There's also another few, most notable out of them being Reborn Zombie's Evangelion Abridged and The Puerto Rican Pizza Dude's A Parody of Evangelion, although the majority of the latter seems to have been banned by Bandai Channel. The former is still active and pushing closer toward its finale, the latter seems to have gone dormant.
Notably, Megumi Hayashibara voices Rei, Yui, and Unit-01 (...and Pen-Pen and Asuka's adoptive mother). The trope is employed very deliberately in the case of the first three, seeing how they all share a connection.
In the Netflix Latin American Spanish dub, Asuka's mother and grandmother are both played by Mildred Barrera.
Actor-Shared Background: The Japanese-American-German Asuka Langley Soryu was born in Germany, a European country. Her voice actress in the Netflix English dub, Stephanie McKeon, is also a continent-born European, hailing from Dublin, Ireland.
The evening before the Netflix release, Spike Spencer, who voiced Shinji in works related to and including the original TV series, tweeted his enthusiasm for the new cast. He even congratulated Casey Mongillo and Stephanie McKeon for respectively taking up the mantles of Shinji and Asuka.
Despite her initial misgivings towards being replaced for the Netflix dub, Amanda Winn-Lee, who voiced Rei in the original series, congratulated Ryan Bartley after the latter was confirmed to voice the Unit-00 pilot.
Asuka Langley Soryu is voiced by the Irish-born singer/actress Stephanie McKeon. While she's also known for doing voice acting, albeit exclusively for non-Japanese media until Evangelion, for some Western viewers and listeners, she's known for playing Aisling O'Brien in the Irish TV Soap OperaFair City, her work as a West End actress in London, as well as her relationship with her husband, fellow Canadian singer/actor/composer Kyle Riabko.
Film and TV actor Daniel MK Cohen, known for his work in the Lego City Adventures series, voices Makoto Hyuga.
Kozo Fuyutsuki is voiced by John Paul "JP" Karliak, best known as the voice of Wolfgang in Skylanders.
Channel Hop: The TV series and first two films were originally owned by Gainax, but when Khara was formed, the studios jointly owned the rights to the series. That was until 2015 when they bought out Gainax's rights.
Children Voicing Children: For the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Fábio Lucindo (Shinji) and Priscilla Concepción (Rei) were 15 years old by the time the series first premiered on Locomotion. Fernanda Bullara (Asuka) was also one year younger than Lucindo and Concepción.
Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The Netflix description for the first episode states that an angel "returns to attack Tokyo-3." Except this angel has never been seen before. Gendo does state that the angels have returned after 15 years, but this is the first appearance of this particular angel.
After the release of End of Evangelion, Kazuya Tsurumaki would later go on to say that producing the film was unnecessary, since he thought the original Series Finale was fine.
Tiffany Grant, who voiced Asuka in the English dub of the original TV series and its related works, was understandably disappointed with the Netflix release of the series. Besides having to tone down her performance during her only audition for Asuka, Grant was also appalled by Khara's involvement in the casting selections and re-translations.
Donald Reignoux, the French voice for Shinji, disliked his work on the original TV series in general for quite a few years.
Notably avoided by Carrie Keranen and the actors from the Netflix English dub, who said they enjoyed working with Khara and VSI for its release.
Fabrizio Mazzotta and Netflix felt that their first Italian dub was an unmitigated disaster to the point that they decided to give it a second dub with a new script.
Creator's Favorite: Anno commented during an Anime Expo Q&A panel that he considers Asuka his favorite character because "she's cute".
Darkhorse Casting: A few of the lead voice actors in the Netflix English dub were unknowns in the anime industry compared to the other roles; Daniel MK Cohen had major roles in short films and the same goes for Stephanie McKeon in musicals, live-action and animated TV series as well as films as well as John Paul "JP" Karliak in animated and live-action TV series.
The English dub of the TV series was directed by Matt Greenfield, who voiced Makoto Hyuga in the original series. Amanda Winn-Lee directed the dubs of the first two film.
In Locomotion's Latin American Spanish dub, Enrique Cervantes is Ryoji's voice actor as well as its ADR director. Meanwhile, Gerardo García, in addition to directing the Renewal dub, also replaced Cervantes as Ryoji.
As for the Netflix release:
In the English dub, Carrie Keranen is the main ADR director as well as Misato's voice actress.
América Torres not only voiced Ritsuko Akagi in the Latin American Spanish dub but was also its ADR director.
Jorge Saudinós directed the European Spanish dub and was also Toji Suzuhara's voice actor.
The Brazilian Portuguese dub included Shinji's voice actor, Fábio Lucindo, directing both the TV series and films. Oddly enough, the very first dub of the series in that language was directed by none other than the voice of Shinji's father, Fábio Moura.
Two English dubs of the TV series were produced as of 2019. The first was dubbed at what was then ADV Films in Houston back in 1996. The second was recorded at VSI Media's Los Angeles studio for its re-release on Netflix, this time featuring newer actors.
