With the cooler weather here I find myself spending a lot more time catching up on anime. Thanks to our friends at Funimation I was able to cross Eden of the East off my “to watch” list!
Eden of the East follows Saki Morimi, a Japanese citizen and recent university graduate. While on a post-graduation trip to the United States, Saki meets a mysterious, naked man outside of the White House. The man has a gun and no recollection of who he is or why he’s there. Feeling generous, Saki hands over her coat to the man, who then runs off. As she watches him leave she suddenly realizes that her passport was in her coat and begrudgingly chases after him. Once she catches up to him he gives her back her passport and tells her his name is Akira Takizawa. The two then head to the airport with Saki to travel back to Japan. As they head into Japan they learn that there was another missile attack and the two reminisce about “Careless Monday”.
We’re only a few episodes in and we already need to summarize what we know so far! Careless Monday is the name given by Japanese citizens to an attack which occur on November 22, 2010. On that day, ten missiles struck all over Japan. In a shocking twist of fate there were no casualties at any of the missile strike locations, but 20,000 citizens known as NEETs went missing. This event has led to lots of conspiracy theories since the event.
Our friend Takizawa? He’s a Selecao, one of ten individuals chosen by a mysterious benefactor known only as Mr. Outside, who tasks them with “saving Japan”. He’s been given 10 billion yen, a special phone, and exclusive access to Juiz, an assistant who can fulfill his wildest dreams for the right price. Of course, he doesn’t tell Saki this right away. Instead, he works with Saki’s group of friends to find out who he actually is and his connection to these mysterious attacks.
As the group delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding Careless Monday, they learn some astonishing facts about Takizawa. For one, Takizawa was the one who helped evacuate the missile strike areas on Careless Monday. Additionally, he enlisted the help of the NEETs and then transports them via cargo ship to Dubai so that they wouldn’t be mistaken as terrorists. With this knowledge in mind, Saki and her friends put all their faith in Takizawa to save Japan once more from an impending missile attack.
I didn’t like Eden of the East. There, I said it. Revoke my rights to call myself an anime fan if you must. Okay, I’ll stop being overdramatic now. I think the fact that I’m seeing this in 2019 rather than when it originally aired in 2009 is a major reason that I don’t like Eden of the East. The overarching messages of nationalism and unyielding patriotism feel extremely dated given our current political climate.
Don’t get me wrong though, the premise of Eden of the East is incredibly interesting. This spy/thriller/action anime delivers those themes in all the right places. I had a lot of fun watching Saki and Takizawa unearth the mystery of what truly happened on Careless Monday. I loved the suspenseful moments that accompanied Takizawa meeting a new Selecao. The things that make an anime good are in Eden of the East. It’s just the way it pans out that I have an issue with.
I’m also not a fan of “nice guy” Satoshi Osugi, Saki’s friend from the Eden of the East club either. His attitude is, I hate to say it, so 2009. I could forgive him of this attribute if the he was given some sort of redemption arc. We almost get one too when Osugi is presumed kidnapped by Selecao/serial killer Shiratori, but it turns out Osugi wasn’t ever a potential victim. It’s really a shame as having Saki and Takizawa save him from Shiratori could possibly be the event that convinces Osugi that Saki is capable and in good hands.
The good thing about the Anime Classics line from Funimation is that they give you the most bang for your buck. I like splurging on box sets and getting swag, but I’m less likely to drop that kind of cash on a show I’ve never seen. Thankfully, the Anime Classics version of Eden of the East will only set you back about $20
Fans looking to add Eden of the East to their anime library kind find information on how to purchase here.