Eden of the East (東のエデン, Higashi no Eden?) is a Japanese animetelevision series, which premiered on Fuji TV's noitaminA timeslot on April 9, 2009. Created, directed and written by Kenji Kamiyama, it features character designs by Chika Umino and animation production by Production I.G. Based on an original story by Kamiyama, it is the first original noitaminA series.
A compilation of the TV series, Eden of The East Compilation: Air Communication, had a limited theatrical release on September 26, 2009. Two other theatrical films have also been released. Eden of the East Movie I: The King of Eden was released in Japan on November 28, 2009 and the second movie, Eden of the East the Movie II: Paradise Lost, was released on March 13, 2010. The TV series and both films have been licensed for release in North America by Funimation Entertainment. On December 27, 2010, the series made its North American debut on the FUNimation Channel.
On Monday, November 22, 2010, ten missiles strike against uninhabited areas of Japan, claiming no victims. This apparent terrorist act is referred to as "Careless Monday" and disregarded by most people. The series begins three months later, on Sunday, February 13, 2011, when a young Japanese woman named Saki Morimi visits Washington D.C. as part of her graduation trip. When she gets into trouble, a mysterious Japanese man, who introduces himself as Akira Takizawa, helps her through it. The man appears to have no memory and is completely naked, carrying only a gun and a cell phone charged with ¥8.2 billion in digital money. While they are coming back to Japan, they learn that a new missile has hit their country.
Akira discovers that his phone is part of a game created by a "Mr. Outside", and that he himself is one of the participants. The game consists of twelve individuals, dubbed Seleção (Portuguese: "Selection"), who are given ¥10 billion to "save" Japan in some way. The Seleção are able to use the phone operator, Juiz (Portuguese: "Judge"), to fulfill any kind of order for a price. However, if the money is used up completely or for selfish purposes, the individual will be eliminated by the Supporter, the anonymous "twelfth man" of the group, actually revealed to be Seleção No. 12.
The title of the series comes from the name of a cell phone application developed by several of Saki's friends, which provides an advanced online image recognition and social networking service. The Eden of the East software can almost immediately recognize and provide details about nearly any object, allowing users to submit images and comments to use as data for future recognition.
As the series progresses, Akira discovers that Juiz is a computer system. He also learns one of the Seleção was the one who ordered missiles to be fired in Japan and the reason he erased his own memories was linked to Careless Monday. The same Seleção member decides to launch missiles towards Japan again, but is stopped by Akira, who orders missiles to intercept the incoming missiles, utilizing Eden to provide interception data. Akira decides that the only way to save Japan is to lead it, and uses his money to crown himself "King of Japan" and erase his own memory.
The first film starts with Saki arriving in New York to look for Akira. She muses over the past six months, revealing that Akira disappeared after brainwashing himself again, leaving her only his Seleção phone and a message to meet him where their journey began.
As she searches for Akira, the viewer learns that several Seleção are monitoring him as well. Number 6 is revealed to be a film enthusiast who is trying to orchestrate Akira's death and catch it on camera. Saki's friends from the Eden of the East project have found their software turned into a successful small business due to global recognition of the software's role in stopping the missile attacks. Images of Akira pointing at the missiles and instructing for them to be shot down have widely circulated across the globe, making him a folk hero dubbed the "Air King".
Saki visits Brooklyn overlooking the East River, where the Twin Towers used to be. She tries to re-create the scene from a picture Akira took on his cellphone in Japan when they were on a ferry and the background reminded them of the 9/11 site and encounters him there. She explains his past and role as a Seleção, and his quest to become King of Japan.
After Number 6 repeatedly attempts to assassinate Akira and Saki, the pair are rescued by Number 11. Shortly after, Number 1 discovers the location of a truck convoy carrying individual Juiz units for each Seleção member, and orders several of them to be destroyed via missile. Number 11 sacrifices her truck to save Akira's, cutting her link to the game. The film ends with Saki and Akira on a flight back to Japan.
