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Evangelion - Watching Guide

Making sense of Evangelion.
1 Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion


Let me begin by saying that contrary to the majority, I'm not a fan of this series and although I understand the message, it doesn't mean I have to like or agree with it. For me, the whole series is summarized with the very last sentence at The End of Evangelion (which I won't spoil here but if you already watch it you'll probably remember what Asuka said). 

However, this is one of the most controversial animes of all time and it does have amazing visuals which still put other animes to shame today, it is truly an amazing work in character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto that deserves all praise for his creativity. Furthermore, this is a favorite of many people, who especially love the character development, and it was released at a time when it was rare to depict manipulative adults and depressed children; to whom finally gave a voice, and part of the success (although somewhat unintentional) was for letting them know that they were not alone with their feelings.

You should know, the major reason why people love/hate this anime is because, towards the end, it stops being a mecha show and becomes a metaphysical exploration of the worth of humanity, especially Shinji's life (the main protagonist who also represents the author), but don't expect any real answers to that, is more about getting into the character's minds and feel as they are from their point of view. After all, it's not like you can raise objections to their line of thinking, so in the end is a unilateral view of life from the author in an hour+ long monologue, which is one of the reasons I dislike this anime.

In my opinion, Evangelion is akin to listening to The Blues, they are not meant to make you feel better, they are meant to make you feel like the author of the song did at that moment in their life!

One of the best answers that I have read about why this series is good and loved by so much is the following by Celeriac:

'NGE seems to be tailor-made for dealing with angst, depression and anxiety that many otaku have undoubtedly experienced. It portrays the symptoms of having a small and insecure perspective on life, and shows what could alleviate such a thing.

The message that I can infer is that people want to feel safe, accepted and loved, and to have something to live for. When they don't feel that way, they tend to develop psychological issues. There's no need to justify or feel sorry for your existence and participation in this world: you're in the same boat as anyone else. Life can be a hassle sometimes, but there's not much else to do, unless you want to ponder whether to exist at all.' -Celeriac

But the most popular answer I receive as to why people love this anime so much goes something like this:

'Evangelion was more experimental on both its storytelling & animation at the time yet it was another 'end-of-the-world' mecha story, but also focused on the psychological issues our main characters go through in life while saving the world - think Ingmar Bergman or David Lynch doing the original Macross Series in style of the films 2001: A Space Odyssey & Ordinary People into the anime universe. Some viewers can relate to some characters in the series (like myself with Misato because of her personality, for example) as well to their lives, too, along with trying to understand the philosophy & religion the series also focused on at times.

As for I'd say Attack On Titan being today's 'greatest anime of all time', I would truly recommend watching both the original series & The End of Evangelion (although, the Rebuild Films are good but they're little bit same & different as for 'remaking' so stick with the original then) since there are great battle scenes and also challenging to watch so it's one that requires multiple viewings, as well deciding which ending on the series works best in your opinion. Another thing I would like to point out, too, is that series director Hideaki Anno also did a little OVA series before that would later inspire portions for Evangelion & that title is Gunbuster of course (since it also has mechas). I think Evangelion is very good in my opinion because it has a very epic storyline yet hard to follow, great action-packed sequences, plenty of good or bad characters to fulfill the series' storylines/themes, brilliant animation that made GAINAX a household name, and some really bizarre moments hard to get off your head once viewing the entire series. Also watching The End of Evangelion helped a bit, too, because of how it should have ended the first place plus the storyline.' -ScorpioVelvet


Watch if you dare, don't expect happy endings or feeling the joy of being alive!

Watch if you have an interest in understanding depression.

Do not watch if you are just looking for action & entertainment, if you don't like to ponder about the meaning of things, or if you are looking for a feel-good story.

Here are some of other reasons (every link contains spoilers) why you should watch this anime and I have many reasons why I don't like it, here is one. Here is a video explaining the series and why it's good. And here is video that attempts to explain the message.


