On November 22, 2010, Japan was hit by missile strikes, a terrorist act that fortunately did not harm anyone, becoming known as "Careless Monday." Quickly forgotten, society goes on about their lives as normal.
During her graduation trip to America three months later, friendly college student Saki Morimi's life is forever changed when she finds herself saved from unexpected trouble by Akira Takizawa. Takizawa is cheerful, but odd in many ways—he is stark naked and suffers from amnesia, believing himself to be a terrorist. In addition, he possesses a strange cell phone loaded with 8.2 billion yen in digital cash.
Despite Takizawa's suspicious traits, Saki quickly befriends the enigmatic young man. However, unbeknownst to her, this is the beginning of a thrilling death game involving money, cell phones, and the salvation of the world. Higashi no Eden chronicles Saki's struggle to unravel the mysteries behind her savior, while Takizawa himself battles other individuals armed with similar cell phones and returning memories which reveal his possible connection to the event from months ago.
Higashi no Eden won the Animation Kobe Award in the Television category during the Animation Kobe festival in 2009 as well as the best television series of the year award at the ninth annual Tokyo International Anime Fair.
Higashi no Eden (or Eden of the East however you want to call it) is a new anime series produced by Production I.G, and it was one of the most anticipated series of the Spring 2009 season. After quite an impressive trailer before the anime aired, I just knew I had to watch this show which looked like it had a lot of promise. Did it live up to my expectation? Read ahead to find out.
+ This anime definitely brings a very interesting plot.
+ The level of mystery and suspense will leave the viewer wanting more every episode.
+ Definitely one of the most refreshing stories in recent seasons.
- Its is only 11 episodes long, a very uncommon number for an anime.
- The ending leaves you with a cliffhanger that the movies are expected to resolve.
- Because of the # of episodes, plus the announcement of 2 movies. The anime ending does not feel like it brings any closure to the overall story.
+ Fantastic art in both characters and backgrounds throughout the anime.
+ Very artistic animations for both the Opening and Ending themes.
+ There is really nothing bad to say here, this anime brings some nice eye candy to the viewer.
+ Very good OP and ED songs. They are really cool to listen to.
+ The soundtrack is also really good, complimenting some scenes really nicely.
+ The voice acting is solid through the series, specially for Akira.
+ Takizawa Akira is main driving force in terms of character in this anime. He is pretty much the only one who constantly shines.
+ Other Selecao members are all unique and different in personalities, and are also very interesting people and have some good development (as short as some may be).
+ Akira is as mysterious as a character as he is likeable, he doesn't take things TOO seriously and also provides some good comedy.
- Saki, despite being likeable, just doesn't seem to contribute much to the overall plot despite being a main character.
Enjoyment: This anime was highly entertaining, despite ending in a cliffhanger it left me wanting more every episode and it would never feel boring. With the movies set to bring a conclusion to the anime, I can't wait to see them.
Overall Higashi no Eden proves to be a very enjoyable and entertaining anime which brings some rather unique and interesting plot that will be able to keep your interest from its unique 11 episode run. However because the series itself is not complete without the movies, the ending might feel a little underwhelming to some. Regardless, this anime surpassed my expectations and its a fantastic show to those looking a solid plot, likeable characters, beautiful visuals, and enjoyable music. I highly recommend people try this anime out, I dont think you will be disappointed.read more
After seeing a score of 8.22 and skimping through reviews lauding Higashi no Eden for its intricate and unique plot, I decided to give it a try. I was also looking for more anime with a theme similar to Zankyou no Terror and one of the recommendations was HnE.
So, an anime with tags like "Drama, Romance, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Mystery" and a "whopping" score of 8.22 for only 11 episodes? I was so excited at the prospect of watching a real gem of an anime, and thought I couldn't possibly not like this series. I would surely be in for one hell of a ride!
Dear Lord was I wrong... Though it was one hell of a ride, I rode straight into a big pile of disappointment and feelings of betrayal. No doubt the first episode looked promising; the story looked like it could develop in so many interesting ways, but then it almost felt like the show's shot callers did a complete 180 and decided to ruin HnE in the utmost cruelest way. I had to check multiple times if I was indeed watching the right anime. Was I losing my sanity? How could that many people think so highly of this show and I can't even bring myself to watch the 3rd episode? Was I missing something? For sure I'm missing something! I'll just keep watching; the story is bound to get better soon, that's why it got so many rave reviews. I forced myself to watch the other episodes, but when I reached episode 8, I could no longer bear it. I felt like if I watched any longer, no amount of watching reruns of my favourite animes could ever erase the memory of having watched HnE.
