Posted by psgels on 5 June 2009 with categories: Eden of the East



Okay, so now that this series is nearly at its end (2 episodes left), I unfortunately have to admit that Eden of the East was a disappointment. It’s obviously nowhere near bad, but with its awesome first episode, I really expected something better from this series. Unfortunately, after nine episodes my favourite episode still remains that first one: it never really managed to surpass the creativity and intrigue of Akira and Saki, meeting each other in America, and to be honest, it never even came close to that.

My guess would be that it’s the lack of focus that’s working against this series. The pacing has simply been too slow for such a series, and during the quiet moments I don’t think that the creators really made optimal use of it to flesh out the cast. I once praised this show for how it involved its side-characters with the main-storyline, but for the past two episodes I’m really beginning to wonder what their purpose is. What really is the point of Oosugi, showing the Akira-hate messages? What can that really add to the story, other than making the side characters hate Akira with passion?

The thing with mystery-series is that creating intrigue is one thing, but making the revelations worth it is really the difficult part. Now that the revelations have finally come in, I unfortunately have to say that they… don’t really live up to my expectations. So yeah, the rockets were launched by one of the other Selecao who is out to destroy Japan and start anew. Should have seen that coming. Every Selecao is trying to destroy Japan, it seems, aside from Akira of course, who along with Number 5 was probably the only one who was doing the right thing. My big worry is also that Mr. Outside. I know that there are two hours of movie left for him, but my big fear with him is that the creators aren’t going to have any time to flesh this guy out, making him dangerously close to your typical evil overlord.

Compare this to shows as 07-Ghost: even though its plot is nowhere near as interesting as that of Eden, it did put lots of time into building up and fleshing out, and actually looks like it’s going to get away with it. Eden though… something just feels to have gone wrong during its build-up. I really hope that these hunches are wrong, because I really want this show to work.

Rating: (Enjoyable)
Predictable, Pantsu wasn’t really that interesting, but at least the plot moved forward a lot.

23 Responses

  1. Erias says:

    Two episode + the movie actually.

    Shouldn’t judge untill you see it all. :P There sure was some knowledge about the past. How Akira’s actions prevented the many deaths on careless monday and so on.
    Next episode seems to make us stand on our toes.

  2. Frost says:

    Havent seen this episode yet but Ive been feeling the same way about Eden… The 1st episode was amazing, and now Im just “meeeh”, its just… not exciting

    I dont really care for the whole Seleçao thing either, and there havent been any good Akira x Saki moments which were the best part for me, it seems the romance is totally gone

    Oh well… At least we have plenty of other great series airing atm

  3. Matt says:

    yeah, it can be a bit slow, i wonder how this would have been as a 3-4 part OVA series… I think that would fit this show better, which seems like they got the idea when they added in the movie. It seems that they might be stuck in contract doing these 9 episodes.

    But i still enjoy this series, i am mostly going through it like a roller coaster, sitting back and enjoying it.. ;b

  4. Kim says:

    I’ve been disappointed in this series for awhile and never could really care about the characters but I continued watching because it was so short. It didn’t seem they used their 11 episodes well. And yes I do understand there is a movie but I think a series should be able to stand on its own despite the movie. The movie should only add to the series.

  5. kalamunki says:

    The first ep implied Akira becoming a sacrifice of some sort. Not all stories will have happy endings even if the characters all end up with the things they wanted to begin with. I’m thinking by the end of the tv series, Akira [willingly] takes the fall for another missile attack while the only people who will know the truth are the Eden of the East club. The anime previews of EoE spoke of Saki being the person who protects Akira, I’m still waiting to see how she does just that.

  6. c-ron says:

    theres still a movie

    compared to 07 ghost or phantom, this series has been amazing

  7. LifeCarrier says:

    I’m glad I dropped it at the third episode, I too, had high hopes given the first episode, the second one wasn’t bad at all, but the third one did it for me; I realized this was gonna be just a high budget average story by the way they handled that character that died…

  8. c-ron says:

    rofl

    don’t give an anime a chance and quit it?

    and would u like to specify what exactly they did wrong with the way they handled the death of the selecao?

