English: Eden: It's an Endless World!
Japanese: エデン イッツアンエンドレスワールド
Published: Sep 25, 1998 to Jun 25, 2008
Authors: Endo, Hiroki (Story & Art)
Score: 8.521 (scored by 3094 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagsaction sci-fi seinen
Apr 29, 2010
Because Hiroki Endo's post-apocalyptic tale has got almost everything that can be considered good in manga in spades: great story, gorgeous art and near perfect characterization. Imagine a well thought-out, mature story clashing seamlessly with art that manages to be both realistic and beautiful and characters that almost seem more real than the people one encounters in their daily lives. If painting a picture in your mind of a manga with such merits proves to be too difficult for you, grab Eden and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Science fiction is a major element in Eden's story. In Hiroki Endo's hands, though, the act of toying with wild speculations about the future has not gotten out of hand at all. The story is set in a world that has undergone a large disaster, but that disaster wasn't an attack from outer space, a sudden detonation of the world, the work of a mad scientist, or any other pompous crap like that. Rather, Endo has chosen an evolved killer virus as a means that almost lead to the end of the world; something that people living in a world riddled with various epidemics, deadly or not, can surely identify with. The workings of this closure-virus (as well as other scifi-esque stuff that comes up later on) have been explained thoroughly enough that the reader can easily grasp what's going on.
But Eden is much more than just another heap of end-of-the-world-scifi-shit. It has a lot of drama stemming from the interactions between the characters, a touch of romance and happiness even amidst the harsh realities of a world gone from bad to worse, and even an occasional spark of humour.
The tale's maturity comes from the way these different aspects are handled: carefully and with a clear effort regarding good taste. The world in which Eden is set is brutal and cold, but it doesn't preach about bottomless gloom and doom and hopelessness and depression and whatnot. Yes the world is sometimes harsh and uncaring, but in Eden, there is room left for the good things as well.
Just like all the good stories, love and romance and dramatic relationships have their place in Eden. Following along Endo's decision to keep things from flying off the handle, there are some hugs and kisses (...), but not in ridiculous abundance. Love happens, just like hate, friendships, sadness, happiness and other kind of shit happens. It isn't overly highlighted or downplayed, it's simply there with all the other aspects of life.
The less serious side of Eden starts to become more prominent as the story goes on. At some point the readers find themselves seeing sexual jokes, chibi characters and some other silly characteristics of manga art more and more often. Some people have found this upsetting. I liked it. It made me laugh. I also think that paradoxically, a dose of good humour brings more credibility to a story dealing with serious issues rather than a no light in sight-type of tragedy.
A common way of defining whether a story is mature or not is to measure how much it has blood, gore, violence, sex and all that type of jazz. Though I'm not one to promote that way as a measuring stick for how grown up the story is, Eden does show its assets in this regard as well. If Endo wants to give us gore, he gives us showers of blood, shredded limbs and cracked bones instead of some lame stumps a la Claymore. Also, one of the ugliest torture scenes I've seen in manga. And when it's time for sex, we see passionate screwing, kissing, and gropin' in place of the usual cheek smooches and blushes so typical in common "romance" mangas. And just like with all the other faces of Eden, realism is the key word here: in no point does Endo slip into sloppy tastelessness with his more graphic imagery.
Imagery, which is, as I stated early on, simply gorgeous. Endo manages to capture that unique beauty in Japanese style of comic-writing, be that in the characters, sceneries or anything else, without drowning us in saucer-sized eyes or over-groomed scenes. Realistic beauty. Wait, is that even possible? In Eden, it is.
Other aspects adding on the reading pleasure include clean panel arrangements and the author's interesting essays at the end of each volume. Like cherries atop a well creamed cake.
As per everything else, not all is perfect, or even excellent, in Eden. I could go on about some of the manga's minor issues for a paragraph or two, but it'd be a waste of time. The occasional bore of reading long lines of science jargon. A misplaced joke here and there. Some over the top philosophy. Consider it a cow chip next to Mt. Everest.
The bottom line? Go read it. Rite nao.
Aug 5, 2007
The story is that a mysterious disease is poised to completely wipe out Earth’s population. Somehow, though, this doesn’t happen -- rather, when the dust settles, 15% of the population is dead, and the balance of world power has shifted. Now small groups are fighting against consolidation into a single world government, called PROPATRIA, which is primarily made up of countries whose official language is English. But the virus is still hanging around, and might be intelligent…
Post-apocalyptic stories always hypothesize a Crisis by projecting the worst parts of the present into the future, and Eden is very much a projection of the early nineties: it's all about ethnic conflict, nationalism, racism, the third world, and the drug trade. (Though these are all still important issues, these days we've shifted to global warming and natural disasters as the forces most likely to tear the world apart.) Endo has said in an afterword to one of the volumes that he got the idea of a powerful drug lord "terrorist" from Noam Chomsky, who theorized that only the drug trade would be lucrative enough, and illegal enough, to fund the resistance of third-world countries to first-world hegemony.
