Eden of The East TV Review
What would be the best way to describe Eden of the East? A mysterious dramatic action thriller perhaps? One of the best things about anime is how it manages to smoothly gel all kinds of genres into one comprehensive and magnificent package. Eden of the East is quite possibly one of the best examples of one such series combining intense Drama, some Action, some Romance, some Comedy and some Cuteness all into one huge Thriller
Eden of The East is set in modern times and starts off with Saki Morimi (The female lead in the show) on her vacation in Washington DC. She gets herself in a little trouble with the police because of throwing coins at the White House lawn and just as she is explaining herself a naked man of Japanese decent distracts the police with…his nakedness. The man cleverly dodges the cops and ‘rescues’ Saki, he finds out that he had lost his memory and only with the aid of his phone and a mysterious Lady in the call log called Juiz, does he find his apartment and his name.
Juiz tells him that he is part of an elite group of men called the Selecao and that their duty is to restore Japan to its former glory, each of the Selecao have 8 billion yen worth of spending money loaded on their special phones and Juiz tells him that she has the ability to fulfill any of their commands. He later finds out that his name is Akira Takizawa and in order for him to find more answers about his past, his identity and what this whole Selecao thing is he decides to get on the first plane back to Japan.
On the way back Saki informs him of a supposed terrorist attack called ‘Careless Monday’ in which the city of Tokyo was bombarded by its own missiles, she also tells him about the sudden disappearance of about 20,000 ‘NEETs’ (Shut ins) Could all this have been the work of the Selecao? does the information on his call log suggest that he was a part of this?
That first episode leaves the viewer with so many questions and a racing heartbeat, it’s very hard not to get sucked into the atmosphere of the show, it really helps that it is set in modern times as well. This has got to be one of the best Mystery series I have seen since Death Note, each episode is paced nicely and gives you hints to each of the answers you may have had. There isn’t that much action (people blowing things up) but the excellent writing and mystery is good enough to keep you excited. It’s also important to note that this anime was an original idea without any source material, Kenji Kamiyama mostly known for Directing Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Second Gig, came up with the story and also directed this show as well.
The background art and animation is fantastic and unique, I paused my Blu ray on more than one occasion just to admire the scenery. I also loved how Chica Umino the creator/Mangaka of Honey & Clover lent her character designs to the project. Her incredibly cute character designs contrasted the seriousness and darkness of the plot but also complemented the sweetness of the romance and silly comedy in the show. The music was composed by none other than Kenji Kawai most famous for the Ghost in the Shell movies and many many others.
The only fault I had with the show was its ending, since the show aired on the noitaminA slot it only had 11 episodes. 2 movies were already planned to conclude its story before the show even finished airing and even though the TV series wraps up some major plotlines but there are still a fair number of questions not answered. I also disliked how the Opening music was changed from Oasis’ Falling Down to something less awesome.
The extras in Both the DVD and Blu Ray versions have an interview with Kenji Kamiyama & Chica Umino and an interview with the two lead Seiyuu. It also has some trailers and promotional videos. I would just like to add that the English voice acting in the show was very good as well, both Leah Clark and Jason Leibrecht were amazing as the two leads and the supporting cast consisted of A listers such as J. M. Tatum, Stephanie Sheh and Todd Haberkorn.
Eden of The East is truly one of the best shows Japan has produced and is a great gateway for anybody still alien to anime. I rate this series an 8/10
Final Verdict: Buy It!! The show is in my top 10 and many other anime fans lists as well, I highly doubt anyone would be disappointed with this. If you are still not sure whether this is for you try watching the first 2 episodes at Madmans Screening Room for FREE, I warn you though the wait between watching that 2nd episode and rushing to the store will kill you.