Akira and Saki return to Japan, immediately meeting Chigusa Iijima, the wife of the last Prime Minister. In the previous film, Takizawa was accused of being the illegitemate son of Prime Minister Iijima, Chigusa snatching some of Takizawa's hair to get a DNA test. Akira is separated from Saki but asks her to track down his mother, using his pet dog Annie to identify her through Eden of the East's website. Takizawa manages to escape his escort by trading places with one of the 20,000 NEETs he involved in his fight against the "Careless Monday" attacks. Takizawa makes contact with the Eden staff, planning to rescue his version of Juiz before Seleção No. 1, Daiju Mononobe, targets and destroys it.
Saki and Satoshi Osugi track down Annie's owner, a woman named Aya who denies being Akira's mother but admits she did live in New York for a time and had a fling with Iijima. Mononobe learns of Aya, sending police officers to interrogate her. Aya flees, followed by Saki who confronts her again. Aya departs with no confirmed answer, however, Saki becomes convinced that she is indeed Akira's mother after she reveals her knowledge that Takizawa was abandoned with five-hundred yen. Akira locates his Juiz unit, but witnesses Mononobe's version being driven to safety to avoid more missiles. Akira drives his own Juiz, disguised as a truck, after Mononobe's which he then steals with help from the Eden staff. Hirasawa, leader of Eden, goes off on his own after Seleção No. 3 gives away the location of Saizo Ato, the true identity of "Mr. Outside".
Hirasawa meets Mr. Outside, now an elderly taxi driver, also doubling as Seleção No. 12 and the Supporter. Mr. Outside admits he selected the Seleção after each of them took a ride in his taxi, aside from Akira who he met while the latter was on a paper round and expressed his views on the use of money in Japan. Akira and the Eden staff drive to Chigusa's house, where Akira speaks to Mononobe, who requests Akira retire from the game so he can take control of the government. Akira eventually declines, and plans his final action in the game. Connecting Juiz to Yutaka Itazu's program, "Airship", Akira contacts every phone in Japan and gives all of their owners one yen to help change the future of Japan.
Impressed, Mr. Outside decides to end the game. Contacting the remaining Seleção, whether or not they had been eliminated, Mr. Outside declares all of them winners and as a farewell gift, erases all of their memories of the game, aside from Akira who had become immune to the effects. Ryo Yuki, Seleção No. 10, who had previously destroyed his phone and not heard Mr. Outside's message, confronts Mononobe and kills him, only to die when he is hit by Mononobe's car. Akira checks the DNA results Chigusa had, learning he is not Iijima's son after all. He departs, but promises Saki to reunite with her some day. In the epilogue, Saki narrates how Eden closed down for a time to support the NEETs, and how Takizawa had not yet returned. In a final scene, Takizawa meets up again with Mr. Outside, and they agree to work together to make Japan a better place.
He lost his memory during a brainwashing program. He meets Saki Morimi in Washington D.C., appearing naked and only carrying a handgun and a cellphone. When he helps her out because she threw a coin in the grounds of the White House and is questioned by the police, she gives him her coat, scarf and hat. He has a very modern cell phone with the phrase "noblesse oblige" printed on it and 8.2 billion yen in digital money credit. When he makes his first call, a female voice claiming to be "Juiz" answers. She sends him a map that marks an apartment building where he is apparently staying. In his apartment, he finds guns and many different passports which seem to all belong to him. Saki returns after realizing she left her passport in the coat she gave him and the two decide to return to Japan together. According to his passport, he lives in Japan, in Toyosu, his name is Akira Takizawa and he was born on January 7, 1989 and is therefore 22 years old, one day younger than Saki Morimi.
Saki is in her last year in university. She is 22 years old, born on January 6, 1989. After her parents died she lived with her married elder sister and her baby. She visited New York City as part of her graduation trip with her friends and after visiting Washington D.C. alone, she meets Akira Takizawa, who helped her out when she threw a coin in the grounds of the White House and is questioned by the police. After realizing that she'd left her passport in the coat she gave to Akira, she follows him and then decides to go back with him to Tokyo, Japan. She plans to work in the company that her brother-in-law used to work for, because she is ashamed of living off their money. She could only go to college with the aid of her sister and her brother-in-law. Her ability to enhance the value of junk items has been one of the main reasons for Eden's success.
