In the panic surrounding a worldwide pandemic which kills 15 percent of the population and cripples many more, a secret organization, the Propater, topples the UN and seizes control of much of the world. A boy and a girl, raised in an abandoned virology research center, immune to the virus, are attacked by the Propater and escape.
Twenty years later, the boy is the most powerful drug lord in South America. He aids his son from behind the scenes as he evades and eventually with the help of mercenaries from Nomad (some of them former Propater operatives) fights the Propater. As the plot develops focus shifts away from the main character and develops many sub-plots dedicated to terrorism, Human-improvement, the struggle of the developing countries and the power battles between the drug cartels and Propater.
Based strongly on Gnostic mythology, all major characters are named after gnostic deities, and have analogous roles.
Eden: It's an Endless World! has been published in English by Dark Horse since November 2, 2005; in Brazil by Jbc in a 2-in-1 edition since July 2015; and was published in Polish by Egmont from 2002 to 2009.
Eden is the best completed manga I've read up to date.
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.
Eden is a geopolitical thriller with sci-fi elements, sort of like Syriana with killer viruses and long explanations of atomic physics. It reminds me of those airport novels, you know, by Tom Clancy or Michael Crichton. Hiroki Endo, the author, seems pretty inspired by American movies generally -- for instance some of the drug-dealing or hostage scenes are straight out of action movies -- and he is also very philosophical. The art is clean, detailed, and realistic.
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
Eden: It's An Endless World is a very aptly-named manga, in that its definitive feature is how utterly, endlessly sprawling it is. Eden covers several decades (to the degree that it begins a long time before the protagonist was even born), numerous locales, and more characters and plot points than you can possibly hope to keep track of all of.
It begins in a post-apocalyptic society that is being devastated by a pandemic. This new virus known as "Closure" causes people's skin to harden into an outer shell as their internal organs gradually liquify - an agonizing process which often takes years. The series begins with two children, Enoa Ballard and Hana Mayer, who currently live separated from society alongside their heavily-religious guardian who is slowly dying of Closure. In of itself, their story is excellent, but this is merely the one-volume prologue.
Many years later, the story moves to their son, Elijah Ballard. Initially he is making his way in the post-apocalyptic society, alongside his father's robot, Cherubim. However, he rapidly gets involved with a band of guerrillas. From here, the story begins properly, but this barely scratches the surface of it.
To call Eden "ambitious" would be an understatement - think of any major, lofty theme found in fiction and Eden probably has it. This can be something of a double-edged sword; some people complain about Eden being "unfocused". This is understandable, as Eden is so utterly dense with plot threads and characters that it sometimes collapses under its own weight. However, it's a necessary evil - if it restrained itself even a little, Eden would most likely lack the sheer scale it has.
This definitely isn't a manga for the faint of heart - it's incredibly explicit, in terms of both sex and violence. It's unflinchingly brutal, and absolutely no character has plot immunity; anyone can die at almost any time. Similarly, it has no reservations when it comes to sex - as the post-apocalyptic society has caused sexual trafficking and prostitution to become all the more common, it's only logical. Hell, a reasonable chunk of the story is set in a brothel and revolves around prostitutes, amongst whom one of the best characters in the whole series can count herself. Unsurprisingly for something as thematically heavy as Eden, "good" and "bad" are near-meaningless. Don't expect morality to play any big part in it.
Unfortunately, around the halfway mark, Eden dilutes itself with comedic elements that are uncharacteristic of it (and also aren't very funny). This also happens around the same time as a rather ill-advised timeskip that happened to ruin a great character who was soon after killed off unceremoniously. There is a stretch of a couple volumes that were littered with mistakes that unfortunately drags it down - which is a shame, because outside of that Eden is my absolute gold standard for manga.
Of course, there's only so much damage that can do to something otherwise so very strong. Eden definitely sits among the best manga I've read.
Final Words: Though it occasionally stumbles under its own weight, Eden is a manga so overwhelming that few can hope to compare to it.
For fans of: Akira, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Windread more
There’s always the worry that another pandemic like the bubonic plague or SARS would strike, crippling the world that we live in today. Eden: It’s an Endless World is a Seinen, Sci-fi, Action, Drama that looks into the aftermath of such global events, in what is one of the most gripping tales.
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.