You know a show’s going to be good when it essentially starts off with your protagonist waking up on the front lawn of the white house buck-naked. Eden Of The East was an ambitious 11 episode original anime from Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex director Kenji Kamiyama and the prolific Noitamina animation block where other ambitious, left of center shows like Honey & Clover and The Promised Neverland premiered.
This short but sweet psychological thriller featured a pretty neat hook;12 unknown participants are given 10 billion yen, a futuristic cellphone connected to a Siri like AI that can seemingly do whatever you tell it to do including launch missile attacks on Tokyo, and the simple order to ‘save Japan’. These potential saviors of Japan are called Selecao, and no one knows who’s behind the technology and money.
Akira Takizawa has to solve the dual mysteries of who the other Selecao are and whose financially supporting the whole operation while figuring out how to save Japan.
Unfortunately, Neither Eden Of The Movie Lived Up To The Show
If we have to be honest, there’s one real downside to Eden Of The East and that’s its two sequel movies. We say ‘sequel’ but really Eden Of The East: The King Of Eden and Eden Of The East: Paradise Lost were direct continuations of the main story from the tv series, which purposefully ended at a midway point. From the very beginning, the project was envisioned as a tv series and the two movies so unlike some sequel films, they aren’t exactly ignorable.
Paradise Lost and The King Of Eden aren’t bad but they lacked the x-factor the series pulled off.
Sure they do their job in finishing off the plot and are entirely watchable, but fans and critics alike were in universal agreement that they just weren’t satisfying in the way the tv show. We don’t recommend skipping them though as ultimately if you don’t it would be like stopping a novel only two-thirds of the way through, even if the last chunk is more of a slog.
Admittedly The Eden Of The East Dub Is Pretty Good
Eden Of The East and its sequel films were licensed in the US by Funimation shortly after they premiered in Japan.
While not everybody’s crazy about English dubs, with a show that starts off in the United States and even uses an Oasis song as its opening theme, English dialogue is a surprisingly good fit for the series. Leading the cast you have Jason Liebrecht, who lent his talents to Syaoran in Tsubasa and the new Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, and Leah Clark who recently has gotten some acclaim for her rendition of Toga from My Hero Academia.
The Selecao Made For An Entertaining Cast Of Characters
If you’re giving out the equivalent of 100 Million Dollars each to 12 people, you’re going to make sure they have something going on that makes them stand out.
A serial killer who only terminates devious men, a well-meaning hospital director with regrets, a cop that’s played both sides of the law, Eden Of The East has a cast that matches us to its ambitious premise. Of course, there’s a dynamic duo leading the pack who navigate the dangerous game to make Japan a better place.
Our main character wakes up with a bout of amnesia having no idea how he ended up in the front of the white house buck naked. He’s one of the Selecao and, as anime protagonists tend to, he has a heart of gold which makes him take the ‘save Japan’ part of his mission seriously. Highly intelligent but also equally out there, he comes up with a number of unconventional strategies to accomplish his goals like mobilizing entire squadrons of Hikkikomori to do his bidding.
The events of Eden of The East unfold through the eyes of Saki Morimi, a young Japanese woman who got swept up into Akira’s mess when she was visiting Washington DC for vacation.
She’s a bright young lady although a little absent-minded at times and ultimately goes a long way to ground this otherwise ridiculous series, allowing its more out-there concepts to hit with a little more brevity. In addition, she and her college club are working on a cell-phone application called Eden that could theoretically change the world if it takes off.