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The End of Evangelion Comes to Theaters; Here's How to Watch Evangelion in Order

3/11/2024 • 2 min read

NEON GENESIS EVANGELION is routinely cited as one of the greatest achievements in anime. It is certainly that! We'd actually say that EVANGELION is one of the most significant works of sci-fi in the last 50 years.

For beginners, EVANGELION can seem like a dauntingly deep pool to dive into. There's the main anime series, and director's cuts of some episodes. Additionally, there are movies which remake and/or compile aspects of the original EVANGELION series, and which also feature all-new material.

In short: EVANGELION is amazing but also confusing. As THE END OF EVANGELION officially comes to US theaters for the first time, we want to make it easier to get started. Here's the best way to watch EVANGELION in order, from the first episode of the original series all the way to the most recent "Rebuild of Evangelion" movie.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

If you're generally familiar with the story but want to double-check where some of the movies sit in relation to one another, here's a simple list of how to watch EVANGELION in order:

Neon Genesis Evangelion TV Series (1995-1996) [Optional] Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (1997) Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (1997) Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007) Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009) Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (2012) Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (2021)

The Original Neon Genesis Evangelion Viewing Order

Here we'll give you more detail about each installment. To fully experience the grandeur and horror of the series, follow this step-by-step Evangelion viewing order:

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" TV Series (1995-1996)

The original 26-episode TV series is the core of EVANGELION, as it lays the foundation for the entire story. This is essential viewing.

It's worth noting that the final six episodes exist in multiple versions. There are the original broadcast versions — which for episodes 21-24 are no longer widely distributed — and then Director's Cut versions which add and sometimes rework material. The original broadcast versions of episodes 25 and 26 are still widely available, and the alternate versions form the core of THE END OF EVANGELION, which we'll discuss in a moment.


This is the one truly optional entry. It's also the main point of confusion for new viewers. The film has two parts. "Death" recaps events from the TV series up through episode 24. The story gets some tweaks that are not crucial but could be interesting for dedicated completists.

"Rebirth" is a 30-minute preview of the alternate ending seen in THE END OF EVANGELION. Ultimately, there's not a lot that is truly unique to this movie. There are minor differences between the "Rebirth" footage featured here and what is seen in THE END OF EVANGELION, but they're not big enough to demand watching the material an additional time.


This movie provides an alternate, more explicit ending to the TV series. This is essential viewing which presents a significantly different perspective and expansion of the final chapters of the series. It is the true conclusion to the original "Evangelion" story.

Watch Rebuild of Evangelion in Order

Ten years after THE END OF EVANGELION, creator Hideaki Anno returned to his signature storyline with the REBUILD OF EVANGELION movies. This four-film series is not merely a big-screen remake of the original TV series. REBUILD is a full re-imagining of the original story with updated animation and many plot and character changes.

While the Rebuild movies cover similar initial ground as the original, they become their own separate continuity over time. Watching the original TV series first provides helpful context, but the movies can also be enjoyed on their own.

To make things more complicated, all of the REBUILD movies exist in at least two versions each. We've listed the original theatrical title, but it may be easiest to find the revamped versions, which are denoted by slight number differences. (EVANGELION 1.11 vs EVANGELION 1.0, for example.) The revamped versions generally have updated animation and slightly different edits. There are also multiple dub versions of each title; we will not weigh in on the best option.

Watch the REBUILD OF EVANGELION movies in this order:

EVANGELION: 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE (2007) - Retells the beginning of the story with updated animation. This movie initially follows the original storyline to a significant degree.

EVANGELION: 2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE (2009) - This second REBUILD movie is an even blend of updated remake and divergence from the original storyline.

EVANGELION: 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO (2012) - Here the REBUILD series veers deeply into a far more apocalyptic tone and setting than the original series. It is different from the original anime in many ways.

EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME (2021) - A true ending to the REBUILD cycle and also the third canonical ending for EVANGELION overall. This brings the Rebuild storyline to an entirely distinct ending and resolution compared to the TV series and End of Evangelion.

For die-hard fans, there are additional materials like manga adaptations, video games, and supplementary works that explore the Evangelion universe further. But the core viewing order outlined above covers the essential anime content.


THE END OF EVANGELION plays on March 17 and 20, 2024.


All images courtesy of Gkids.

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