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
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Home Video Release Date: August 23, 2011

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.

When it comes to the North American home media release, FUNimation Entertainment released the film as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. The Blu-ray has 1080p High Definition HD Native video, and Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 5.1 audio options. The DVD has English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound and Japanese 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound audio options.

The content is the same between the Blu-ray Disc and the DVD, which is the movie and the bonus features. For bonus features, there is a preview,a TV spot, and a full trailer for this film. There is also a trailer for the Eden of the East anime series, as well as a trailer for the Eden of the East: King of Eden anime film. And as usual, there are also trailers for other FUNimation Entertainment releases. But that’s it.

The home video release is worth it if you are a fan of the Eden of the East franchise and want to have all of it in your anime home video library.

List: My Favorite Anime With Mystery Elements

Normally, these lists have five items; however, this is a case where I could only come up with four items. Going forward, these lists will contain either four or five items.

This time, my list focuses on my favorite anime with mystery elements. Like usual, this is not a ranked list. Instead, the items are listed in alphabetical order.

Case Closed

Shinichi Kudo is a high school mystery buff who has incredible abilities with both his power of observation and his intuition. In fact, he can solve mysteries that have baffled the Japanese police force. Unfortunately, Shinichi has a run-in with mysterious men dressed in black. After knocking Shinichi out, they use an experimental poison on him, expecting that the poison will kill him. Instead, it shrinks Shinichi down to either a six or seven-year-old. He takes on the identity of Conan Edogawa, and he ends up helping the bumbling detective Kogoro Mori solve cases while he tries to track down the Black Organization to get an antidote for the poison.

I appreciate how the mysteries in the series are presented in a “whodunit” style, as well as how many of them keep the audience guessing until Conan reveals what really happened. As I watch the episodes, I find myself trying to figure out who committed the crime and how they did it and then seeing if I’m right. Case Closed is a series that makes someone think as they watch it.

Eden of the East

At the beginning of the series, a college senior named Saki Morimi visits Washington, D.C. as part of her graduation trip. When she inadvertently gets in trouble at the White House, a mysterious naked young man holding a gun and cell phone appears and saves Saki. The young man has lost his memory, but he finds his way back to his apartment and discovers several fake passports. He chooses one with the name “Akira Takizawa” on it, and he returns to Japan after encountering Saki again. Akira’s mystery deepens when he discovers his phone has 8.2 billion yen in digital money, and that he can contact a concierge named Juiz who can fulfill any order he has for a price. Saki, along with her friends, try to help Akira unravel the mystery of the “gane” that he is involved in.

The storytelling of Eden of the East is compelling early on, and it keeps the viewer interested in what’s going on during its 11-episode duration. I especially appreciated how as facts were revealed, it would constantly alternate between making Akira look like a villain and making him look like a hero. There was also a strong execution for the buildup of the mystery surrounding Akira’s past.

UN-GO

The series is set in a version of Japan that has dealt with war and numerous terrorist attacks. The main character s a detective named Shinjuro Yuki, who solves cases with his partner, Inga. Inga usually takes on the appearance of a young boy but will transform into a true form of a busty woman when it appears the truth is close to being revealed for a case. In this true form, Inga eats the souls of people to force them to honestly answer questions. Between this ability and Shinjuro’s keen insight for mysteries, they discover the truth of a crime. But Shinjuro lets another detective named Rinroku Kaishou take credit and “rewrite” the solutions to crimes. Supernatural elements and political intrigue enter the picture later in the series, and these new elements help elevate the series to the next level.

Un-Go starts out as a Case Closed-type series being aimed at an older audience, but the series becomes more than this around the halfway point. With the combination of the storytelling and the animation, this series is memorable for being more than an “adult” version of Case Closed and is an enjoyable viewing experience beyond this basic comparison.

Wizard Barristers

Wizard Barristers is set in a world where humans and wizards live together in Tokyo. While the police continue to protect the peace, wizards are tried according to magical law through Magic Prohibition Law. Wizards are taken to special courts, where they are defended by wizard barristers via the Court of Magic.

