Eden of the East (東のエデン)

All posts tagged Eden of the East (東のエデン)

The main protagonist of this anime, in one of his self-inflicted pinch.

In my last blog entry, I mentioned that I want to watch the 4 whole seasons (201 episodes) of the Gintama series. But because of a certain reason that I will make known during the review of the said series, I stopped watching it continuously and will instead watch other anime titles while still watching Gintama intermittently until it ends. Currently I have watched about 110 episodes of what I have, so it will be quite some time before I actually go to review the series.

Therefore here it is, my review of the long-awaited (at least for me) Eden of the East series. What I have watched is the Eden of the East TV series that has 11 episodes, and also the two follow-up movies titled The King of Eden and Paradise Lost. I won’t watch the third movie because I have learned that it is just a big full-length recap movie (why on earth Japan wants to do this I don’t know). The TV series started airing in 2009, therefore it will also challenge Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei for the ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ title.

I am watching the Blu-ray version of the anime. Surely there is no need to censor anything right?

A Japanese female university student is visiting Washington D.C. for her graduation ceremony, and she finally fulfill her longtime dream of seeing the White House with her own eyes. She then tried to hurl a coin into the North Lawn’s fountain but failed, and is about to get arrested for her troubles. But just before the authorities shipped her to Guantanamo Bay, our nudist hero appeared and saved her bacon. From there on, she become deeply involved in a deadly reality game of which her savior is a participant, as Japan started to be rained with Tomahawk missiles.

This anime is basically a cross between the manga Mirai Nikki and the Bourne trilogy movies (referenced in this anime – movie references are abound here), but not as thrilling like the former and not as intense like the latter (I only watched the first 2 Bourne movies though). Still FWIW, the storyline is quite good for a shounen title. The pacing in TV series is quite slow though for the kind of the storyline it has (a similar anime series titled Speed Grapher has better pacing than this one) but when the movies comes in, the pacing picks up considerably.

This is why I’m glad that I waited for the movies to come out first before watching the series. The TV series by itself are written to set up the stage where most of the actions will be played in the movies. If I were to watch only the TV version, the scoring for this anime would have been lower. If you plan to watch this series, you should do so by having all the TV episodes and the two movies too; the experience would have been more complete that way. Despite the discrepancies of pacing between the TV episodes and the movies, the flow of the story develops nicely and smoothly, and was capped with a decent ending that doesn’t really permit an extension.

Character developments were mostly done during the TV series phase, and as expected, the forgetful main male protagonist is the best character in this series. The main female protagonist only become more useful in the movie phase. The only blot in this series is how some of the Seleção members only has peripheral roles in the series; it made me feel that the anime’s settings are not exploited to its fullest potential.

This scene is epic yet hilarious if you ask me.

Character Design:-
The character designs in this anime is more realistically seinen than shounen, and is good in general. The designs of the main male and female protagonists in this anime reminds me a lot of the designs of the main protagonists of The Sky Crawlers and Spirited Away, respectively. Black hairs are common in this modern Japan, which can only be a good thing. A positive aspect for this anime.

But for god’s sake, that was some futuristic handphones that the Seleção members have, even if you ignore the concierge access and the 10 billion yen credited into it. Not even the white iPhone 4 can be compared to it. The phones really shows that the flip form-factor phones can be awesome, and how touch-screens isn’t always desirable.

Quoted For Truth. I have 2 myself.

Voice Acting:-
Voice acting in this anime is flawless, yet largely uninteresting overall. Nearly all the voice actors has done their job well, but no one stands out from the rest.

The OST is sparse but is excellent. But none of the OP/ED themes in the movies or the TV series  are any good though, even for the Oasis track.

This scene is one of the places where 2D and CGI doesn’t really mesh well.

The quality of the animation in this anime is great, even in fast-paced scenes. There are surprisingly very little choreography in this anime though, unlike in the Bourne movies or in Speed Grapher. Sometimes the integration between traditional animation and CGI videos are not done seamlessly though, but you can see some stunning scenes in this anime especially in the movies. The directing is competent to say the least, at least I don’t see any problems except for the writing that doesn’t take advantage of the situation.

But this anime sure have some stunning scenes in it, comparable to what you can see in Makoto Shinkai’s works.

9 out of 10
. Not good enough to dethrone Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, but it is still a recommended watch for anyone who like some thrillers in their lives.

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