All Rebuild of Evangelion movies now free to watch online as creator sends message of hope

Hideaki Anno, who created some of anime’s most depressed characters of all time, encourages humanity to show its indomitable spirit.

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, spending the whole day at home watching anime has gone from “missing out on all the wonders of the great big world out there” to “noble effort to save humanity.” Even better, recently we’ve seen two of the most popular Japanese animation franchises of all time aid the cause as Sailor Moon and Pokémon have pledged to make hundreds of their episodes free to watch online.

But just like candy is awesome in small doses but can mess up your stomach if you eat a whole bag, there’s a limit to how much sweet kid-friendly animation you can consume. Perhaps having so much time at home has you craving something meatier in terms of theme and plotting, in which case you’ll be happy to know that all three Rebuild of Evangelion movies are now free to watch on YouTube. Even better, the run times for the first and second indicate that they’re the uncut-length versions, which are slightly longer than the version shown in theaters.

▼ Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

Series creator Hideaki Anno himself wrote a handwritten note announcing the decision, which was tweeted and retweeted through the official account of his Studio Khara production company, along with the hashtag #StayHome

Anno’s note reads:

“To all those suffering from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), my heart goes out to you,

I would also like to offer my gratitude and respect to medical personnel and all others working towards relief efforts.

I also apologize for this unprecedented situation delaying the release of the new Evangelion movie, which we have kept fans waiting for for nearly eight years.

This is a difficult time all over the world, but with a an indomitable spirit, I, and all of us, will keep doing our best.

Thank you.”

▼ Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Anno’s mention of “the new Evangelion movie” is in reference to the upcoming fourth Rebuild of Evangelion theatrical installment. Titled Evangelion: 3.0+1.0  it’s the follow-up to Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, which came out in Japanese theaters all the way back in 2012. 3.0+1.0’s premiere was initially scheduled for June 27, but has since been postponed indefinitely due to the health risks and business disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

▼ Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

While they may not be the animated equivalent of comfort or snack food, Evangelion’s penchant for dense yet obtuse storytelling, coupled with Anno having essentially an unlimited budget and amount of time to make the movies look exactly how he wants them to, mean the franchise’s number/(not) films are perfect candidates for multiple viewings and rewinds to their most provocative or breathtaking scenes, plus they’ll leave you with plenty to think about after the credits roll.

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