Anime Film Review: Eden of the East: The King of Eden

Eden of the East: The King of Eden is an anime film that is set about six months after the end of the Eden of the East anime series.

Eden of the East: The King of Eden
Directed by: Kenji Kamiyama
Written by: Kenji Kamiyama
Starring: Ryohei Kimura, Saori Hayami, Motoyuki Kawahara, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Takuya Eguchi, Hayato Taya, Ayaka Saitou, Kimiko Saitou, Atsushi Miyauchi, Koji Yusa, Shinji Ogawa, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Masakazu Morita, Rei Igarashi, Sakiko Tamagawa
Run Time: 85 minutes

At the beginning of this film, six months have passed since the end of the Eden of the East anime series. Since the end of the series, main character Akira Takizawa has disappeared, and Saki Morimi has gone out in search of him. Her search takes her to New York, but it turns out she’s being followed by one of the Selecao, the group of 12 people participating in a game that includes cell phones, ten billion yen, and “saving” Japan in some way. Thanks to this game participant, Saki finds herself on the run without her money or her passport. Also, one of the Selecao is using the A.I. Juiz to help plant a story that Akira is the illegitimate son of the Japanese prime minister who recently collapsed and passed away. Of course, it didn’t help that at the end of the series, Akira told Juiz that he wanted to be the king of Japan, so the Selecao’s actions helps to play right into it.

As luck would have it, she encounters Akira while in New York. Unfortunately, his memory has been wiped, and he thinks he is the son of the deceased prime minister. But he ends up believing Saki’s story because he realizes he has gaps in his memory. Along the way, there’s intrigue, deception, and attempts to help Akira regain his memory.

For an 85 minute film, Eden of the East: The King of Eden is pretty good. The main drawback, though, is the fact that the story doesn’t end in this film. In order to see how this storyline is resolved, you have to watch the second film, Eden of the East: Paradise Lost. Also, the film opens with Saki in New York, and we don’t know how or why she’s there at first. But when the opening credits happen, we get to see still shots of events that happened between the end of the anime series and the beginning of this film. After the opening credits, we get to see a few scenes of events that happen right before Saki heads off to New York. So, we ultimately get the explanation we were lacking at the start of the film. Depending on the type of viewer you are, you may or may not see this as an effective form of storytelling.

But at the end of it all, Eden of the East: The King of Eden has a compelling story that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen next. Unfortunately, this only makes the ending of the film that much more frustrating, because it ends with an important climax that won’t be resolved without watching the next film.

On FUNimation Entertainment’s home video release of Eden of the East: The King of Eden, they included Air Communication, a 125 minute compilation film that distills down the Eden of the East anime series down to its most important plot points. I was glad this was included, because it had been a while since I had last watched Eden of the East, so being able to watch the compilation film before seeing Eden of the East: The King of Eden gave me a much needed refresher on the story, concepts, and characters.

I think it goes without saying that viewers cannot jump right into Eden of the East: The King of Eden without watching either the Eden of the East anime series or the Air Communication compilation film. Because if you do try to watch this film on its own, you will be lost. Therefore, I can only recommend this film to viewers who are already fans of Eden of the East.

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