  9. kokutou says:

    I too disagree with the review given on this episode. Firstly, the past, of which the majority of this show is based on, had some details filled in. This episode was simply build up for the next one, a meeting between selcao. Secondly, we saw a selcao do something without using juiz. The only thing I didn’t like about pantsu’s death is that he talked, which was not necessary. My biggest gripe about this review was the comparison with 07 ghost. That shows pacing is awful as they drag everything on. They had Ayanami talking for how long about Mikage making a decision? I don’t know how you can even compare the two. Plus, the series is based on conspiracy and information. We, the audience are not going to find out everything about each character. And how can you imagine Mr. Outside as an overlord??? He put 11 people under a pressure situation in order to help all of Japan. He might not even be one person. Sure it’s not as great as it could have been but the review of this episode is full of fallacy, just as the unrealistic assumption that we’ll know everything about the situation. Very dissapointed in this review.

  10. Frost says:

    Thats the problem, this episode was a build up episode, and so was the one before, and the one before… I feel the series has been building up for something since the first episode, and yet… It still didnt deliver

  11. Mauser says:

    This series had so much potential. The dynamics between Akira and Saki should have been the focal point.

  12. psgels psgels says:

    Kokutou: the thing with this show is that I don’t think that the creators tried to stuff too much into too little. 07-Ghost may indeed be slow as hell, but at least it has focus, and thats what I’m missing with this series.

  13. c-ron says:

    i still don’t understand

    eden has only focused on one thing since the very beginning – the introduction and explanation of the conspiracy and selecao. and this episode has explained a great deal. we learnt that it was not takizawa who ordered the missiles, and that it was number 10 who did. his motives are unknown as of yet; perhaps he wants to return japan to its pre-wwii militaristic state. why takizawa wiped out his own memory is still unknown, and tht makes me want to watch more. perhaps it does not arouse your curiosity; but it certainly did mine. eden of the east did an excellent job with its characterisation. it is a plot driven series which did not lose sight of its characters, which is something i would it applaud it for. they have created characters i care about. ohsugi is definitely a pathetic and annoying little bastard, but a realistic (and rarely seen in fiction) character nevertheless. saki is cute and takizawa is quite the character. the relationship between tak and saki is not the focus of the anime IMO, but it does develop along with the plot.

    Frankly i don’t see how you could rate 07 ghost or phantom over this tbh. You say that you’re worried that the ‘there isn’t enough time to flesh the antagonist out’ or you think the creators are trying ‘to stuff too much into too little’, but thats just bollocks mate. i mean, you base your reasoning on fears and not evidence, on what you think might happen and not on what has already happened? you fear for the worst, even though thats the most unlikely scenario. don’t forget that a 2 hour long movie = 5-6 episodes worth of normal anime time, and that is more then enough time to flesh out characters. all this building up will make for a great climax, and im looking forward to it.

    also your criticism about the side characters. you say that you don’t understand what the purpose of ohsugi is; i would argue that its blatantly obvious that hes an antithesis of takizawa (being a painfully cautious, selfish young man who admittedly does care for his friends) and represents the typical salary man straight out of graduation (which also relates back to the theme of NEETs). Of course his juxtaposition with tak also makes us hate him more (another mark of a good series; the ability to invoke passion towards or against a character). i can easily relate to him; i mean who hasn’t had intense crushes during their high school years akin to the one ohsugi has on saki? his role in the plot seems obvious to me. its to bring the eden club into the main plotline and involve them with the whole selecao conspiracy. without ohsugi (and his obsession), there is no rational explanation which would link Eden with the Selecao.

    love your site and your insights but definitely can’t agree with you on this post.

  14. c160 says:

    I have to agree with c-ron that I don’t agree with you on this post.The series has been focused so far revealing the mystery of the Selecao albeit in a unique way instead of the usual straightforward revelation after revelation method,so I’m curious to know what made this show unfocused?

    I think with this anime,you should just let things unravel and take it for what it is first and watch until it ends first cause to be honest,no one really knows how this series will end.I’m also curious, by this point,who do you think Mr Outside is?

  15. Machi says:

    Even with a movie one has to consider there can only be so much covered by the movie, moreover because of the movie one has to wonder whether the anime ending will end something in the vein of Tower of Druaga or will it have a proper conclusion that it can stand as a series on its own and not rely on one to watch the movie.

