Posts Tagged ‘eden of the east’
|Eden of the East
Released By: Funimation
While on a school vacation to Washington DC, Saki runs into a mysterious naked man with no memories of who he is. All he has in his possession is a cell phone and a gun which makes for a strange start for what will become an even stranger relationship between the two. Taking on the name Akira Takizawa, he returns to Japan with Saki and begins his search for answers into who he is and what powers are contained within his phone.
What he learns is that he’s one of a dozen people in the country who have been given a fortune and the ability to do almost anything they can imagine in order to change the country for the better. Unfortunately with the answers he finds, Akira learns that not everyone who has been given this opportunity have had the same ideas on how to go about things. While learning of his past, Akira will also learn about his own low points which are as shadowy as the craters left behind from a mysterious missile attack on Japan which left no casualties and no one to blame some months earlier.
Good and the Bad
Of all the reviews I’ve written lately, Eden of the East is one that has given me the most trouble. Produced by Production IG and released in 2009, this series has sustained a constant buzz ever since its release. Now that I’ve finally watched it all I’m left with one nagging feeling: That’s it?
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not winding up to tear this one apart. Contrary to things that I might say later, I did mostly enjoy this series. When taken as a whole, Eden of the East has a solid story and manages to tell it while going down some interesting paths along the way. Sometimes those paths even lead to even more interesting conclusions. Exploring the theme of Japan returning as a renewed world power, it’s hard to think of another series that has even explored the concept as deeply as this one.
For the first half, Eden of the East creates a deep path for viewers to follow. A group of people are given almost limitless funds to change their country for the better. Certainly there are going to be differing ideas on how to go about it but there are also going to be successes and failures along the way. What kind of miserable failure would drive someone to completely erase their memories? For the first part of the series, questions like these are presented and very slowly brought into focus.
Once things start to hit the middle of the series things begin to slow down through half hearted searches down alternate paths. Within the first third of the series, two more people who are involved in the game are introduced to the audience who are polar opposites of each other. While one squanders his opportunity, another does amazing deeds that may not get him declared the winner but can at least keep his conscious clear. With this pattern established, the series is able to give answers to both the audience and its lead character simultaneously. Once the story travels down this path a third time though, the pace completely stalls and never really recovers.
Once the audience gets to the other side of the rescue story, the sense of urgency that was once apparent is nowhere to be found. What was once a race to find out the mysteries of Akira’s past becomes a race to push answers into the final episodes. In the closing episodes, Eden of the East manages to tie up the largest puzzle in a not entirely pretty bow. As for those alternate paths that the series half heartedly explored earlier? Apparently not important enough to worry about beyond the plot that Akira had to solve within an episode in order to give things a coincidental ending.
And finally in a flash I realized that was the answer I was looking for. This isn’t a terribly poor produced series. It actually has very typical, high standard Production IG animation and a story which breaks molds in the landscape. What it doesn’t do is give the audience any really consistent senses of urgency or tension. The story is always moving forward towards answers but eventually the series just runs out of steam hoping that fans will coast through the last third of the series and yet still have enough leftover momentum to carry them into the follow up movies. Instead, this lack of consistent tension serves to slowly take viewers out of a series that started with a lot of promise.
Composed by Kenji Kawai, the background score really flexes the muscle of the experienced composer. Using a full orchestra, the music uses strings to provide most of the melodies and does a great job of setting an air of tension that is constantly surrounding Akira. During Saki’s time on the screen, the melodies shift to piano themes and creates a sweet, almost homey atmosphere particularly when she is struggling with decisions.
Just to heap on some extra praise, Funimation really goes out for their fans with this release. In the original television broadcast, the opening theme was a song performed by British rock band Oasis with another song used for international broadcasts. As an extra treat, the theme song from Oasis is included with the first episode of the set before changing to the international theme.
Dub vs. Sub
Listening to this set entirely in English, I was really surprised at how easily quickly I felt comfortable with the performances. Throughout the set, I would try to listen carefully in places to spot inconsistencies but I always felt like the characters felt particularly natural and easy to listen to. Led by Leah Clark (Saki Morimi) and Jason Liebrecht (Akira Takizawa), I was particularly struck by the naturalness to their banter early in the series. When these two are first getting together and flirting, it’s hard to not be charmed by the sweet, casual sound in the voices.
I’ll give credit to Eden of the East for being innovative and well produced. In the end though, this is another good concept which fizzles out towards the end. I recognize this series for being another unique speck in the landscape worth giving attention to. But that’s really all it is and when the buzz dies so will this series. If you need a slowly unraveling story, you might give this one a chance but you’re not missing anything if you don’t stick it out.