The series was also redubbed into Spanish (Latin and European), French, German, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese for the Netflix release. The European Spanish cast is completely different like the English ones. There was only one reprisal in German and Italian, and two in French. Latin America (Mexico/Brazil) had the most reprisals, mostly from the Animax dub of Renewal.
The Movies feature commentaries by Amanda Winn-Lee, her husband and Taliesin Jaffe, which are generally beloved/despised (some have even nicknamed it "Commentary of Evil") for being mostly riffing, with a lot of conjecture about the possible meanings behind the films' abstract symbolism, and details on the process of dubbing the films and remastering the audio.
The Platinum Edition of the TV series featured commentaries on several episodes as well, albeit less memorable ones.
Development Hell: It's largely forgotten by now, but The End of Evangelion was in this for a brief period, which is why so many Japanese viewers who went to see Death and Rebirth were pissed off at the sudden cut-off of an ending. There's also the live-action movie (a co-production between Studio Gainax, ADV Films and WETA), which has allegedly been "in pre-production" since 2003; unfortunately the negotiations fell through due to the lawsuit between ADV and Gainax. Rebuild of Evangelion also counts; 2.0 was delayed a full year after its original release date, and 3.0's is around three years after 2.0's. Keep in mind that the tetralogy was supposed to be finished by now.
Enforced Method Acting: During one of the recording sessions for The End of Evangelion, Yuko Miyamura allowed herself to be strangled by Megumi Ogata for Shinji's vision of strangling Asuka. That particular take, however, was never used.
One of many theories regarding how the final episodes came to be as notoriously bizarre as they are is that the original scripts for the last two episodes were rejected by TV Tokyo due to their graphic content; thus the current ending was made due to last-minute budget cuts and/or as a way of giving the network the finger, and the rejected scripts eventually became The End of Evangelion.
Also, Anno's original intent was to use a piece of the Polovtsian Dances for the opening theme. The studio, concerned that viewers would be confused by such an opening, requested that it be replaced with a catchy J-pop number, and thus "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" was born.
The rather controversial more literal re-translation of the anime for the 2019 Netflix release was the result of Anno and Studio Khara being more directly involved in the translation process, just like they were for Funimation's release of the third Rebuild film. Not only that, but Carrie Keranen confirmed in a now-deleted tweet that the studio also had to personally approve the new voice cast in order for the project to get the final greenlight. Suffice it to say, Amanda Winn-Lee and Tiffany Grant were absolutely devastated and shocked.
GNR, or Giant Naked Rei, glowing white naked Rei that Lilith transforms into.
"Puppy-kun" for Shinji, at least for Eva fans who like him.
EMK, or Evil Manga Kaworu, for the Kaworu who kills a kitten in the manga — hence the meme "every time you masturbate, Kaworu kills a kitten."
"Yui-sama" for Unit 01.
"Uberpimp" for Gendo. Super Gendo, Super Adam Gendo and others for his insane AT Field-generating incarnation in the manga.
Zeruel's arms are often called toilet paper.
"Harpies" for Evangelion units 05-13 because they look like grotesque cyber-vultures.
Genre Relaunch: Evangelion was the work which arguably saved the anime industry, which was in dire straits because of a couple of high profile box office failures, most prominently Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise. Don't forget that Honneamise was also a Gainax production...
God Never Said That: Anno has never actually said that he wanted the series to be a Deconstruction or a backlash to any trends in anime. He also never stated that the show's ending or End of Evangelion was meant to be a reaction to the backlash about the end of the original series. A lot of old myths about the series are likewise untrue, such as Rei being intended to be creepy: Anno's exact words was that Rei represented the "most inexpressible" part of him; Megumi Hayashibara backed this up in a later interview. That said, see the below entry about Lying Creator.
The original 16mm camera negative for episode 16 no longer exists for some reason (unlike the rest of the series), so an inferior internegative had to be used for the Renewal (AKA Platinum) restoration, giving it a more washed out look compared to the other episodes.
The series has been out of print in North America for some time, with only Rebuild of Evangelion continuing to be released; the Blu-Ray release of the show hasn't been released there at all. Additionally, ADV Films' original DVD release of the series contained French and Spanish dub tracks, making it the only instance of the French dub being released in North America.note Said dubs weren't included with the Director's Cut or Platinum Edition, and the show never aired on French-Canadian TV. However, Latin Americans are a bit luckier in this regard, since the show aired on TV there and had its own home video releases.
Double Subverted when Netflixannounced in 2018 that they would be streaming the series worldwide in spring of 2019, albeit with a new dub. The Netflix version also removed "Fly Me To the Moon" from the end credits, apparently due to rights issues.
Late Export for You: For Latin American Spanish viewers the Netflix release of the End of Evangelion films will be the first time those films will be translated to Spanish, as they didn't got those films as neither Locomotion (the previous Latin American licensor) not it successor Animax were able to do so before. Spaniards were more luckier on this regard.