17-year-old Canadian-Japanese Cecil Sudo has become the youngest wizard barrister after passing the bar exam at 15. She became a wizard barrister in order to save her mother from execution because she was found guilty of murder in the Court of Magic six years earlier. As Cecil works as a wizard barrister, trying to prove that her various clients are innocent, she also learns that she has more power than she ever dreamed of, and that there is a secret in her past that relates to why her mother ended up on death row.

Wizard Barristers had a story that kept me interested in what was going on and want to continue watching each episode. The various cases that Cecil takes on are interesting and watching her in action with her co-workers trying to find the truth behind each one made for compelling viewing. And Cecil’s overarching story just added to the overall mystery feel of the series.

Crunchyroll Adds the Crunchyroll Adds Disgaea, Princess Jellyfish, and Eden of the East Anime

Crunchyroll has added the Disgaea, Princess Jellyfish, Eden of the East, Eden of the East: The King of Eden, and Eden of the East: Paradise Lost anime to its catalog.

Disgaea and Princess Jellyfish are available in the United States and Canada. The Eden of the East series and the two films are available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa.

Source: ANN

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.

Tubi TV Adds More Anime

Tubi TV has added the following anime to its service:

  • Street Fighter Alpha: Generations
  • Yū Yū Hakusho
  • C – Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility
  • Nobunagun
  • Eden of the East
  • A Certain Magical Index
  • A Certain Magical Index II
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun S
  • Ai Yori Aoshi
  • Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Fairy Tail (episodes 1-100)
  • Akira

All of the titles except Akira are streaming in Japanese with English subtitles, and are available in their entirety unless otherwise noted. Akira is streaming with the Pioneer English dub.

Source: ANN

Anime Blu-ray Review: Eden of the East The Complete Collection (Anime Classics)

Eden of the East The Complete Collection (Anime Classics) is a two-disc Blu-ray set that includes eight episodes on the first disc and three episodes and the set’s bonus features on the second set. The set includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Eden of the East The Complete Series (Anime Classics)
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: April 30, 2013

Three months before the beginning of Eden of the East, ten missiles strike Japan, but there are no casualties. This act becomes known as “Careless Monday” and is eventually forgotten by the people.

In the first episode, a college senior named Saki Morimi visits Washington D.C. as part of her graduation trip. When Saki inadvertently gets in trouble while at the White House, a mysterious naked young man holding nothing but a gun and a cell phone suddenly appears and saves her. The young man has lost his memory, but finds his way back to his apartment and discovers several fake passports. He chooses the one with the name “Akira Takizawa” on it, and he returns to Japan after encountering Saki again. Upon their return, they learn that a new missile has hit Japan.

Akira’s mystery deepens when he discovers that his phone has 8.2 billion yen in digital money, and that he can contact a concierge named Juiz who can fulfill any order he has for a price. He figures out that he’s involved in some kind of game, where twelve individuals known as Selecao are given ten billion yen to “save” Japan in some way. Saki, along with her friends, find herself themselves more and more entangled with Akira, and the truths that Akira starts to uncover just how deadly this game really is.

The first thing I noticed as I started watching Eden of the East was the animation. The quality of the animation is incredible, and it grabs the viewer’s interest immediately. I also liked how the censoring was done on Akira when he has the full frontal nudity at the start of the series, because the technique that was used fits in with the feel of the series. While the story has serious elements to it, it’s told in such a way that it’s more on the comedic side.

The storytelling in Eden of the East is also very compelling early on, and it manages to keep the viewer interested in what’s going on throughout all 11 episodes of the series. I especially appreciated how, as the story unfolded, the facts that came out would constantly alternate between making Akira look like a villain and making him look like a hero. As a viewer, I was always rooting for Akira, but there were times when the evidence would make it look like my faith in him had been misplaced. I thought it was great how the series strung viewers along about Akira until right near the end. There was also strong execution for the buildup of the mystery surrounding Akira’s past.

