The Netflix Release Of Neon Genesis Evangelion Is Missing Its Iconic Ending Theme

All 26 episodes of legendary anime Neon Genesis Evangelion are now available for streaming on Netflix, but there’s something missing. The end credits theme, Claire Littley’s beautiful version of “Fly Me to the Moon”, has been replaced. That’s disappointing.

This week’s Netflix release of Neon Genesis Evangelion marks the first time fans in the West have had easy access to the series since its American licence ran out in 2011, but the series didn’t make its return trip unscathed. Along with an all-new English dub with a new cast, the music has also changed.

While Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft confirms the Japanese streaming version of the series remains intact, the Western version is missing several musical cues. The most glaring omission is the original ending theme.

Every episode of the original Western release of Evangelion ended with this tune:

That’s “Fly Me to the Moon”, written in 1954 by songwriter Bart Thompson and popularised by Frank Sinatra in 1964.

This particular version, sung by Claire Littley, is etched into the hearts of Neon Genesis Evangelion fans around the world. The light and dreamy tune, performed and arranged beautifully, was the perfect chaser for the often heavy and depressing subject matter of the series.

The pilots of the show’s colourful giant mecha were mentally not OK, constantly pushed to their breaking points and traumatised by the horrors of war. “Fly Me to the Moon” gave viewers a chance to breathe between episodes. It was like hitting a reset button.

The Western Netflix release ends with the same closing animation of a female form rotating in a pool of water that is reflecting the full moon, but it replaces the original theme with a piano instrumental.

It’s an eerie, haunting tune. Instead of relaxing, the sparse minor notes of the piece leave me unsettled. It’s probably for the best that most Netflix viewers skip the end credits of episodic series.

The omission is likely due to a licensing issue. We’ve reached out to Netflix for clarification but had not heard back at time of writing. In the meantime, should the adventures of Shinji and the giant robots get too intense, keep this video of the original ending theme handy.


Comments

    When I think of Evangelion I think of that song!

      Yeah, this hurts more than I thought it would.

        Agreed, it may seem small, but I guess I will hunt down a hard copy version to watch instead of streaming it.

      Personally I think of Komm, Susser Tod.
      Damn that's a good song. Perfect combination of upbeat and sorrow.

    Oh hell no, singing Fly me to the Moon at the end was just as important as trying to jam the English translation into the intro while running out of breath!

      "Um, ackchually, what you do if you are a true fan is you learn the Japanese lyrics of the intro and sing along perfectly to show all the baka gaijin your sophisticated culture."

      - Pylgrim, circa 20 years ago

    Side note, is it just me or is the re dub horrible. It doesn't even match the subtitles, it's killing me.

      got to admit I never watch anime in english... so I can't really comment but the subs provided is also not that great either... I mean as a japanese speaker I'm not expecting them to do a 1 to 1 translation because that would be odd but some parts they seem to take liberty a tad much

      a quick google and it seems both english audio and subtitles are new, and like this article mentions... many speculate it's because of licensing

      I haven't seen it yet so I can't speak to the quality, but dubs often don't exactly match the subs between having to at least make an effort to match the "lip flaps" and just that they tend to be a little more westernized. The best example of that is probably the famously foul-mouthed Panty & Stocking dub, where there aren't remotely as many cuss words in the sub (or the original Japanese as far as I can tell). The Ghost Stories dub doesn't really count since they just straight-up threw out the story and made up whatever shit they felt like.

      Dubs seldomly match the subs as they need the voice to "match" the lips per se...

      The problem is excacerbated in the way Netflix puts in subs as they seriously cheap out on subs sometimes and just overlay the origjnal script on screen instesd of putting in the actual script for the dub which is the normal procedure when you put subs on for the english track..

        If there is only a single set of English subtitles, rather than "English subtitles for the English audio track" vs. "English subtitles for the Japanese audio track", there's probably going to be more people who want subtitles that hew closer to the original Japanese.

        There are compromises that you need to make for a dub that aren't necessary for subtitles.

