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All Evangelion Soundtracks Ranked

With the release of Evangelion 3.0+1.0 happening, why not rank the acclaimed soundtracks to everyone’s fave post apocalyptic psychological drama mecha anime?
9Shiro Sagisu
Evangelion: Death

A collection of short snippets of classical compositions. Some barely break 30 seconds and there’s a fair bit of noodling and scraping going on. There’s a reason for this, as these performances only appear in the film during the surreal ‘Quartet Practice’ scenes, which don’t last very long, while songs from the TV series soundtracks take up the rest of the film. Still there’s a couple more developed pieces that are incredibly beautiful, mainly the minimalist piano take on ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, given the wordy title ‘The Sorrow of Losing the Object of One's Dependence II’ and the two gorgeous renditions of Pachelbel’s ‘Kanon D-Dur’ and a short but sweet take on Bach’s ‘Suite for Violoncello No 1’. As a bonus track you get the entirety of the Requiem suite by Verdi. All 40 minutes of it.
8Shiro Sagisu
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone Original Sound

Given how the first Rebuild movie is essentially a shot for shot remake of the first six episodes of the anime, the soundtrack follows suit and is mainly just re-recordings of songs from the show. There’s not many new tracks here, and if you want to listen to these songs I have to recommend the superior originals. Still there’s some great new pieces, like the stunning ‘I’ll Go On Lovin’ Someone Else’ and the dramatic and intense ‘Angel of Doom’ which help spice things up a little.
7Shiro Sagisu
Music From "Evangelion:3.0" You Can (Not) Redo.

With the Rebuild movies taking a sudden left turn into new territory with the third movie in the series, the soundtrack followed suit. With two discs and double the music of the previous releases, 3.0’s music is dramatic, over the top and choir heavy, which happens to be its downfall. Many of the songs are fairly similar and reuse the same sound of dramatic big orchestras and a choir chanting ominous messages. While there’s occasionally moments of (pretty heavy) guitar work, 3.0 finds a style and sticks to it. The second disc breaks up the monotony with a set of gentle and touching piano pieces which help even things out, but the overuse of one particular style makes the record a bit of a chore to get though. Still; when it’s good, it’s great and pieces like the burning ‘God’s Message’, the bombastic and heavy ‘The Anthem’ and the heartbreaking take on ‘Hedgehog’s Dilemma’ ‘Theme Q’, really lets 3.0’s soundtrack shine through.
6Shiro Sagisu
Music from ‘Shin Evangelion’

The final movie in the Rebuild series and what looks like the final soundtrack composed for the franchise by mainstay artist Shirō Sagisu. This is a long album, fitting of the nearly 3 hour movie, totalling three discs and a range of styles. More mellow than 3.0’s heavy choir work, yet stranger than anything that came before it. Tracks like the opener ‘Paris’ blends catchy guitar work with blasts of noise and the closer of disc 1 ‘Hooked on the Last Train’ is a wild techno orchestral funk work out. There’s also a fair amount of vocal songs, which range from soft and cute (‘Yearning for Your Love’), creepy and midly cringeworthy (‘Lost in the Memory’) and completely absurd (‘Psycho’). The standout here is the track ‘Voyager’ which when combined with a certain scene from the movie becomes a beautiful and bittersweet goodbye to all of Evangelion. Sprawling, touching and at times maddeningly aggravating, this is a moving but not perfect send off soundtrack to the second end of Evangelion.
5Shiro Sagisu
Neon Genesis Evangelion III

Matching the show’s descent into psychological horror and unfiltered mindfuckery, the third and final OST to the TV series is a fairly bleak affair. Gone are the catchy melodies (mostly) and upbeat orchestral sounds, now replaced with moody ambient pieces and haunting choral segments. Pieces like the downbeat but weirdly funky ‘Separation Anxiety’ and the outright frightening ‘Infantile Dependance’ soundtrack the character’s mental breakdowns, while atmospheric and tense tracks like ‘Mother is the First Other’ and ‘Do You Love Me?’ play off the second half of the show’s mystery and tension perfectly. On top of that the two vocal tracks ‘Shiawase wa Tsumi no Nioi’ and ‘Mugen Houyou’ are both uneasy but deliciously catchy (and soothing in the latter’s case). It’s not all glum though. The one two punch of ‘The Heady Feeling of Freedom’ and ‘Good, Or Don’t Be’ are a light at the end of the tunnel, two beautiful and heartwarming tracks that play in the final episode’s closing scene.
4Shiro Sagisu
Neon Genesis Evangelion II

