The Neon Genesis Evangelion watch order has been hotly debated for many years now and, with the seminal anime heading to Netflix soon, it’s time to break it down for newbies and vets alike. What Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes do you need to watch, should I skip Death and Rebirth, and do I need to watch watch the episode 24-26 director’s cut are all topics that come up frequently. Below, we’ll hopefully make things a little clearer for you. Then again, this is Neon Genesis Evangelion. Don’t hold your breath.
Neon Genesis Evangelion Watch Order | The basics
There are 26 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, a recap/psuedo lead-in to End of Evangelion called Death and Rebirth, End of Evangelion itself, and then a trilogy of movies, called Rebuilds. These Rebuild movies re-trace the core plot and theme of Neon Genesis Evangelion and do not form a continuation of the story, so aren’t essential. But, if you want to watch everything in the order it came out, it would be as follows:
- Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes 1-26
- Death and Rebirth
- End of Evangelion
- Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
- Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
- Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo
- Evangelion 3.0+1.0 [delayed until 2020]
Neon Genesis Evangelion Watch Order | Recommended
This is where it gets a little bit confusing. You see, episodes 24 through ’til 26 in the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series also have a director’s cut, and it’s recommended you watch them, though the vanilla episodes are just as good.
If you’d like, you can also do away with the Death and Rebirth recap (unless you’re a forgetful Freddie) and go straight into End of Evangelion. Unless you’re a completionist, you can also hold off on the 1.0/2.0/3.0 movies until a later date. After all, the OG series is, by all accounts, the best way to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes 1-23
- Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 24 or Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 24 director’s cut
- Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 25 or Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 25 director’s cut
- Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 26 or Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 26 director’s cut
- End of Evangelion
TL;DR? The original series can be watched in order, with it being up to the viewer whether they want to watch the director’s cut or the original cut of the final three episodes. Death and Rebirth is a useful recap, but is non-essential. End of Evangelion, well, ends everything. That must be watched. The three movies that come after, 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 re-tell the original Neon Genesis Evangelion story, with some key differences. They should be watched after, but can be repetitive in places.