Eden of the East started out as a small recycling group, but has quickly turned into a springboard for a successful commercial website, thanks to Micchon's revolutionary image recognition engine that resides in the Eden website and Saki's ability to improve the value of any item, including junk. Soon, the site's ability to work on phones attracted many people as members, inclusive of students. It has also grown into a popular matchmaking site. The notable members of the Eden of the East project are:
Kazuomi Hirasawa (平澤 一臣, Hirasawa Kazuomi?), the de facto leader of Eden of the East. His ultimate goal is to create a paradise for NEETs. He is voiced by Motoyuki Kawahara in Japanese and by J. Michael Tatum in English;
Mikuru Katsuhara (葛原 みくる, Katsuhara Mikuru?), nicknamed "Micchon" (みっちょん, Micchon?), a shy and frank girl who is a very talented programmer and is the one who programmed the Eden of the East's image recognition system. Also Hirasawa's cousin. She is voiced by Ayaka Saitō in Japanese and by Stephanie Sheh in English;
The main antagonist. He is one of the executives of the ATO Institution and is the one who reveals to Takizawa about Mr. Outside and Takizawa's past. His ultimate ambition is not only to win the game, but to replace Mr. Outside himself. According to him, Japan is in a state of apathy caused by the economic prosperity it has obtained since the end of World War II, and the strong political influence from countries like the United States into their society, thus he plans to "save" the country by rallying the population with a wide scale terrorist attack. However, Akira and the NEETs recruited by him managed to foil his plans twice. In the King of Eden movie, he is assigned by the Japanese police Public Security Dept to begin an internal investigation of the Eden of the East group, which has been involved with Akira Takizawa's activities. Using his connections with the government, he intends to pass the "100% Inheritance Tax Bill" in order to combat Akira's plan with the NEETs. In Paradise Lost, he reveals that he plans to overthrow the current government and install a more powerful one at the cost of individual freedom. After his memory is wiped when Mr. Outside ends the game, Mononobe crashes his car after being shot at by a crazed Yuuki. It is unknown whether he survives or not.
Another Seleção working with Mononobe and Yuuki. He seems to care very little about Mr. Outside's "game" and wishes simply for it to be over as soon as possible. He claims he has not spent any of the 10 billion yen he was given. In the King of Eden movie, he begins to make his move, by making Takizawa the main figure of a major trend and idol. He is responsible for marketing Takizawa as the "Air King", with advertisements and merchandise depicting Akira's pose while averting the missile crisis. Ultimately he plans to have Takizawa sacrificed as a martyr and hero of Japan. He is eliminated from the game when Mononobe destroys his trailer. He also loses his money when Mononobe arranges to have him investigated by tax auditors.
Seleção 3 is an elderly purple-haired woman who plays a minor role in the series, only appearing in cameo roles. She is first revealed in the first film, and then actually makes her first call to Juiz in the second film to order some food. It is revealed at the end of the film that she is in fact hospitalised, and graciously thanks Mr. Outside for the game.
A detective in Japan. After spending almost all of his money without accomplishing the mission given by Mr. Outside, he steals Akira's cellphone in order to take possession of his cash, but his plans are thwarted when he is informed by Juiz that a Seleção's money can only be used by its rightful owner. He is then killed by his wife while attempting to return the phone to Akira, but manages to warn him of how dangerous the game is before dying.
Hiura is a 52 year old former talented doctor specializing in neurosurgery. Due to an accident, his hands are unable to be used in surgeries that require precise accuracy and eventually resigns. Based on a former thought that the number of patients a doctor can help are limited, Hiura uses the cellphone to aim for the ideal treatment for all illnesses. He is eliminated by the Supporter after spending all of his money, and although he failed to save Japan, he tells Akira that he succeeded in his own mission. In The King of Eden movie, it's revealed that the Supporter didn't kill him; instead he erased his memories.
