, not feature the song “Fly Me to the Moon” over the TV show’s end credits.
In addition to the original series and two follow-up films, Neon Genesis Evangelion Ultimate Edition will offer more than seven hours of bonus features, GKids said in a news release. There will also be a slew of physical bonuses, including a 156-page book full of promotional posters and artwork, a glossary of Angels and EVA units, and full credit lists for each episode. The collection also includes 11 double-sided art boards, measuring 12 inches by 12 inches, that replicate the character artwork from the Japanese LaserDisc releases.
Also packed in are a resin paperweight modeled after Sachiel, the Third Angel that debuts in Episode 1, “Angel Attack,” and a NERV ID card with a lanyard for gaining access to secret underground facilities (please do not attempt this).
The whole thing is packed into a “premium-quality rigid-board shoulder box” decorated with artwork of Asuka and Rei that was previously featured on the Japanese LaserDisc release. Two fold-out disc carriers, featuring LaserDisc artwork of Shinji and Gendo on one with Misato and Kaji on the other, are also included.
The Neon Genesis Evangelion Ultimate Edition collection, while pricey, may be the best option for serious Eva fans who want to closely replicate the original anime broadcast and home video releases (music choices excepted) in physical form. For fans who are comfortable with streaming versions, the original TV series, Evangelion: Death (True)², and The End of Evangelion are currently streaming on Netflix. The Rebuild of Evangelion quadrilogy, including the most recent release, Evangelion 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time, are streaming through Amazon Prime Video.