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Eden of the East

Arguably one of the best anime of the 21st century thus far, Eden of the East spirals like a good William Gibson novel.

TV Series (episodes 1-11), Director: Kenji Kamiyama, DVD and Blu-Ray, Distributor: FUNimation

Eden of the East

On November 22, 2010 ten missiles strike uninhabited portions of Tokyo. The event has been dubbed “Careless Monday.” Three months later, during a trip to Washington D.C., Saki Morimi meets Akira Takizawa and all hell breaks loose! He has no memory, he’s naked, and he’s only carrying a gun and a cell phone. Thrown together by fate, the two help each other return to Japan only to find themselves caught in the quicksand of political intrigue. Another missile has struck Japan. And the phone Takizawa carries marks him as a Selecao, a player in the game to apparently “save” Japan. He has ten billion yen at his exposal, but he must not blow it or use it for selfish purposes, otherwise he’ll be terminated. The only thing he and Saki can do now is to figure out who Takizawa is, and how he’s apparently linked to “Careless Monday.”

Arguably one of the best anime of the 21st century thus far, Eden of the East spirals like a good William Gibson novel. Yep, the combination of hackers, corporate funded intrigue and two displaced underdogs – the kind you root for – creates a world disturbingly contemporary, yet excitingly new and tangential.

Simply put, this is the kind of anime we should expect. Screw the high school students bound to defend the world from some otherworldly or supernatural threat, the putrid flesh of so much-recycled anime. Eden of the East is Japan! This is a world in which a generation has been palsied by economic stagnation and now reeling from the subsequent psychological effects. The result: one man’s ludicrous game to single handedly induce change. Forget the world! Someone, someone Japanese must grab the tiller and change the country’s course! 

During Anime Expo 2010, I stole a few minutes with Kenji Kamiyama, Satoru Nakamura, and Tomohiko Ishii, the so-called “Eden of the East trio.” When asked about where this story originated, Kenji explained that for so long many in Japan have felt like they have no control over their lives. Thus, he not only wanted Eden of the East to be a moment in which control could be grasped, but also contextualize it within the here and now, the razor’s edge of potentially further economic catastrophe and terrorism.

If you haven’t caught my drift, the trio has wondrously succeeded. The story itself is not just a well-orchestrated political thriller, but you’ll get so caught up in the relationship between Saki and Akira that you’ll feel a touch of melancholy when Eden of the East ends. The trio did it right! And fortunately, FUNimation has acquired the rights to the three subsequent movies: The King of Eden, Paradise Lost, and Air Communication.

I already can’t wait for the release of these three movies.

Eden of the East is a must buy. Buy it now!