Influential Anime Neon Genesis Evangelion Now On Netflix

Cue up the Evangelions.


After an announcement back in November 2018 and a release date reveal in March 2019, Neon Genesis Evangelion has finally arrived on Netflix. This includes all 26 episodes of Hideaki Anno's classic anime and the two films--The End of Evangelion and Evangelion: Death(True)2--available to stream to all with an active Netflix account.

Death(True)2 is a further edit of 1998's Evangelion: Death(True), which is the original 1997 Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth re-edited by episode director Masayuki Yamaguchi without footage from episodes 21–24. Death(True)2 sees some of that removed footage re-added, with the inclusion of some brand-new footage never before seen in either prior incarnation, making Death(True)2 the final, most complete version of the Death movies.

Evangelion has had a difficult road traveling to the West, a Polygon report reveals. While it's possible to purchase "complete" editions of the series on DVD, they're usually sold by third-party vendors for astronomical prices. (A brief Amazon search shows prices ranging from $30 USD for two episodes to $200 USD for a part of the Platinum Collection to $500 USD for the Platinum: Perfect Collection.) What seems to have made Evangelion so difficult to obtain and/or watch was the limited availability of physical media, as well as the decline in physical media production for the series. These and a myriad of other factors--like a lack of Blu-Ray releases and confusion among the various kinds of "collections"--impacted Western English releases. Netflix bringing Evangelion to its platform makes watching it easier and more complete, a blessing to both anime diehards who love the series and casual anime consumers who've heard so much about the series.

The Netflix release does come with a few changes, particularly to the English voice actors. Rei Ayanami's voice actor Amanda Winn Lee confirmed she's been replaced in a now-deleted tweet. The same goes for some of the series' main characters, including Asuka Langley Soryu (voiced by Tiffany Grant), Misato Katsuragi (voiced by Allison Keith), and Shinji Ikari (voiced by Spike Spencer). At the time of the March 2019 report, Lee said that Netflix "never had any intention of even auditioning us in the first place." Grant corroborated Lee's statement in a Facebook post, saying she knew for "months that we were all being replaced."

In addition to voice actor alterations, the Evangelion Netflix release sees some music cues and end theme changed. There's speculation that the issue is music licensing, as Netflix Japan retains the covers. Further, a Twitter user shows side-by-side translations between the Netflix release and the original seemingly censoring a gay theme involving a key character.

The series follows Shinji Ikari, a pilot of giant mechs called Evangelions, which are used to fight alien beings called Angels. Evangelion explores Ikari's experience being both a teenage boy and a pilot risking his life for the sake of human preservation, and deals with heady subject matter like violence, psychology, religion, and sexuality.

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