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April 25, 2012

Anime Review: Higashi no Eden

Higashi no Eden is full of mysteries and surprises along with suspense and action that will keep you on your toes until the very end. The anime takes the story to a whole new level with an added competition that hosts 12 contestants, each battling it out to either destroy or save Japan.

Higashi no EdenSynopsis:
On November 22, 2010 ten missiles strike Japan. However, this unprecedented terrorist act, later to be known as "Careless Monday," does not result in any apparent victims, and is soon forgotten by almost everyone. Then, 3 months later... Saki Morimi is a young woman currently in the United States of America on her graduation trip. But just when she is in front of the White House, Washington DC, she gets into trouble, and only the unexpected intervention of one of her fellow countrymen saves her. However, this man, who introduces himself as Akira Takizawa, is a complete mystery. He appears to have lost his memory, is stark naked, except for the gun he holds in one hand, and the mobile phone he's holding in the other. A phone that is charged with 8,200,000,000 yen in digital cash.

Review:
Can you reach out and take the hand of someone who has done terrible things in their past? Will you take their hand because you trust, deep inside, that they can do wonderful things for the future? Higashi no Eden touches on the moral aspects of Akira Takizawa and his dealings with society. At the beginning, Akira has lost his memory and has no idea what is going on. He manages to save Saki Morimi in the United States of America whilst on her graduation trip. Although Akira has lost his memories, he still holds a vital piece in the 'game', that is, his mobile phone. As the story progresses, Akira slowly recollects his past memories of what happened to him and eventually finds out a dark truth of the competition. With 11 other contestants in the 'game', only one can win. The story is exciting and thrilling from the beginning to end. You will slowly discover truths and lies throughout the anime. I enjoyed the story very much.

The artwork took a little whole to get used to since the characters seem to have rather large round-ish faces. Eventually after the first few episodes have passed, I totally forgot about the oddities and enjoyed the anime's nice detailed backgrounds and vivid lighting affects. Even glass had proper reflections that clearly shows the depth of detail that the anime produces.

The soundtrack was brilliantly composed. Atmospheric, lovely, adventurous, neutral, thrilling, light, folksy- this anime manages a spectrum for the background music. The easy brass sounds and the underwhelming suspenseful score suits the anime quite well. This is probably one of the few anime out there to use musical foreshadowing as well as music as a means to develop themes. The theme songs were appropriate to the overall theme.

The characters that stand out the most is definitely Akira, Saki and Juiz. The 11 other contestants are not revealed until much later in the anime. You will definitely find Juiz amusing as she is the electronic computer voice that Akira and the other contestants speak to via their mobile phones. Of course, you won't know that until much later in the anime. Akira on the other hand has a nice cool attitude. He knows what's going on and how to deal with any situation. Saki can be portrayed as a little indecisive and naive as she follows Akira around not knowing what is going on. Of course she later finds out the truth by accident, which makes the anime even that more interesting to watch.

In the end, I really enjoyed the anime with all its suspense, mysteries and surprises. The story was well told with a cliffhanger ending that preludes the two OVAs that follow. Higashi no Eden is one high-tech, action-packed, mystery-ridden anime that will keep you occupied for a long time. If you are into that type of anime, this is perfect for you.

STORY: 9
Interest plot with many mysteries and twists.

ART: 8
Well illustrated art and detail in backgrounds.

SOUND: 8
Good voice acting and appropriate theme songs.

CHARACTER: 8
Wide variety of characters with different personalities that will keep you occupied.

ENJOYMENT: 8
A life or death competition? Yes please!

OVERALL: 8
I enjoyed the anime very much.