Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eden of the East (Japanese)

What if you played a game where the objective was to save Japan? The only thing you have in order to do this was a cell phone with 10 billion yen. You can spend it any way you want, but you have to use it for the above objective. If you don't use the money or if you run out and have not won the game, then you die. Would you wanna play?

Eden of the East is a Psychological/Romance/Mystery anime written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama. It originally was produced by Production I.G. Studio and was licensed by Funimation. There are eleven episodes total with two novels released after the anime. Three films were also released between September 2009 and March 2010.

On November 22, 2010, ten missiles strike against uninhabited areas of Japan, claiming no victims. This apparent terrorist attack is referred to as "Careless Monday" and disregarded by most people. The series begins three months later, with a young Japanese woman named Saki Morimi visiting Washington D.C. as part of her graduation trip. When she gets into trouble, a mysterious Japanese man, who introduces himself as Akira Takizawa, helps her through it. The man appears to have no memory and is completely naked, carrying only a gun and a cell phone charged with 8.2 billion in digital money.

The look of the series and the animation are rather well done. There was no laziness or lack of budget to cause problems with this series and that is easily noticeable. Though at some points, the animation doesn't quite fit the original look, but it's only used for comic effect rather then calling it lazy. The story is good too. For the most part, you're following Takizawa, trying to figure out who he is, and what organization he's a part of. There are few things that escape the realm of explanation, and this series is going to leave you with questions in the end, but not unsatisfied.

After I watched this series for the first time, I told my friend about it. When I did he said to me, "So it's pretty much like the Bourne movies." And, yes, in some ways it is. The main male character has no memory of who he is or what he has done before losing those memories. He also works for a secret organization bent on some purpose.

The characters are fairly well developed, Takizawa being the best. Then again, the series is pretty much all about him and his journey to find out who he is. Saki is developed decently, sometimes you don't completely understand why she does certain things, but she is a good companion to Takizawa. The rest of the cast has small bits of development here and there, key word being small.

And then there's the running joke of the series. It's fine for a few episodes and can be funny when referred to, but by the time you get to the forth or fifth episode it's just annoying and completely unnecessary. I am, of course, talking about the "Johnny" gag. It's called by no other name but Johnny. Not penis, not dick, not wood. Johnny. There's even a character in the series who is called the "Johnny Hunter". She hunts down rapists and cuts off their...... Yeah...... Are you seeing the problem? I understand that the series wanted to have something that makes people laugh, but referring to a male's genitally as Johnny, ALL THE TIME, is just plain stupid. Unless you're into stupid things like that which, in that case, you will absolutely love it.

I mentioned that this review is about the Japanese version, but I am going to talk about the English dub for a second. I only watched part of an episode that was posted on YouTube. All I have to say is that Takizawa and Hirasawa were tolerable in the ten minutes I managed to watch. Everyone else didn't seem like good fits. Again, this was just based off one episode. The entire series might have had character partnered with good voice actors that I didn't take a look at. But for those who wanna watch the series, I would stick to the Japanese. Mostly cause I'm a sucker for this version.

The end result is Eden of the East being a good visual anime with some kinks here and there along with a real good story that takes another story, tweaks it, and make it interesting. There is more to the story with the movies that were released during the fall so the story doesn't end with more bombing and more memory loss. No, the fun has just gotten started. Hopefully, they'll resolve some of the plot points in the movies.

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