The original series, an apocalyptic sci-fi drama in which teenagers pilot giant mecha in a war against alien beings, ran on Japanese tv from 1995 to 1996. It has become a milestone in anime culture, fêted at home and abroad for its imaginative design and psychological intensity. Animator Sawako Kabuki recently spoke to us about the show’s enormous influence on her.
The series only ran to 26 episodes, but it has spawned numerous spin-offs including the tetralogy, which began with 2007’s Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone. The third film came out in 2012; Thrice Upon a Time, the fourth and last feature in the tetralogy, was originally slated for 2015, but was pushed back when Anno was hired to write and co-direct the live-action Shin Godzilla.
Earlier this month, GKIDS acquired North American rights to the original series, as well as the spin-off films Evangelion: Death (True)2 and The End of Evangelion. The distributor will give the series its first ever Blu-ray release in the territory next year, and will also release it on digital download-to-own. It has been available to watch on Netflix since June 2019, before which it was long unavailable in North America.