Lying Creator: The amplitude of self-contradictory and at times seemingly absurd statements about the series from Hideaki Anno has led many to accuse him of this.
On the American market the series saw its last release on DVD under ADV Films in 2008, after which the series went out of print due to ADV's financial problems, and while the show saw occasional re-releases in Japan, the opportunities for Western viewers to get their hands on a legitimate copy of the series was steady dwindling, and the outlook became worse when ADV later lost the right to license the series entirely. Subsequently, the complete series was released in a HD version on a Blu-ray boxset in 2016 in Japan, but despite large interest in North America, the boxset never saw a release there. It was first with Netflix announcing in November 2018 that they had gained the streaming rights to the HD version of the series on the Western (and by western, we mean the American continent, the U.K., Spain, France, Italy and Germany, see more details above) and market that the situation was somewhat rectified, and the event also renewed the American fanbase's hopes that the Blu-ray boxset might also see a release in their part of the world some day.
On the other hand, this is still played straight in some regions, as the Netflix version is not available (or not dubbed) in neither Polish, Dutch, Danish, Russian and above all, all Middle Eastern feeds (Turkish, Hebrew and Arab, for obvious reasons) and even in other Asian feeds like the Chinese (mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Thai and Korean ones. Oddly enough, it is available in the Japanese feed and also in the Greek one, through sub-only in this last one.
Old Shame: Evangelion became this trope for Shinji's original French voice actor, Donald Reignoux. He admitted he had a terrible time during the dub's recording sessions and refused to work at Chinkel for a while. Nowadays, Reignoux's far less negative about the series since he reprised Shinji for the second Rebuild film and has continued to play the character ever since. Interestingly enough, Chinkel is owned by VSI Media, which produced the Netflix dubs for the series.
With regards to Netflix's Latin American Spanish dub:
Georgina Sánchez, Asuka's second voice actressnote Sánchez having taken over for Asuka's previous actress, Norma Echevarría, in Renewal resumes her role here after she was replaced by Nallely Solís for the last four episodes of Renewal and Azucena Martínez for the second Rebuild filmnote Who herself was replaced by Sánchez for the third film.
Circe Luna, Rei's original voice actress, also returns to reprise her role after she was replaced by Gaby Ugarte for Renewal and Ana Lobo for the third Rebuild film.
Likewise, Rodrigo Carralero, having taken over for Ricardo Tejedo as Aoba in the Renewal remaster, returns here after being replaced by Héctor Moreno for the Rebuild films.
When the Animax version was being recorded, Roberto Mendiola replaced Enzo Fortuny as the voice of Hyuga. Mendiola himself was replaced by Manuel Campuzano for the first two Rebuild films. When the third Renewal film premiered in Latin America, Fortuny was finally brought back to reprise his role. As a bonus, Fortuny stayed on to voice Hyuga in the Netflix version.
Marisol Romero, Misato's second voice actress,note Romero having replaced her previous actress, Toni Rodríguez, in Renewal also returns here after being replaced by Yanelly Sandoval for the first two Rebuild films and Vivian Magos for the third one.
Gaby Willer also returns as Asuka's stepmother from the Locomotion dub.
As for Netflix's German dub, Horst Lampe returns to reprise his role as Keel Lorenz after being replaced by Bernd Kuschmann for the first two films and Erich Räuker for the third Rebuild film.
While the Japanese cast has remained remarkably consistent over the years, the English dub is notorious for at least changing part of the cast throughout the franchise.
It's even worse in the European Spanish dub. Only Shinji retains a single voice actor through the franchise (Albert Trifol Segarra) while the rest of characters have at least two or three, and often very different sounding among them. Asuka and Kaworu, who have a different VA in almost every medium of the franchise, are the worst examples.
The French dub does not fare much better. Only Shinji and Misato retain their voice actors through the majority of the franchise, with End shuffling up most of the cast and 1.0 recasting everyone. Fortunately a decent chunk of the original cast (including the aforementioned two) return for the later films.
With regards to the 2019 Netflix release:
None of the English actors of the TV series and films reprised their roles. The series was re-recorded at VSI Media's Los Angeles studio instead of Houston. Even then, when the first two films had LA-based voice actors in addition to those who were living in Houston at the time, none did return, not even Spike Spencer, Amanda Winn-Lee or Tiffany Grant. Not to mention having Hideaki Anno and by extension, Khara, involved in the casting decisions makes it useless for them to return to the series; even Winn-Lee, Grant and Carrie Keranen have confirmed this was the case.
The same goes with the European Spanish dub, where everyone was also replaced, even Albert Trifol Segarra (Shinji).
Despite Donald Reignoux and Laurence Bréheret coming back to voice Shinji and Misato for the French dub, everyone else was replaced.
Likewise for the German dub, Horst Lampe returns to voice Keel Lorenz but everyone else was recast.
