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Neon Genesis Evangelion Arrives to Streaming; Now on Netflix

Evangelion is on Netflix; All is right with the world.

| @otakuvoice

Its cause for celebration for otaku. One of the greatest anime series is finally available for streaming. Almost 25 years after its original debut, Neon Genesis Evangelion is out on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, now is the perfect time to watch an all time classic.

Neon Genesis is one of the most popular and lasting anime series. It’s characters are still popular decades after release [1]. Its more than just boy meets giant robot. The show turns the expectations of the mecha genre on its head. Characters that would be one-dimensional in any other show have depth to them. It still holds up beautifully in 2019.

The story revolves around a young boy name Shinji who is tasked by his father to pilot a giant mech called an Evangelion and fight giant monster invaders called Angels. From there the dark psychological thriller explores the relationships and psyche of Shinji in the post apocalyptic world. While at times the first few episodes feel like monster of the week, the show begins to take the formula off the rails as it introduces its other main characters and show how the daily life of the cast deteriorates.

Evangelion in 2019

Evangelion becoming available on a major streaming platform is a huge deal. Up until now, in order to watch it you either have to shell out $200 for the box set of DVDs, or sail the high seas. For many anime fans that isn’t a problem, but for the casual fan being on a streaming service is ideal. Ideal for people who already have Netflix, but not necessarily for the industry according to Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga [2].

While there is arguably some validity to Fukunaga’s concern, putting Evangelion on Funimation, Crunchyroll, or Hidive only serves anime fans that for the most part have already watched it. Netflix has a chance to put it on a much larger platform and bring about an Evangelion renaissance with the mass non-otaku audience.

A Netflix Original Series

In this lead up to the release today, there has been some kerfuffle. Rumor began to spread about a re-dub of the show that was eventually confirmed by the old cast [3]. It makes sense to redo the English dub of the show. The old ADV dub is likely lost to licensing hell [4]and getting it redone for the new millennia is for the best. The recasting of the dub is whats getting a lot of people up in arms online.

Netflix’s re-dub was without any regard to the old cast [5]. The iconic English voices of Shinji, Rei, and Asuka will be lost to the past. Its not like the old cast was unwilling or no longer active. Most of the voice actors are still very much around. Spike Spencer, the original voice of Shinji, is still dubbing shows in 2019 [6].

Fans of the original Japanese voice cast can rejoice. The Netflix page [7] lists the original Japanese cast and did not re-dub them.

End of Evangelion

For those looking to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion for the first time, Netflix has almost everything you need. Starting with the original 26 episode series is the best viewing experience. After the bizarre unappreciated ending, Netflix has End of Evangelion and EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)². The second option is mostly a re-edited version of the show and movie. Its not necessary to watch. End of Evangelion is seen as the true ending to the TV series and is a must watch for those left mouths wide open after 26 episodes of Angel fighting action.

Once you are through with End of Evangelion there are actually 3 more movies and another unreleased movie. Yes, a 24 year old TV series still has movies yet to be released. If you are watching for the first time you are lucky. Longtime fans of the series have long suffered for over ten years since the first of the new movies released. Evangelion 1.11 is the first to watch after End of Evangelion. 2.22 and 3.33 obviously follow that. The next movie scheduled for release next year is Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0.

If you are confused why you don’t see those movies after watching End of Evangelion, its because those are not available for streaming anywhere in the U.S. Its great that Netflix has delivered so much otaku goodness today, but new fans of the series are still missing out on the modern film series.

[Sources and Further Reading]
[1][Newtype Decades Poll Results]
[2][Gen Fukunaga’s Thoughts]
[3][Amanda Winn Lee’s Twitter]
[4][A. D. Vision Shutdown]
[5][New Dub Recasting]
[6][Spike Spencer’s Credits]
[7][Netflix Page]
[Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 Exists]