Review: Eden of the East – The King of Eden

Eden of the East DVD cover

Eden of East – The King of Eden
Funimation Entertainment
82 minutes

Summary

It’s been six months since the attacks on Japan failed, and Takizawa is nowhere to be found.  Saki travels to New York to find him, but meanwhile, time stands still for no Selecao.  The game to become Japan’s savior is still on-going, and Selecao from the past and ones unfamiliar are hatching dangerous plans, all involving a certain amnesiac.

Review

It’s almost inevitable that with a strong, multi-layered series, there is going to be a section that is heavy on plot and character development, but not so much on action.  In the Harry Potter series of books and films, the fifth, Order of the Phoenix, fit right into this category.  But you know what?  Despite a lack of excitement, both the book and the movie were darn good.

The King of Eden is exactly in the same mold.

Starting six months after the finale of the Eden of the East television series, The King of Eden isn’t a standalone film.  It advances the series’ storyline, while still including all our favorite characters (even Panties gets a nice part).  There’s a lot to be told in a short amount of space – not only must Saki, now in New York, find Takizawa, the film also introduces new Selecao and explains the aftermath of Takizawa’s request to become king.  It’s all a bit complicated.

The at-times confusing and exposition-heavy plot could make for slow going.  But because the film is relatively short (82 minutes), the elements move fast enough to keep the audience from becoming bored.  The confusion is also intentional, creating an atmosphere where we don’t know who is in danger, friends or foes, nor do we know exactly how much danger they’re in.  This device really works in creating a suddenly tense atmosphere near the end of the film.

But the movie isn’t all conspiracies and seriousness; there are some funny and touching elements that fans of the series will enjoy.  Takizawa remains a compelling character, largely because of his carefree personality, and Saki’s awkward and shy personality gets her into a couple of funny situations.  And the leads’ fated meeting (this can’t be a spoiler, can it?) and time together is animated in some lovely scenes.

There isn’t any spiritual content per se, but the film continues the story of the series, which I’ve recommended to Christian viewers because of the way some of the characters, including Takizawa and Mononobe, can be analyzed.  In the larger scheme of things, though, it’s everyone’s favorite Johnny cutter, Shiratori, who continues to develop her character along the same vein as the Biblical one I alluded to in an earlier post.

Funimation’s Blu-Ray release is what one would expect – beautiful, clear animation.  The quality is best seen in the city backgrounds (the animators go to great lengths to depict American cities, as Lauren Orsini mentioned regarding DC in the original series) and in the opening credits.  The primary extra in the release is a copy of Eden of The East Compilation: Air Communication, a two-hour slicing together of the original series.  Certainly this could function as a great intro for those who want to watch King of Eden, but haven’t seen or finished the original show.

As the closing credits roll of The King of Eden, we’re left wanting more.  How will the story conclude?  That’s a question left for the next film, Paradise Lost.  In the meantime, fans of the original series won’t be left disappointed by the development that occurs in this movie, which functions as a nice addition to an already amazing series.

A-

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

9 thoughts on “Review: Eden of the East – The King of Eden

  1. I would love to read this, but after watching Eden of The East I am dying to watch the movies. I can’t let my sell spoil it.

  2. Ok, so I just now watch it and loved it. I have been following this series since it first came out in Japan and I love the depth and intricacy of the plot and character development. This is one of my all time favorite anime and the movie just makes it even better (especially if you watch the part with the taxi cab in the original Japanese, I almost died laughing.) I think you did an excellent job reveiwing it and I would recommend this series and movie. I can’t wait for the next one.

    1. Thanks for the nice comments. I’d love to see a review or two on your blog!

      The taxi scene really is funny. The English version is wonderful to watch, too, because it’s really great to see how the script was totally reworked to still fit in with the animation, which couldn’t have been an easy feat.

  3. I would love to do some reviews, but I have been having trouble deciding where my site should go. It was originally focused on sharing my thoughts that no one was willing to listen to, but a lot has changed and I have changed since then. I think that I recently figured out what I am going to do and part of it does include anime reviews.

    You are totally right about the dubbed taxi part; I was thinking the whole time that I was glad that I didn’t have to figure out how to make that work.

  4. You know, I’ve often considered watching Eden of the East, but what I want to know is, What is the approximate age-rating?

  5. Eden of the East actually has a pretty restrictive age rating. There’s violence (not graphic, but it’s still there), but the main reason for the rating is language. There’s also some nudity (the backsides of males – for comedic effect) and one character is very sexual and uses her sexuality in a disturbing manner.

    It’s kind of “mature” without one realizing so.

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