Review: Eden of the East Collector’s Edition

Release Date
Studio / Publisher
Production I.G / All the Anime
Language / Subtitles
English, Japanese / English
1-11 + 2 Movies
Run Time
275 Minutes

If you had 10 Billion Yen, how would you save Japan? Production I.G.’s 2009 series Eden of the East asks this question throughout its 11-episode TV series and 2 sequel films (The King of Eden and Paradise Lost). Eden of the East is an original story, created, written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), with character designs created by Chica Umino (March Comes in Like a Lion). Production was handled by Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell). Anime Limited have released the series as a Collector’s Edition which includes the TV series and both films.

Akira Takizawa is one of twelve people chosen to be “Seleção”. These “Seleção”s are each given a phone with 10 Billion Yen on; their task is to save Japan. Taking place 3 months after a terrorist attack on Japan in which no one died and the disappearance of 20,000 shut-ins’, Eden of the East follows Akira Takizawa and Saki Morimi, on their journey as Takizawa tries to figure out why he was chosen to be a “Seleção”, what reason it was that his memories were erased, and his connection to the terrorist attack and the disappearance of the shut-ins. Meanhile Saki, at first, is trying to find employment and later ends up supporting Takizawa with her friends from school. Takizawa is assisted by a concierge called Juiz, who, when ordered to, will fulfill the request of the Seleção using some of their 10 Billion to fund the request.

Personally, I found Eden of the East suffered from some pacing issues. I felt that the TV series was quite slow and I struggled to understand what was happening plot-wise for the first 7/8 episodes. However, it’s after those episodes that Eden really started to come into its own. Revelations about the main character’s history and the events prior to the series, all leading up to a climactic ending. Being a show which relies heavily on its story, with the only bit of an action sequence taking place in the final few minutes of episode 11, for it to take 7 episodes for the story to make any real progression is a concern. However, on another note, the two films do provide a satisfying conclusion to the series. I do believe that this is one of those shows, that when you watch it for the second time, you’ll have a different opinion of the story.

Another issue I had with Eden was its music, mainly the background music to which I don’t even remember hearing any background music throughout the series. Even during some of its most important moments towards the end of the series I still can’t think of what it sounded like. The opening and ending themes are a different matter entirely. The first episode is “Falling Down” by Oasis, it’s not often that a British Band will provide a theme for an anime. For the rest of the series, “Michael ka Belial” sung by Saori Hayami (voice of Saki Morimi) is used as the opening, while the ending theme for all the episodes is “Futuristic Imagination” by School Food Punishment. The animation is beautifully well done, the character designs are quite unique but don’t feel out of place. The backgrounds in every scene are a masterpiece to look at, and when the few action sequences do happen, they are executed magnificently.

Both English and Japanese language tracks are available for Eden of the East, Takizawa is voiced by Ryōhei Kimura (Sorey in Tales of Zestiria) and Jason Liebrecht (Yato in Noragami). Saki is voiced by Saori Hayami (Shirayuki in Snow White with the Red Hair) and Leah Clark (Suzuka in Suzuka). I watched the dub so I can’t compare the two version together. Both Jason and Leah lend themselves really well to both their characters, being able to capture the youthfulness of their late teens as well as the serious tones when needed. The supporting cast for the dub includes J. Michael Tatum, Stephanie Sheh, and Todd Haberkorn, to name a few.

The Collector’s Edition release includes quite a few extras both physical and on the disc. The physical extras are art cards, stickers, a 40-page official log book. While the on-disc extras are mainly interviews with cast and crew including one with the English cast, there are also the textless OP and ED, TV spots for the series and films, trailers for Funimation releases, and the recap film is also included on the King of Eden disc.

In summary, although suffering from a slight pacing issue, and the lack of a memorable music track. Eden of the East is a good mystery, thriller, which touches on some real-world topics and deals with them nicely, while also keeping in-line with its main theme of if you had this much money what would you do. I do recommend picking up Eden of the East, as even 8 years down line it does still hold up well to new shows and the characters are quite relatable.