Akira and his classmates are on a plane that crashes on an island inhabited by a species thought to have been extinct. Some of his classmates are eaten alive, some kill others in desperation. Now Akira and a few other survivors are trying to stay alive through what seems to be a horrible nightmare.
A 21st century Japanese apocalypse/horror (or more accurately, "no hope") manga; your first thought? Tits. Your second? Ass. This is the drawbacks to all those fan services, those juicy, bouncing, voluptuous drawbacks. Something about the end of the world or death, and women (who's "accessories" make her fit more on a farm in montana than an urban Japanese environment), make the Japanese (and probably tons of Americans) scream MOAR!!! Does this honestly make sense? If the world ended, wouldn't small girls with washboards survive better? So shouldn't all horror apocalypse stories star creepy old lolicons and doll-size girls instead of reckless selfless and otheradjective-less guys and his herd of cows?
These were some of my first thoughts when I read the synopsis for Cage of Eden; When in the first chapter, the guys are watching a video of their classmates in swimsuits. I thought, this is just another fan service filled action, adventure, comedy, romance, horror manga.
And man, was i wrong.
It was strange to think that I read a manga, where the Male:Female ratio was 3:2, and not 1:20. It was strange that even though the main girl has tits, she shows them ONLY when she bathes (BLASPHEMY!!). I'm going to make comparisons to Highschool of the Dead, not only because of the similarity of the story's feel, but because they counter each other in so many ways, and in the end, i still like CoE better.
Plot: Cage of Eden blends a good amount of action, adventure, and horror. Comedy and romance are the bench players, chilling out, rooting for the team, and every once in awhile they come out and play. CoE blends these genres very well and there are good timings of romance and comedy. When HSotD characters are surrounded by zombies, their first thought is "Will so&so fuck me if i save her?". HSotD had too much melodrama. It made me think, people are fighting for their lives and your trying to figure out which pair of breasts likes who? Cage of Eden focuses on survival, and only throws comedy/romance in when completely necessary and in times when everything is fine or when it fits. My favorite element of CoE; however, is the horror. When your surrounded by zombies, but there's a military force somewhere, it offers some sanctuary. CoE doesn't excel because it's on an island with tons of extinct monsters, it excels because of several scenes that just tell you, "it's fucking useless, you'll die here".
*Mild Spoiler, but a spoiler nonetheless*
The only signs of salvation CoE every offers, are often shut-down immediately. Settlements of people often go from normal, to insanely dangerous in several chapters. One of the most horrifying moments was very early on, when the protagonists and several other students try to sail to safety. The protagonists are betrayed and kicked off the boat where they return to the island. The others sail to a 10 ft rock, tricked by a mirage that caused them to believe it was an island. They are then eaten by a extinct sea monster. Not that scary?
CoE isn't BOO horror, it's that creeping horror. It's like watching a slasher flick; everybody knows the killer, but what can you do? CoE gives that feeling, that you can't escape, you'll never be safe, only death is salvation
The story is a blend of plot and character driven arcs, with only one big goal in mind for our protagonists: Survival. There aren't any outstanding characters, but each character has something to offer to the groups overall survival. None are sitting eye candy, they all work, and there isn't a character i feel you can call a waste of space. Arcs are interesting and are filled with mystery. There are some good twists to the plot, which simply add to the terror.
Art: I had a hard time believing the synopsis when i read it. The characters look fragile and Yuyu hakusho-ish, but unlike Yuyu, most people who died weren't highschool girls/boys who were eaten and stomped and brutally murdered. I can best compare it to happy tree friends, characters are simple and very shojo looking, only to get fucking chomped on as a midnight snack. Animals look great and detailed as well as death sequences. I can't tell if the animals that show up are real or not, but the author definitely did his research.
A great series altogether, action is around every corner as well as horrifying deaths or monsters. Not alot of fan service, but fan service is either something you look for or don't care about. I found the amount here is satisfactory without it turning into full on porn. Cage of Eden proves that putting a body and brain behind those tits can still make a series great.
