Title: Eden of the East
Genre: sci-fi, psychological, drama, political
Released date: April 9, 2009 – June 18, 2009
Director: Kenji Kamiyama
Animated by: Production I.G
Comment: Just when I thought I had seen most of everything and nothing could surprise me anymore, I came across this anime. It’s quite hard to describe my feeling about Eden of the East. I felt like the horizon suddenly expanded, like a curtain lifted from my eyes and it dawned on me that anything is possible. I was totally thrilled, excited and inspired. After all, how often do you see a show that starts with a naked man carrying a cell phone and a gun and ends with 20,000 naked men and sixty missiles?
The plot of Eden of the East is hard to explain without spilling out spoilers so I’ll recount only on how it begins; Morimi Saki is on a trip to USA. She separates from her friends to visit the White House. There, she runs into Takisawa Akira, a guy with no memory and no clothes, carrying only a gun and a strange cell phone with extraordinary power. After their meeting, Saki is dragged into a perilous journey involving national conspiracy theory, strange terrorist attacks and a crazy game created by crazy but powerful people. Although there are strong social commentaries implied all over the show, Eden of the East deftly manages to balance credibility with absurdity and create an immensely entertaining show with solid story, serious ideas and wild imagination. It’s like watching hard fantasy story in present days setting.
The show’s momentum greatly and solely depends on the viewers’ curiosity. There are so many things that are introduced but not clearly explained so the longer we watch, the more questions we have. That’s what keeps the viewers glued to the show. The first half of Eden introduces the viewers to the main characters, some of whom clearly have hidden agendas and mysterious past which will eventually be revealed later in the series. Excluding Akira who literally dominates the show, the other characters are quite underdeveloped. Their roles are almost insignificant in this game of power. Even the project ‘Eden of the East’ which is used as the anime’s title seems to play only minor role in the show. I believe these supporting characters will play a bigger part in the two following movies. The series ending is a little confusing and absurd but nevertheless really cool. There are tons of materials left to be explored in the up coming movies and I desperately hope that I will not be disappointed for I’ve already fell in love with this show.
The animation quality is flawless. The city scenery never looks this good in any anime. The character design is nice and clean to look at but I think the two protagonist look rather too young for collage graduates. The opening and ending themes is perfect for the anime although the original soundtrack is almost unrecognizable. Conclusion: Eden of the East exceeds all expectations. I admire its craziness and brilliance and if it is not the best anime of the year, it still remains somewhere very close to that spot.