          If it's a known anime thing I didn't know. Usually I just watch with Japanese VA but neon gen is probably the only series I've watched with English dub. The DVDs I own from a long time ago match up from what's said etc so it's very jarring to see how bad it is on Netflix.
          Also frustrating because contextually the text means something different slightly from what is said.

          Usually the english "subtitles" on an english voice over is the subtitles for the deaf track.

          Hence it usually needs to match the written script. Put in any western movie and put subs on and that is the usual case. Subtitles on foreign films/tv series are meant to match the spoken foreign script hence the usual mismatch for the english track. Its not really meant to be played with the english track in mind.

          Agreed that its not necessary to place the english script for the english sub when playing for the original foreign voice track... but its incredibly jarring when when you place an option for subs meant to be played with the english track playing and you dont take the extra clean up....

            I agree that you'd need both "subtitles" and "closed captions" to please everyone. But if you're going to only ship one, the subtitles are probably going to please more people.

            If someone is completely deaf, then it doesn't really matter what audio accompanies the subtitles. I agree that it is disconcerting for those with some hearing, or people watching the show in noisy environments where they need captions. In those cases, perhaps switching to the Japanese audio track will reduce the cognitive dissonance?

              Most of the time english subs on an english film is really just a convenience..

              For example my family turns them on for kids watching a movie whilst a family party is on so they can keep up with the movie with out resorting to increasing the volume. Again not saying its completely necessary and by default subs ARE for the foreign language track.

              Its just a small inconvenient nit pick in the grand scheme of things. And to be perfectly fair some people do occasionally prefer the dub track so its also a bit unfair on them to swap over to the original voice track for it.

              And... also forgot to mention we are talking about netflix here not physical media being shipped. So its not exactly superfluous or that hard to add in the english captions for a stream as your not requiring additional work/space to add it on a physical press of the product =P

      NF subs of dubs don't match up. I have watched three European shows and all have little differences.

      There's been a bit of discussion online regarding the new translation. According to someone close to the original group of translators, the reaction to the first screening of the Eva 3.0 movie in America had studio Khara (previously, Gainax) reconsider allowing western publishers to translate and localise their franchises, opting for an in-house translator who pushes for literality over style. That means that the words are very faithful to their original meaning, but just sound wrong in English, because people just don't speak that way. It's textbook English.

    They would have been better off putting the original music on, this translation is terrible, have seen it several times in both in jap, and when on SBS/ABC almost 20 years ago and they were better in general. It's not just Netflix that has this issue, Stan does as well, as I noticed on Charmed, I could have remembered singing going of at the start of an episode.

      I'm not a fan of Charmed but when ever the missus watched it had an excuse to sing some Smiths, wasn't impressed when she started watching it on Stan.

        Sorry to break it to you, but that was a cover of The Smith's How Soon is Now. Pretty good cover though.

          Is there a difference between singing along to the original and signing along to a cover though? He's still singing a Smiths song.

    Didn't even make it 10 min into the first ep before i switched it to Japanese. This dub is even more cringe worthy than the Australian accents in Ghost Hunt, I was hoping that Pepenbrook wouldn't get Shinji but i would prefer it over whoever they got.

    I do miss the end song, but whats really putting me off is the new voice actor for Shinji - it's awful

      Wait... its worse than the high pitched Soike Spencer whining?!

      Thats frankly quite an acheivement...

        Increase the pitch and femininity. His school buddies an the Nerv admin guy with the glasses all sound like the same guy just with different levels of helium.

        I'd take that over this new generic bland monotonous feminine voice anyday

    Also missing: subtitles that match the dialog; any passion or feeling from the voice "actors." The original dub was far from perfect and often cringy but these kids sound like they're just reading from a page. Totally expressionless. I'll pass; if I want a nostalgia fix I'll dust off my old DVDs

    Don't forget the song changed versions often. That was part of the fun. I liked the bossa-nova one best. I can't watch this though. New voices and all. The first ones were fine. Sure Shinji was a whiny bitch, but the reason we hated it is becuse it reminded us of aspects of ourselves.

    I kinda appreciate the first 2 NGE remakes a bit more now. Asuka appears far more capable and and reflective.

    It's not only the ending credits. All of the BGM versions that are used within the show are gone, too.

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