Have you seen the show Lost? Most people agree that it had a good set up, atmosphere and mystery to it in the early seasons, but good mystery is rendered pointless by shitty conclusions and a lack of character development. Eden no Ori ended up far worse than Lost did, seeing as Lost actually compensated for its poor plot choices by focusing more on characters. (A strategy which got less and less effective as time went on, but I digress.) I mention Lost because this manga seems to have gotten much inspiration from it and failed in the worst way possible. Ultimately, nothing was answered and indisputable plot holes were everywhere. Who is Hades? Who the fuck knows. Who unleashed the bacteria/fungus? Who the fuck knows. How did they leap through time? Who. The. Fuck. Knows.
People were giving this “10” reviews when just a dozen chapters had come out, without considering the fact that it's easy to set up a "mystery island" plot; what matters is the ultimate delivery, and this manga had none to speak of. This manga is actually pretty good at tricking you in early chapters, but the fact that it’s spitting in your face becomes less and less subtle as it progresses. As both of the top reviews were written by people who hadn't even made it a third of the way through the series, their praise should be ignored.
The art was all centered around fanservice. That is the only notable thing about it, which isn't saying much seeing as it is a staple of most modern shounen manga. It's not particularly good or well-placed fanservice either. The girls are not well drawn and many of them look almost exactly the same, although they can sometimes be distinguished form one another by breast size. Also note that no dramatic scene is complete without a panty-shot, making these important scenes impossible to take seriously in any capacity. Basically, the art was generic and bad. The fight scenes got very repetitive, and while this was also due to a lack of creativity in general, it was usually because they were all drawn exactly the same way. I felt like I'd seen the same panel hundreds of times.
The characters were either "good" or "bad" and either "expendable" or "important." Did you get eaten by a three headed saber tooth lizard tiger? Don't worry, you're an important character. You'll be fine somehow. (No joke. It's that bad.) The main character is a Mary Sue who remains calm and brave in the face of any danger and becomes athletic and smart overnight, despite the fact that he's just a slacker. He has a love interest that has no personality other than "tits." He has a friendly rivalry with a delinquent with a heart of gold who, despite being a middle schooler, can crush professional boxers and overpower wild animals bare handed. The delinquent has a relationship with a woman who only exists for him to protect her and look cool while doing it. The main character also has a friend who is a plot device nerd and has a laptop with infinite battery plus an encyclopedia of extinct animals and other programs that are useless in day to day life, for god knows what purpose. How does he always find the animals just by their appearance anyways? There are a lot of extinct animals to sort through. Point is this: the characters are one dimensional and simply poorly written. Some of them had half-assed backstories thrown in, but these seemed, well, half-assed. There is also a big titted flight attendant and a trap-loli. Why? Because tits, traps, and lolis. Also more damsels in distress. Another thing: this series loves damsels in distress. A whole lot of them. There are a lot of damsels, and they are all frequently in distress.
All of the dialogue between the characters is clunky and unrealistic. It is never entertaining or compelling. Not even once did I crack a smile or think about what deep things they had to say.
The juvenile ideas and general factual errors were a minor issue in comparison to everything else, but still worth mention, in my opinion. The author made up historical, physiological, and scientific facts whenever it was convenient and decided that logic in general was a crock of shit. It also featured some very unintelligent (read: incorrect) psychological ideas mixed in with a bit of political commentary with a depth that I would expect from my 9 year old cousin. It threw in the supernatural out of nowhere and quickly broke those rules as well. Why do the predictions sometimes come true and sometimes not? Because the eternal power of friendship can overpower fate?
So what was the point of Edon no Ori? What can you get from it? It failed as a mystery, an action, and as a romance. It ultimately had no positive points or redeeming qualities to speak of.
The creator should learn to plan ahead in his next work. This manga seemed very thrown together and generally all over the place. It showed not a modicum of originality or intelligence and I would recommend it to nobody. Even those with poor taste must admit that the conclusion was no conclusion at all. This manga should only be read as an example of what not to do when telling a story.
Overall: 4/50 or 8% (.8/10)read more
I constantly read reviews and ratings in order to choose the next manga to read and anime to watch and for the most part, those reviews tend to reflect the overall essence of the series. I decided to write this review (which happens to be my first) because I was outraged at what the others commented. Upon encountering this manga and reading their reviews I thought Cage of Eden was some kind of stereotypical lame story with no character depth and bad plot. Thankfully enough i decided to give give it a try and was hooked up since the first chapter.
