- Title: Eden of the East
- Produced by: Production I.G.
- Rating: M – Violence, brief nudity and adult themes
- Genre: Psychological thriller
- Number of Episodes: 12 episodes + 2 Movies
- Review Rating: An 8/10 – A great anime, but has flaws that can’t be ignored.
Review by Karune Walker
Just to point out, this review is specifically for the TV series and hopefully I will be able to review the movies sometime in the future.
Eden of the East was produced by “Production I.G”, a studio that is the source of nearly everything awesome in the anime world, who hardly produce anything bad (rarely), so naturally, I expect Eden of the East to be good. Unlike most anime made today, Eden of the East is actually not based on anything, and is instead an original animation, which I quite enjoy. The English dub was also done by Funimation Entertainment, who dub nearly every anime. Not that I’m complaining.
Story: Directed by Kenji Kamiyama, Eden of the East begins when Akira Takizawa wakes up naked in front of the White House and his memory wiped, with only a gun and a phone containing 10 million Yen in his possession. At the same time he meets the Japanese college graduate Saki Morimi, who is touring the US. As the two get to know each other, Akira attempts to learn how his memories were wiped and how he is related to the terrorist group “Selacao”.
For some reason, when I first heard of this anime, I was actually sceptical over how good it would be. Thankfully I was greeted with a thrilling story and that would just keep dragging me in. At times the plot did get a little complex but only on a minor scale, which I am thankful for. There are few moments, however, that I found a little pointless and didn’t need to be there and I suspect it was there just to fill in time, which is quite disappointing as these moments, as rare as they are, just took the anticipation away from me, but it was recouped quickly when the story got back on track. Overall, a good plot.
Characters: For once there are only two major characters in this anime, making my life a little easier.
Akira Takizawa – Umm…how do I go about this without spoiling anything? Akira wakes up in front of the White House naked with only a gun and a phone containing 10 million Yen. He is shown to be quite intelligent, has a love for movies and does not care of what others think of him, something that he doesn’t need his memories for. Even though he only knows Saki for only a short period of time, he proves to be very protective over her and anyone she knows. The memories he wishes to recover the most are the ones regarding his mother.
Saki Morimi – Saki is a Japanese college graduate who decides to travel to the US to celebrate, where she meets Akira. Throughout the series, Saki is shown to be someone who can be socially inept at times and gets flustered quite often. She takes an immediate liking to Akira, even though his past is shrouded in mystery, and decides to dedicate herself to helping him.
Sound: As always let me start with the opening. Which is a quite depressing topic actually. The original opening, “Falling Down” by English band Oasis, fit this show perfectly and it was a great song in general. Sadly, the English dub release only has the song for the opening of episode 1 before being replaced by a song so bad it’s not even worth mentioning. Why? Because licensing agreements suck, that’s why (thank you Funimation).
Now onto the actual music, which was composed by Kenji Kawai, who previously composed scores for other anime, such as “Ghost in the Shell” and is regarded as a legend in the anime music department, alongside Yuki Kajiura and Yoko Kanno, and he does not disappoint one bit. Every piece of music used matches the scene it is in, whether it be an action sequence, or an emotional scene. Nothing disappointing about the soundtrack at all.
This is one of the rare occasions where the English dub is actually better than the original Japanese version, not that it’s bad or anything. It’s just that the characters just sound so much more like ‘themselves’ in the English dub compared to the Japanese one. So English dub all the way.
Animations and Art Style: I have had many debates over the art style. I, myself, am not a fan of it, but there are many others who love this style of animation. My dislike for this style more lies with the character designs themselves. I admire the attempt to not follow the normal, conventional character designs, but please don’t give people awkward noses and mouths that just seem to float sometimes. Please and thank you. I will admit the backgrounds look very good, with vibrant colours that make it come alive, especially during the night scenes in Tokyo. So, the art is not all bad.
The Verdict: Overall, Eden of the East is a great anime to watch. The plot is engaging, the music is good and part of the animation is great to look at. However some points in the story I find a pointless and could ruin the momentum for some viewers. The opening is just disappointing considering what they had and the character designs are just well…ugh, but that’s up for opinion amongst many.