The 26 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion
were first aired on Japanese
TV in 1995-1996. When they were screened the first time on TV the episodes had to be slightly altered to remove some actual brand names and “sexual content
” (it was screened after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
after all). Gainax
also wanted to have 30-second previews of each episode, but had to shorten them to 15-second ones.
The Japanese videos of the series were then released one after another. Each video or Laser Disc contained 2 episodes and was named "Neon Genesis Evangelion - Genesis 0:01, Genesis 0:02, Genesis 0:03, etc...".
These videos featured the Evangelion Episodes the way they were supposed to be in the first place, i.e. they had 30-second previews, actual brand names, added “sexual content” etc…
However Anno Hideaki decided to slightly improve the quality of episodes 21 to 24 as well as adding new scenes. He also decided to remake entirely episodes 25 and 26 for this video release (he thought that he "owed" this to the Gainax staff, since he took complete control of the last two TV episodes).
So the video release came to a stop with "Genesis 0:10", which contained Episodes 19 and 20, because they had to work on redoing episodes 21 to 24 to get them ready for video release, they also has to work on the movies! Hideaki Anno’s idea to redo the last two episodes eventually spawned ”Evangelion: Death and Rebirth”, ”The End of Evangelion” and finally ”Revival of Evangelion”.
Now at this point (when the Japanese Video Releases stopped), AD Vision bought the rights to English Dub and release the TV series. They released episodes 1 to 20 of the Japanese Video Version but they didn't want to wait until the completion of the Redone Evangelion Episodes 21 to 24 by Gainax, so they released the TV Version of episodes 21 to 26.
This is where the problem lies. The Redone Evangelion Episodes are available on LD, VHS and DVD in Japan but are unavailable in other parts of the world. Most English speaking people have seen the ADV dub of Evangelion. They have seen “outdated” versions of Episodes 21 to 24 and thus when they hear about these extra scenes they instinctively think that they were cut from the versions that have seen. This is not the case. These extra scenes had not even been made when AD Vision bought and released its tapes. Don’t blame Gainax because you are missing out on about 15 minutes of extra Eva goodness, blame AD Vision for not having any patience.
Now over in Japan Gainax finally released “Genesis 0.11” and “Genesis 0.12”. They contained the redone episodes 21 to 24, improved and with added scenes. Some of these added scenes were featured in ”Evangelion: Death and Rebirth“ so if you can’t get a copy of the redone episodes, try and get a copy of Evangelion: Death.
The added scenes are worth seeing, they provides a lot of information you otherwise wouldn’t find out.