The Netflix Sci-Fi Epic That Changed Television History

By Douglas Helm | Published

Neon Genesis Evangelion stands tall as one of the most impressive achievements not only in the anime medium but in the creative realm in general. The series transcends its genre to create an enduring and deeply affecting series that will continue to be revered for generations to come. Fortunately, you can easily check this series out right now on Netflix to see it for the first time or revisit a masterpiece again if you haven’t in a while.

Stunning ’90s Animation

Created by Hideaki Anno, Neon Genesis Evangelion aired its original 26 episodes from 1995 to 1996. The series primarily follows Shinji Ikari, a young boy who is recruited to pilot an Eva unit, a massive biomechanical robot, to battle existential threats to humanity known as Angels. While the series might seem like a simple mech anime at first glance, it’s so much more than that.

The first thing that will stand out when watching Neon Genesis Evangelion is the stunning animation. Even decades after its original release, the series still impresses with its highly detailed frames and its fluid animation. Put simply, it’s just a beautiful series to look at and nearly every frame of the series could be a painting.

Deep Themes And Symbolism

Neon Genesis Evangelion also stands out because of its deep themes and symbolism that dive into the nature of humanity, consciousness, and the self. The religious and mythological symbolism also allows for deep analysis and interpretation, making the series infinitely rewatchable. Of course, it helps that the story is engaging and keeps you stuck to the screen with an emotionally charged and unpredictable viewing experience.

Another thing that really sets Neon Genesis Evangelion apart is how the story being told is deeply personal to the creator. Hideaki Anno has spoken about how he poured his own struggles and existential angst into the series, giving the series a raw and profoundly human feeling. This is shown through the flawed protagonists like Shinji, who constantly struggles with his vulnerability and willingness to fight, making him a much more relatable character.

A Lasting Impact

Since its release, Neon Genesis Evangelion has become a cultural touchstone and its influence has been felt in the realm of anime and sci-fi ever since. It’s truly a worthwhile series to check out. It’s not often that a series stands out so singularly, but Neon Genesis Evangelion is definitely one of the best anime of all time and deserves the praise and acclaim it regularly receives.

The Evangelion Franchise

Best of all, there is a lot more content to check out if you like Neon Genesis Evangelion. For one, you will definitely want to check out the film End of Evangelion, as it acts as an official end to the series and Shinji’s story. It’s essential viewing if you watch the original series because it provides a more comprehensive ending.

Outside of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion storyline, it’s also well worth checking out Hideaki Anno’s Rebuild of Evangelion series. Rebuild of Evangelion is a four-move series that allowed Anno to re-tell and re-imagine the Evangelion series years later. It’s not meant to replace the events of the original series but rather acts as a way for a creator to revisit the world of Evangelion and tell the story from a fresh perspective.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Is Streaming On Netflix

With that being said, make sure to check out the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series before diving into the Rebuild series if you want to avoid spoilers and experience everything in order. The Rebuild films include Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, and Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time. You can find these films on Amazon Prime Video if you want to watch them, but in the meantime, you can check out the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series right now on Netflix.