In the Italian dub, everyone else suffered the same fate as the other dubs, except for Oliviero Dinelli, who voiced Kozo Fuyutsuki in every incarnation of the Evangelion series. Interestingly enough, a couple other actors from the original series return for this dub as different characters. For example, Domitilla D'Amico, the original voice for the younger Asuka, returns here as Misato.
Fifteen cast members returned to reprise their roles from both Locomotion and Animax's dubs, including Shinji, Rei (Circe Luna), Asuka (Georgina Sánchez, from the Renewal remaster and the third Rebuild film), Hyuga, Fuyutsuki (Jesse Conde), Misato (Marisol Romero, also from the Renewal remaster and the third Rebuild film).
Some side characters and some main characters, including Tojinote who is now voiced by Carlos Hernández and Keelnote who is now voiced by Pedro D'Aguillón, Jr., were recast either due to their voice actors having passed awaynote such as Enrique Mederos, Esteban Siller, Alejandro Illescas and Norma Echevarría or are now living out of townnote such as Carlos Becerril. Interestingly enough, some of the Rebuild actors return as different charactersnote such as Ana Lobo, the second voice for Rei in 3.0, who now voices Hikari or as additional voicesnote such as Vivian Lagos, the second voice for Misato in 3.0.
Also zig-zagged for the Brazilian Portuguese dub. Nine of the cast members reprised their roles from both Locomotion and Animax's dubs, including Fábio Lucindo (Shinji), Fernanda Bullara (Asuka), Priscilla Concépcion (Rei), Fábio Moura (Gendo), Vagner Fagundes (Toji), and Rafael Meira (Kensuke). Several other actors reprised their roles from Animax's dub, including Silvia Suzy (Ritsuko) and Tatiane Keplmair (Hikari).
The Latin American Spanish dub pulls this out, albeit in lesser degree: Víctor Ugarte (Shinji's Mexican VA) was previously associated with voicing hotblooded kids like young Zenki or jerkasses like Dilandau, and after EVA, he's sometimes typecasted with voicing wimps like Raj, Oxnard and others. Circe Luna (Rei's Mexican VA) is normallly typecasted with voicing hyperactive or sweet girls like Pan or Belldandy.
The Production Curse: The original European Spanish dub of The End seemed to be touched by this. Firstly, the distribution company changed from Manga Films, who had licensed the series, to Selecta Visión, which brought a change of studio with its consequent mess. Then, members of the series's cast started to fall off due to the most varied reasons: Ana Pallejà was replaced by Iris Lago as Asuka when the former actress went on maternity leave, Juan Carlos Gustems was unable to reprise Gendo due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by John Massotkleiner, María Moscardó claimed she was retiring from voicing animation (only for her to do it again a mere year later) and was thus replaced by Carmen Calvell, Eduardo Díaz replaced Josep María Zamora as Lorentz due to the latter's retirement, and José Luis Mediavella was apparently not even contacted. Most of those characters would receive very controversial replacements in a clear attempt to reduce the budget that didn't sit very well with the fans. Then, if all of this was not enough, the new studio would later be accused of legal malpractice. It is safe to say few people in both sides ended up satisfied with this work.
In the Latin American Spanish dub of the TV series, both of Shinji's younger voices in flashbacks has been done by Víctor Ugarte's sisters. Gaby in the Locomotion dub and Xóchitl in the Animax dub... due to the former being The Other Darrin for Rei in the second dub.
The Netflix European Spanish dub features ADR director Jorge Saudinós as Toji and his younger brother Alex Saudinó as Kensuke.
In the Netflix Latin Spanish dub, América Torres not only voices Ritsuko Akagi and is the ADR director, but her son Ethien Desco provides additional voices. Her husband (and Ethien's father), Esteban Desco, also provides additional voices, most notably the ship's captain in the eighth episode.
The Manga dub of Death & Rebirth and The End of Evangelion managed to bring back the voice actors for Shinji (Spike Spencer), Rei (Amanda Winn-Lee), Asuka (Tiffany Grant), Kaji (Aaron Krohn), Misato (Allison Keith), Ritsuko (Sue Ulu), Kensuke (Kurt Stoll), Toji (Brett Weaver), Aoba (Jason C. Lee) and Gendo (Tristan MacAvery in his final role before he moved to Syracuse, New York).
As for the Netflix version:
In addition to Víctor Ugarte returning as Shinji for the Latin American Spanish dub, most of the primary characters have their actors from both the Locomotionnote Circe Luna (Rei), Jesse Conde (Fuyutsuki), Enzo Fortuny (Hyuga) and Gaby Willer (Asuka's stepmother) and the Animax Renewalnote Georgina Sánchez (Asuka), Marisol Romero (Misato), Gerardo García (Kaji), Rodrigo Carralero (Aoba), Yolanda Vidal (Naoko), Adriana Casas (Yui), Gabriel Ortiz (Kensuke), Mildred Barrera (Kyouko), Óscar Gómez (Asuka's father) and Moisés Iván Mora (Shiro) dubs.