Naomoto appears in The King of Eden movie. He intends to film the "ideal movie" with Akira and Saki as the main characters, and to ultimately kill them in such a way that has never before been seen in film. For that reason, he causes them a lot of problems, especially for Saki, because he figures that the prince will come to save 'the damsel in distress'. His ill-conceived plot is foiled thanks to Shiratori's intervention. He is last seen in police custody in America.
The perpetrator responsible for the missiles fired on Careless Monday. Despite this, Yuuki is very meek and shows hesitation when forced to assist in the silencing of "Pants". He works for Mononobe as they have similar goals. Yuuki's motivation for Careless Monday was as an act of revenge against the society he hated. He was forced to work to support his ill parents and felt cheated by the system. In The King of Eden movie, he breaks his phone, in a bid to evade Mononobe who is tracking him, resulting in his elimination from the game. He soon becomes obsessed with getting revenge against Takizawa. Since he broke his phone, his memories are not erased when the game ends. However, he is run over by Mononobe's car when he attempts to murder Takizawa. It is unclear whether he survives or not.
Shiratori is president of a model agency by day; however by night she is actually a serial killer. She uses the cellphone to clean up evidence of her murders and cover up her crimes. She kills men by severing their penises ("Johnnies") with a cigar cutter. However, she only targets men who have victimized women, like rapists, and it is implied that she had been a victim herself, inspiring her current actions as a Seleção. In The King of Eden movie, she allies with Akira, saving him from various problems. She is eliminated from the game when she shields Akira's Juiz trailer from a missile launched by Mononobe with her own trailer. Her memories are presumably erased along with the other Seleção when the game ends.
A powerful businessman who helped build postwar Japan. He is also known as Mr. Outside (ミスター・アウトサイド, Misutā Autosaido?). An unseen and mysterious character who chooses twelve Japanese citizens as Seleção and gives them the special "Noblesse Oblige" phones. Mr. Outside gives the Seleção their mission to bring stability to Japan in whatever manner they wish. However, he will send a "Supporter" to kill any Seleção who uses up their money before they can complete their mission. The "Supporter" will also eliminate any Seleção who breaks any of the "rules" established by Mr. Outside, which include acting purely for self-interest or simply doing nothing with the phone for an extended period of time. Takizawa also noted that "Ato Saizo" is a pun for the Japanese pronunciation of "Outside." A football enthusiast, Saizo's inspiration for the Seleção name came from "Seleção", the Portuguese word for selection and a common nickname of Brazil's national team. Further evidence of Mr. Outside's enthusiasm for football is the Seleção's 'crest', which is in the style of a Brazilian escutcheon. His identity is not revealed until Paradise Lost, who is now an elderly man who poses as a simple cab driver. All of the Seleção were passengers in his cab at some point, where he asked them how they would spend 10 billion yen with the exception of Takizawa [who had meet Atō Saizō when he stopped beside the taxi upon a bicycle]. After the events of the film, Saizo declares all of the Seleção are winners and has their memories erased to free them from the game. Takizawa manages to keep his memories, and tracks down Saizo so that they can work together to improve Japan. Saizo also has four female helpers who call him "grandpa" and assist him with the game.
A mysterious female voice who is connected to the twelve Seleção. She gives them information and provides for their requests to be answered, from bribing authorities to assassination orders. Her name comes from the Portuguese word for "Judge". It should be noted that the cellphones used to contact Juiz have a sword and a scales, which are symbols (normally used in courts) for justice and law. In episode 10, it is revealed that Juiz isn't an actual person, but an advanced artificial intelligence. In the King of Eden Movie, it is further revealed that Juiz is not one, but twelve artificial intelligences, each housed in a device disguised as a cargo trailer (originally these devices were stored in the facility Mononobe found, but they were removed, leaving behind large holes). When a Seleção is removed from the game, their trailer is scrapped, or alternately, a Seleção is removed if their trailer is destroyed. Judging by the differing reactions of the various Juizes, the AIs appear to be independent entities, but initialized from the same generative code base. However a woman with the same voice and manner of speech as Juiz is presented in episode 10, casting doubt on the artificial intelligence, and she is later revealed in the second movie to be one of four quadruplet granddaughters of Mister Outside, who facilitate the requests which are given to the Juiz units.