The story (3/10) could have been amazing. But after episode 1, the show kept adding so many other elements to the story, that in the end I was still not sure what the central theme was. There were also some real head scratching scenes which made me doubt if this show shouldn't add the genre "magic" to it. As for comedy? Besides Akira's public display of nudity in episode 1 (which would catch anyone off guard imo), I couldn't even muster a meek smile for the supposedly "funny" scenes.
1. A complete stranger comes up to you and asks for your pants? Sure, just hand them over. The police asking people to see their wieners in order to identify them? Sure, just drop your pants.
2. So 10 missiles strike Japan and not one single victim was killed? Uh, sure... I guess that... could've, might've happened?
3. A magic phone that grants your every request? ... I think I might've missed the "Magic" tag for this show somewhere.
4. White zombie like creatures that come out of broken electronic equipment and start hugging the MC? I guess I might've missed the "horror" tag somewhere as well.
5. A character who gets off by kidnapping rapists/sex-offenders and then cutting off their Johnnies? And she's almost killed over 20.000 men? Oh, and she was chosen as one of the 12 people who were supposed to lead the nation in the right path? But then the male MC decides that he could save this psychopath by having sex with her? Uh... I think I lost it. *****
However, besides the story being a complete disaster, the animation and sound of HnE weren't bad. The animation and most of the soundtrack (6/10) in my opinion, were more suited to a romance/slice of life themed story than the Sci-Fi heavy themed HnE. I believe that the relationship between story and art is dynamic: if a story is great, even if the accompanying art is not up to par, the story will find a way to shine. And vice versa: if the art is great, even a mediocre story will get praise. But in HnE's case, the disconnection between the art and story was too obvious.
And the animation for the OP was well-done: it really gave me this "anarchy, democracy" kind of feel. Traitor!!!! Biggest misleading OP animation I've ever encountered...
The VA's delivered solid performances; none of them sounded off and voiced their characters well.
As for the characters (3/10), of the main duo, Akira is the more interesting one. Who wouldn't think that after he made such a grand entrance? I thought he'd turn out to be the "always smiling and charismatic but actually a real dark personality"-type of character; boy was I disappointed. In the end, he was all charm and nothing else: no fighting skills (damn you for baiting me with the Jason Bourne reference), no amazing analytical skills, nope, none, nada.
Saki, our main female lead, only has one selling point: cuteness. But being cute can never be the only trait of a character when she's supposed to be the heroine of the story. I kept hoping she would do something, anything to contribute to the story (as awful as it was) other than gawk and blush at Akira. If you like heroines like her, than be my guest and enjoy HnE.
Oh, I forgot. There was one thing I really enjoyed from HnE though, and that was Akira's dog. If it wasn't for the dog, the score for enjoyment (3/10) would have definitely gone down.
To put it bluntly, HnE in the beginning was like a mouth watering steak; then someone decided that all elements of the food pyramid need to be included in the dish and they added bread, lettuce, bananas, strawberries etc and served it up. In the end, it gave me a bout of diarrhoea I won't forget so easily. Well, at least I enjoyed the OP (and to a lesser extent the ED) while I was relieving myself. read more
For as long as I can remember, anime of the mystery genre have proven creatively stale. As a rule, trying to find a gratifying mystery is an ordeal much like rummaging for haute couture in a dark, creaky charity shop that smells faintly of mothballs. Foremost amongst the dust-caked offerings, Darker than Black collapses into a morbid mess; low-grade Fantastic Children keeps things cheap and cheerless; and the snail-paced Ghost Hound dulled my senses to such an extent that I never saw its middle episodes.
How delightfully reassuring, then, to discover Eden of the East; this, unlike the aforementioned failures, begins on a much higher bar of quality. In fact, tapping into the hot topics of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, information technology, marginalized geek subculture, and subversive conspiracy theories, it accomplishes an astronomical level of relevancy to its early twenty-first century audience that’s both rare and difficult to pull off. Like Akira emerging from a background of Cold War paranoia, Eden of the East manages to capture the Zeitgeist of disenfranchised youth of the millennium and repackage it into a fascinating adventure that anyone can enjoy. Instead of loudmouthed biker brats trying to prevent the apocalypse, there are spotty middle-class misfits with too much HP trying to save Japan from itself.
The sequence of events may be ambiguous, with the script hardly pausing to explain how they connect with each other, but the pace remains satisfyingly steady. Strangely enough, like watching a master illusionist at work, the confusion contributes to the enjoyment. The series withholds tantalising facts until the last possible moment and glosses over its meandering mystery with generous handfuls of charisma.