The French dub brings back Donald Reignoux and Laurence Bréheret as Shinji and Misato, respectively. They are notably the only surviving original cast members to make a return.
The Italian dub has Oliviero Dinelli once again returning as Kozo Fuyutsuki.
Horst Lampe reprises his role as Keel Lorenz for the German dub.
In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Fábio Lucindo (Shinji), Priscilla Concepción (Rei), Fernanda Bullara (Asuka), Fábio Moura (Gendo), Vágner Fagundes (Toji), Rafael Meira (Kensuke), Yuri Chesman (Kaworu), Wellington Lima (Aoba) and Fátima Noya (Miki) once again reprise their roles from the Locomotion and Animax releases. In addition, Silvia Suzy (Ritsuko), Tatiane Keplmair (Hikari), Alfredo Rollo (Hyuga), Alessandra Araújo (Naoko) and Élcio Sodré (Shiro) also reprise their roles from the Animax version.
There's also the manga. We have several Does This Remind You of Anything? moments, Kaworu killing a kitten, Shinji saying emphatically "Guys don't like guys!", Shinji and Kaworu's relationship downgraded to an unrequited Stupid Sexy Flanders, Kaworu calling Rei a fool and saying "I figured you'd be a heftier girl.", Shinji and Kaworu in the ladies' room with Asuka... yeah.
Schedule Slip: The manga, and how. The first chapter was released months before the anime started (December 1994), but thanks to a somewhat sporadic release schedule and a couple of long hiatuses (understandable since the manga was a side-project for Sadamoto), the last chapter was published in June 2013. That's over 18 years for 14 volumes of material! The English translation took 11 years for its production run, from February 2004 to February 2015.
The ending theme song, "Fly Me to the Moon", required royalties to be paid to the estate of its original songwriter, Bart Howard. For this reason, this theme was dropped and replaced by one of Shiro Sagisu's cues, "Rei I", for the international Netflix releases.
The lawsuits between Khara and Gainax over the income from projects that Anno contributed to switched the original story credit from Gainax to Anno himself from the Blu-ray re-releases onwards.
Gainax, ADV and Weta began arranging plans to produce a live-action film adaptation of Evangelion back in the early 2000s, but it got stuck in Development Hell. In 2011, the film was further delayed thanks to a lawsuit made by ADV Films over Gainax refusing an option to produce that film.
Screwed by the Network: Khara had the VSI Group redub the entire series from scratch for its Netflix release with a new Los Angeles-based cast, likely thanks to the legal situation with Gainax over royalty agreements, ADV's shutdown, as well as the fiasco surrounding the North American release of 3.0.
Short-Lived Big Impact: Evangelion was one of the most influential anime shows of the Giant Mecha Genre and in general, but only lasted one season and 26 episodes.
Shrug of God: After fans were upset with the ambiguity of the series, Hideaki Anno declared that it was up to viewers to determine their own meaning and reprimanded them for expecting all the answers on a silver platter. Over the years he has offered, at best, several vague and contradictory statements as to the meaning(s) and intentions of the series. He has, however, occasionally spoken out on a couple of details, such as Jossing the fan theory that Misato was the one who shot Kaji stating that it was a unknown assassin who carried out the deed either on SEELE or NERV's behalf.
Technology Marches On: Back in the series' heyday in the mid-to-late 90s, Shinji listened to his music on an S-DAT player, as the format still had a following among Japanese audio enthusiasts when the series was made, while in the West record industry concerns about piracy relegated it to professional use. Nowadays, with the sporadic manga releases, it's been replaced by a Mini iPod. Rebuild of Evangelion has him keep the S-DAT player despite being released in 2007.
While Apple still makes very small MP3 players, the product officially named "iPod Mini" has been retired.
The show began after Anno suffered from a clinical depression, and relied on several sponsors for its support. Several of these sponsors pulled out as the show became increasingly dark. Given that this was before Evangelion became a Cash Cow Franchise, it's a wonder that Anno and Gainax got the show finished.
Not to mention a severe case of Real Life Writes the Plot: A whole chunk of a mostly finished script for the second half of the series ended up being trashed and rewritten from scratch, because of a central plot point in it had a strong resemblance to the Aum Shinrikyo cult's terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway in March 1995.
This trope also extended to the American side of the Pacific with ADV Films. Commentary for the English dub will often make reference to it being made on budget that consisted of a metaphorical shoestring and paperclip, involved renting out space to do recordings with substandard equipment, and had a good portion of the cast played by members of the production team besides the voice actors, among other things. They weren't exactly in danger of going out of business, but it's still pretty amazing that the dub was as good as it was all things considered, though it also goes a lot of way to explain why it was as uneven in places as it was.
The Latin American Spanish dub suffered of this, big time: Originally it was planned to be dubbed with a different voice cast. For some reason, the licensor (possibly ADV Films) decided to dub the series in Colombia, using the same studio who dubbed the very unpopular dub of Rurouni Kenshin. For unexplained reasons, they only dubbed a pilot episode, but they were never be able to dub the entire series. Later, the dub was planned to be made in a Spanish-speaking studio in Los Angeles and, after too much criticism, it went back to Mexico again, albeit with a very different cast from the original Mexican one. Interestingly enough, some of the same cast would later go on to reprise their roles in the Netflix dub.
