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How to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion in order – including the Rebuild movies

(Image credit: Gainax/Studio Khara)

Figuring out how to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion in order is one of anime’s greatest roadblocks. What was once a straightforward prospect has morphed into a series filled with director’s cuts, movies, and recaps that reflect the dense, confusing nature of the ‘90s classic. 

What should you skip? What should you watch first? Below, we’ve laid out the optimal method for watching Neon Genesis Evangelion in order, beginning with the mainline show, and heading on to the thorny issue of the Rebuild movies which are part remake and part… something else. You’ll see.

Plus, we’ll even deal with some caveats, such as what should be skipped and the most straightforward way to watch the show in 2022. Spoilers: Let’s hope you’ve got a Netflix and Amazon Prime account. 

How to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion in order – show, End of Evangelion, and Rebuild movies

(Image credit: Netflix/Gainax)

Watching Neon Genesis Evangelion in release order is undoubtedly the best way to do things. That’s helped enormously by Netflix acquiring the worldwide streaming rights to the mainline series, including the director’s cuts of episodes 21-24.

The original versions of those episodes are harder to track down and, honestly, not worth it. The director’s cuts are far more comprehensive. One thing to note is the subtitles for the Netflix versions have been tweaked slightly – and led to some controversy over the relationship between two of the characters. The choice is yours, but Netflix is far more accessible.

So, that makes it quite easy: watch all 26 episodes on Neon Genesis Evangelion. Then, you’ll need to complete the story with the feature-length End of Evangelion movie (also on Netflix). That looks like this.

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes 1-26 (inc. episodes 21-24 director’s cuts) [1995-1996]
  • End of Evangelion [1997]

In the 21st Century, show creator Hideaki Anno decided to retell the story of Evangelion in a series of four movies called the Rebuild of Evangelion. As you might expect, they are confusingly titled: 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 Thrice Upon a Time.

For their home releases, 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 were all given extended cuts with additional scenes, called 1.11, 2.22, 3.33. They’re the ones you need to seek out – and they’re all available on Amazon Prime Video.

For pretty heavy spoiler reasons, these must be watched after the mainline series even though they are (mostly) separate retellings of the same story and stand alone as their own stories. Here’s the order – making particular note that, again, you should watch 1.11 instead of 1.0, 2.22 instead of 2.0, and so on.

  • Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone (2007)
  • Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance (2009)
  • Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo (2012)
  • Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (2021)

As they're all available on Amazon Prime Video worldwide, you’ll need both an Amazon and Netflix membership to get the complete picture of the series outside of forking over serious money for the physical releases.

TL;DR? Watch all 26 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix, then End of Evangelion, then the four Rebuild movies. Simple! Now, it’s going to get complicated. You can duck out at this point, as we’re heading into light spoiler territory – with a heavy chance of plot-related headaches forecast.

How to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion in chronological order

(Image credit: Netflix/Gainax)

Honestly? Watching Neon Genesis Evangelion in chronological order is a rough proposition. Mercifully, the first 24 episodes can be watched as normal. Then, it gets a little tricky.

Series protagonist Shinji then becomes part of a major event that technically takes part during episodes 25 and 26 and also End of Evangelion. If you want to go super in-depth with the chronological order, you can watch episodes 1-24, the first hour of End of Evangelion, then episodes 25 and 26 for a more introspective look at the main characters during a significant plot beat. Then you’re free to finish up End of Evangelion before moving on to the Rebuild movies.

We’d recommend just sticking with the main order above – but the option is here if you want it. At the very least, it gives greater context to the utterly bewildering final two episodes of a series that, famously, ran out of steam (and budget) during its original run.

Neon Genesis Evangelion order – should I watch Evangelion: Death(True)2?

(Image credit: Netflix/Gainax)

The only skippable piece of mainline Evangelion media is a curiosity that can be found on Netflix called Evangelion: Death(True)2, otherwise known as Evangelion: Death and Rebirth.

The ‘Death’ portion of the movie is a recap of the entire series with some newly-drawn scenes, as well as some larger world-building. The ‘Rebirth’ section is just the first third of End of Evangelion – and was released as a teaser for Japanese audiences in 1997. Our advice? Skip it. You’re not missing out on anything important, but it does technically come after episode 26 and before End of Evangelion if you're in a completionist mood.

Phew. We made it! For more, check out the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.