If you are wondering if you should watch the Original TV Series or the Rebuild Movies, then you should know the stories diverge around the middle. Here is an article that depicts the differences, but it contains spoilers. The main difference is 'The original series comes from the “inside” perspective of someone in the midst of depression, Rebuild (the movies) comes from the “outside” perspective of someone who has recovered from that state.'

However, there is also a theory that Rebuild is actually a continuation of the story, since it's implied that they are on a loop, perhaps something similar to When They Cry: Higurashi and what we are seeing there is a continuation of what happened after the events of the TV Series & The End of Evangelion. As mentioned, the stories diverge and they change some Angels. Some events are different, new characters are introduced and it reaches a different outcome.


The dub is great!



So you decide to watch, then here is how:

  • Watch Episodes 1-24 of the TV Series
  • Skip Episodes 25-26
    • You can come back to these episodes at a later time if you are curious about them.
    • A Director's Cut exists, which includes the extra parts added in Death & Rebirth, so that will be ideal to watch if available, but it's not essential to the plot.
    • These last episodes became The End of Evangelion, which is a more comprehensible version and closer to the view of the author. It also has some of the most visually striking graphics in anime that you won't want to miss.
    • They basically run out of budget & time to finish these last episodes, hence another reason to watch The End of Evangelion instead, as it's like the author intended it to be.
2 Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth


'This film consists of two parts, Evangelion: Death and Evangelion: Rebirth. It was released, along with the follow-up, The End of Evangelion, in response to the success of the TV series and a strong demand by fans for another ending. It has since been re-edited and re-released several times.' -Wikipedia

• DEATH is just a recap of Episodes 21-24 from the TV Series. The animation may be better, but it cuts important parts of the story, so watch the TV Series instead. 

• REBIRTH consists of approximately 24 minutes of entirely new animation that would eventually form the first third of the film The End of Evangelion, so it's better to watch that film instead.

3 Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion


  • The film picks up where the television show's 24th episode ended.
  • It has some of the most amazing graphics in anime that you won't want to miss.
  • Even if you didn't like the TV Series, it is still well worth watching it while muted and listening to your favorite music. It makes for a great music video! LoL
  • Note that this does not add anything new to the story in Episodes 25-26 of the TV Series, it just expands and explains things better, while adding some amazing graphics.
4 Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

Watch. Continuation of the Story.

Wait, a continuation, not a remake?

Well, if you didn't read above: "there is also a theory that Rebuild is actually a continuation of the story since it's implied that they are on a loop, perhaps something similar to When They Cry: Higurashi and what we are seeing here is a continuation of what happened after the events of the TV Series & The End of Evangelion. As mentioned, the stories diverge and they change some Angels. Some events are different, new characters are introduced and it reaches a different outcome."

I'll subscribe to that theory until someone can disprove it!

This first movie is essentially the same as the beginning of the TV Series.

5 Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Watch. Continuation of the Story.

The story starts to diverge around the middle of the movie. From there is all new material.

6 Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

Watch. Continuation of the Story.

Also known as "Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Understand!". Ironically, this is the movie where they start to give you all the answers to what is really happening, lol. Everything changes in the story and you'll need to watch the next movie to fully understand its meaning (which took a very long time to be released, hence the nickname).

7 Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time

Watch. Continuation of the Story.

Better known for 13 years as: "Evangelion: 3.1 You Can (Not) Release".


Originally, the film was announced alongside Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo for release in 2008 as the final part of the Rebuild series under the working title Evangelion: Final.

The following information is extracted from Wikipedia & other sources marked below:

• Following the troubled production of the third film, director and producer Hideaki Anno became depressed and stated publicly in 2015 that he could not work on another film. As part of his recovery, Anno had also worked on Studio Ghibli's The Wind Rises under his mentor Hayao Miyazaki.

• Anno was very reluctant to return to work on the film in 2016. Anno felt he could no longer understand Shinji and by now his current self was closer to Gendo than Shinji, and needed Ogata's input on how Shinji could recover after the events of 3.0. Anno felt that at that point the only people who could understand Shinji's feelings were Ogata herself and his personal assistant, Ikki Todoroki.

