More Psychological Adventures Lie Ahead
Although it may not be popular with mainstream audiences, Neon Genesis Evangelion is known as a classic Sci-fi anime that’s stood the test of time. This anime takes place in a futuristic setting where humans are at war with alien-like beings called Angels. To combat these monstrosities, a commander named Gendo Ikari creates large mechanized piloting robots named Evangelions.
The only issue is that these robots require humans to pilot them. Thus, Gendo forces his son Shinji to pilot one of his best Evangelion. The only issue is Shinji’s not the bravest person and has bad blood with his father. Therefore, the series follows Shinji’s quest to save humanity from the Angels while combating the dwelling thoughts of his past.
If you’re having trouble finding anime similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion, fear not! We’ve discovered 10 alternate shows that’ll give you a similar experience as Neon Genesis Evangelion.
For your reading pleasure, we have included the similarities they all share. Additionally, for each anime we’ve reviewed, we’ve included a link that allows you to view our full thoughts about the series to see if it’s worth your time.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Neon Genesis Evangelion!
Serial Experiments Lain
Similarities – Thought-Provoking Narratives
Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments Lain contain well-developed and complex-driven narratives. Both anime feature strong subjects and address topics regarding self-worth and the importance of having great communication skills.
Serial Experiments Lain takes a more intellectual approach to these topics and has slower pacing. It doesn’t feature any rich action scenes like Neon Genesis Evangelion, but technology serves a pivotal role in its storytelling. The characters in Serial Experiments Lain are well-written. Its story provides enough twists and turns to keep people engaged.
This anime follows Lain Iwakura, who receives a disturbing email from a dead classmate. She opens the email out of curiosity and ends up in a virtual world called The Wired. She starts encountering weird mysteries nonstop. Furthermore, she also meets strange men deemed the Men in Black, who are generally creepy because they know more about Lain than Lain herself.
Therefore, the anime follows Lain as she witnesses many surreal and strange events in this cyber world. Some of them will even make her question her identity, consciousness, and perception of the surrounding events. It’s a series that’ll leave you pondering after every episode, meaning you’ll want to pay attention to every detail it throws at you.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Similarities – Mech Action & Well-Developed Characters
While it’s more in line with what you’d expect from the Mecha genre, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann offers many game-changing elements.
This anime contains highly visualized action scenes, thanks to its adrenaline-inducing art style. The soundtrack plays a part in helping viewers obtain the same thrills as its characters do as they engage their respected enemies.
Gurren Lagann also has an emotionally-driven plot and well-developed characters. It never shows the depressive sides of piloting mechs like Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, it does place its character in terrifying and darkened scenarios. These scenarios allow the characters to come off as realistically-minded people, each with a problem they hope to solve.
Our tale follows two brotherly individuals named Simon and Kamina, who live in an underground city. During one of their outings, they discover a strange mech called Lagann. They use it to travel to the surface world for the first time. Upon arriving, they learn from a girl named Yoko Littner that the surface world is run by evil tyrants.
Aiming to bring justice to the surface, Simon and Kamina decide to team up with Yoko to overthrow the surface world’s evil rulers. However, many unexpected and traumatic events occur that’ll put the three’s optimistic mindsets to the test.
Attack On Titan
Similarities – Man Vs Supernatural
Attack On Titan is one of the most popular anime franchises of all time. When it debuted in 2013, fans frolicked to their computer screens to see the gorgeous and bloody action unfold. Like Neon Genesis Evangelion, it features a storyline where humans are at war with supernatural entities. These entities seek to cause them harm and nothing more.
Attack On Titan also explores its characters from a psychological angle. This means you’ll not only see these characters develop in brawn and wit. While Attack On Titan doesn’t feature any fancy robots, the characters are equipped with powerful weaponry capable that’s reminiscent of most swords you’d see in Mecha anime.
Both anime tackle dark topics like depression and tragedy. Attack On Titan excels over Neon Genesis Evangelion in the death department, making it another anime where it’s best not to choose favorites. If you have the stomach to sit through intense and bloody scenes, Attack On Titan’s worth the watch.
