Eden of the East

About this time last year, studio Production I. G. premiered their new show, Eden of the East (also commonly known as Higashi no Eden), written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Having been recommended to me by a good friend a long time ago, I finally decided to check out what all the rave behind this show was, and I was pleasantly surprised; Eden of the East kept me interested from start to finish, wishing for more. This compelling mystery, reminiscent of the Bourne trilogy, delivers both dark and comedic settings and situations and has you wondering what is going on from the first two minutes of air time.

On November 22, 2010, ten missiles strike sections of Japan, destroying everything on site, but without a single death or injury. Due to the lack of casualties, that day, notoriously known as “Careless Monday”, was disregarded by the public. Meanwhile, 20,000 NEETs (Not Employed, in Education, or Training) have mysteriously gone missing all across Japan. However, this is not where our story starts.

Saki Morimi is on her college graduation trip to America, and finds herself compelled to see the White House before she leaves. While standing behind the fence of the White House, Saki tries to throw a coin into the fountain, but security guards question what she is doing and approach her. Meanwhile, a naked man with a pistol and a cell phone tries crossing the street to the White House and diverts the attention of the guards. Finding himself with no memory at all, Akira Takizawa is helped by Morimi and together they return to Japan, learning of an eleventh missile strike, this time with casualties. Takizawa soon learns that his special phone is charged with 8.2 billion yen, and he, along with 11 other people known as Selecaos, is given the task to save the country of Japan through any means necessary with that money. By calling his concierge, Juiz, he can give any order, not matter how frivolous, and it’ll be carried out somehow, costing him money. If his money ever reaches zero, and he hasn’t saved the country yet, he will be killed by another Selecao, known as the Supporter. Driven to get back his memories and win this “game”, so that he would be able to give Mr. Outside, the prospector of the game, an ass-kicking, Takizawa embarks on an adventure with his new found friends, leading to unexpected places. Will Takizawa gain his memories back? Is his past better left unknown? Find out by watching this eleven episode epic.

As each episode goes by, more and more clues pertaining to both Takizawa’s past and future are made clear, and his next steps are determined, leaving the story as much of a mystery as his identity. A testament to the mystery genre, and humanity’s love for the word “johnny”, Eden of the East presents its story by giving us very vague, and often confusing clues as we try to figure out the entirety of the story. By the end of the series, many things are made clear, but not everything, leaving it open for answering by the two movie sequels currently out, which I’ll probably be watching soon.

The characters in the story are strong, and each interesting in their own way. I found myself rooting for a supporting character ten minutes after he was introduced, and he was only a major part of one episode! A sort of relationship grows between Morimi and Takizawa, as she begins to find her own path in life thanks to his guidance, even if he is sort of a player. Other characters provide comic relief, as well as deep insight into the human condition and the state of affairs the world within this universe is in. I don’t think there is a single unmemorable character in Eden of the East, and I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you a favorite, even if I tried.

I’m not sure what more to say about this show without giving away spoilers other than telling you that it’s awesome. If you love mysteries full of red herrings, twists and turns, and unanswered questions open to interpretation, then Eden of the East is certainly something you will have to check out. Overall, I’ll give this show an 8/10 for it’s animation, use of comedy in an otherwise dark situation, and compelling story. I’ll be going on to watch the movie sequels soon, and once I do, I’ll be sure to fill you in on how well those were too! Until then, this has been another review by Sachi!~