I knew about ACEN this weekend. I also knew that Funimation was going to be there and had a few plans for those who were attending. What I didn’t realize was that this was the weekend for Funimation to unload an entire bag of tricks! At their panel today, Funimation announced five new titles, three new dub casts, a license rescue and a partridge in a pear tree… alright, I made that last part up but the rest of it is right on.
Starting with the new licenses, it was announced today that Funimation has acquired: Rideback, Heaven’s Lost Property (Japanese title: Sora no Otoshimono), Chrome Shelled Regios, both seasons of Rosario + Vampire and Chaos;Head. All of which are set to be released in 2011 except Chrome Shelled Regios which is set to hit DVD later this year.
In the rescue department, it was also announced that Funimation will be releasing Gun x Sword which originally got a Geneon release back in 2006-2007 before they took their ball and went home.
If that wasn’t enough for you, also announced today were the English dub casts and release dates for three additional series: Eden of the East, Corpse Princess (Japanese title: Shikabane Hime) and Casshern Sins which are all listed below:
Eden of the East – Complete series to be released September 28th 2010
ADR Director – Mike McFarlane
Akira Takizawa - Jason Liebrecht
Saki Morimi - Leah Clark
Juiz - Stephanie Young
Kuroha Diana Shiratori - Christine Auten
Daiju Mononobe - John Gremillion
Micchon – Stephanie Sheh
Haruo Kasuga – John Burgmeier
Sis – Lydia Mackay
Kazuomi Hirasawa - J. Michael Tatum
Satoshi Osugi – Michael Sinterniklaas
Panties – Newton Pittman
Casshern Sins – Set 1 to be released August 2010
ADR Director – Jason Grundy
Braiking Boss – Paul Slavens
Casshern – Eric Vale
Luna – Trina Nishimura
Lyuze – Brina Palencia
Leda – Shelly Calene-Black
Ohji – Jerry Russell
Ringo – Monica Rial
Dio – Jerry Jewell
Dune – Jason Douglas
Corpse Princess – Parts I and II will be released September 14th 2010
ADR Directors – R. Bruce Elliot, Terri Doty and J. Michael Tatum
Keisei Tagami – J. Michael Tatum
Makina Hoshimura – Luci Christian
Ouri Kagami – Aaron Dismuke
Rika Aragami – Cynthia Cranz
Saki Amase – Monica Rial
Takamasa Sōgi – Joel McDonald
Itsuki Yamagami – Cherami Leigh
For the most part there is a little bit of everything for fans to get excited about. Course, there are also a few things to not be excited about (seriously, Heaven’s Lost Property and Rideback? Gag) but we’re going to focus on the positive here. September is shaping up to be a good month for anime viewing and I can’t wait to finally sit down and see all of Eden of the East after losing track of it when it first aired. I plan on breaking down these releases in a bit more detail in the near future for those who aren’t familiar with all of these titles but what’s sticking out at you as exciting right off the bat?
Full press releases below the cut
Can you really believe that February is over now? I’ve actually been spending most of this last week trying really hard to disbelieve it. One of those ‘maybe if I don’t acknowledge it, it won’t happen’ sort of things. Then I saw the cherry blossoms starting to bloom in my neighborhood and realized I was screwed. Not a lot happened this weekend but here are the things that I did miss covering as it happened:
Funimation Announces Summer Blu rays: It’s been revealed that Funimation is planning some awesome new Blu ray releases for this summer and beyond including Guyver: The Bio Boosted Armor, RIN Daughters of Mnemosye, Black Cat, Eden of the East and quite a few others. Once again, this would have me much more excited if I had a Blu ray player but Eden of the East should be enough to get those who do excited enough for us all.
Japan Considering Ban on ALL Lolis: After all the disturbances last year to the eroge industry, it’s hard to imagine getting much more annoying but Japan has found a way to top themselves. Canned Dogs called attention to a new law which they have translated as roughly
“Any character that regardless of actual age has an appearance of being under 18, and has a possibility of causing youths to lust for or possibility of bringing this fantasy to real life, will have to be censored.”
I’m hoping that this is a case of reality not being nearly as bad as all the internet nerds (which includes myself) are making it out to be. A ban on all lolis regardless of how old they actually are? Damn the man, save the lolis!
Japanese Astronaut Makes First Sushi in Space: Ending on a lighter note that has nothing to do with anime, a Japanese astronaut has made sushi in space. Made by Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station while doing an interview with Fuji TV. Wonder how it tasted ^_^
Ah the chill in the air, lights going up everywhere, hearing the same fifty songs over and over again until you want to hang yourself which all means one thing. Tis the season for top ten lists! Everyone seems to be working on their own year end lists (I’ll probably even write one or two myself before the end of the month) and that includes 2ch.
