The Japanese cast of Neon Genesis Evangelion, most of whom have been with the series since its 1995 debut, addressed the franchise's fans in a series of messages which were posted online following the international debut of the series' grand finale, Evangelion 3.0+1.01: Thrice Upon A Time.
The messages were published on the Japanese Amazon Prime Video Twitter account. The first and longest of the messages was from Megumi Ogata, a voice actor whose career spans three decades on shows such as Sailor Moon and Yu Yu Hakusho, and who is best known for her performance as the series' central protagonist Shinji Ikari. "I am truly happy to finally present the final story of Evangelion to all of you," Ogata wrote, adding, "My sincere gratitude to all the people involved and the long-awaited Eva fans around the world." Ogata discussed how the series has evolved and expressed her hope that Shinji's story will be inspiring for viewers, saying "The latest animation technology is utilized, yet the theme remains simple and universal - an ordinary 14-year old boy falls and stumbles over, but manages to move forward with help from people around him... It's a very Japanese film, but I believe that this work goes beyond the borders. When Shinji rises to stand up, you may feel joy and see a light of hope. But in the process, you might experience pain with him. Hopefully you can enjoy the process as an exciting experience for yourself."
#シンエヴァ 世界配信を記念してキャストさんからメッセージが届きました！— Amazon Prime Video（プライムビデオ） (@PrimeVideo_JP) August 14, 2021
Megumi Hayashibara, who plays Rei in the series and has had an equally storied career on other shows such as Cowboy Bebop, Slayers and Pokemon, also released a statement. "No one could have imagined that Evangelion would launch worldwide when the TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion started in Japan 26 years ago," Hayashibara said. "Please experience what Evangelion means to you, regardless of borders and language."
True to character, Yuko Miyamura, who voices the fiery Asuka, delivered a quick and terse message. "If you are going to pause the movie to go to the bathroom-- what kind of idiot are you?! Go to the bathroom before you start watching!," the voice actor joked before adding, "I am also very happy that we can enjoy watching Evangelion 3.0+1.01: Thrice Upon A Time at home!"
Maaya Uchida, who joined the series with the second film in the Rebuild of Evangelion series and fills the role of the enigmatic Mari Illustrious Makinami, delivered a short message, once again refusing to reveal any of the secrets about the still-mysterious character. "I feel incredibly honored to join the globally beloved Evangelion series as a voice actress," Uchida stated simply.
Kotono Mitsuishi, who played the role of everyone's favorite millenial Misato Katsuragi, expressed her gratitude to the series and its creator, Hideaki Anno. "Each second of dubbing this movie was precious to me," Mitsuishi said. "I am grateful to director Hideaki Anno for creating the best scenes for Misato Katsuragi."
Amazon also posted messages from Yuriko Yamaguchi, who played Ritsuko Akagi, and Akira Ishida, who played the role of Kaworu Ishida on its Twitter. Those statements, as well as the full messages from the previously mentioned cast, can be read here.
Evangelion 3.0+1.01: Thrice Upon A Time is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The previous three films in the Rebuild of Evangelion series are also streaming on the service. The original 1995 Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, as well as its two follow-up movies, are all available for streaming on Netflix in North America. The original series is scheduled to be re-released on DVD and Blu-ray sometime before the end of 2021 by distributor GKIDS.