Retro Play: Higashi no Eden

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Higashi No Eden is one of those anime that’s surprisingly short with just eleven episodes, making it a very binge-worthy title for those times in your life when you just can’t take on an anime of Naruto/One Piece proportions. Higashi no Eden is by Production I. G. and is definitely worth a watch! Keep reading to find out why!

The story is ambitious to say the least, and relies heavily on magical realism which will either turn people away or make them more intrigued. It also reflects the 2009 political climate and actually still has something to reflect on in our current political situation.

It’s easy to relate what’s happening to events like 9/11, the terrorists attacks, and such. Beyond the realism that it portrays however there is a strong element of suspense and mystery added which will keep you at the edge of your seat. The twists and turns are intriguing. But things are not constantly heavy as there is an element of humor added for good measure.

The pacing works well for the 11 episodes. It holds itself up but also reveals itself at a decent pace. For instance, you’ll be left in the dark for a while but then learn something new about the Selecao and additionally about Mr. Outside. Later on important identities will be shared. Each episode doesn’t feel too rushed with a crap ton of information nor do they feel to spare with filler.

Eden looks nice even by today’s anime standards. In particular the character designs are simple yet still intriguing. The anime’s backgrounds are nicely detailed as well. This was the era in which the combination of 3D graphics and anime graphics began to merge together.

The mysterious guy, Takizawa, isn’t the stereotypical angsty bishi boy hiding a dark burdened past. Some of us here enjoy that stereotype but also understand that it is overdone, so those who don’t like that type will find him to be rather likeable.

He’s more on the cheerful and less emotional side. Saki is also a likable character but more in the sense that she embodies the stereotype of a shoujo heroine. The good thing about many of the characters overall is that they are given some development to help keep them from being total stereotypes, even if that development is done in such a short amount of time.

The ending is open ended, but this anime is more about the journey over the destination. It’s nice to see anime productions that are very ambitious in their storytelling even if it leaves a fanbase in a divisive fashion. So have a watch and judge for yourself, but for us it was a delightful little anime binge.