In other words: yes, this is THAT kind of story. Technical detail, philosophical and ethical quandaries, conspiracy, the Big Picture -- these things are everywhere. Eden is not light reading by anyone's definition. Fortunately, the manga's political themes don't overwhelm the characters. It's hard not to be fascinated by Ennoea, South America's most powerful drug lord, a man who advocates "infinite kindness to those you care about, infinite cruelty to everyone else." Or not to empathize with his son Elijah who, when the story opens, is struggling to survive alone in the wilderness. It's a testament to Endo's powers as a storyteller that as Elijah's actions became less defensible -- as he moves from "cute and innocent" to "unflinchingly brutal" -- he never once loses your sympathy. Instead, his actions seem simply logical -- a clear, considered, even admirable matter of prioritizing his own survival.
 Often only explained in footnotes. Though thorough, Endo's worldbuilding can be difficult to get a grip on, due to the large amount of information he brings in and the relative scarcity of explanatory notes. Another possible drawback to this series is that the author's interest in everything -- artificial intelligence, guerrilla tactics, street gangs, sociopathology, prostitution, the list goes on and on -- often diverts the story in tangential directions, making it difficult to say for certain what any of it is about. However, if you are deeply interested in geopolitics or political thrillers, or yearn for a story with serious ethical and philosophical weight, I would recommend Eden without reservations. read more
Feb 23, 2009
The story begins with a lengthy prologue giving readers an idea of how it all began and what occurred, without ever revealing too much. Following this the story then kicks off in the same style seen in the movie “I Am Legend”, with a kid all alone in a vast city with his pet mech Cherubim. Little is known at this point but that’s the beauty of it, since the story’s able to take hold on most readers with this mysterious side to it. As the story goes on more and more is revealed about the kid and how most things stem from his parents, which will only fuel your desire to read on and discover more. As the reader you basically follow this kid on his journey, with a clear goal in mind. It’s really easy to immerse yourself in this epic story, though there are times when there’s too much to take in. Like an instance when: the kid is all grown and living a dangerous life, meanwhile there’s a lot of political movement by the major global faction (Propater) and at the same time some scientists have made a discovery. Having numerous things happening all at the same time is a common occurrence and sure keeps this manga from getting boring but it can be hard to follow, especially with the immense number of characters involve.
In this manga it’s really hard to define the main characters because all the characters introduced seem to be of great importance, no matter how little they are incorporated into the story. However the one that truly stands out is Elijah, the kid that the story is centered around. He’s certainly not your typical teenage kid since he’s forced to fend for himself and tries to do the right thing but it never turns out well in the end. He may be the only one who goes through so much development throughout the entire story but there are also plenty of important characters, like Elijah’s parents, who are thoroughly developed by means of immense back-stories.
When it comes to the artwork, at first glance the art style is definitely not the most appealing however the rough sketchy design suits this manga’s theme perfectly; as it goes for a gritty sci-fi look to portray this crippled future. The detail put into it is just as amazing, with everything being clearly drawn, allowing the easy-to-following action sequences to be truly engaging.
Overall Eden: It’s an Endless World is an epic manga, not due to its length but for having such an immense storyline spanning many years. It’s amazing how all the elements that were brought up were incorporated so well into the story, though the introduction of the “Colloid” does complicate matters. As the title indicates, Eden is full of religious overtones that can become a bit excessive at points but it does bring up a lot of interesting philosophical topics that never detract away from the main story. It also intrigued me how well this manga incorporated cybernetic augmentation, giving a believable outlook on future technology. Although I personally liked how this manga contained a bit of everything like; romance, mystery, even a bit of comedy here and there can be found in this amazing manga (though the comedy can feel out of place). So in the end Eden is one of the best manga I’ve read and should be read by anyone looking for something seinen but be warned, there’s a lot of gore, sex and shocking deaths.
^_^ read more
Jul 28, 2010
Quite realistic compared to an average manga out there. The detail in weaponry and machinery is superb and human figures look and act quite lively. Only grip is the rather low variety in characteristics that eventually makes a lot of characters to look alike. And imagine we are talking about a series that has hundreds of them.
