I recently read an article online about Netflix’s licensing issues with adding the popular anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion to their streaming service. While I was excited by the idea of a new generation having an opportunity to watch one of my favorite anime of all time, when I read the details of it’s release, I was a bit disappointed.
ADV Films, the studio who originally released the English-dubbed version of the series and the two films, collapsed in 2009. This is where the license issue comes into play. Netflix is unable to use the original voice cast, and instead, is using a brand new cast of voice actors. Kudos to the new actors. But, as I die hard fan of the series, I can’t imagine anyone else providing the voice of Asuka other than Tiffany Grant. And if you’ve seen The End of Evangelion , then you know no one else can do Shinji’s scream except Spike Spencer.
On top of all of this, the closing theme song, “Fly Me to the Moon”, is NOT included in the North American release on Netflix. It is included, on Netflix in Japan. So, new voice cast, no “Fly Me to the Moon”…Netflix, I’m beginning to think you shouldn’t have taken on this project in the first place. For viewers who have never watched the series, none of this will make much of a difference. But, for people like me who grew up with this show, it’s kind of a slap in the face.
Will this release be successful? Only time will tell.
PS: to any Hollywood studio out there thinking about making this series into a live-action film, DON’T. You’ll probably screw that up, too.