Anno sought to bring in new talent and people outside the usual Evangelion core crew, like Darling in the Franxx creator Atsushi Nishigori, a protégé of his, while other core staffers like chief editor Masayuki largely stepped down in order to allow new talents to gain more experience. In addition, the series' original character designer, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, has had diminishing involvement since 3.0, and the new character designs are mostly done by Hidenori Matsubara.

In the documentary, Anno is depicted as frequently late or absent from the studio. Part A had been rewritten 40 times, and at one point Anno was so lost on how to resolve the story lines he considered restarting it from scratch after nine months of work. Anno at this point had grown unattached to the franchise, but felt finishing his work remained a priority, even at the expense of his well-being. Hayao Miyazaki described Anno, as an apprentice of his, as "one who sheds blood for his films"

• Toho also approached Anno with an offer to direct a reboot of its Godzilla film series, Shin Godzilla, which also contributed to the delay on 3.0+1.0Hideaki Anno has stated that he made The Godzilla Movies in order to be able to keep working on Evangelion.  See An Apology To Evangelion Fans From Hideaki Anno.

• Financial reasons also played a part. This was part of several legal issues surrounding Gainax and Evangelion.

• It also received two delays due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.


What I take from all this, is that even severely depressed people can have an amazing amount of success, given enough time & support, and accomplish all their goals! Good work Anno!

8 Evangelion Shito, Hakata Shuurai

Evangelion Shito, Hakata Shuurai


An impressive promotional display for the Rebuild Film Series that was screened on top of the building at Canal Aqua Panorama in Fukuoka City and synchronized with the water fountain.

9 Petit Eva: Evangelion@School

Petit Eva: Evangelion@School


It's just chibi comedy.

10 Hikaru Utada: Beautiful World

Hikaru Utada: Beautiful World


Is a song by Japanese musician Utada Hikaru. It served as the theme song for Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, the 2007 film reboot of the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.

11 Evangelion: Another Impact

Evangelion: Another Impact


This is a realistic 3d short with excellent quality for its time.

"Evangelion: Another Impact is the anime short number 12 from the Japan Animator Expo, a collaboration between the Khara studio and the media company Dwango. A secondary short (20B) named "(Making of) evangelion: Another Impactshows the process of creation and animation behind the original short." -Fandom

12 (Making of) Evangelion: Another Impact

(Making of) Evangelion: Another Impact


There is no voice-over or explanation of how they made the short. Just some 3d models & titles added to the same short.

13 until You come to me.

until You come to me.


It's basically a slideshow of pretty backgrounds played with boring music to showcase the animator's talent.

"is a japanese animated short directed by Tadashi Hiramatsu with art direction and illustrations by Tatsuya Kushida. The short was broadcast online on the Japan Animator Expo website on December 19, 2014. The short is accompanied by a version of "Danny Boy" by Shiro Sagisu. It is intended to showcase the talent of new Khara staff, and is no canon to the Rebuild series." -Fandom

14 JRA Hokan Keikaku

JRA Hokan Keikaku

Optional, but recommend skipping, they are not that good.

A collaboration series between Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo and the Japan Racing Association (JRA).

15 KATE: Ayanami Rei, Hajimete no Kuchibeni

KATE: Ayanami Rei, Hajimete no Kuchibeni

Optional, but recommend skipping.

A commercial for a collaboration between Neon Genesis Evangelion and KATE TOKYO for their 2-toned, cream lipstick palette, featuring Rei Ayanami.

16 OPPO Ace2 x Evangelion

OPPO Ace2 x Evangelion


It's just an ad for the limited edition phone & watches.

17 Schick x Evangelion

Schick x Evangelion


Unless you want to see Gendo shaving.

18 Evangelion x Nyanko Daisensou

Evangelion x Nyanko Daisensou


A commercial for a collaboration between Neon Genesis Evangelion and the popular mobile game Nyanko Daisensou. In the collaboration, Shinji, Rei, Asuka, and Unit-01 are reimagined as cats.

19 Attack Zero x Evangelion

Attack Zero x Evangelion


A detergent commercial.


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ktcandycorn Aug 17, 2021

thanks lol i was looking for a guide and this is perfect. so well organized ;D