Anime Film Review: Eden of the East: Paradise Lost

Eden of the East: Paradise Lost is a direct continuation of the previous film, Eden of the East: The King of Eden.

Eden of the East: Paradise Lost
Directed by: Kenji Kamiyama
Written by: Kenji Kamiyama
Starring: Saori Hayami, Ryouhei Kimura, Motoyuki Kawahara,, Chikako Akimoto, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Mabuki Andou, Sakiko Tamagawa, Hayato Taya, Ayaka Saitou, Reiko Senou, Atsushi Miyauchi, Hiroshi Arikawa, Kimiko Saito, Takuya Eguchi,, Kouji Yusa, Masakazu Morita
Run Time: 95 minutes

Even though this film is a direct continuation of Eden of the East: The King of Eden, there is no recap or anything to jog the viewer’s memory. The story just starts, and it’s up to the audience to piece together how the story reached this point if there had been a gap between watching the two films. For me, there was an almost one-year gap between watching the two films; but within the half hour or so, enough had transpired and enough references had been dropped for me to remember what had happened previously. This can be a potential stumbling block for a viewer of the film, so I would recommend trying to watch the two back-to-back (or at least within a few days of each other).

The revelations and twists come fast and furiously over the course of this 95-minute film. It was interesting to see that the story led the audience to believe a fact about Takizawa for most of the film before this “truth” was debunked. It’s something I should have expected from this franchise, but it managed to catch me off-guard.

Most of the loose ends of the series are wrapped up by the end of the film, although in some respects, it doesn’t feel as if the story truly ends. While Saki’s feelings for Takizawa are established during this film, the audience never gets a definitive answer of whether they truly become a couple or not. Perhaps leaving what happens to Takizawa in the future as ambiguous as possible provided the staff an opportunity to continue the franchise again if they ever chose to. At the very least, the ambiguous ending gives fan fiction writers a lot of options to write their own conclusion for Saki and Takizawa.

Overall, when all is said and done, Eden of the East: Paradise Lost does a good job at bringing the story of the Eden of the East franchise to a close. It’s a compelling story that makes the audience want to continue watching in order to find out what’s going to happen next. Outside of not knowing what happens with Saki and Takizawa in the future, the conclusion is satisfying and makes following the franchise from the anime series through the two films worth the viewer’s time.

It goes without saying that a viewer cannot jump into this film without seeing Eden of the East: The King of Eden. To be honest, it’s best to watch the episodes of the original Eden of the East anime series before jumping into the two films. If you try to watch the films without seeing the series, you’re going to be hopelessly lost and not understand what you’re seeing taking place in the films.

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