In truth, the first half of the show elicits the kind of spine-tingling rapture that only comes along once a decade when viewers inadvertently stumble upon a confident masterpiece. I could see it already – breathless fans hailing Eden of the East as the second coming of Death Note, the easy five-star ratings flying from reviewers’ fingertips, and a live-action movie so popular it even makes it as far as British cinemas by 2015!
All I can say is enjoy the magic while it lasts. Inevitably, Eden of the East overreaches and certain contortions of the plot midway stretch viewers’ suspension of disbelief to untenable limits. At first there is a clever chase sequence highly reminiscent of Light and L’s interplay in Death Note, where the mysterious hero Akira tries to save the day with the help of Juiz (a voice on his phone which grants his every wish). For whatever reason, just at that key juncture, the show follows up with a scene of such crippling farce that, despite later rationalization, it spells a stunning loss of momentum. After that, there’s a long period of rushed explanations, sluggish suspense, and one or two twists desperately in need of more coherent setup.
Fans expecting easy-to-grasp developments and a neat conclusion will end up disappointed. However, for conspiracy theorists and generally anal fans who like to pore over minute details and debate exact wordings for weeks after a show is over, this will prove quite the feast.
Even in that age (2009) of knock-off CGI and dime-a-dozen action sequences, Eden of the East’s visuals warrant some respect. The style may not be up to much, but cityscapes, monorails, museums, cars, and streets have rarely looked this good. The quirkiest aspect is the combination of hamster-cheeked characters with hyper-realistic, superbly detailed backgrounds. Although this sounds intuitively incompatible, the quality of animation is consistently high and melds everything together nicely.
Apart from a catchy opening theme sung by the established Brit-rock band, Oasis, and some excellent American voice acting during the early episodes, Eden of the East’s soundtrack remains effective but wholly unremarkable.
Out of all the characters, only Akira Takigawa leaps off the screen with his incredible effervescence. Turning up at the White House naked with a gun in his first scene certainly makes him memorable, but his charm extends beyond mere gimmicks. Akira’s development reveals a fascinating duality in his personality, which ensures he is at once easy to like and teasingly difficult to grasp. His whimsical nature belies an underlying quick mind and a surprising level of gravity, the latter of which manifests itself in the messianic themes surrounding him (obvious statements that he’s Saki’s ‘prince’, his supposed massacre of 20,000 NEETs, the occasional deadpan expression etc). He’ll delight and entrance in turn, and he’ll do it seemingly without much effort.
Everyone else, unfortunately, gets caught in the whirlwind of his mystery without any opportunity to make their own mark. The good news is that the supporting cast, being ordinary people with ordinary problems, generally behave within the familiar boundaries of reason. Regrettably, this means that, when thrown into Eden of the East’s extraordinary circumstances, they become like headless chickens – alarmingly useless. At some point, I began to wonder how many more times I’d have to watch Saki mope after Akira, worrying about his terrible secrets without being able to help uncover them. Her behavior is always understandable, of course, but also off-putting for being redundant.
Apart from that, the gaggle of weak antagonists impedes any attempt at emotional investment. The most carelessly developed individual has to be that purple-haired femme fatale whose morbid behavior is as caricatured as her looks. Being the only female of note other than the mediocre Saki, I found her constant prancing in underwear and high heels a horribly patronizing and silly portrayal. Truly, does being psychologically disturbed always have to mean being half naked? Other antagonists introduced later simply look boring, are underdeveloped, or generally don’t do much of note. Viewers will keep watching simply to find out the answers to the questions set at the beginning, and not because they will care about the conflict of interest.
I find this a very difficult anime to recommend without caveats. Objectively, I recognize Eden of the East’s great achievements; brandishing an arsenal of treats, including an innovative mystery that doubles as social commentary and Akira’s magnetic characterization, it will exceed expectations on first impressions. On the other hand, I feel underwhelmed by the experience. Somehow, the show misses its mark, becoming a rambling setup for the anticipated movies with convoluted themes and tenuous explanations. Nonetheless, the fact remains – for a fresh and nail-biting reinterpretation of the mystery genre (even if short-lived), Eden of the East rivals the monumental favorites on the market of that date.read more
**SPOILER FREE REVIEW OF THE SERIES AND THE TWO MOVIES**
After watching the first few episodes of Eden of the East (a.k.a Higashi no Eden), I was extremely impressed and very excited. I thought I had found a compelling mystery anime with lovable characters, a great storyline, and fluent animation. I couldn't wait to see what Eden had in store, so I sat through the entire series and both of the movies in a huge marathon. You want to know what it all amounted to? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The storyline of this anime goes absolutely, positively NOWHERE at any point in any of the movies or episodes and gives the phrase "dragging it out" an entirely new definition. This is one of the most disappointing anime I've ever seen simply because it gets you so excited with it's engrossing beginning, and just plateaus for the remaining 90% of screen time.
