Can I work that ‘East’ tag any harder? This really isn’t a movie in the genuine sense; more like a special that was broken into two segments rather than to plunk us down for three hours to see the dénouement that is “Eden of the East: Paradise Lost”. I found this a rare offering, where the middle movie was better than the conclusion, as we threw in a needless complication to an already complicated plotline, and that was whether or not Takizawa IS the illegitimate son of the late Prime Minister of Japan.
It does follow the hunt for his mother, who is found living in NYC, tied to that dog with the wings, as well as the final machinations to determine who will be the winner of this contest. This one is more about flashbacks, as we learn how Takizawa was ‘chosen’ to be in this game (along with the other players) and the mysterious man behind it all. Seriously, who can afford to give up or away 12 BILLION yen?!!? (with the exchange rate, about $838 million) for such a lark?
Although the intrigue was still there, it felt a bit padded in the portions involving his ‘mother’ and all that they find in that hunt. And it is a bit of a bad sign if you can guess the end before it gets revealed, as then there is no surprise for you and you are cooling your heels while the show catches up with you. The actual conclusion was a stunner, as Takizawa pulls a maneuver that I had not predicted at all. Yeah, OK, we have car chases and gun play, but those are kept to a minimum as we prefer the cat-and-mouse, or, probably closer to the truth, spider-and-fly approach to things. But even with the ‘end’, you get the feeling that things haven’t really ended, as the real conclusion of the film gives a hint of more interesting experiments to follow.
I am going to recommend that to do the shows this way: do a chain-watch of the series (two episodes in the morning, two in the evening) as that will take three days. Wait one day. Catch the two ‘specials’ back to back. I feel you will get the best sense of it that way. Don’t binge-watch; it is never good and you will lose things along the way.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (The noses, the noses!)
Plot 7 (Got a bit sobby with the birth angle)
Pacing 8 (Built quite well)
Effectiveness 8 (Good use of flashbacks)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall Three stars
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Noblesse oblige.