In the ADV English dub, Allison Keith was only 22 when she voiced Misato Katsuragi, who is 29 years old.
As for the Netflix English dub, John Paul "JP" Karliak was 37 when he was cast as the 59-year-old Kozo Fuyutsuki. Ray Chase, who voiced the 48-year-old Gendo Ikari, turned 32 during the dub's three-month recording sessions.
The JSSDF soldiers that raid NERV in End of Evangelion all carry H&K G11 rifles, which would have been considered futuristic... in 1997. The G11 program fell apart in 1990 and the rights repurposed by 2004 with only a few functioning rifles ever being built and is considered and abject and expensive failure instead of the future of military arms.
Plus, the series is set in a fictional vision of 2015. Notice the lack of smartphones. Shinji using a Digital Audio Tape player also sticks out, given that today the format exists as a footnote in audio tech history, noted only for the severe legal issues with the recording industry that plagued it upon release. It could be slightly justified by the fact that the In-Universe backstory is that the Second Impact, which occurred in 2000 and killed off a large portion of humanity in addition to causing severe damage all around led to an Alternate History. This was addressed rather creatively in the ending of the manga adaptation where Shinji is seen using one to talk to his aunt. In this version, Shinji stops "Instrumentality" and retroactively prevents The Second Impact from ever happening in the first place, creating an alternate reality where human technology developed as it did in the real world. The nearly two-decade production that plagued the manga actually ended up helping it in this regard.
On a meta level, Anno attempted to recruit Kunihiko Ikuhara for the series and even named Rei Ayanami after Sailor Mars in an attempt to lure him in. Had Ikuhara agreed, the show would likely have had even more surrealism thrown in (if you are interested, Rei's original name was going to be Yui Ichijo).
In End of Evangelion the live-action sequence was supposed to be much longer and more story driven, showing Shinji a more mundane alternate world, like in Episode 26, but with the further twist that he himself does not exist in that world. The sequence shows an older Asuka, Rei and Misato played by their voice actors going about their somewhat depressing everyday lives (the sequence was included in the Japan-only Renewal release as an extra).
There are a total of 28 Angels; the document uses the same Japanese word as in the series but also includes "Apostolo" in katakana. In order to get the extra twelve/thirteen out of the way quicker, the twelve strongest ones were supposed to have attackedall at once during the finale, completely erasing America from the map.
The Evas look slightly different. Units 05 and 06 are specifically mentioned; Unit 05 was to have been brought into Japan after Zeruel while Unit 06 would've perished during the finale. While not making it into the series, these Evas were recycled for the Rebuild movies as the personal Units of Mari and Kaworu respectively.
Ritsuko is a fan of bonsai and punk rock, of all things.
Hyûga, Ibuki and Aoba aren't present and SEELE isn't mentioned. There is however mention of a character named Conrad Lawrence; based on the description of him being an old man who set up NERV and put his later nemesis Gendo into position, he might've been the earliest draft of Keel Lorenz.
Sketchy descriptions of the final episodes taking place differently: after Rei's secrets are revealed, the twelve strongest Angels descend from the Moon and completely annihilate America, destroying Unit 06 in the process and plunging humanity into mass panic. The UN decides they have nothing to lose and aborts the Human Instrumentality Project over Gendo's protests, resolving to go down fighting instead. A cryptic mention of "the ruins of Aluka [perhaps "Ark" or "Arka"], the Promised Land" (located in the Geofront) being a key objective.
Kaworu is mentioned without name as a child with a cat. To those who have read the manga, this sounds even weirder.note In the manga, he cheerfully kills a cat with his hands. According to interviews with Anno the cat would have made it into the final product had it not been for budget-constrains. The same interviews also reveal that they had at one point considered introducing Kaworu earlier than they eventually did and that Shinji first would have found him playing an abandoned piano in some a ruined house. This idea was eventually used both in the manga and the third Rebuild movie.
Arael was supposed to have engaged the Evas in close aerial combat instead of Mind Rape, using some sort of vibroweapon on its wingtips. The Evas themselves would've been equipped with flight harnesses in order to fight the Angel. Again, these plot elements both found their way into the second and third Rebuild movie.
Shinji was supposed to have received the Mind Rape (from an Angel unrelated to Arael), not Asuka. The poor boy was not going to catch a break.
Dub-related: According to the commentary, Amanda Winn-Lee originally wanted to try out for the role of Misato, before Allison Keith's performance changed her mind.
Spike Spencer, Amanda Winn-Lee and Tiffany Grant auditioned to reprise the respective voices of Shinji, Rei and Asuka for the Netflix English dub, which was recorded at VSI Los Angeles. Anno and Khara had other ideas, so the roles went to Casey Mongillo (Shinji), Ryan Bartley (Rei) and Stephanie McKeon (Asuka).
