Eden of the East Complete Collection
Studio: Production I.G.
Publisher: Madman Entertainment
Release Date: December 5, 2012
Price: $69.95 – Available Here
‘Who am I?’ It is isn’t such a difficult question for most of us. We have a sense of identity, a sense of what kind of person we are, a sense of who we are. But what if we didn’t? Waking up without an identity is more than a little frightening. Our identity is how we define ourselves after all. If you lost that sense of identity, would you become someone else?
These are the questions asked by Eden of the East, a compelling exploration into the nature of identity and what it means to a person. Eden of the East is a series propelled by a focused vision, layered with intrigue and utterly enthralling from start to finish.
Due to the nature of this particular release, this review will cover more than just the anime series. This release by Madman Entertainment compiles essentially the entire Eden of the East franchise into one tidy package by including the entire series and the 3 Eden of the East films.
Taking cues from The Bourne Identity, Eden of the East revolves around a protagonist without an identity and his quest to discover who he really is. Eden of the East’s resident Jason Bourne is Akira Takizawa or at least that’s who he thinks he is. He wakes up stark naked outside of the White House with nothing but a gun in one hand and a phone in the other. From this moment on, Eden of the East explores the very nature of what it means to have an identity and accepting who you are.
We discover alongside Akira that he is in fact part of a survival game of sorts crafted by the enigmatic Mr. Outside with the apparent goal to save Japan. From this begins a series of events that unravel the truth of the game and who exactly Akira Takizawa was and who he is now.
Part of what makes Eden of the East so compelling is the way we see Akira grow as a person. He begins as essentially a blank slate having lost all his memories but develops into his own person. The more that is revealed the more we come to see that the Akira we come to know is not the same man he was before. He is a new man, the circumstances and people that surround him form a new sense of identity for him. We all grow to be the people we are based upon our situations and the people around us, and so Eden of the East sets out to create a microcosm of this concept through the character of Akira Takizawa, it is enthralling to say the very least.
With an atmosphere dripping with intrigue, there is many mysteries behind the world of Eden of the East and a pretty deep mythology behind it all. One could make a claim that Eden of the East has more mysteries than it has time to solve and such is the case even with 11 episodes and movie follow-ups. That is the only fallacy of Eden of the East, there is never a time when questions don’t outweigh answers. It may just be the style of Eden of the East, the idea that we can never know everything, it may just be Eden of the East’s identity – untamed mystery.
Despite its unanswered questions, it is hard not to be swept up in Eden of the East’s hook. There is a lot to like about this series, it just gets more intriguing with every passing episode and its finale is one to savor. Conveying a memorable cast of characters, a tale about identity and its importance, Eden of the East is as thrilling as it is fun.
Visuals and Audio:
Production I.G. have a history for being relatively hit and miss in terms of their animation quality, thankfully for Eden of the East this is one of their hits. There is a very distinct and fluid artistic vision behind Eden of the East that holds steady and true throughout the series entire run. This is quality art and animation in its purest form.
Much like its animation and art, Eden of the East’s soundtrack is superb. Unfortunately however due to a dispute with Oasis, the original and admittedly brilliant opening theme song ‘Falling Down’ only appears on the first episode of the series. Despite this hiccup, the second opening theme is a good replacement and fits with the overall feel of the rest of the soundtrack. The voice acting on this series is also rather extraordinary, with a cast that really owns their roles. Jason Leibrecht and Leah Clark deserve all the praise they can get for their performances as Akira and Saki respectively.
If you are a fan of this series or are simply looking for an entry point, there is no release of the series better than this. Madman Entertainment have compiled the most definitive release of Eden of the East available. For a small price of $69.95 you can get the entire TV series as well as all 3 movies (Air Communication, King of Eden and Paradise Lost) as well as a plethora of other special features including TV spots, commentary tracks, interviews with creators of Eden of the East, trailers and much more. There is no doubt that this is the most complete and comprehensive release of Eden of the East on the market and it is honestly worth every cent.
Eden of the East is a series that is not without its flaws, but succeeds resoundingly so in spite of them. This is one of Production I.G’s best series to date and deserves a place in any anime fans collection. If there was any release of this series to own it is definitely Eden of the East: Complete Collection from Madman Entertainment. This is one mystery that isn’t too hard to solve, you should be watching Eden of the East.
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