Dec 31, 2009
TheLlama (All reviews)
"The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power". Such is a quote from one of Shakespeare's plays, and it is found in the opening credits of the anime.

What would a person do, if they had a cellphone charged with ten billion yen, and the ability to call a strange person to do whatever you wished for, for a certain payment? What would a person do with that kind of money? The main character is in possession in such a cell phone, but he has no idea just why, as he has lost his memory.

Higashi no Eden is a very interesting anime. It doesn't follow any previously-seen anime conventions, clichés or stereotypes. Indeed, it is more like watching a action/mystery movie or two put into a TV series format. Of note is that it is not adapted from any other media, which allows the animation company to unfold themselves freely, and it shows; original anime usually has more uncommon pacing, and they tend to bring about a fresh element or two to them. Higashi no Eden brings many.

The plot isn't all that easy to follow at times. It's not a bunch of it, but some points makes you want to stop and double-turn, just to make sure you got what they went on about, an example being how a group of characters suddenly went into talking about a concept we hadn't really heard of before, like we were supposed to do, or at least have some kind of background knowledge of it. Nothing the average viewer won't catch on to quickly, though. To repeat myself, apart from some few, smaller issues here.

Akira is a highly interesting male lead, and fortunately he does not grouse or whine too much about his amnesia; most characters who do that end up becoming bland angst-vessels with no real depth. Rather, he is cool and level-headed, heading into any situation and tackling any news with stoic ease. He cares for those around him, and while he now and then seems ambigous, especially when it comes to what he has done , in essence he's a good person with a kind heart.

On th sidelines is a cute young woman with the name of Saki. Morimi Saki. She accidentally ends up both meeting and befriending him during a trip to the US; and also tagging along with him back to Japan. They develop a quite interesting relationship, and as a couple have a lovely chemistry. Admittedly her character isn't as interesting as Akira's, but that might just be personal preference speaking.

Apart from the mains, you have two-or-so groups of people and a few other supporting characters, whom obviously suffer a bit from the lack of screen-time, being more role-fillers than anything. Still they prove to be quite interesting characters, and especially compelling is the so-called Selecao, the people who have received the special cell phones; to see and experience what these induvidials have done with the power they have been granted. A few of the episodes fall into the formula where an episode or two is used on their past, what they have done with their power and a small plot event leading to Akira getting to know some more about this game the Selecao are a part of.

One of the best parts of Higashi no Eden is its beauteous animation. It is clear-cut and detailed, with soft edges and gentle strokes. The backgrounds are all made in a gentle water-colored fashion, yet there is impressive effort put into lighting effects, the smaller details and reflective surfaces in particular. Be it a mirror in an elevator, the glassy floors of an airport, or any other such surface, they are all done with meticulous care. The character designs are a tad on the simple side however, but are still made with a flawless touch and are aesthetically pleasing. As a final touch, the ending credits are done with a rather unusual type of animation; paper animation.

Following the strong suit is the soundtrack and voice acting of the show. The background muysic, while not always apparent, has a lot of themes for any occasion; the more upbeat and jazzy themes, with some more thriller-esque, suspenseful lines rolling behind them, the outright creepy tunes, and of course the more laid-back music for those occasions. The opening theme Falling Down, performed by the well-known English rock band Oasis, is a peculiar song with an interesting, almost psychedelic feel over it and the lyrics. The ending theme is not very spectacular, bar perhaps some itneresting lyrics. Of course, on mustn't forget the spectacular insert song Reveal the World, which is always an experience to listen to (and which lyrics are found in the opening sequence of the anime.

In all one can say that Higashi no Eden is, for an anime, a rather interesting venture into something one ight not have experienced when watching an anime before. To quote myself, it is more like a movie or two put into a series format. It also piques the attention of some interesting themes, regarding what one would do given the money and means to accomplish pretty much anything if they really wanted. While nor a focal point of the series, it provides at least some appetizers for thought.