Kaworu was originally going to be a New Transfer Student at the kids' school, rather than the newest Evangelion pilot. This was changed after Hideaki Anno realized that the school setting had more or less been written out of the show by the time episode 24 came around.
What would the later episodes have been if they had had the money? What is clear is that End of Evangelion was an expanded version of what was originally scripted for the final two episodes, hence the film being split into two parts. Had Gainax's budget not been shot, the finale would have just been a shorter version of the movie (albeit, perhaps, with less sexual imagery).
Shinji was, very early on, supposed to be a girl but they changed her into being a boy because GunBuster and Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water both had female protagonists. The female touch remains in his character design (as Sadamoto readily admit he's Nadia with a haircut).
Shinji was supposed to have longer hair that would wave in the wind and that he could hide behind during dramatic scenes. They cut his hair because he looked too feminine and too messy.
The plug suits would look closer to the classic space suit look, Rei was initially dubbed Yui Ichijo, had black hair, got along better with Asuka and was friendlier and less the Rei Ayanami Expy we know today.
Initially the final line of The End of Evangelion was going to be "I won't let you kill me" rather than the infamous "I feel sick". (The original script for Episode 26 had the line be proceeded by a trademark "baka!"/"idiot!", but it was removed from EoE's storyboard). According to Yuko Miyamura (Asuka's voice actor) Anno couldn't make her say it how he wanted it to sound, eventually he instead described the masturbation scene to her from Asuka's perspective and had asked how she would react if it happened to her, which led to the current line.
The leaked original script for episode 25 and 26 (which was used for The End of Evangelion) featured two different proposed epilogues, neither of which corresponded completely with the one in film: The first one (Last A) is the closest to the final one, but lacked the Book-Ends Lilith/Rei, had the cast's names on the graves Shinji raised, showed Asuka kicking down hers (it is still shown to have been toppled in the final film after she returns from instrumentality) and has the original version of the final line (see above). The second one (Last B) however was much, much darker than the final film. It starts with Shinji laying on the beach holding Rei's hand before Shinji turn his head to see the Book-Ends Lilith/Rei. The camera then pans out to show that Shinji is only clutching the arm Rei lost earlier. His monologue then reveals that he was the only human self-reflective enough to ever return from instrumentality, meaning he will be spending the rest of his life alone despite finally finding the will to live with other people. After the credits starts both would have shown scenes revealing that Unit-01 had ended up on the moon, its/her helmet broken and revealing woman's hair.
Published drafts for episode 24, as well as the previously mentioned ones for episode 25+26/EoE, shows that there had been plans to include a minor sub-plot about different characters visiting Toji in the hospital that eventually was cut.
Anno revealed in October 2014 that he had plans to make an all-new Evangelion film after production of Death and Rebirth and End of Evangelion was completed. The proposed project was to take place in an Alternate Continuity and have a overall Darker and Edgier and even bleaker tone than the original series; like the story taking place after humanity becoming almost extinct with the few remaining survivors clinging to life in a Last Bastion and the Evangelions having much more Body Horror associated with them. The project was shelved indefinitely, however, as Death and Rebirth went over schedule, and End of Evangelion therefore had to be delayed, and the intended director of the project was reluctant towards it. Quite a few elements of the story, however, was later reused in Rebuild of Evangelion. A certain manga about giants feels similar to this plot....
Several planned plot elements after episode 16 had to be cut because of their unforeseen similarities to the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in March 1995.
Hyûga was originally not meant to have a crush on Misato. In fact, an off-hand remark in one of the early scripts for episode 24 would have implied that he was gay.
Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: A downplayed case. The series does by and large follow the plot as it was outlined in the original first draft proposal, with the first half or so being more or less beat-for-beat sticking to the outline. But a case of Real Life Writes the Plot with the Aum Shinrikyo cult's terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway leading to much of the script having to be scrapped and rewritten, as well as Anno being in treatment for his clinical depression and taking up an interest in psychology as a result, meant that the show starts seriously deviating from said proposal around Episode 16 and forwards. The abstractness of Episode 25 and 26 is pretty much the ultimate culmination of this, as Anno and the team were running seriously short on time at this point, and therefore could not make their originally planned ending, and so instead had to go for something that was more easily achievable in the time left to them.