Eden of the East should appeal to viewers who enjoy anime with mystery and psychological elements to it. The execution of the mystery element keeps the viewer interested and wanting to learn more in order to try to figure everything out before the final revelations. The psychological aspects of the show help to accentuate the mystery and develop the series’ characters.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 4×3 HD Native, and the audio includes Dolby TrueHD 5.1 for both the English and the Japanese audio. I thought the video on this Blu-ray release looked good, and I have no complaints with the audio quality.

When it comes to the actual Blu-ray set, there were a total of nine bonus features included. The first five are all interviews with staff and cast members of Eden of the East. The main exception was the interview where Mamoru Oshii joined director Kenji Kamiyama for an interview. Kamiyama also appeared in an interview with Chika Umino, the character designer for the series. There were also interviews with the voice actors for Akira and Saki, the art director, and the music composer. All of these interviews have Japanese audio with English subtitles, and ran anywhere from 11 to 22 minutes in length. I appreciated seeing all of these interviews, and getting a glimpse into the process that went into creating the Eden of the East anime.

The set also includes a 30-second TV spot and a nearly two-minute long promotion video, and both of these items have Japanese audio with English subtitles. The final bonus feature includes trailers for releases that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time this set was released.

Eden of the East The Complete Collection (Anime Classics) will appeal to viewers who have already seen the series and want to own it in their anime home video library. If you have the capability to watch Blu-ray Discs, I would recommend going with the Blu-ray version.

Anime Spotlight: Eden of the East

Eden of the East is an anime created by Kenji Kamiyama and featured character designs by Chika Umino. The anime was produced by Production I.G and directed by Kenji Kamiyama. The 11 episodes of the series aired on Japanese television from April 9-June 18, 2009. The franchise also includes three anime films. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American distribution license for Eden of the East.

Three months before the beginning of the series, 10 missiles strike Japan, but there are no casualties. This act becomes known as “Careless Monday” and is eventually forgotten by the people.

At the beginning of the first episode, a college senior named Saki Morimi visits Washington D.C. as part of her graduation trip. When she inadvertently gets in trouble while at the White House, a mysterious naked young man holding a gun and a cell phone suddenly appears and saves Saki. The young man has lost his memory but finds his way back to his apartment and discovers several fake passports. He chooses the one with the name “Akira Takizawa” on it, and he returns to Japan after encountering Saki again. Upon their return, they learn that a new missile has hit Japan.

Akira’s mystery deepens when he discovers that his phone has 8.2 billion yen in digital money, and that he can contact a concierge named Juiz who can fulfill any order he has for a price. He pieces together that he is involved in a game, where twelve individuals known as Selecao are given ten billion yen to “save” Japan in some way. Saki, along with her friends, find themselves more and more entangled with Akira, and the truths that Akira starts to uncover just how deadly this game really is.

The first thing I noticed as I started watching Eden of the East was the animation. The quality of the animation is incredible, and it grabs the viewer’s interest immediately. I also liked how the censoring was done on Akira when he has the full frontal nudity at the start of the series, because the technique that was used fits in with the feel of the series. While the story has serious elements to it, it’s told in such a way that it’s more on the comedic side.

The storytelling in Eden of the East is also very compelling early on, and it manages to keep the viewer interested in what’s going on throughout all 11 episodes of the series. I especially appreciated how, as the story unfolded, the facts that came out would constantly alternate between making Akira look like a villain and making him look like a hero. As a viewer, I was always rooting for Akira, but there were times when the evidence would make it look like my faith in him had been misplaced. I thought it was great how the series strung viewers along about Akira until right near the end. There was also strong execution for the buildup of the mystery surrounding Akira’s past.

I also liked the interactions between Akira and Saki. These two characters really work well together, and I couldn’t help but ship these two early in the series.

Eden of the East should appeal to viewers who enjoy anime with mystery and psychological elements to it. The execution of the mystery element keeps the viewer interested and wanting to learn more in order to try to figure everything out before the final revelations. The psychological aspects of the show help to accentuate the mystery and develop the series’ characters.