Another distinct feature in this manga is the really bloody mess of corpses it depicts. Gore and splatter enough to fill a water reservoir are shown throughout the story resulting to some really edge of the seat moments. Plus, it actually shows a lot of well made hardcore sexual encounters without becoming smut, so good for it. Very few manga have the guts to boldly show this much dread and war realism.
When it finally gets to some really scientific or religious parts, it still shows a lot of graphs and simple depictions of a given science or fringe techno-freak experiments and even then it doesn’t make you feel it’s that improbable.
All the above are given through a line of smart camera angles and cinematics that aid in atmosphere building. The final result is incredible and as I said, the only minor set back is the lack of facial variety as well as some scenes that were made in a rather rushed way and ruined the feeling of the moment. Otherwise, it’s perfect.
The elements in the story vary from religious, to scientific, to romantic, to social tragedy, war drama, erotic exploitation, or simply brainless slugfest. In all occasions it makes a great effort showing the weight of the situation through very close-to-real-life situations. While reading it a lot of other famous works came to mind (check at the bottom at the suggestion list) yet it manages to stand on its own without feeling like a rip off of anything else I have read or watch as of now. That is a really hard thing to achieve and I salute it.
The setting is our world in about a century in the future, when environmental disasters, viral infections and cybernetics have been added to the already basic problems humanity faces today, resulting to a world in chaos at the brink of total extinct by the coming of a new era, both religious and globalized. I must say that it manages to include all basic human folly in it, like racial discrimination, religious hatred, and public cynicism without being afraid to mention real names of areas or religions. It takes lots of guts to do that and it’s probably the reason why it will never be adapted in anime.
The story is very complicated and is shown through the eyes of dozens of different people, in a span of decades, all around the world. Although very few are actually important to the main story, everybody manages to add something to the feeling of the story so nobody is really useless. Also, the social, religious and scientific backdrops shown in the story are presented almost identical to the real-life ones and they are not used as flavor, as they usually do with them. This adds even more to the greatness found in the story as it doesn’t feel amateurish or randomly made based of fallacious stereotypes.
Still, the pacing of the story is not without its minor problems. Most battles are really unnecessary and exist to the most part only as superficial entertainment or cheap shock effect. 99% of all important characters die with a simple headshot, irrelevant to how powerful or careful they are. Thus there is no real agony in wondering if someone survives a battle, as even an elite commando can be killed as easy as an average Joe. Some may think it’s realistic this way but I say it got tiresome and repetitive after the 215th time someone got killed by a sniper out of nowhere. The mangaka himself realized that and dropped all form of dragged action in the last volumes, resulting to most important people just headshooting each other like there is no tomorrow.
Besides that, there are also parts that could be left out entirely as they seem to repeat same situations shown elsewhere better, or simply having far less interest or impact on you or the actual story. Even all the fringe science gets out of control in the last part of the story and everything feels too random and forced by the mangaka, leaving the characters to feel like peons in a game they don’t chose to play themselves.
But that is a really minor aspect compared to the whole planning and duration of the story and in theory can be left out entirely. The story is amongst the most complicating and best planned I have ever seen and deserves a good mark regardless of its flaws. If only there were more like these known to the majority, scores in anime and manga would be far stricter and not an endless parade of 8s and 10s.
Although the pacing issues damage the importance and presence of the characters to some extend, it is a downright fact that very few manga have such a huge amount of characters, such a high amount of character development and such a huge pile of corpses lying around. I won’t hide the fact that out of the hundreds of characters in the story, very few manage not to get killed (though headshot most of the times) by the end of the story. Although the main lead Ennoia and his family were more than enough to tell the story, everybody manages to affect it and enrich it through his/her own personal way of life resulting to a multi-layered drama that unfolds from so many points of view that stops being “just another post-apocalyptic story”. The mangaka manages to make them all look and feel real to the viewer and in many cases creates sympathy with them. I myself got to moments I almost cried and I NEVER cry while reading. It was THAT engaging.
Some may of course feel that a lot of drama is forced and superficial as in many cases the worst possible thing happens to the best of characters in almost out of thin air and a lot of people die unnecessary. Yet the story itself focuses on that and offers a whole “useless death” side story, showing how many people can die for not much of a reason at all. Their deaths don’t need to be relevant to the plot or result to something at all. Very few stories have the guts to admit that and I thus excuse all those wonderful characters I liked being killed without so much of an aftermath. Their deaths were meaningless, just as murder is most of the times in real life. Very bold and I liked it.