Many of the characters were named after various WWII-era naval vessels; most of them were sunk rather than surviving the war. Katsuragi, Akagi, and Soryu were all aircraft carriers; Akagi and Soryu were part of the Pearl Harbor attack, and sunk at Midway. Katsuragi was completed so late it never actually operated aircraft, but survived the war and was scrapped. Ayanami ran troops to Guadalcanal, but was destroyed by the battleship USS Washington during the climatic naval battle of the campaign. Kirishima was a battlecruiser converted to a fast battleship, and it fell in the same engagement as the Ayanami as another victim of the USS Washington; while Hyûga was converted into a battleship-carrier hybrid and survived into 1945 before carrier aircraft sank it in the Inland Sea. Ibuki, Maya and Aoba are names of heavy cruisers; Ibuki was launched, but was then converted to a light carrier due to losses, though that was never finished before being scrapped after the war. Maya made it until 1944 before being torpedoed and sunk by the submarine USS Dace in the opening round of Leyte Gulf, while Aoba lasted until 1945 only to suffer the same fate as Hyûga. Langley is also the name of an American aircraft carrier which was sunk by the Japanese off Java (though it wasn't operating as a carrier at the time), and the Graf Zeppelin is the name of an uncompleted Nazi-German aircraft carrier which was sunk as a target by the Russian Navy after the war. Along the same theme, Ikari means "anchor."
Katsuragi was also one of Japan's very last operational aircraft carriers, surviving mostly through delayed construction. All the other ships lending their names to characters, including the first Langley were either sunk in battle or never completed.
At an almost esoteric level, the Akagi was also the name of a Russo-Japanese War-era Maya-class gunboat. How quaint.
See also the similar fates of the Hyûga and Aoba, both in reality and in Evangelion; it's even tempting to try and draw some parallels between Mana and Rei's fates and the fact their namesakes were both lost in the same battle.
The Ayanami bears mentioning that not only is it the name of a destroyer; reversing the order of the kanji gives us as one possible translation "wave pattern", as in "frequency". Similarly, applying the same treatment to Shikinami (Asuka's last name from Rebuild) gives "wave equation", as in "wavelength". If we combine these two together, we get the equation for the speed of light (speed of light = frequency x wavelength). This allows for Fridge Brilliance: Both Rei and Asuka were designed to be two parts of the same whole.
When the kanji for nami (波) is placed behind maki (真希), this will literally mean "wave winding", which can reference "momentum" and/or "velocity". In turn, this relates over to the speed of light mentioned earlier, in which light is found to have both mass and velocity in the form of an electron/photon. For comparison to this "speed of light", her personality (as it is on the Characters page) is most often described as a hard-hitter who normally presses Berserk Buttons on the battlefield.
The second variant is when the kanji for unusual(!) (which is 希) is removed from the above. This new term (波真, which is now nami shin) now has an entirely new meaning: True Wave. This would be best represented by how, near the ending of Rebuild 2.0, Makinami unleashes an entirely new form of the EVA. She explains this as a pilot "rids itself of its humanity", and she uses a code word to unlock this new form: The Beast. Note that the Angels are, as per NERV's research, supposed to bear a 99.89 percent similarity to humanity. That research, along with the above information, makes this "Beast" form not a coincidence.
On another note, the interconnecting theme to the pilots here is how they have some usage of the equation for momentum of light used in Chemistry(!) and other sciences. Applying Fridge Logic based on the above given information, we have (in SI Units): Makinami (representing momentum, in kg*m/s) = Ayanami (representing frequency, in "1/s") x Shikinami (representing wavelength, in "m") x Shinji (representing mass, in "kg"; remember his name literally means anchor).
The Evangelions were based visually on Go Nagai creations Devilman and Mazinger Z. Anno cites the terrifying face, slender build, hunched back and chest plate as coming from Devilman, while its glowing eyes with the red markings were derived from Mazinger Z. The first shot of Evangelion, with its large head, was a direct homage to the first episode of Mazinger Z.
The opening shot of The End of Evangelion is a mirror image of the closing shot of Evangelion: Death. The opening shot of Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0 is a reflection of the closing shot of The End of Evangelion, with a few... scenery details removed.
The US voice actors for the three main Children all married the original voice actors for the Bridge Bunnies: Amanda Winn-Lee (Rei) is married to Jason C. Lee (Aoba); Spike Spencer (Shinji) was formerly married to Kendra Benham (Ibuki); and Tiffany Grant (Asuka) was formerly married to Matt Greenfield (Hyûga).
Gnoll, a cross between a gnome and a troll. "Groll" (German for "resentment") is also accurate.
Menarche, which is female puberty (specifically, a girl's first menstrual cycle).
Schema, which is a pattern of thought-behaviors. In other words, automation of the human mind.
The kanji for "baka!".
A series of German lines that, when combined, mention that Asuka was actually saddened when her mother died.
The repeated use of "nein" (no) and "tod" (death).
Slightly censored characters that read "sex", which could allude to a number of things, to do with Asuka wanting to be "mature", a metaphor of what the angel is doing to her, etc.
As an interesting note for both Latin American and Spaniard viewers, Evangelion is, to this date, the only Studio Gainax series dubbed to Spanish, at least for Latin American viewers. Spaniards are a bit more luckier, as they got Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water and Otaku no Video first, through only Nadia got a dub there. Also, for both Latin Americans and Spaniards alike, this is also the first Studio Khara work (not including Rebuild of Evangelion) dubbed in that language, now that they own the rights of the franchise.