The world rejoiced when they heard that Netflix acquired Neon Genesis Evangelion for their streaming service. While the series is widely available in Blu-Ray in Japan, it is not available in HD in North America. Little did they know the disaster that was lying in wait. The series was re-dubbed with brand new subtitles and omitted all renditions of Fly Me to the Moon. Yes, even the instrumental version which played in key scenes in the series. Fly Me to the Moon is not merely an “ending theme” in Evangelion; it’s at the core of the series’ identity. ADV’s dub, nor subs for that matter, were perfect by any stretch of the imagination. From a localization perspective though, it was pretty well done. Japanese does not translate 1:1 with English so liberties need to be taken. ADV did this. Netflix did not, and in the process, ruined Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Netflix ruined neon genesis Evangelion

Waiting for normies to call Misato a pedo

Before going any further, it would be criminal if we didn’t get into the fact that Fly Me to the Moon is completely omitted from Netflix’s release of Evangelion. It doesn’t stop with the ED though — the instrumental version is missing in the series’ score. This hinders a number of incredibly emotional scenes, as now they are completely silent. The scene where Misato hears Kaji’s voicemail? Silent. One of the most emotional scenes in the series, ruined, with all of its emotional power lost. Viewers on Netflix, new and old, aren’t experiencing Eva as it was meant to be seen. Instead, they’re watching a crippled version of the cult classic, a shadow of its former self. This is only the beginning of the Netflix release’s serious problems though.

Netflix Ruined Neon Genesis Evangelion

Kaworu and Shinji 4e

Instead of opting to bring back the original voice actors to reprise their roles, Netflix decided to recast the series and write a brand new script. In theory, this could work; in practice, it was an unmitigated disaster. The script feels like a straight translation of the Japanese; they didn’t localize it. Japanese and English don’t translate one-to-one. Certain liberties need to be taken in order to make it accessible to Western audiences. For instance, Netflix’s English dub of Evangelion refers to the “first child”, “second child”, and “third child” as the “first children”, “second children”, and so on. This was okay in the original Japanese, but they even fixed this in the Rebuild of Evangelion films. It’s unnatural in English. Shinji’s classic line, “I’m so fucked up”, has been changed to “I’m the lowest of the low.” While yes, the second is a more literal translation, the former gets the point across more poignantly and conveys the sheer disgust Shinji has with himself and is thus a more accurate localization.

Netflix Ruined Neon Genesis Evangelion

One of the most powerful scenes in the series

It feels like the scriptwriters for Evangelion on Netflix took the raw Japanese translation and wrote a straight script from it with minimal changes. This is not how localization works. It doesn’t help matters that the subtitles are nearly identical to the dub script. Kaworu has also been “straight-washed.” I never viewed Kaworu as explicitly gay per se, but there are definitely gay overtones to him and Shinji’s relationship. Kaworu is also a very important character with regards to Shinji’s character development, as he’s the only one who has ever said that he loves Shinji. His line “Suki tte koto sa” actually translates to “In other words, I love you”, which is a line from Fly Me to the Moon (I have also seen it translated as “It means I love you”, though the consensus seems to be the former is more accurate.) This is scrapped for “I like you.” It completely changes the dynamic of Kaworu and Shinji’s relationship and later betrayal and ruins episode 24 of the series. These are no longer the characters from the original and is not what Anno intended.

Eva 01 versus Zeruel in HD

Music is missing, characterizations are changed, the dub is not only stiff but a monstrosity as well, and the subtitles are inaccurate. Considering how Netflix marketed Neon Genesis Evangelion, the most iconic anime series of all time, you would think that they would have put more care into its release. Wrong. This was a cash grab, pure and simple. They couldn’t even shell out the money to license Fly Me to the Moon (my favorite song of all-time, before I saw Eva), but can shell out $100 million to keep Friends. And the song is significant within the series; it’s not just the ending theme. It’s pathetic. This butchered release is a travesty and I feel worst of all for all the new fans who will watch this release thinking it’s the definitive version, which it’s not.

If you haven’t seen Evangelion before, do yourself a favor and find a way to watch it elsewhere (note: I am not advocating piracy.) Netflix has ruined Neon Genesis Evangelion with its release, and while it should be no surprise, it is a massive disappointment.

About The Author


Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over six years and has written over 2,000 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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