Seleção No. 7 and No. 8 have minor roles, No. 7 never being identified and No. 8 is revealed to be a middle-aged man in a suit who appears in a cameo at the end of the second film listening to Mr. Outside's closing statement of the game.
The series was announced in 2008's 23rd issue of Hakusensha's Young Animalmangamagazine, denoting Kamiyama's involvement as creator, director and writer and Umino's involvement as character designer. It was further announced that two theatrical films are also planned for the series, which is stated to premiere on November 28, 2009 and March 2010 respectively, after the television series ends its original run. In March 2009, it was also announced that the series would premiere on noitaminA on April 9, 2009. On March 19, 2009, the official website to the series relaunched with a trailer, which announced that the opening theme would be "Falling Down" by English rock band Oasis, while the ending theme was "futuristic imagination" by Japanese band School Food Punishment.
On April 9, 2009, the series began its run of 11 episodes, to be followed by two films. Another film will be shown in theaters before the two films. It will be titled Eden of the East Compilation: Air Communication. It is a film retelling of the 11 episode TV series. The studio originally planned for a second season but decided instead that a pair of movies would be better.
The Japanese release of the first DVD volume debuted on July 29, 2009, in 23rd place on the Oricon video charts with 4,394 copies sold[when?]. The first volume of the Blu-ray Disc release was also released on that day, and debuted in 7th place on the SoundScan Japan Blu-ray Disc charts. The series has won numerous awards since its release, including the TV Feature Award at the 2009 Animation Kobe festival and the best television series of the year award at the ninth annual Tokyo International Anime Fair.
The series received high marks for its first episode in the Anime News Network Spring 2009 Preview Guide. Reviewers Theron Martin, Carlo Santos, and Casey Brienza each gave the first episode a rating of 4.5 out of 5, while Carl Kimlinger rated it a 5 out of 5.
In his review, Martin wrote that "this is not your normal anime series. If you're looking for the new season's most unusual entry, something well departed from all of the game adaptations, shonen action series, and cutesy romances, this one is it." Additionally, he praised the artistic aspects of "outstanding background art, appealing character designs, highly likeable lead characters, and a unique closer." He concluded that "this one does everything it can to draw viewers in with its first episode and get them to want to keep watching, and many will."
Santos commented that "there's only one reason this episode falls short of perfect: it's not until the end that the story really takes off", but also pointed out the "slick, expressive animation."
Brienza started her review saying "Well, what the heck; might as well be blunt right from the get-go: I loved it," but criticized the "hackneyed plot" and claimed it "has been ripped whole cloth from a Robert Ludlum novel." Ludlum is known as the author of The Bourne Identity. Her praise related to "the scrupulous, realistic detail of the Washington D.C. setting" and the "gentle, whimsical innocence" of "Chica Umino's character designs", as well as "the scatological humor... and tender hopes of the heroine" which reminds me a lot of Hayao Miyazaki."
Kimlinger, while admitting "I am not a fan of Kenji Kamiyama", stated the episode was "a weird and charming start to a weird and charming show." He wrote that "the first few minutes of Eden are some of the funniest in recent memory", and commented that "both leads have a conspicuous excess of likeability, and Kamiyama displays a mastery of smiling humanism that would have been unthinkable earlier in his career." Like Brienza, he pointed out that "the debt Eden owes to The Bourne Identity is considerable", but concludes that "the result is, in a word, superb."
Plot Summary: On November 22, 2010 ten missiles strike Japan. However, this unprecedented terrorist act, later to be called 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 … more