Synopsis: A man wakes up outside the White House stark naked with a gun one hand, a cell phone charged with 8.2 billion yen in funds in the other hand, and no memory of who he is or how he got there what so ever. The man, who goes by Takizawa (even though It's not his real name), goes on to find out that he is involved in a game in which he and twelve other contestants were given 10 billion yen and told to "Fix the country". He meets a girl named Saki and together they go on an "adventure" (if you can even call it that…) to discover Takizawa's past.
For the first few episodes, this is a compelling concept. Additionally, Takizawa jumps off the screen as a charming character with tons of personality and Saki (Takizawa's love interest) seemed like she would develop into a likable character. I thought Eden couldn't go wrong with so many stellar pieces in place. Well, it did. Very wrong.
The #1 problem with Eden is that the plot never builds into anything significant or exciting, with the exception of the end of the series portion of Eden, which was entertaining, but certainly not worthy of being considered a true climax. After that moment, nothing happens. Literally nothing. There are a few new developments that never lead anywhere, the contestants of the game start to get narrowed down, but that doesn't lead anywhere, and worst of all, the promising relationship between Saki and Takizawa doesn't lead anywhere! In the first couple of episodes, I absolutely fell in love with these characters! They had personality, they had chemistry, and they were unique! You want to know what it all built up to? Absolutely ZILCH.
And that brings us to the ending of the anime, which I won't spoil, but to summarize my feelings on it; it sucks. There are happy endings, sad endings, and there are bad endings. Bad endings are the endings that just leave an unfilled void in your soul; the unmistakable feeling that everything you just watched has been for absolutely nothing. That is the kind of ending that Eden has.
Oh, and I haven't mentioned the plotholes yet. For instance; there is one scene where a character sprouts wings and flies away. Yep, just for no apparent reason. It is never explained, it is never mentioned again, and it is the only supernatural thing that takes place in Eden. Those are the kind of plot holes we are dealing with here. It's hinted at that this could have been a hallucination but that honestly just raises even more questions if you ask me.
In short, the story to Eden had huge potential and capitalized on next to none of it. Wildly disappointing.
The animation is probably the highlight of the anime. Everything is pleasant to look at and the animation is always fluent. I liked the animation style quite a bit. It never really has a chance to shine though, thanks to the general lack of action and climatic/exciting scenes, which a damn shame.
The soundtrack is unique and pleasant to listen to. Eden also has one of my favorite EDs ever. The voice acting is pretty good in both versions, but I'm not crazy about Saki's voice actor in the dub.
The only two characters worth talking about are Takizawa and Saki.
Takizawa, as I mentioned earlier, really stands out in the beginning of the anime as a charming character overflowing with personality. He is a great protagonist for the most part, and he receives a fair amount of character development, but he remains disappointingly static throughout the anime and his personality can only make up for so much. I liked Takizawa a lot, but he just feels like another wasted opportunity.
Saki, as I also mentioned earlier, is Takizawa's love interest. She seemed like she could develop into a great character with a distinct personality but guess what? It never happens! Are you sensing a theme yet? She ends up being a stereotypical female character who is just sort of... there. She seems to be gradually written out of the show, in fact. The relationship between these two is built up more then anything else in the show, and that makes it all the more disappointing when even that ends without giving the viewer an ounce of payoff or satisfaction what so ever.
The fact that these are the only two characters worth mentioning and both of them are disappointments is all the information you need to infer that Eden's characters fall flat in yet another, lets say it together this time, (ALL: Wasted Opportunity!)
To be fair ,there are a couple decent side characters, but none of them are relevant enough to the plot or entertaining enough to take the time to talk about.
Eden of the East left a disgusting taste in mouth. It builds you up and builds you up and builds you up only to have no payoff at the end (or any other point) what so ever. It is a colossal waste of potential and I really can't recommend watching anything past the 11 anime episodes, if even those. It may as well of ended there, because the true ending is about as satisfying as if it had just ended after the episodic portion of anime; no closure and no real climax.read more
When our protagonists in these Survival Anime are thrust into extreme - often life-or-death situations - we get to see desperate fights for survival and morals being put to the test. Any fan of the survival genre needs to check this list out!