What are EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)² and The End of Evangelion about?

© 1997 khara/Project EVA.

To understand the history of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the follow up films there’s a bit of history required… It’s confusing at first, with multiple releases, changes and cuts across its history.

The original two final episodes of the landmark series Neon Genesis Evangelion, focused on psychological introspection and long inner monologues of the protagonists, rather than a continuation of the ‘real world’ plot arc carried by the series to far. Though the finale concluded the most important psychological themes of the series. This created significant backlash, in Japan which caused heated debate throughout the country, fueling the series’ already-high engagement and popularity.

To ‘fix’ public opinon, a decision was made to create a feature film, THE END OF EVANGELION. A duology comprising “Episode 25: Love Is Destructive” and “Episode 26: I Need You”, remakes of the last two episodes of the original television series.

Confusing matters further EVANGELION: DEATH has been released 3 times in multiple formats. The first iteration wass Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth. As wqell as recapping the original series , it contained 24 minutes of entirely new animation that would eventually form the first third of THE END OF EVANGELION.

This was then re-edited by close friend of Hideaki Anno Masayuki Yamaguchi (aka Masayuki), who worked in multiple roles across the franchise into Death(True). Removing The End of Evangelion from the film, it also removed some of the extra footage new to the feature.

A third version of Death, called Death (True)² added a few removed shots from crucial to the plot edited back in, was created as part of the Revival of Evangelion. This feature consisted of EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)² and the finished THE END OF EVANGELION, and was the final release prior to work bveginnning on the Rebuild of Evangelion.

DEATH (TRUE)² is also the version most widely released in the West and is seen as the most ‘canonical’ version.


© 1997 khara/Project EVA.

EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)² is a is a re-cap of the orignal Neon Genesis Evangelion series. Editing together scenes from the first 24 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion in the form of a clip show, along with additional animation created after the show’s original broadcast. This includes scenes from the original show re-drawn shot-for-shot, entirely new shots augmenting existing sequences, and linking segments based around the premise of the four main characters playing Pachelbel’s Canon as a string quartet.

THE END OF EVANGELION is a replacement for the original final two controversial epsiodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Having prevented the Third Impact and thus saving the planet, NERV unexpectedly finds itself under attack. Conscious of Gendo’s betrayal, SEELE launches a massive raid towards Tokyo-3 in order to conclude the Human Instrumentality Project at any cost. NERV must now fight its most fearsome opponent: mankind itself.


© 1997 khara/Project EVA.

Worthy of multiple viewings, both films has received widspread critical acclaim and won awards including:

  • Awards of the Japanese Academy – 1998 Winner Popularity Award Most Popular Film
  • Tsuguhiko Kadokawa – Awards of the Japanese Academy – 1998 Winner Special Award for producing NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: DEATH & REBIRTH and THE END OF EVANGELION

Seen as the true ending to the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, and it’s a tour de force. Whether though anger or frustration at the reception to the orginal two final epsiodes, it’s beautiful, nihilistic and sublime, full of anger, harrowing, avant-garde and more. combined to create a film that is unlike anything that had come before it and little since.


© 1997 khara/Project EVA.

EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)² and The End of Evangelion | 159 mins | 15, are screening at the MAC Birmingham, Friday 8th September at 19:00

If you like this, consider Evangelion 3.0 + 1.01 Thrice Upon a Time


It all comes to an end… a special advance screening of the final part of The Rebuild of Evangelion.

Birmingham Anime Film Festival: Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (Subbed) Preview | 176 mins | 15, is screening at the The MockingBird Screen 1 Birmingham, Friday 29th September at 20:00

Attendees will receive an exclusive Ayanami Rei / Shikinami Asuka Langley reversible mini-poster. Subject to availability

Home Viewing

© 1997 khara/Project EVA.

Both films are includeed in both versions of the Neon Genesis Evangelion collections on Blu-ray from All the Anime.

The standard edition contains the complete NEON GENESIS EVANGELION TV series, plus the films EVANGELION:DEATH (TRUE)² and THE END OF EVANGELION.

The NEON GENESIS EVANGELION Limited Edition features over 5 hours of bonus features, with both Official (2019) and Classic (1996) Dub and Subtitled options spread over 11 discs. It also includes a treasure trove of bonus content from the original Japanese Blu-Ray release, there are over 7 hours of content to be found on the Ultimate Edition on top of the classic dub. Also included is an A3 replica poster from the series UK London Underground promotional campaign.

Share your thoughts on EVANGELION:DEATH (TRUE)² and THE END OF EVANGELION in the comments below

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