You can read our thoughts on Attack On Titan in our full season review here!
Similarities – Character Studies
As with Neon Genesis Evangelion, Bokura no examines the psychological stresses its characters acquired since their birth and in the present time. They do so, by analyzing how big of an impact their world’s environment has on the characters’ psyche and physical capabilities.
Bokura no’s cast is subjected to more psychological trauma, though. This means fans can expect characters to have profound development and progression as the series moves forward. While they do feature the occasional mech fights that fans have grown accustomed to, they offer new ideas to the genre as a whole. Bokura no’s soundtrack is also a delight and sets the series’ mellow tone nicely.
Bokura no takes place at a summer camp, where fifteen children stumble upon a mysterious grotto by the sea. Upon entering the grotto, they find a computer room and its owner, Kokopelli. Kokopelli informs them that he’s working on a video game involving aliens and a giant robot. He asks the children to test the game out for him and all of them, except for one, sign the contract, agreeing to assist Kokopelli.
Suddenly, things start taking a turn for the worse for the children that signed the contract. Now having signed the contract, the children find themselves sent to the game’s world and are now tasked with piloting the giant robot to defeat the alien threat. With no hope of escape, the children must devise a plan to defeat the alien menace while death lurks over them at every corner.
Similarities – Complex Characters & Action
Despite not being as well-known to modern fans as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Devilman Crybaby went through a few changes during its time. Both Devilman and Neon Genesis Evangelion have had remakes of some kind released in the past decade. They both delve into the psyche of their characters and present fans with opposing viewpoints that’ll have them teetering to both sides.
Devilman Crybaby has a more stylized look, though. The animation also feels slightly realistic in comparison due to the show’s more sharpened art style. This anime also cranks up its gore and nudity to immeasurable heights. Despite those few differences, Devilman Crybaby gradually develops its characters like Neon Genesis Evangelion and places them in situations where they must go against their initial ideals.
Devilman Crybaby follows Akira Fudou, who decides to attend a party one night with his friend Ryou. However, things don’t turn out well when he sees demons killing people. To protect Ryou, Akira unknowingly merges with the devil Amon to become Devilman.
Despite murdering the demons, Akira notices he no longer looks or acts like his former self. Thus, the anime follows Akira protecting society from demons while also trying to fit in again.
You can read our thoughts on Devilman Crybaby in our full season review here!
Similarities – Portraying Technology In A Poor Light
Ergo Proxy takes place in the futuristic, isolated city of Romdo. It’s home to the last human civilizations on Earth, where life outside its walls is impossible. To counter this, Romdo’s scientific experts create personal service robots to assist humanity with their needs. However, like other robot and future-based shows, not everything bodes well for humans.
The AutoReivs become self-aware after conducting a virus. Romdo’s ruler’s granddaughter, Re-1 Mayer, is assigned to investigate the anomaly alongside her partner Iggy. What starts as a simple investigation, takes a turn for the worse when Re-1 discovers the hidden conspiracy surrounding her world’s status. Re-1 later encounters other characters, each spawning their own distinct issues.
As with Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ergo Proxy has a well-written storyline, fleshed-out and analyzable characters, and a mesmerizing technological world. The world itself feels like a character with all incredible details put into it. It also ties into the anime’s mysteries and twists. It also bodes the idea of what a future run by machines would look like and paints it in a darker light.
It may take viewers a couple of rewatches to piece together the clues needed to answer the story’s difficult questions. Characters will fight off enemies physically and mentally in this series. These battles are intense and will leave you shaking and often disturbed. It’s a series that’ll keep fans speculating more and more as they watch it.
Similarities – Post-Apocalyptic World
Akira is one of the most influential anime films of its time. Although it follows the standard conventions of the mecha genre, it tackles things from a concise and strong angle. Like Neon Genesis Evangelion, it features well-written characters, incredible action scenes, and stunning animation. Despite being an older film, it still holds up well with the newer anime released today.
Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion also take place in a dark dystopian and post-apocalyptic world. These worlds are incredibly detailed and offer much in terms of mystery and wonder. The sci-fi and technological elements in both anime are extraordinary. Both offer a horrific portrayal of humanity and technology.
