Posted by psgels on 4 August 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Eden of the East



It’s hard to judge Eden of the East: it started out as a series that promised to be amongst the best of the year… and failed to live up to that. It tried to do way too much in too little time. The movies tried to make up for a lot by deliberately keeping the pacing slow, but in the end, even that wasn’t enough to turn this into the masterpiece that it could have been.

In the end it joins the list of flawed series that actually do have quite a few points to make up for it. Paradise Lost is really no exception. It wraps up a lot of plot points, it reveals quite a number of interesting twists that tie the plot together and it still manages to keep the pacing restrained, with a lot of focus on the dialogue between the characters.

On the downside, there are quite a number of glaring holes left open. Some other revelations lack their build-up so that they fail to make any impact for a mystery series of this scale. Other revelations just come out of nowhere and really would have benefited from more foreshadowing and others just don’t make any sense. I want to be as ambiguous for this as possible due to spoilers, but let’s just say that the final resolution felt weak to me. The fate of the NEETs also is something I didn’t buy.

Now that everything is over, I also have to say that the series just didn’t have the time to flesh out its characters. Because of that, there really is just one character who actually develops when you ignore the memory loss devices of this series. I think that out of all the flaws of this series a lot of them can be forgiven, though this is one of those key flaws that caused me to enjoy this series a lot less than I would have liked. Most of the characters are just walking plot devices that just didn’t feel interesting to watch beyond the plot they were trying to tell. And its a shame, because that plot really was pretty good and imaginative.

Despite its short length, this did turn into one of those series that actually evolves: Paradise Lost really is completely different from the first episodes of the TV-series, and through its run this is one series that has been constantly changing. Because of that, every part of this series is different and fresh, not ripping off itself and it wonderfully manages to avoid the formula that it promised in the first few episodes.

On retrospect, I don’t think that even 26 episodes and two movies would have been enough here. To really be able to flesh out everyone, and give the story really its time to be complete, the creators would have needed at least 39 episodes. But really, I do want to say that despite my bitching, I really like what this series was trying to do: here we have the brain child of a very talented director. A series that’s not based on anything and a completely original story that really benefits from its format by including some of the latest technologies, feeling like this is one of those few series that really takes place in 2009, rather than something that also could have played in the year 2000. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped to.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A good number of twists and yet a slow and restrained pacing. The story is great, but it uses too many plot devices to get there.
Characters: 7/10 – In the end, the big weakness of this series. I tried, but I failed to care about most of the characters here.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Again, Paradise Lost’s graphics weren’t exactly better than the TV-series. It’s still very consistent and detailed though. The use of music was also very excellent.
Setting: 9/10 – I like the guts of this series. It’s not afraid to think beyond the box, try out new stuff and overall I really like the different ideas put into this movie.

Suggestions:
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Tokyo Godfathers
Key the Metal Idol

12 Responses

  1. karry says:

    “82,5”
    Just as planned.

  2. egress63 says:

    Agreed! Eden of the East could and should have been a lot longer than it currently its.

    @karry
    lol. Get over Bleach man!

  3. mds says:

    just to remind you that series with 39 episodes are very,very few nowadays…. :p

  4. I totally agree, Id say personally if an anime cant have a decent length of time to do all it needs to do, then Its really just a waste of time, thats Why I usually wait to watch most shows untill they are almost over so that I know

    1) is it going to be a full 26 episodes at least?
    (if its not even that I dont even bother since I know it will waste my time)
    2)do they do all they need to do in that amount of time

    If the answer to any of the questions is no, I just dont watch it. And Definitely wont buy it, I would really like for more studios to step up to the plate and make shows with the emphasis of quality over making just a quick buck on advertising and dvd sales for a half-finished story

  5. Puran says:

    Oh come on, there are plenty of good 12-13 episode series.

    Kino no tabi
    Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei
    Paranoia Agent
    Kaiba

    Your second question in valid, but the first makes no sense. 12-13 episode series can be very well be complete, if it was planned properly and it fits the story.

    And the problem with eden of the east is not the length. Is that it wasted time and tried to do much more than it should. If it was more focused it would have worked.

  6. Azule says:

    I felt really let down by this movie. It had so much going for it and it tried to do so much…and fell short.

  7. Watcherzero says:

    Dissapointed the relationship wasnt resolved, this film lacked the pace of the others, a lot of exposition to tie everything up. It didnt lose its charachter and it was Eden of the East flavour. I think this could have been done in 24 eps only, the films ruined the pacing and flow of the series and it only needed an hour or two more of screen time to wrap things up properley. Perhaps the creators chose to use film to conclude it because they spent so much time setting up the premise they realised they didnt know how to wrap it up and film format offered the best disguise to this.

    Now I think the series achieved what it set out to do however, make you think about society, responsability and obligation. I am a NEET or have been on and off between its start and conclusion and I feel the same sense of alienation this film describes. This could perhaps be the best capturing of the mood and feeling of a young adult society since Clerks.

  8. I do think that the point of the series is to try and help unlock the potential of NEETs.

    They may have good skill sets that can fit it in today’s society. Especially if it’s Internet/computer-related. Today’s world seems to revolve around information.

    I do agree the movie was too focused on the message about NEETs more than the characters.

    I actually wrote something on the potential of NEETs based on observations of the series. You can read it at: http://www.mangatherapy.com/post/1423933181/eden-of-the-east

  9. jerry ku says:

    just finished watching the two movies. I thought the TV series was great, even if the last episode seemed pressed for time, it was still a pretty decent climax. Meanwhile, these movies had no climax, and there wasn’t much fun to be had either. Very disappointing :(

    The message about NEETs never felt quite intertwined with the core story either.

  10. The M has spoken says:

    I found the movies to be a big downer.
    For not matching the quality of the show, you might ask? Absolutely not. Rather, for showing what the show could have been. The movies were essentially what EotE’s scenario would be if directed by the real Kamiyama. The show, rather, was a mass-apeal shell of Kamiyama’s former self; literally a commission by NoitamanA; commercialism.
    I want my methodical pacing, cinematic direction, intelligent dialogue, realism and characterization dammit; give me the Kamiyama I know and love. ):

  11. Kai says:

    I would really hope that they would make a another, ya know?

    SPOILER.
    It just IRKS me that she said ‘that was the last time we saw of him.’ That is one of the worst ways to end a movie! We love the couple, and then they go and say that they never saw each other again? It just… BNBNINBILJSINBIKSBNONAW.
    /SPOILER

    And there was so much more that could’ve been done in this series! I loved it, you loved it, we loved it, he she me wumbo. Seriously, there could’ve been more, and I was so loving it until the ending of the second movie. I think I can say that a lot of people would agree with me that we need another movie and/or season. Jus’ sayin’.

    I think I’m done with my rant. I just hate it when a movie is so good and then at the end the main character DIES or they never come back just UUUGHH.

  1. [...] “In the end it joins the list of flawed series that actually do have quite a few points to make up for it. Paradise Lost is really no exception. It wraps up a lot of plot points, it reveals quite a number of interesting twists that tie the plot together and it still manages to keep the pacing restrained, with a lot of focus on the dialogue between the characters. On the downside, there are quite a number of glaring holes left open…I want to be as ambiguous for this as possible due to spoilers, but let’s just say that the final resolution felt weak to me. The fate of the NEETs also is something I didn’t buy. Grade: 82.5/100.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog [...]

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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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