10:43 - 28th February 2013, by Matt Kamen

Eden of the East

It's no paradise trying to save Japan, especially if you've wiped your own memory. But enough of Matt Kamen's weekend antics - let's look at Eden of the East

Activities you probably shouldn't do in Washington DC:
1 - Throw stuff at the White House. Unfortunately, that's what Japanese student Saki Morimi has just done, innocently flinging a coin into Obama's back yard.
2 - Wander around the outside of the White House, naked, with only your mobile phone and a handgun. Unfortunately, that's what amnesiac wanderer Akira Takizawa has just done.

Inciting a National Security Alert is an odd way to meet, but Saki and Akira help each other escape the authorities and swiftly head back to Japan. Little does Saki know just what she might be getting herself into, though - Akira's rented apartment in Washington is stocked like an armoury, he has multiple passports that each have a different identity, his phone is permanently connected to a woman known only as 'Juiz' (who tells him he asked for his own memory to be wiped, yet has an ¥8.2 billion budget at his disposal), and their movements are being followed by mysterious figures who refer to Akira as "Number 9" and a "Seleção".

And what's all this on Akira's phone about "Noblesse Oblige" - French for "Nobility Obliges"? As if all that wasn't strange enough, as the pair arrive back in Japan, they face a tragic reminder of the mysterious 'Careless Monday' disaster that occurred three months prior. Then, ten missiles had hit Tokyo without so much as a single casualty - but this time, all that's left is a scar in the capital's landscape, and only two survivors.

It's safe to say that Eden of the East is a complex and layered story - but that should be expected from any show that aired in Fuji TV's 'noitaminA' timeslot. This highly regarded programming block is designed to expand anime's appeal in Japan outside of its typical young male demographic, and has previously brought viewers thoughtful and innovative content such as romance drama Paradise Kiss, savage sci-fi Jyu-Oh-Sei, anti-censorship action series Library War and expressionistic horror serial Mononoke. Nor should it be any surprise that such a deep series sprang from Production I.G. and the mind of Kenji Kamiyama, director of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - thankfully, this latest work lives up to all the standards set for it. Despite being a mere 11 episodes long, Eden of the East packs in more adventure, conspiracy and drama than many other manage in a full 26. You can try to unravel the mysteries of Akira's past and Saki's strange but growing connection to him for yourself with Manga Entertainment's complete collection of the series, which contains all the episodes plus two movies - out now.

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