Many called Eden of the East the best series to come out of 2009. Unfortunately, the story would continue with two movies which felt more like a forced ending more than the proper conclusion for such an enjoyable series. Can the series still be enjoyable without continuing on with the movies?
Akira Takizawa wakes up naked outside the White House with no memories. He’s got a gun and a cell phone. He doesn’t remember the phone gives him access to ten billion yen and a woman who will grant any request. He doesn’t even remember he’s supposed to save Japan and will be murdered if he fails. Whatever he’s tangled up in, Takizawa’s in deep – and that’s not even scratching the surface.
The series presents a very interesting scenario. What happens when you give a group of people from different backgrounds, with different moral compasses money and power, and task them to save a country. This mixed with the political and social intrigue which is synonymous with the work of director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit) results in a truly captivating series.
Though the use of memory loss seems like an overused trope (especially in anime) but utilized properly can be a very powerful storytelling device. Akira is introduced naked with a gun in one hand and an all-powerful cell phone in the other in front of the White House. Name another character who was introduced in such a memorial fashion. Meanwhile, Saki a college student looking for her place after graduation is a perfect foal for a character who is trying to find himself but in a much different way. The two play off each other well and also makes the audience want to see them in more scenes together. They are a memorable pair, to say the least.
The series is full of impressive bits of animation. There is no decline in animation in any of the episodes. Each scene can be paused at any moment and used as a background. This is some of the best work Production I.G. has made. Also, the use of little details (such as the costume wings on An-chan) makes it a series which benefits from multiple viewings.
This set isn’t exactly filled with the most desirable extras but they are still great additions. Interviews with the director, the composer, and with the two leads are a welcome sight as they help to showcase the passion which went into this series. It goes to show how much thought and foresight went into the creation of the series. If you are interested at all in the work which goes into making an anime series then these extras will be a great experience.
Though the series is not given the ending it deserves, Eden of the East is still an enjoyable series full of whimsical and intriguing characters. With the fantastic animation, it really becomes a series everyone needs to check out. If you are so tempted you can continue the journey and watch the movies. Just don’t expect a grand finale.
Eden of the East: The Complete Series is available from Funimation.