The Netflix ’90s Sci-Fi Action Thriller That Unleashes True Insanity

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

What if the best anime series of all time got a second chance to deliver the ending that fans were demanding? That’s exactly what happened in the ‘90s when Neon Genesis Evangelion ended with more fizzle than sizzle and way more inner monologue than anyone expected.

End of Evangelion delivers a kickass ending that adds even more depth to this legendarily lore-rich anime, and you can experience the true depths of its insanity by streaming it on Netflix today.

End of Evangelion Origin

In order to fully appreciate End of Evangelion, you need to better understand why it was created in the first place.

The short answer is that Neon Genesis Evangelion ended with two episodes that mostly disappointed fans due to how little they did to definitively wrap up the plot. They instead end with long scenes of series protagonist Shinji Ikari getting intensely introspective about his life.

The animation was also extremely limited in those last two episodes, leading to a misconception that the series had run out of money and this was all that could be completed in time.

End of Evangelion Starting Place

While it was more a combination of production delays and alleged indecisiveness on the part of series director Hideaki Anno than budgetary issues, the problem remained the same: fans were completely disappointed by how Neon Genesis Evangelion wrapped up.

Fortunately for those fans, End of Evangelion ended up being a more ambitious do-over of the series’ last two episodes.

That means it’s not necessarily a great place for new fans to start, but for fans who blurted out “That’s it?!?” when the series ended, this film provides a more definitive ending for our favorite characters.

Fans Initially Disappointed

End of Evangelion

Interestingly, End of Evangelion went into production before the series aired its final episode, and it seems that Hideaki Anno was in a hurry to complete it after the negative fan reaction to the original ending.

The reception was so negative that Anno originally wanted to get out of the animation business altogether and even went so far as to attempt suicide. 

Symbolic Funeral For The Series

End of Evangelion

He eventually took the advice of his friend and legendary anime auteur Hayao Miyazaki and took a break for a few months after the series ended.

But after that, he threw himself into End of Evangelion for a specific reason: it was going to serve as a symbolic funeral for the series, allowing both creator and fans to say goodbye to the world of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

And End of Evangelion served this purpose well, with Anno and the rest of the team utilizing an unused script from the penultimate episode of the series as the basis for a much more crowd-pleasing ending.

Box Office And Critical Reception

End of Evangelion

For all of the fan backlash Hideaki Anno had received for the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion, audiences mostly seemed to agree that End of Evangelion delivered the ending they were hoping for.

At the box office, the film made $19 million dollars, and it later became a breakout smash hit on DVD. The movie was also a critical hit: on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 90 percent critical rating and an 85 percent audience score, both of which illustrate how well this anime classic was firing on all cylinders.

End of Evangelion Streaming On Netflix

End of Evangelion

We obviously recommend watching the series first, but for those who already finished the adventures of Shinji, Asuka, Rey, and Misato, End of Evangelion serves as the perfect ending.

Of course, calling this film an “ending” is something of a misnomer: starting in 2007, we would get even more films that reimagined the beautiful dystopia of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Those films are like a glimpse into a bonkers alternate universe, but before you watch them, you need to stream End of Evangelion on Netflix so you, like Shinji, can finally experience a sense of closure.