Eden of East – The King of Eden
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.
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.