11 Sep 2010

Eden of the East The Movie: King of Eden (Anime) Review

Eden of the East The Movie: King of Eden (2010)
Format: Movie, 81 minutes
Studio: Production I.G
Score: 4 stars

Summary: As a continuation of the TV series, King of Eden does well to tone down the cheese and ridiculousness. Slow-paced, but uses that pacing well to develop its characters and set up for the finale. The main disappointment is it's ending.... or lack thereof.

Despite it's many flaws, I love the original TV series. Production values were high and the story was intriguing. The problem with most of these types of shows is that once most of the mystery is unraveled, my interest in it seems to dip. Perhaps I expected more surprises and a good plot twist, but the explanations given in the 2nd half of the TV series felt a little shallow.This movie, however, seems to fix this by giving the viewers more time to absorb what's going on and really invest on the characters. It makes both the build up AND climax much more interesting. Am I weird to like build-ups more than the climax in most shows? Is that phrased weirdly?

Anyway, Production I.G did a superb job with the animation and backgrounds here. The TV series was awesome, and this is just slightly better. It doesn't mean that this movie looks bad. It's just that the TV series looked TOO GOOD. In any case, good animation all around. Doesn't hurt that they have Kenji Kamiyama (Blood TV, Ghost in the Shell TV, Moribito) directing AND writing for the entire Eden of the East series. He brings along with him many talents from some of Production I.G's best shows, as evident by this movie's long list of 2nd Key Animators. It's hard to point out any particular animator among the pack because nearly all of them have worked on prominent shows like Ghost in the Shell and Moribito, and none of them particularly stand out like Ohira Shinya,  Inoue Toshiyuki or Matsumoto Norio. Perhaps this is just a problem with breeding "perfect" animators instead of individuals who are willing to experiment and seek out their own style, a la Ohira Shinya. But that's another argument for another day...

Overall, King of Eden does a great job following up a great series by fixing it's flaws and concentrating on what matters most in this type of sci-fi plot twisting shows; identifiable characters and a coherent plot. The only problem is its lack of an ending. It sort of drops off at the end, leaving you wanting to see the next film. Works well in weekly TV series format, but not in movies like these.

Please release Eden of the East The Movie II: Paradise Lost Blu-Ray and sub it quickly!

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