OK, so when “Eden of the East: The King of Eden” came out, I was very nervous, as I felt it was going to be a recap movie, as we cobble together the salient parts from the TV series and present it as a ‘movie’. Nope, that is not the case. If anything, it goes on to tell more story and (eventually) conclude the tale. It has been about six months since the end of the series. Things in the world are ‘normal’ (whatever that really means). We find our heroine, Saki Morimi in the Big Apple, trying to chase down the Air King (whom we know as Akira Takizawa), but she runs into trouble right from the get-go.
She has been asked by him to meet in New York, but between a grumpy cabbie and her suitcase spilling open, showing some weaponry, the cops are right after her. She manages to escape all that and find Takizawa, but he has had a memory wipe again and knows nothing of which she speaks. Adding to the confusion is the potential idea that he is the illegitimate son of the Prime Minister, who has just died. And thus paving the way for him to be not only the ‘Prince of Japan’, but finally bring to fruition HIS plan to ‘save Japan’.
We still have a lot of the cat-and-mouse, cloak-and-dagger, pickles-and-ice cream intrigue that was the hallmark of the series, as the Eden of the East company is now a successful business and, via a phone app, can keep an eye on all the other Seleção’s activity logs to predict what mayhem they might be up to.
I am really reluctant to say more, as the way the first movie unspools is very interesting, despite the rather paste-on idea of Takizawa’s potential lineage. I felt that was rather transparent, but it was a driving force in watching how the other Seleçãos do what they do. Also, this is a conduit movie; it brings you from here to there, but cannot resolve anything. Still, it really keeps your interest and wanting to find out what the ultimate conclusion is going to be. Again, the imagery is stunning, as Alphabet City looks gorgeous. Even small moments, like at a carousel, are done with a great deal of confidence and approach to what they are trying to achieve.
I also want to give chops to the support crew, those guys who run the Eden of the East company. Although they are nerds, you never really feel they are all that nerdy, with the exception of Yutaka Itazu, who is your classic, textbook nerd geek otaku NEET. But even he gets to shine from time to time. Our duo could not even to begin to accomplish what they need to without their support and logistics offering…uh…support and logistics. They come up with some very creative ideas to keep it all going ahead, and the stakes could not be higher with naked, open aggression from the other Seleçãos, whose main goal appears to be taking out Takizawa. I can’t wait for the last installment.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (The noses STILL bother me)
Plot 7 (Strong, despite the soap opera)
Pacing 8 (It is managed well)
Effectiveness 7 (Despite a good try, it is still a bridge piece)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall Three stars