Akira takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Tokyo called Neo-Tokyo, where gang violence and terrorism have become the norm. Shoutarou Kaneda is at the center of all this. He leads a group of misfits called “the Capsules” who wage war against a rival group called “The Clowns.”
During one of their quarrels, Kaneda receives word that his friend Tetsuo Shima has found himself at the mercy of an escaped esper the government had housed. After this encounter, Tetsuo starts developing psychic powers. The government learns of Tetsuo’s developments and sends an army of men to capture him. With his friend’s life in jeopardy, Kaneda must find Tetsuo before it’s too late.
Similarities – Warfare
Code Geass and Neon Genesis Evangelion are regarded as some of the best sci-fi anime of all time. Both anime have engaging mech battles, catchy soundtracks, and outstanding visuals. They also offer intelligent and well-developed characters. These anime also delve into topics surrounding warfare and its effects on the societies established in both series.
Code Geass’s art style is a bit different, though. The characters look like they were ripped out of Tim Burton’s sketchbook. Despite the oddly shaped character proportions, the anime itself is a flashy and vibrant spectacle. The anime also has a beautiful and powerful orchestrated soundtrack.
Our tale takes place in Japan, where the Holy Empire of Britannia is at war with a Japanese resistance group. These rebels aim to take their home country back from the Britannians due to their cold-hearted tyranny. Meanwhile, the series’s protagonist Lelouch Lamperouge finds himself amidst a crossfire between these rivaling nations.
Although he has a fleet of soldiers pointing guns at him, he manages to escape the situation. This is all because a mysterious woman had bestowed him with the “Power of Kings,” often referred to as the Geass. The Geass allows Lelouch to command anyone to do his bidding.
With this new power at his disposal, Lelouch takes on the alias “Zero” and decides to team up with the Japanese resistance group. This is all because he has some unfinished quarrels with the Britannian king.
Welcome To The NHK
Similarities – Themes
Welcome to the NHK and Neon Genesis Evangelion are psychological anime that feature like-minded male protagonists. Welcome to the NHK’s Tatsuhiro Satou tries to cope with the failures in his life like Shinji does in Neon Genesis Evangelion. He also tends to keep to himself and be away from friends, family, or peers. The show does spend time revealing bits of Satou’s background to allow fans to relate to him.
As you can tell, this show tackles similar themes of loneliness, hopelessness, and escapism. You’ll see Satou struggle to find purpose in life and make friends during these troubling times. Besides its characters, Welcome to the NHK delivers a meaningful soundtrack that meshes well with its darker tone. Although it’s leagues below Neon Genesis Evangelion in the animation department, its animation is good enough.
Welcome to the NHK follows Satou, who’s a college dropout and has remained alone in his household for four years. During his years in isolation, Satou develops crazy thoughts and believes in any conspiracy theory that he stumbles upon. He also believes that an evil organization run by a cruel individual is responsible for his shut-in lifestyle. His whole worldview changes after a fateful encounter with a girl named Misaki Nakahara.
Similarities – Sci-fi Setting & Action
Cowboy Bebop is one of the most iconic sci-fi anime of all time. Since it was released, many people cite the anime as inspirational, unique, and captivating. Like Neon Genesis Evangelion, it takes place in a futuristic world filled with aliens, humans, and other mystical beings. Both anime harbor episodic-like sub-pots that build up to their larger, more impactful, storyline.
Cowboy Bebop also features likable characters with colorful personalities, hobbies, and desires. None of the characters feel cowardly like Shinji, but some come from sour walks of life. Cowboy Bebop’s world feels vaster and technologically advanced than Neon Genesis Evangelion’s. This has to do with the fact that the characters are bounty hunters, who must travel to different planets to find work.
There are also more wholesome and comedic moments in Cowboy Bebop. Although the characters will fight many evil-doers along the way, they find time to relax and explore each world’s lavish environments. Outside of those few differences, Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion tackle the mecha genre differently.
So there we have it, our 10 anime/TV show alternatives to watch when you’ve caught up with Neon Genesis Evangelion!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!