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Eden of the East
Reviewer: Aaron Murphy 01/19/2010

Review:
Every now and again you come across an anime series that truly captivates you with its ability to break through those familiar creative bounds that so often bog down the status quo. Coupling a solid mix of mystery and intrigue with a dash of romance and comedy, Eden of the East gives us a tale that will keep you watching and wondering, episode after episode, as the full picture is ever so slowly revealed. With an intricately weaved tale of clandestine terrorist acts, Messiahs attempting to save the world, mysterious phones with the power to fulfill virtually any request and our supposed hero with no memories of his past, Eden of the East is doing its best to stay unpredictable till the very end. 
 
Akira Takizawa, if that’s his real name, has just found himself in the most unfortunate of circumstances. Not only does he have no memories of his past, but he’s standing, stark naked, with a gun in one hand and a high-tech phone in the other right in front of the White House. That fact isn’t going to stop him from helping Saki Morimi though. She’s on a college graduation trip to the US and, after trying to throw a coin into the White House’s fountain, has found herself in a slight dilemma with a couple of officers. Drawing the attention away from her with his armed and naked self, Takizawa saves Saki from an otherwise undesirable ordeal and, after chatting her up while she tries to avoid looking down, unsuccessfully I might add; she gives him her overcoat in return for the help. A nice gesture to be sure, but she realizes all too late that her passport is in that jacket as she chases down this mysterious young man as he runs through the streets of D.C. looking for more clothes and just where the heck he’s staying. That one mishap is about to inexplicably intertwine Saki and Takizawa together as they head back to Japan to try and figure out just who he is and why he has no memories. 
 
This is only the beginning of the mystery however as Takizawa starts to realize a couple things just aren’t quite adding up. The first is his super high-tech phone, which wouldn’t raise much suspicion if there wasn’t an operator on the other end who’ll fulfill any request the “Messiah” has, for a price. It’s just lucky for him that he, for reasons unknown (noticing a trend?), has 8.2 billion yen stored on it. Not only that but he can’t shake the feeling he was involved in an event known as “Careless Monday,” a day a few months back when Japan was hit with ten missiles by unknown adversaries. They all caused great damage in highly populated areas, but somehow no one was killed. With so many questions surrounding him, Takizawa doesn’t even know what to think let alone where to start. It’s only once they arrive back in Japan that he starts to unravel the full picture. Starting with the fact that he’s not the only Messiah with a phone full of money and continuing on to his realization that his past actions may have been much more unscrupulous than he ever imagined. That’s when the real intrigue begins.
 
Eden of the East is as much about slowly unraveling plot points as it is about its two main characters who keep the series interesting no matter how long it takes for them to let us in on their dirty little secrets. Takizawa is suave and childish, frightened of shadows but always willing to do what he thinks is right no matter what the circumstance. He has a cool, inquisitive intelligence about him, a trait that has undoubtedly kept him alive for this long. Then you have Saki, a shy and easily embarrassed girl who’s slightly depressed by what she sees as the unbreakable role that life puts on a person. The only future she can see for herself once she heads back to Japan is one of finding a job and becoming just another slave to the grind. But with Takizawa around she finds herself constantly drawn to his eternally optimistic outlook and mysterious life, full of excitement and intrigue. The two of them make one of the most adorable couples I have seen, and while the romance angles are slight, they are greatly appreciated whenever they crop up.   
 
As the series continues we’re introduced to all manner of side characters. From a number of different Messiah to a group of Saki’s friends who’ve developed a new search engine system based on images, there’s no lack of characters or interaction to play out whenever Takizawa isn’t making some great revelation. They become more and more integral to the series as the episodes progress and the situations take a much more deadly turn to them. As every episode plays a key part in the series progression you’ll be best served watching it straight from start to finish, preferably before you start forgetting anything. Not that this should be a problem with how well Eden of the East draws you in.
 
What’s truly amazing is how a series based almost entirely on character interactions and dialogue was able to achieve such utterly impressive technical merits. With backgrounds that are simply breathtaking and a consistency in animation rarely seen in a title such as this, Eden of the East is nothing short of a feast for the eyes. Add in its uniquely appealing character designs (especially with regards to Saki), and you too will be stammered by the overall quality. Especially when you view it in 1080p, one of the first anime series I have seen to truly come alive in high def. But it doesn’t stop there, not when you have a wonderful soundtrack that starts with a song by the group Oasis called “Falling Down.” Rarely has such a song pulled from an outside source fit so perfectly with the tone and feeling of a series. This was a match made in heaven, and I for one not only listened to and watched the opening before every episode but frequently watched it in and of itself. I just hope the dub will be able to keep up the same quality performance the Japanese seiyuu gave, but as it is not out quite yet we will just have to cross our fingers on that one. 
 
Eden of the East is easily one of the best series I have seen. It’s funny, charming and engrossing with a great cast of characters that you can’t help but love to watch. With an open ended plot that will be finished off in two subsequent movies, I can only wait with bated breath to see the conclusion of such a wonderful series.   
 
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Eden of the East
Eden of the East
Eden of the East
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Review Title:
Eden of the East
Alternative Titles:
Higashi no Eden
Type:
TV
Episodes:
11
Duration:
275 Minutes
General Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Aired:
2009
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Genres:
Action, Comedy, Mystery,
Romance
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