It’s been a good year for anime fans. First Sailor Moon was finally re-released in the U.S. complete with all-new subtitling and a new series reboot. And now one of the other seminal anime works of the late ’90s, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is getting a fully remastered blu-ray treatment, complete with high-definition restoration of all 26 episodes of the original series.
Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno’s animation studio Khara announced the remastered release earlier today, promising that the blu-ray editions of the series and subsequent follow-up films would be available in Japan next summer, just in time for the series’ 20th anniversary. Actual release date and pricing details for the set are forthcoming.
The release marks the first time the entire series has ever been released on DVD in Japan, and fans worldwide immediately celebrated the news.
In addition to its status as a critically acclaimed early masterwork of the mecha genre of anime, Evangelion, or Eva, as it’s affectionately known to fans, Eva, is a beautifully animated series known for its spectacular fight scenes—and even more spectacular mindfucks. Eva is generally considered a metaphorical, deeply philosophical masterpiece; but fans on 4chan’s /a/ and Reddit’s r/anime subforums were just as excited at the prospect of getting to see high-definition, restored versions of some of the fight scenes for the first time ever, including the iconic final battle and other moments of gorgeous animation.
Along with the 26 episodes of the original series, the remastered blu-rays will contain the film Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and the two-part film End of Evangelion, which posits a possible alternative or expansion to the original series’ controversial ending. Although Evangelion deals with dark themes, religion, adult sexuality, and graphic violence, it is perhaps best known for its ending, which is one of the most notorious and iconic examples of a creator exerting his control and vision over a series.
Yet despite the controversy, Eva has not only endured in our cultural consciousness, but become one of the most influential anime series ever created, ushering in a revitalization of the anime genre in Japan and playing a key part in the reception of the genre worldwide. Everything about it, from its aesthetic to its plot spoilers to its famous opening, have been endlessly parodied, homaged, and copied in the ensuing two decades since its 1995 run. The remastered edition will hopefully help fans who are new to the series to experience its raw power and beauty for the first time—or at least give longtime fans an excuse to bombard us all with gorgeous new gifsets on Tumblr.
Photo via chrishimself/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0—)