I won’t lie that some parts felt really unnecessary or far-fetched or dragged out for no reason. But in all this is a great work of fiction that anyone looking for something more mature and better planned than the typical teenager with superpowers goes to save the world and resurrects dead people as easy as changing a shirt. It definitely went in my top 10 manga and I am a veteran who is very hard to please in the first place.
If only there were more like this one around.
Ghost in the Shell
Neon Genesis Evagelion
Full Metal Alchemist
Xenogears – Xenosaga (videogames) read more
Feb 28, 2011
Eden's story is framed around the world hitting its reset button. Plague(s), natural disasters, climate shifts, universal contractions, universal assimilation, black holes, and more threaten everyone. The characters are understandably bitter about all that, but most spend only a moment pitying global issues. Much more focus is put on the human drama that stems from bleak circumstances.
Nearly every person has a believable background that lends itself well to the story/situation, but the most interesting ones are revealed in the first half of the manga. The second half does continue introducing cast members, but some of the new additions – police officers and scientists – leave a lot to be desired. The scientists are noteworthy since the manga throws them an entire arc dedicated to pure exposition, only relieved by flashes to unrelated plots with different characters.
Arcs rarely get boring though, because the cast is so huge that multiple stories happen at once, so the pacing can be balanced between them without sacrificing quality. That said, not all of the stories are equal. While reading the first few dozens chapters, I was very impressed by the depth and subtlety, but that feeling gradually faded.
The biggest and easily worst change Eden undergoes is a slide into raw, explicit territory. By no means was it innocent ever, but at some point the humor became crude and the sex more prominent. One of the volumes could loosely be described as an orgy designed to help the main character 'become a man.' Very unfunny sex jokes get spread around for the rest of the manga, but the worst it gets is when those things infiltrate the core parts of the story. One of the final metaphors, during the otherwise poignant finale, has the ending state of the titular “garden” as an erect tower that shoots life into the moon's chamber.
If there was something that held my interest through it all, it would be Enoa Ballard's life. Elijah may be the protagonist, and a good one for some time, but that status weighs him and the manga down as his plot-relevance diminishes. In Enoa we a man chosen by random genetics to survive Armageddon, and through him we see what kind of man a new Adam would have to (or did) become. He has the kind of life that shows a kind people grow up, removed from conflict, only to be senselessly dragged into feuds he started to maintain that removal. These kind people, who the readers also come to know, are repeatedly maimed and murdered just to demonstrate that such chaos exists. Enoa is left believing tomorrow will be a better day.
Eden isn't easy, emotionally or intellectually, and I like it that way. read more
Sep 8, 2010
Eden analyzes the human psyche from all walks of life and depicts psychological problems in grotesque details. Including, accurate portrayals of depression, childhood disorders, and even an electra complex.
Poverty stricken neighborhoods faced with drugs, gang violence, and prostitution. War's effects on innocent people and the cycle of hate that breeds more destruction. Governments that are full of corruption and scandal. All these problems are depicted in Eden. Any of these problems seem similar in today's world? In many aspects, Eden is a satire of present day life and society. Simply put, Eden is a perfect work of art.
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The character's in Eden were fantastic. The story introduces a large number of characters but each is unique and one never feels too overwhelmed keeping track of them.
The plot had good pacing and was never boring. I found that the placing of comic relief in the manga was used perfectly. The romance was probably some of the best I have seen.
Overall, Eden is one of the best manga ever made. Highly recommended. 10/10
(oh its violent and has nudity)
I rushed this review because I just finished it about 10 min. ago and it 3 am in the morning.Waaay tired. Just felt the need to write this review! I guess thats what inspiration does for you! lol read more
May 11, 2013
The only way I can think of to describe this series is like Song of Ice and Fire (George RR Martin), but set about 100 years in a vaguely foreseeable future with a quicker pace, plus long digressions on theoretical physics; references to Noam Chomsky; fucked up bio-weapons; a strong treatment of ethnic conflict, homosexuality, and various political issues; a few moments of Evangelion-like strangeness; lots of characters (with impressively realistic characterization); meditations on gnostic philosophy; and an absurd amount of death, brutality, and suffering. It's maybe not the best manga I've read (there's one section in the center I especially didn't like), but it's probably the smartest, with a genuinely impressive scope/sophistication. The art wasn't great, but competent and occasionally striking. Like RR Martin, Endo has a tendency to frequently kill his characters, though I think Eden was maybe more gritty/unpleasant than Ice and Fire, as there were a few parts so brutal or sad I felt a little sick. I think I've been reading manga for about a month now and I've been lucky to stumble over a quite a few impressive works; this definitely rates pretty high next to them. read more