The last anime we watched at my university anime club this year, Kenji Kamiyama’s Eden of the East was an anime that instantly got my vote to watch for its hilarious and intriguing first episode.
This is probably the first thing that will strike you about Eden of the East: its mystery.
The anime follows Akira Takizawa (Ryōhei Kimura), who awakens with amnesia outside the White House, naked and holding a gun.
The first person he encounters is Saki Morimi (Saori Hayami), a woman on her graduation trip who is surprisingly helpful to the naked man with a gun.
This is the basic premise of the first episode and the situation is as hilarious as it sounds.
What was also a nice surprise of this first episode is its quality in the voice acting, especially from the English-speaking characters.
Whenever characters speak English in anime, they are usually voiced by people who don’t usually speak the language so it becomes rather hard to take it seriously.
Eden of the East does the opposite of this, having plenty of English speaking voice actors accompanying the Japanese cast and I appreciate the show for putting in the effort.
Another thing I appreciate is the great bond between Takizawa and Saki, which is kind of surprising since how they meet, with Takizawa being naked and with a gun, would result in any clear headed person running for their lives, but not Saki.
What most likely helps lessen the notion of improbability that their growing relationship has on the viewer is the two’s fantastic chemistry, with their bond being a highlight just two episodes in.
So, with these two great characters and an intriguing plot that could be particularly hilarious at times, I was all for seeing where the mysteries of this show would go.
And, honestly, I was slightly disappointed.
That is not to say the ending of the show is bad, it’s still pretty good.
But I much preferred the first few episodes, which set up the mystery, rather than the last couple of episodes that ended the show in a pretty rushed fashion.
For example, Takizawa does something in the final episode that Saki does mention in narration during the first episode, however, other than this initial narration, I don’t think there was any other setup for this happening.
Despite my problems with the ending of the show though, I know this is not the end of the story because there are apparently two movies I need to see to know how this whole mystery of the game that Takizawa has become involved in wraps up.
According to the people I’ve talked to, these movies weren’t particularly well received but I’ll have to judge that for myself when I get around to it.
In any case, I found Eden of the East to be a solid show, all in all.
The chemistry between Takizawa and Saki is great, the humor is top notch, and the mystery does keep you intrigued throughout, even if I felt the story did not work in places, especially with the end to the show.
Still, I have the movies to check out so I hope they can wrap up the mysteries that were laid out in the first few episodes well.