In terms of mecha anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion is your standard fare with a dark undertone. Take a look at these 10 anime that share the same underlying themes and vibe.
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Even now, 25 years after Neon Genesis Evangelion first aired, no other show compares. The show’s influence can be seen in other anime and in popular culture. The first episode of the anime series aired in 1995, and since then there have been numerous films, shorts, and spin-offs based on it.
When it comes to giant robots and alien forces, Neon Genesis Evangelion has it covered. It also raises important philosophical questions about life and death. However, there are a number of series that are perfect for fans who want to explore themes similar to those explored in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
1. Code Geass
A young protagonist fighting an inner battle is required to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Code Geass, like Neon Genesis Evangelion, follows a teenage boy who finds himself in the middle of a conflict much larger than himself. The political forces in Lelouch’s world have ruined his family, and he has vowed to seek vengeance, even if those political forces include his own family and best friend.
Neon Genesis Evangelion also has the robot elements that mecha fans adore, but it also raises a lot of philosophical issues such as what it means to be a human being, what it means to be loyal, and what good looks like.
RahXephon and Neon Genesis Evangelion are both considered by some to be clones, but they are both enjoyed by others. RahXephon is set in 2015 and centers on a young man named Ayato. RahXephon is also set in 2015. When Ayato grows up, she gets the chance to pilot the RahXephon, a massive clay mecha robot.
RahXephon shares many similarities with Neon Genesis Evangelion, such as military involvement and philosophical questions, but focuses more on romance and time travel than NGE does. RahXephon is ideal for those looking for a story with a strong romantic element and a conclusive conclusion.
3. Blue Seed
If you look at it at a superficial level, the popular ’90s anime series Blue Seed has little in common with the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Giant robots are not present, and the story contains many mythical elements as well as humorous and romantic elements. The animation style and action elements, on the other hand, are strikingly similar between the two shows, which aired in the 1990s.
Both shows feature a diverse cast of characters that includes people from various walks of life as well as government agencies. As the series progresses, the plots become more complex and include more elements, raising the stakes.
4. Serial Experiments Lain
For this reason, it’s no surprise that many anime are like Neon Genesis Evangelion and have cult followings. Serial Experiments Lain is one that immediately comes to mind when thinking about NGE. Serial Experiments Lain is unique as an anime from the late 1990s with a distinctive art style. A 14-year-old girl named Lain discovers “Wired,” an internet-like communication system that turns out to be a parallel reality, in this film.
Throughout Serial Experiments Lain explores the fascinating relationship between humans and technology, while also incorporating elements of reality, virtual worlds, and humanity as a whole..
5. Gurren Lagann
Gurren Lagann appears to be a standard mecha anime at first glance. The story revolves around Simon, a teen boy, and Kamina, a friend, who discover a mecha. The story, on the other hand, is anything but ordinary. The two form an alliance known as Team Gurren when they discover the surface world and the ongoing conflict with Gunmn, the Beastmenm, and the Spiral King. A coalition of allies attempts to overthrow and exterminate the Spiral King’s army.
While the themes of governments and saving humanity recur in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann also has a comedic edge to it.
It’s not uncommon for mecha anime to feature a mostly-male cast with the main character typically being a male. This is not the case, however, in the 1980s mecha series Gunbuster where almost all of the characters are women. The year is 2023, and the main character, Noriko, is enrolled in a mecha piloting school.
Gunbuster’s protagonist, like Neon Genesis Evangelion’s, must deal with personal issues in order to pilot the mecha and save the planet.
7. Eureka Seven
Eureka Seven, like Neon Genesis Evangelion, features a post-apocalyptic world with mecha and other life forces. Renton, a 14-year-old from a small town in 12005, is the star of Eureka Seven. After being ejected from Earth by an unexplainable entity, mankind now resides in orbit around the sun. Renton teams up with Eureka, a Coralian mecha pilot in training. Together, they embark on an epic journey with the Gekkostate gang.
Fans of NGE will enjoy Eureka Seven because it incorporates their favorite elements of mecha and science fiction into a group adventure.
8. Darling In The FranXX
Due to some of the characters’ looks being similar, Darling in the FranXX is often compared to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Darling’s main character, Hiro, is a tall, lanky adolescent boy with long, dark hair. His physical appearance is strikingly similar to that of Shinji. Similar to Asuka’s red pilot suit, the pilot suit worn by Zero Two, the female lead.
Aside from the aesthetics, the protagonists of both anime are plagued by insecurities about their abilities as mecha pilots. While Darling has a more sentimental tone, both keep viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
9. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Puella Magi Madoka Magica isn’t your typical magical girl anime, so it’s surprising that it has so much in common with Neon Genesis Evangelion. Even though Puella Magi has cute girls and brightly colored outfits, it’s actually a dark look at what it takes to be a magical girl.
It shares a similar approach to its darker themes with Neon Genesis Evangelion and Puella Magi. The outward appearances mislead viewers into thinking they’re in for a good time when they’re really in for a bad one.
It’s impossible to talk about Neon Genesis Evangelion without mentioning Akira, the seminal work of experimental animation. An after-World-war three-year-old boy named Tetsuo accidentally gets involved in an extremely secret government project and is turned into an assassination machine in Akira, which takes place in 2021.
Similarly to Neon Genesis Evangelion, Akira has endured as a classic for more than 30 years due to its innovative plot, philosophical undertones, and post-apocalyptic setting with government involvement.