Neon Genesis Evangelion:
Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles
“Unless you step forward, nothing will change.”
I started watching Evangelion in 1996, as it was first being released in the United States (coincidentally, I was the exact age of the Eva pilots at the time).
In January of 2013, I finally came to terms with the fact that I was never going to see my favorite version of Neon Genesis Evangelion with DVD quality video and sound unless I did it myself. With my VHS tapes deteriorating at the rate you would expect, I set out to re-create my favorite version of Evangelion, by combining the superior dialog from the VHS subtitles with the video and sound quality of the DVDs. I set aside one day each month to complete an episode (transcribing the VHS episode and copying the timestamps from the DVD). I completed this principal groundwork on schedule in February of 2015, and then improvised a release date of September 13, 2015. And so, appropriately—but completely coincidentally—I completed and released these subtitles in the same year the series takes place, just in time for the 20th anniversary. While the year was a coincidence, the exact release date, as you can probably guess if you know the series well, was no accident.
The End of Evangelion:
“…after that first step, it’s just as important to take another step.”
I was introduced to The End of Evangelion shortly after its 1997 release—at first in Japanese with no English subtitles, then in the form of English fansubs on VHS (before the official North American DVD release), followed by the Manga Entertainment DVD and eventually the superior King Records DVD.
As much as I enjoy The End of Evangelion (it’s one of my favorite films of all time), I’ve never been satisfied with any one translation of it. Eventually it occurred to me that I could hammer together an amalgamation using pieces I liked from existing translations. So starting in December of 2012, that’s what I did. In the process, I also ended up doing my own translation of the Japanese script, a good portion of which ended up in the subtitles (see Translation Examples.xls located in the Documentation folder of the download).
In 2016, well aware of the significance that the year 2016 has in Evangelion’s story, I made a few final adjustments and released the subtitles, following up with a revised release in 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the film.