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Why Netflix Recasting the English Dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion Shocked Eva Fans

Updated on March 31, 2019
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

The classic anime is getting a new English dub with a new cast, HOO BOY!
The classic anime is getting a new English dub with a new cast, HOO BOY! | Source

Netflix Announced The Release Date and Fans Learned They Were Recasting the Neon Genesis Evangelion English Dub:

When Netflix announced that Neon Genesis Evangelion would begin streaming June 21st, 2019, fans of the franchise were very excited because there hasn’t been a legal way to stream this anime ever since legal streaming started.

But then Netflix dropped a bomb on the fandom, fans learned there would be a new English dub, without the original English cast, and the fans only found out about the recasting through Twitter because the original English cast members tweeted about it.

Understandably, fans are very upset about this. The original English cast has been a part of the franchise since the beginning and Funimation Entertainment brought back most of the English cast for the Rebuild of Evangelion movies when they licensed them for home video.

There could be a fan revolt if this new dub doesn’t please the longtime English dub fans, the Japanese will always be there on Netflix but if this new dub is bad, it will look very bad for Netflix should they screw up the dub for one of the most important anime series of the 1990s. Fans will never let them live it down if the new English dub is panned by fans and critics.

I’m Very Surprised By the Decision to Recast All the Main Leads:

The voice actors for the original English dub confirmed on Twitter they would not be reprising their roles for the new Netflix English dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

I find the decision by Netflix to recast all the main leads is one that could backfire, especially if this new English dub doesn’t cut it with the Eva fandom. I’ve only watched the first two Rebuild of Evangelion movies on TV so I’m not a diehard Eva fan that either loves the Japanese track or has nostalgia for the ADV Films/Funimation Entertainment English dubs, so I can go into a new English dub with a new cast with an open mind. But if I think this new English dub is bad, I will rip it to shreds, and it won’t be pretty!

While I don’t have nostalgia for the ADV Films/Funimation Entertainment voice cast, I really did enjoy them in the English dub of the Rebuild movies so I completely understand why longtime fans are upset. They grew up with these voices and the actors have reprised their roles for the movies.

The fact that they were only able to audition after they found out Netflix was redubbing the series is a bad move on Netflix’s part. The fact that Funimation Entertainment understands that English dub fans will fork out money for listening to a cast that they like wasn’t lost on them when they licensed the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. They got most of the original English dub cast back with few recasts and fans liked the dub.

Some of the original cast members feel that the ADR director had no intention of listening to their auditions and while I can’t speak for the ADR director, it is disappointing they wouldn’t at least keep the main actors in roles they’re known for.

Netflix could potentially step on a lot of English dub fan toes if this new dub is poorly received by the diehard Eva fandom.

I’m not really the audience that Netflix will have to worry about since I’m a newcomer to the franchise with having only watched the two Rebuild movies and not the original series with the original English or Japanese dub.

The original fanbase are the ones they have to win over with this new English dub.

If this new English dub is horrible, fans will revolt and demand the original dub cast redub it.
If this new English dub is horrible, fans will revolt and demand the original dub cast redub it. | Source

Netflix Needs to Hit a Homerun with The New Dubs or Fans will Revolt and Demand a Redub:

Now while recasting a popular anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion might not be a big deal to casual fans, it is a huge deal to longtime fans of the series who have been listening to the ADV Films/Funimation Entertainment cast in the English for years.

Netflix English dubs can vary in their quality. Most of them are decent, some of them are amazing, like Violet Evergarden, B: The Beginning, and Devilman Crybaby, there are very good dubs like Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Extra: Last Encore and the first English dub of their anime exclusive Aico –Incarnation- was so bad it was universally panned by fans and critics and Netflix did actually go and pay for a new English dub.

If the new dub of Eva should be a repeat of Aico –Incarnation-, the fallout for Netflix would be a disaster that would be the equivalent of the Second Impact for the company. Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most influential anime of the ‘90s and should Netflix botch this dub, it would be a disaster for them, because the fans of the series would rip the new English dub to pieces and send it out into space, and then they would have to redub it with the original English cast, and that costs money and they wouldn’t want to spend double the money because they botched the new English dub.