The second OST for the show is a bit of a transitional work. As the series slowly switched from a mecha monster of the week format into the hellish nightmare its most known for today, the music also slowly switched. While still retaining the catchy energy and diverse sounds of the first OST, the songs are noticeably moodier, yet still just as dramatic and fun. The western styled ‘She Said “Don’t Make Others Suffer for Your Personal Hatred”’, the bouncy ‘MAGMADIVER’ and the iconic ‘Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win!’ sit side by side with more introspective and tense pieces like ‘A Crystalline Night Sky’ and the heart wrenchingly beautiful ‘Thantos’, which plays against some of the series’ most emotional moments. Special mention goes to ‘The Beast II’ which turns the dramatic and energetic original into a ominous domineering masterpiece, and the opening vocal piece ‘Yokan’, a wonderful and soothing pop tune that doesn’t nearly get enough attention as it deserves.
3Shiro Sagisu
Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance Soundtrack

Given how 2.0 also shared a lot of plot elements with the original series, there was always the worry that the soundtrack would be a repeat of 1.0. More inferior workings to the original. By the grace of God above, it wasn’t and 2.0’s soundtrack stands out as one of the best examples of Evangelion’s fantastic music. Being a perfect summation of all the OSTs for the Rebuild movies, 2.0 has all bases covered. Reworkings of older tunes a la 1.0, dramatic and bombastic choral work like 3.0 and diverse and catchy pieces present on 3.0+1.0. 2.0 contains some of Sagisu’s best later era work, like the insanely catchy and peppy ‘Des Cordes Opus:1’, the dramatic and explosive ‘At the Very Beginning’ and the heart wrenching and emotional ‘Tsubasa wo Kudasai’ (performed by Rei/Yui/Unit 01 and PenPen’s VA Megumi Hayashibara). Tight and concise and endlessly replayable, the OST to 2.0 is one of the finest batches of music to come from the series, and amazingly it’s only third place!
2Shiro Sagisu
Neon Genesis Evangelion

Ah, what a classic. The first Eva OST might as well be a greatest hits album. A greatest hits album of background tracks from a giant mecha anime. Whatever, you get the point. The first Eva soundtrack is packed back to back with beloved and just downright amazing pieces of music. It’s a wonderfully diverse album, one that jumps styles from track to track but that still keeps its footing as a soundtrack LP. There’s jazz, lounge, orchestral, country, pop, rock. All this for a 26 episode mecha anime! Well, not your average mecha anime. From the iconic opening choir of ‘Zankoku no Tenshi no Teze’, to the chirpy and lighthearted ‘Misato’, the thundering and crazed ‘The Beast’, the country slide of ‘Asuka Strikes!’ to the icy and chilling ‘Rei I’, this is an album full of instantly recognisable songs that work not only as excellent backing tracks for the series but as wonderful pieces of music in general that showcases the melodic unsung genius of Shirō Sagisu. Plus it’s on streaming!
1Shiro Sagisu
The End of Evangelion

‘Evangelion 1’ may be jammed full of catchy and lush tunes but the soundtrack to The End of Evangelion’ is on another planet entirely. From the pounding opening chords of ‘Interference of Others’ to the lonely and bittersweet climax of ‘Opening of Dream’, the soundtrack to EOE starts and never lets up, being just as much as an emotional rollercoaster as the film it accompanies. End of days choirs coat tracks like ‘Escape to the Beginning’ while ‘Thanatos’ gets a tearjerking reprise with ‘Substitute Invasion’ at arguably the film’s saddest moment. Classical pieces such as Bach’s ‘Air’ and ‘Jesus Bleibet Meine Fruede’ are brought to life, especially the latter with astonishingly beautiful arrangements. Let’s not forget the two vocal tracks. ‘Thanatos - If I Can’t Be Yours’ reworks the touching orchestral track into a depressive, melancholy rnb number complete with soaring vocals and a mad piano section and the infamous ‘Komm, Susser Tod’ is the ultimate depression singalong.
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