    Movie would potentially add some of the missing details (hopefully) but it really depends on the length and how well they can handle a movie, as a movie is much more different than an anime series as there will be less leeway for scenes. Adding to that it would be disappointing if the anime were just created to set the groundwork for the movie, as again a movie and a series are different from one another they should at least be able to stand on their own without having to rely on a gimicky move that one needs the other to stand.

  16. Tracer says:

    I agree with c-ron for the most part.

    I personally thought that this was as good a episode as the previous ones. In fact, it’s better in some sense as it’s bringing a lot of the different aspects together for the finale.

    And I don’t understand why everything has to follow a pattern of “fleshing out characters” or whatnot. I mean, not every piece of fiction is meant to have some incredibly complex characters. Some novels are even called “novel of ideas” because the characters in the story just represent an idea or theme rather than an individual. I would easily say that the creators did an amazing job with the characters in 9 episodes than what most anime do in 26.

  17. DLP says:

    I also disagree with the review.

    Eden’s been the best thing on this season so far, wonderful animation, smart story, surprising twists, good characters.

    Ghost 07… bored now. (I do like Phantom a lot, but it’s not really surprised me.)

  18. LK says:

    I agree with c-ron’s post as well. I really like this blog. In fact it’s the only anime blog I read, because the others are rubbish. But I feel your review was written in haste. One big piece of the puzzle was provided in this episode. But then more questions are revealed. Who are these new guys. Why are they trying to become heroes through Selacao? We all knew the Selacos were behind the missles, but why? Will that win them the game? I’m not sure the reason for the missiles given in your review is entirely correct. Plot developed, characters developed – Takizawa especially. I suspect he may have been mind wiped by the bad selecaos to get him out of the picture, but who knows. Can’t wait to find out. Great show.

  19. adjustBOX says:

    I would have to disagree with your review. I didn’t find the series boring or disappointing at all. In fact, the mix and match of a comedic and yet somewhat dark atmosphere in Eden of the East is quite unique. The story itself is quite interesting.

    As for the characters and plot not being “fleshed out”, I think there were a few filler episodes that did build up character development. I also found the theme of how soceity seem to have left behind NEETs and the looking down of current societies youth in Japan very interesting.

    You’ve also got to like the many many American/Western movie and cultural references in the first few episodes (I personally found them quite halarious). If you notice in the first episode as Akira is going through his passports, one of them says Jason Bourne (Bourne trilogy).

    Now, the plot in episode 9 did move forward considerably more compared to the last few episodes, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the last 2 episodes and the movie entails. I personally have high hopes for this series.

  20. Dryath says:

    I disagree with your review!

  21. Psychobob says:

    Agreed with this…the first episode was the best, and I was hoping they would still stay in the U.S. although episode 9 picked up the pace. I’m thinking this is just all precursor stuff to the real fireworks in the film hopefully.

  22. mds says:

    well,after finally getting to see the ninth episode,I also against your criticism on this episode.Eden may be slow ,but it take its time to do all the building-ups and flesh all of the settings properly.
    The comparison to 07-ghost is horrible,since it screws up the manga with unimportant fillers.Mikage’s arc that was able to fill in just 6 or 7 episode become dragged to 9 episodes.This pacing is big dissapointment compared to the manga (Mikage’s arc completed in just 1 volume,you know)
    And one last thing,Eden is seriously focused with its themes (the NEETS) keep spawning around in its episodes….

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:47 AM)
    I just don’t get the core concept of why I should pay for someone else’s business endeavors? They’re going to reap the benefits, they usually have money, let them pay for it. I get it if it’s research, or some strange art project for the sake of the art, but movies, games and anime that are going to get a commercial release? I swear people are so easily bamboozled.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:21 AM)
    @Kaiser:I have been supporting Kickstarter for a while, but not for games or movies, but for animation projects. I think it’s worth it. But like Bam, Aiden and K-Off said, sometimes it gets a bit muddy. For movies for example there are a lot of projects that was just ideas… and ideas alone are not enough.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:08 AM)
    Ah but that would frustrate me in muv-luv, I’d be the one suffering as a result of having to wait for the characters suffering to start.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:06 AM)
    I’ve heard kickstarter being used for crowdfunding indie films, honestly as a film buff I really should get on that and start supporting.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:41 AM)
    I generally don’t pre-order unless its a gift for someone else, so I can guarantee for 100% sure I can get it for them and it won’t sell out.

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