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Neon Genesis Evangelion, everything you need to know

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When, a year ago, Netflix Italy published it with a dubbing made from scratch that, for different reasons, did not convince, the recriminations of the fans became trend topics for a week. The protests were so persistent that they forced the platform to remove the new version and promise a definitive retouch (available from next January).
This is Neon Genesis Evangelion: a cult soul, a quasi-faith, something that must be defended from blasphemy, true or presumed. And something to which today, 21 years after its arrival on our television screens (via Mtv) and 26 since its first broadcast in Japan, the Italian Dynit dedicates an “Ultimate Edition Box-Set” to delight the many, many disciples. Pardon, fans.

Confanetto already snapped up

It is no coincidence that the purchase of the box in a few days has already shot to the top of the online rankings. Available from Wednesday (at 129 euros the blu-ray version and 170 the dvd version), it contains the entire series created by Hideaki Anno for the Gainax studio, the classic films (Death True 2 and The End of Evangelion), two extra discs with documentaries, behind the scenes, memorabilia and the soundtrack in 5.1. In addition, a book of about 140 pages, an art book of 60, posters, postcards and assorted objects. Few other works boast such widespread and enduring affection, perhaps Star Wars, in the West, and Gundam or AstroBoy on the other side of the world. On the other hand, there are not many souls, in addition to «robottoni», who on Wikipedia can afford to be represented by a quote like this: «Without knowing other people it is not possible to betray or hurt each other. But it is also not possible to forget loneliness. Human beings will never be able to free themselves from loneliness. After all, every man is alone anyway. And it is only because it is possible to forget it that men manage to live ».

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Psychological introspection, philosophy, avant-garde staging – at times lysergic -, mystical and religious references (with the Kabbalah, Orthodox Judaism, the Bible and even esotericism peeping out between one sequence and another), make the masterpiece of Anno a work that has gone beyond the boundaries of the genre to establish itself as a paradigm of adult, cultured, narratively experimental animation. Its narrative frame matters little: at first glance it seems the usual Japanese – and post-atomic – spiel in which teenage pilots are entrusted with the future of mankind, threatened by unidentified entities which the “Angels” are opposed by slaps. , that is i mecha of the protagonists. It is the way in which Anno tells the story that makes the difference: the action is marginal, almost a liberating act compared to loneliness, to the desperate responsibility with which the protagonists are obtorto collo invested. Neon Genesis Evangelion is therefore an epic journey into the woman and man of the future, between their uncertainties and an overwhelming sense of provisionality. It is a reflection at times cryptic, but always timeless. It is no coincidence that decades after its publication, it inflames the imagination and animates. We talked about it with Carlo Cavazzoni, responsible for the video sector for Dynit and creator of the «Ultimate Edition», curated by Luca Franciosi.

Carlo Cavazzoni and Hideaki Anno

Cavazzoni, the figure of Hideaki Anno is cloaked in legend. Have you had anything to do with him?
Not directly, but through a company, King Records, designated by Anno to manage. However, I had the privilege of meeting him in 2016 in Cannes, when we had dinner together and talked about his projects. She seemed to me a reserved person, but very helpful. I happened to meet him again a few years later, in Tokyo, when I visited the studios of Khara, his production company. The curious thing is that I didn’t know I would have met him and when they took us on a tour of the studio they introduced him to us like any other operator: “this is X, this is Y, he is Hideaki Anno”. This impressed me, because evidently Anno also compares himself with his au pair staff. I think it’s a really nice approach, a way of working that I fear has been lost by now.

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How do you explain the impressive and lasting success of such a difficult work?
I believe much of the success of Evangelion is attributable to the mystery that hovers throughout the series: from the first episodes we are witnesses of facts that are not explained immediately. It is an aspect that gives the texture an irresistible charm. To tell the truth, many details are not revealed even later and this also contributes to success, because everyone can get their own idea, have their own interpretation. With Neon Genesis Evangelion, the anime has come of age. It is unlikely that works such as Cowboy Bebop, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, or even the adaptation of Berserk would have come without him.

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