Higashi no Eden, or Eden of the East in English, Is one of the most interesting and intriguing anime’s that I have seen! The Director of this anime, also directed one well known anime; Ghost In The Shell, which of course, I happen to be a fan of. So that instantly helped it to gain a few marks.
On November 22, 2010 ten missiles strike Japan. However, this unprecedented terrorist act, later to be known as “Careless Monday,” does not result in any apparent victims, and is soon forgotten by almost everyone. Then, 3 months later… Saki Morimi is a young woman currently in the United States of America on her graduation trip. But just when she is in front of the White House, Washington DC, she gets into trouble, and only the unexpected intervention of one of her fellow countrymen saves her. However, this man, who introduces himself as Akira Takizawa, is a complete mystery. He appears to have lost his memory. and he is stark naked, except for the gun he holds in one hand, and the mobile phone he’s holding with the other hand. A phone that is charged with 8,200,000,000 yen in digital cash.
(from Production I.G website)
The opening to the anime really does help set the scene for the series. It might confuse people who don’t understand some of the images, but isn’t the point of a good opening? Isn’t it meant to spark your curiosity? Well this opening does. With the help of the British band Oasis who play the track called “Falling Down”. After hearing it on the OP, I had to hear it all for myself and I really do love listening to it.
Although with some anime’s, you usually find that the endings for the episodes are some what lacking in captivating your attention. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Higashi no Eden. The ending is just as good, if not better. With its own animation created by paper. It really is well down and kind of rounds off the episodes. The track used is by school food punishment called futuristic imagination. Which would explain why there is an apple there at the start. But after that, things really come to life and a recap of the story is told. I think this has to be one of the best endings I’ve seen in an anime. I might just be biased because this is in my top 10 anime’s, but I hope you do agree.
The series, as dictated in the quote above, really does start out strange. I mean, just seeing a man stark naked, holding a gun, with a strange mobile phone really does dive you into the deep end. Of course, this is not hentai (if your young and don’t know what the means, then that’s a good thing! Keep your innocence alive for as long as you can!), so it hides certain parts behind an animated scribble. Which of course I find absolutely hilarious!! I mean its an animated scribble, that is covering a Johnny… what could be more funnier than that? But this anime is rated a 17+ (well according to My Anime List it is anyway). Seeing as there is there is a lot of scribble Johnny’s making an appearance and use of strong language. You really shouldn’t hold it against the creators. Because in my honest and maybe slightly perverted opinion, this adds the story line so much and still makes you want to watch till the end to see how many times you hear the word “JOHNNY” being said.
However, putting all of that aside, the first few scene’s really does place inside of the story. First you meet Saki Morimi, who is travelling in Washington DC, the place where she thinks is “the centre of the world”, after she went on her graduation trip to New York City. Little did she know that she would find herself in one embarrassing situation. Seeing a naked guy, who then talks to you after saving you from the copes, would be pretty low on the list of events that are likely to happen while on holiday.
When the two main characters meet, you really do get a sense of what they are like. Saki seems to be a shy, respectable girl who admires those who are close to her. Where as Akira appears to be a carefree kind of guy, who doesn’t listen to what people tell him and secretly has a compassionate nature. So when these two characters are together, you can’t help be get caught up in the growing of the bond. Saki wants to help Akira remember his memories and also learn a lot more about him the process. So Akira really does lean on her for support. If he remembers something, he tells her, if something happens to him, Saki is there to help him back up. Its that kind of relationship that really makes you want watch it more and more. Of course, the added comedy really helps too.
Through out the 11 episodes that make up the series, the relationship is developed slowly with a few obstacles along the way. Of course it wouldn’t be a romance anime without obstacles! So when you see the situations Akira puts himself in, just so he can recover his memories, you might find yourself, just like I did, waiting for Saki to find him and care for him like a girlfriend should. Although, personally I’m still confused if they are actually dating, but I am sure that the director will clear things up with the two upcoming movies that are to be aired 28th November 2009 and 9th January 2010.
The series itself really does explore the path that Akira takes to finding out the truth. Even if it might be something he doesn’t want to believe, hear or understand. He still plucks up the courage to see things through. Even if it means he has to play a bad guy, which kind of adds to his appeal as the main character.
Overall, I will and do honestly recommend you watch this anime. Not because its the same guy who directed GITS, but because this really is one of the most unique anime’s I’ve seen. I’ve watched around 170 different anime series to date, and none of them have the same concept as Higashi no Eden. It really is a unique, interesting and captivating series that will make you fall in love with it no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Just the first episode alone should tell you how different it is.
Favourite Character: Akira Takizawa (male lead characters always grab my attention the most)
Favourite Scene: Well apart from finding the scribble johnny’s absolutely hilarious, I would have to say it’s when Akira kisses Saki on the esplanade in episode 5.