‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ Has A New Digital Home As Netflix Acquires Worldwide Streaming Rights

This is big news. Well, it’s big news if you are a fan of anime programming, but also semi-historic news, in the digital age. Netflix has pulled something of a coup by gaining the worldwide streaming rights to one of the most popular anime shows ever: Neon Genesis Evangelion. Why is this such a big deal? Because when Hideaki Anno’s legendary series lands on the service next year, it will be the first time it’s available to stream anywhere, legally, outside of Japan. The streaming giant made the announcement on Twitter:

Now, while above I did say “whole series”, that’s not entirely true. Besides the initial 26 episodes that made up the tv series, Netflix will also have Death & Rebirth, as well as End of Evangelion also available to watch. Sadly, it doesn’t appear as if the unfinished, revamped film series, Rebuild of Evangelion, will be making it’s way over. At least, for now.

If you haven’t seen the show, the plot gets rather difficult to condense down. In 2015, years after a cataclysmic event occurs, melting the ice caps, most of humanity has been wiped out. What remains of mankind has been locked in an epic battle with mysterious giant alien beings, called “Angels”. The story mostly takes place in Tokyo-3, a giant fortress-like city, that houses NERV as well as part of Earth’s last line of defense, Human piloted mech suits, dubbed “Evas”. Just as things seems dark, a new, shy pilot, Shinji Ikari, is drafted into the ranks. That may sound fairly rudimentary, but things go out the window very quickly. The show was noted for it’s weird and complex mythos, imagery from a number of religions and an ending that’s been debated for years.

Having all this content under one roof is crazy to imagine. While not everyone may be a fan of Evangelion, it has proven hugely influential over the years. Some would say more so than even Akira. We won’t get in the middle of that argument, but it just shows how big the property has been. For a long time WETA was attempting to make a live-action adapation,  which eventually fell apart. With renewed internet on the way, who knows if that picks back up again. Now, the one thing that isn’t mentioned, is if this will feature English dubbed audio. subtitles. Netflix has actually been quite good about providing a film’s original language, as well as an english track, so that should please most fans. We’ll get a better sense when the series (and films) hit streaming, next Spring.