The residents of 2ch have made their votes known and ranked their top 10 anime of the year 2009. For the most part, the list reads pretty much as you’d expect. The top five are dominated by quality (with only a dash of moe inserted by Saki) with the bottom half receiving a similarly varied result. I can’t really disagree with many of the rankings here; Bakemonogatari is an easy pick for number 1 though I might have replaced Kimi ni Todoke and TM8. The full ten are listed below the cut, numbers in parenthesis are the number of votes it got from fans.
Writer’s block sucks but sometimes all it takes is just a couple of sparks to get you going again. I missed last week but there really has been very little to fall through the cracks. So what has happened in the last couple of weeks? Moe loli triplets will be airing sometime in the future, Gonzo has taken one more step towards obscurity and the holiday season is fast approaching which means more merchandise that none of us actually need but will probably buy anyway simply because we can.
Second Eden of the East Movie Delayed: Fans of last summer’s hit series, Eden of the East, have been very patient when it comes to the movie adaptations. Finally, the big day was just hours away when Production I.G decided to break the collective hearts of fans just a bit more by announcing a two month delay in the release of the second movie. This isn’t entirely bad news however. Originally both movies were set to be 60 minute adaptations of the TV series but then the staff got creative and expanded the story out even further making what was supposed to a 60 minute feature into 90 minutes instead. Surely fans can wait a measly two months for at least 30 more minutes of story?
Ikkitousen Season 4 Green Lit: For those of you who prefer your anime to lean more towards the action fan service variety, a fourth season of Ikkitousen has been green lit for production. Titled ‘Ikkitousen: XX (Xtreme Xecutor)‘, the new season will feature the animation debut of the character Bachou Mouki (voiced by Aya Endo [Sheryl Nome in Macross Frontier, Cruz in Needless]) and will also feature new characters that were never featured in the manga series. Beyond that, all of the cast and crew from the first three seasons will be returning to reprise their roles.
If you’re dying to get your fix, the official website has already opened with a trailer for the special DVD 0 being released at Comiket 77. The trailer isn’t really safe for work though the nipples are censored.
Major Gets Sixth Season: The seemingly perennial baseball anime had a sixth season announced this week. The new season will be getting a spring premiere, more specifically April 3rd (just in time for baseball season naturally). I remember when this series was still relatively new and I couldn’t go more than a week without someone telling me to check this one out. Glad that’s finally over with.
Manga Gamer Editing Upcoming Release: Manga Gamer put two news updates on their site earlier this week regarding their upcoming release of Soul Link from Navel (Shuffle). First the good news, the game will be released later this month (presumably in time to spend any holiday money you have coming to you) for €36.95 (or around $55). The bad news is that the game is being willingly censored by Manga Gamer before its release. In a statement posted to their site on 12/4 the company said:
“A total of 6 CGs from the game will be removed due to having an arguably underaged(sic) looking character naked. Because we don’t want to risk getting the law in the way of our future releases, we have decided to cut this CG from this release.” They go on to note that no text was cut.
As much as I hate censorship, this has not been a good year to be an eroge fan. Between the bans put into place because of one stupid game that wasn’t even made widely available and the Christopher Handley guilty plea, I can understand why Manga Gamer would prefer to go the safe route. It’s exceedingly lame that they buckled to whatever pressure they felt like they were under but understandable. On the other hand, JAST USA proved earlier this year that a little bit of Photoshop here and there (NSFW) can go a long way towards fixing those problems.
STUFF YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED UNTIL NOW
600 Japanese Girls Saying ‘I Love You’: Alright, so it’s not literally 600 girls being shipped to you just so that you can be peppered with the same phrase over and over but how about a CD containing the same thing? For a mere $25 you can have a special two CD set titled ‘Hougen’ which will help even the loneliest of otaku feel special as hundreds of girls (including voice actresses such as Rie Tanaka [most recently known as Nyx in Queen's Blade, Octavia in Tears to Tiara, Minna in Strike Witches]). If that’s not enough, a second CD is included in the set which features the reverse: hundreds of girls telling you they hate you perfect for that post holiday depression. The set will be released on 12/23 and is available for preorder from CDJapan.