The new English dub will have to be on par with the Violet Evergarden English dub for me because that dub was amazing, and if Netflix can’t hit that level of quality with an anime as influential and important as Neon Genesis Evangelion, I will be disappointed and diehard fans will be enraged.

Neon Genesis Evangelion | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix:

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I Won’t Make any Judgments until I hear the New Dub and See the New Cast:

Netflix has yet to announce the new voice cast for Neon Genesis Evangelion. I will update this section of my article to discuss my thoughts on the new voice cast, but for now, I will wish all the voice actors and voice actresses good luck. You’re going to be under double the scrutiny because you’re not just being compared to the original Japanese dub, but the original English dub cast as well.

I am cautiously optimistic, with an anime as important as Evangelion; I do worry about this dub being botched because of the uneven track record of the Netflix exclusive English dubs for anime. Since their dubs tend to be mostly good to fantastic, I’m really hoping for a fantastic new dub. I feel for all the fans that are going to miss the original English dub actors, but since Funimation still has the rights to the Rebuild films I’m hoping they’ll be able to finish the movies for the fans.

I do want to warn the new English voice actors that they better bring their AAA++ game, this isn’t just some little anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion means a lot to its fanbase and they’re the ones that will be either supporting the new English dub and welcoming new English dub actors to the fandom or putting your vocal performances under a microscope should you botch this English dub. And if this new English dub is bad, none of you will ever hear the end it, you will be told for the rest of your life that you ruined Neon Genesis Evangelion.

I look forward to listening you’re your performances as an anime fan and a critic and seeing what you’ll bring to a classic anime. Good luck everyone!

I Look Forward to the New Dub on June 21st!

As I said, I’m cautiously optimistic about the new English dub, once I read the announcement of the new English cast I will either be worried or confident that the new cast and will eagerly await the new dub.

I understand longtime fan disappointment at not having the original dub cast redub the series. It would have been fun to see what they would have brought to the series now that they have more voice acting experience.

I’ll just have to see what the new English cast will do with the roles and hope that it will meet my expectations of at least being a fantastic English dub.

I know companies like Netflix are looking to get into the anime dubbing and streaming game and they need to understand that anime fans are extremely passionate about the medium so Netflix can’t afford to screw this one up, because this is a classic anime that has millions of fans around the world, they have to bring a solid new cast and that new cast has to deliver an amazing dub to please this fanbase. A decent or very good new English dub isn’t going to cut it for longtime fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion. This new dub has to be amazing, and if it’s not, Netflix will be in for an earful.

I just hope, like the rest of the Neon Genesis Evangelion fandom that Netflix won’t screw up this dub and that longtime fans will at least enjoy the new dub.

Nervously rubbing my hands along with longtime fans of Evangelion. Let’s cross our fingers and hope the new English dub will be fantastic.

© 2019 ReViewMeMedia


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    • John J Ronald profile image

      John Ronald 

      4 months ago from Sugar Land, Texas

      For me, it depends on whether or not the new cast pays homage to the original dub cast and gives performances that are faithful in spirit to the originals. I can imagine once I see Asuka but don't hear Tiffany Grant's voice it will be upsetting UNLESS the new actress gives me a sound-alike performance that still feels authentic. If it's a radical departure it better be bleepin' AMAZING or older fans will revolt. It's not that I won't stop watching; it's more that I'll hate-watch to the end and gripe about it in exacting detail on social media...but I'll lay the blame at the feet of Netflix and the ADR director. The (new) cast are just doing their jobs.

      On a positive note, Amanda Winn Lee did tweet that she met the new ADR director and feels the show is in good hands. We can only hope she's right.

      We know this show was expensive to buy the streaming rights to; the rights status of the original dub by now-defunct ADV Films was probably too murky and expensive and would take too long to resolve. Thus I can understand the decision to re-dub, however much I may personally dislike it.


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