A plane suddenly crashes into a mysterious island inhabited by creatures that were presumably extinct. The protagonist, Sengoku Akira, who arrives due to the plane crash, starts to explore the island and gather an entourage in order to escape from the hell of the island. Although the first few chapters might sound much like a combination of Lost and High School of The Dead, the story progresses in a unique manner. Akiras entourage encounters different creatures and even a strange disease, but what is truly frightening about the island are the other passengers of the plane. Murders, betrayal, desperation befalls many of the different crash surviving groups, and the story focuses on how Akira's entourage encounters and deals with them.
Although it has many similarities with Lost and High School of the Dead, the development of each event is truly original and realistic. The developments, and psychological situations that the characters experience are the same as those I would experience if found in a similar situation.
The art is somewhat simplistic but at the same time detailed and realistic enough to convey the essence of the plot. I do not prefer an art style over another (I enjoy the Shoujo art style as much as the Shonen art style), what I ask is for the action scenes to be clear and for the emotional scenes to be moving. This manga does a good job in both. While escaping dinosaurs or explosions, you can clearly understand what is going on. While grieving for the death of someone, you can feel their sadness.
As the people join Akira's entourage, more and more is revealed about each character. Akira goes through a bunch of moral dilemmas and it is clear how they change him. The other characters are also very well portrayed. You can clearly understand their insanity and stress about what they are going through. Akira's character is also quite admirable and pleasant to observe.
I loved it. I started it in the morning and reached chapter 30 around 4 hours later. I skipped a biology lecture and decided to not each lunch before I finished the manga. Each chapter gets you hooked up to the next, the ecchiness and everything seems appropriate.
This is one of the rare mangas where I honestly could not stop reading. Although right now the after manga hype is starting to get low and I am starting to think of it as a 9, while still reading it, the manga definitely deserved a 10.
Cage of Eden is something you’d get by tossing Lost, Jurassic Park, and Battle Royale into a cheap blender, with heaps of fanservice seasoning on top of it. Reading the manga is kind of similar to devouring greasy junk food; instantly gratifying, but insubstantial and probably left you mostly unfulfilled by the end. That last bit is particularly significant.
The premise is an instant sell for lovers of roller-coaster suspense story: an airplane carrying a high-school class crash landed on a mysterious island in the middle of nowhere. But, that's not all: before long, the main protagonist has to round up his missing friends, encounter the island's less than friendly inhabitants in the form of various grotesque beast creatures, deal with various people's psychological breakdowns, and figure out the big mystery behind the exact circumstances of their predicament. It's an inelegant mish-mash of the franchises I've mentioned before, while the fanservice (both the violent and lewd nature) could get hilariously over the top: nothing depicted the manga's tone better than the panel where a big wolf thingy devours someone's crippled body, while on the foreground there's a huge pantyshot of a terrified girl.And yet, I'd be lying if I say Cage of Eden isn't an engrossing read. The psychological/emotional level is mostly skin-deep, but the main cast of characters is likable enough to root for, and Yoshinobu Yamada really excels in stringing a series of cliffhangers one after another and a pile of intriguing mysteries on top of each other...
This, unfortunately, brings us to by far the Cage of Eden's biggest flaw. Normally, I don't like spoiling or even hinting a mystery/suspense series too much, but in this case it felt absolutely imperative for a potential reader to know what they're getting into. So, here goes: Cage of Eden's ending is wildly unsatisfying, left a lot of plot threads unresolved, answered the central mystery in a baffling manner, and in general displayed a shocking lack of long-term planning.Some series could get away or even enhanced by an open and ambiguous ending, but something like CoE really has no business playing "the journey mattered more than the destination" card. A lack of proper resolution is a death knell to a series so reliant on clifhangers, and as it is, most readers would soldier through 21-volume worth of constant build-ups and excessive fanservice hoping for a big pay-off that doesn't exist.
A bit of a shame, really. Cage of Eden is thrashy as hell, but most of the times it's a fun and exciting kind of thrashy. It deserves a better closing, at the very least, and I could only wonder if perhaps too much energy is spent on drawing all the boobs instead of, you know, making a plot outline.read more