neon genesis evangelion music

Neon Genesis Evangelion made its grand streaming debut on Netflix today, but as fans settled down to watch the seminal and influential anime series, they immediately noticed one thing was missing: Claire Littley’s cover of “Fly Me To the Moon.”

In the U.S. version of Netflix, fans noticed that Littley’s lilting cover of the classic song played over the credits — in a different version each episode — was missing, replaced instead by a segment of a theme for one of its characters, Rei Ayanami. But more than just missing sweet outro music for each episode, the instrumental versions of “Fly Me to the Moon” woven throughout the episodes during pivotal moments were also gone, replaced only by silence.

While Netflix gave no official reason for this unexplained change in the Neon Genesis Evangelion music, Jennifer Maas at TheWrap notes that it likely has to do with music licensing fees:

An individual with knowledge of the production told TheWrap that Netflix worked with the Japanese studio that made the original anime series when licensing the 26-episode show for a new English-language voice cast version. “Fly Me to the Moon” was among a “few select” assets the streaming service was unable to obtain for all regions, due to the way the song was priced for global rights.

This is not an unusual issue in streaming transfers of classic shows or movies. On Hulu, Felicity’s entire soundtrack is replaced due to streaming rights not existing when the songs were originally licensed. Scrubs and House on Netflix had similar issues, with even House‘s iconic theme song, “Teardrop” by Massive Attack not making it to the streaming version. But for fans of Hideaki Anno’s deeply influential anime, this missing element from Neon Genesis Evangelion was unacceptable — the outro songs were instrumental in capturing the melancholic mood of the sci-fi series and providing a much-needed emotional reprieve when the series got too dark or disturbing. Getting rid of the song due to licensing prices (when we know Netflix can drop $100 million on Friends reruns) alters the show’s core artistic vision, fans like Mandy writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn argues.

But if you’re still planning to check out Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix this weekend and want to know what you’re missing, here is a collection of every episode outro:

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