<Ikkitousen image ©YUJI SHIOZAKI・WANI BOOKS/IKKITOUSEN XX PARTNERS, Soul Link image ©Omegavision>
You know, it has been FAR too long since I have posted a trailer roundup for everyone. I’m usually really good with keeping up to date with this. The usual excuse applies here; lots of work and that silly sleep habit of mine ate up far too much time. But that was yesterday and now I’m back with possibly the longest trailer update I’ve ever written. Here we go…
Starting with the most recent and working our way back, Kadokawa has posted new television commercials for the upcoming movie Yona Yona Penguin. Opening in Japan on December 23rd the movie is completely 3D CGI animation and is the work of Japanese studios Madhouse and Dynamo Pictures, Thailand based Imagimax and French studio Def2Shoot. I’m still fuzzy on the story but the trailer makes it look like a holiday Pixar movie.
If you’re feeling more in a Sci-Fi mood to go with your personal Friday the 13th traditions, the first ten minutes of the movie To have also been posted to YouTube by the Avex Network. The release adapts two of the stories the manga series 2001 Nights and is directed by Fumihiko Sori (producer for Appleseed, Vexille). As previous reported, it will hit store shelves in Japan on December 18th. I’ve had a very strong curiosity towards this release ever since I first reported on it. Despite having no subtitles, the animation at least clearly shows how Appleseed influenced some of Sori’s work here.
Switching genres once again, the official website for Bungaku Shoujo has posted a minute long trailer. The movie will open during Golden Week next year and centers on a high school girl who is actually a book eating creature serving as president of her literary club. Her only friend is another literary club member who writes stories for her to eat. The artwork and pacing of the trailer will tell you right away that this is going to be a light hearted romance from Production I.G. and is already one of the ones that I am particularly looking forward to.
For those who are still looking forward to the new Eden of the East movies (and at this point, I believe that is most of you) this part is just for you. A new trailer has been posted for the first of the upcoming two movies. It’s only a little under a minute long but with the first movie now only days away from the November 28th premiere date, it should at least tide you over until the end of the month. You can be patient for just a little bit longer right?
Finally, in the giant mech portion of the roundup, two new Gundam trailers have gone up for Gundam Unicorn and the Gundam 00 movie. Each trailer is over a minute long (with the first being over two minutes long) and has a little bit of everything for fans of the franchise. I’ve made it pretty well known that I have never gotten into the franchise that much so instead I’m going to just post them and let actual Gundam fans share how cool/lame they are. So here they are, have at it!
Biggest downside to living on the west coast? Cool news like this always gets announced before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee in the morning. Anyways, Funimation scored in a very big way by revealing at their panel this morning the license of both Casshern Sins and Eden of the East. Casshern Sins was originally released in the fall of 2008 and was largely regarded as a well done remake of the original (never mind the fact that I found it to be an incredible bore). Eden of the East is a brand new series that has been gaining widespread attention since its premiere this previous spring. During the Q&A portion of the panel Adam Sheehan was asked about the movie and he indicated that they MIGHT have it but he wasn’t sure. Both titles will be released in 2010 and you can imagine how loud that panel room got when these announcements were made.
In other stray bits mentioned during the panel, a new Dragon Box Z set will be released starting this fall. Aimed at hardcore fans of the series, the box sets will feature 40 episodes, uncut and remastered. It will include a special collector’s book and everything.
Casshern Sins is a big announcement in itself but the speed in which Eden of the East was acquired amazes me.
A new movie trailer (click the left one) for the two upcoming Eden of the East movies went up while I was away? Well, that’s disappointing. Regardless, while both films are mentioned in the trailer it looks like a lot of the story is going to be retold at least. It’s not clear if both films are going to attempt to retell the whole story or if just the first one will, I’m hoping that the first movie will be the only recap movie. I wasn’t able to keep up with this series all the way through. A movie sized summary version would be a great reintroduction before more original story in the second movie. That would be cool at least, let’s see how it looks in six months.
And there’s number three for the week! Its old news that Eden of the East was headed to the big screen after the initial TV series finished airing. What is new about this though is that the series will be headed there TWICE! Initially Production IG mentioned that Eden of the East would be turned into a movie and released to theaters later this year. The final episode and a staff blog have revealed that it will actually be two movie projects. The first movie will be titled ‘Eden of the East Movie I: The King of Eden’ and will be released on November 28th. The second movie, titled ‘Paradise Lost’, will be released in January 2010. No details on what the story of these two will actually be but it’s going to be a lot of fun finding out later this year.
So I’m a little late with this but it just wouldn’t be a complete month if I wasn’t late to the end of it. Due to a number of unexpected scheduling issues throughout the month of April I didn’t get to view nearly as many of the spring premieres as I wanted to. There were some series that I was able to view up to three episodes and some I was only able to view one, I’ve noted how many of each series I watched to give you an idea of how informed my opinion is. So without further ado… Spring Mop Up 09 starts after the cut.