Striking The Right Note: Eden of the East

Anime fans will probably know this show, but for pretty much everyone else, this series flew well under the radar. Which is kind of sad, as Eden of the East is a great show to introduce people to anime with. Especially if they are James Bond or Ludlum fans, since the show is similar in a lot of ways.

For those who have never heard of it, Eden of the East is about a Japanese University student named Saki, who goes to Washington D.C. for her graduation trip. While admiring the White House, she meets a Japanese man named Akira, who shows up totally naked and waving around a gun. From there, things get weird.

Turns out, Akira has amnesia, so he has no idea how he got outside the White House with a gun and no clothes on. His only other possession is a cell phone he can access eight billion in Yen through, as well as a support system that will grant him anything he wants, for a price.

Saki and Akira quickly learn that he is part of a game, with twelve players attempting to prove they can save Japan, at the behest of an unknown benefactor. If they run out of money, though, they die, so the race is on to find out who Akira was, how he got involved in this game, and what he can do to save an entire nation from an uncertain future, and some of the other players in the game.

Eden of the East was written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, the man who brought us Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, so right there, you know it’s going to be a wild ride through philosophical ideology, which it totally is.

Even more amazing is how well the opening credit sequence captures the essence of the show. For real, this thing is a damn work of art unto itself, which I know I say often, but always when it is completely true.

The staggered images of urban decay cut through with ominous background text sets a visual mood with a brilliant and subtle touch. The carefully placed shots of Saki and Akira as they move amidst a world falling apart highlight them as bright spots in the coming darkness. The fast cuts to the computer generated and surreal imagery make the nature of the game they are caught up in feel more sinister. It’s all very well put together from a visual standpoint.

Laying down “Falling Down” by none other than freaking Oasis as the opening music atop all that, gives the entire sequence an almost dream like quality, one that threatens to tip over into a nightmare at any moment. Which is where this entire opening comes together into art, because that sums up the entire series better than anything else could.

InΒ  a world where opening credits are used with less and less frequency to set an actual mood, Eden of the East is an Oasis.

No, I’m not sorry for that.


7 thoughts on “Striking The Right Note: Eden of the East

  1. Eden of the East is a great anime to introduce to non-anime fans because it avoids some of the things that annoy people who don’t watch anime while providing a really intriguing story. And you’re so right about the opening. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right about that. It’s got a bit more of a Western approach to the whole thing, while still being an anime, making it much more accessible. It also does a good job of working as a beginners intro to Japanese culture, with the NEET’s aspect of the story. Just a really well thought out concept and story all the way around.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently watched this as well and did a review of it, also including this great song by Oasis. It is really fantastic, and one of the best opening songs I have heard. And ofcourse Kenji Kawai is awesome πŸ˜€ Great blog you have here by the way πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one has been on my rewatch list for a while now, just because of how much I enjoyed it. It really is one of the most clever animes I’ve seen in a long time. The Oasis song just nailed the whole feel, mood, and theme of the show so well, it still blows me away. The creative team behind this one was so on point at every turn.

      I’ll have to hop over and read your review as soon as I can. I love hearing other peoples thought on shows I liked. Thanks for the visit, and the comment. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally agree with you on that one. It is a show that I pretty much could not compare with anything. The story was really great, the music was fantastic, and the characters were very interesting as well. The movies that followed, do unfortunately not as good as the series, did have their own things going for it too. You are welcome, and thanks πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

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