Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (English)

With June quickly coming to a close, it’s time to finish off the rest of the Eden of the East series with the second and final film: Paradise Lost.

Eden of the East: Paradise Lost is a 92 minute film blah blah blah. It’s from Production I.G. blah blah blah. Was released on March 13, 2010 blah blah blah. It’s currently licensed by FUNimation blah blah blah. Ok, moving on.

The story of political and subversive intrigue in the series finally reaches endgame. Even as the law enforcement net tightens around Saki and her fellow Eden of the East associates over alleged terrorist activities, the complex web surrounding the mysterious Mr. Outside is finally untangled as the remaining Selecao attempt to outmaneuver one another. Takizawa's memories and identity are also finally revealed including his association with a former Prime Minister and his request to be the King of Eden.

Alright, I’m going to save you the trouble of repeating myself for a third time in regards to animation, so..... It’s solid. Moving on.

The story certainly makes the series come to a complete end, leaving almost no loose ends. I say almost cause there is one loose end that kinda makes me a little mad. I don’t want to spoil anything, but how did Takizawa not lose his memory this time? Seriously? Oh! And why did you have to put a “Johnny” bit into the first five minutes of this movie?

The characters don’t change all that much. But you do meet some new ones along the way like the former Prime Minster’s wife and a few others. Aside from that.... Not much else really.

Dub is solid. Same voice actors for all the major roles we have been seeing. And some good ones for some new characters. Colleen Clikenbeard, Shelly Calene-Black, and Grant James join the cast for Paradise Lost as Asako Morimi, Mrs. Inima and Mr. Outside respectively. The dub is still solid, not much problems with it.

Alright... I know that this review has become really really short so far, but here’s where it all comes to an end. As an entire series (TV and Movies), Eden of the East is a very solid series with it’s flaws, but only few and far between. It takes a unique and basic idea and turns it into a realistic kind of setting with everything on the line (plus awesome looking phones). It combines mystery with bits of psychological and some action well enough to find a balance between all aspects. Granted, not everything can be mixed in well (like the running “Johnny” gag played in the TV Series), but the majority of is solid. Overall, Eden of the East is amazing! Not perfect, but amazing.

In the end, Eden of the East: Paradise Lost makes the series come to a, mostly, well thought out conclusion. It has it’s moments where explanation is missing and comedy that isn’t really needed, but it doesn’t leave you with a lot of open ended questions (I only had one). The series itself is not one to pass up. Check it out if you have time and if this might interest you. I swear, once you get past the “Johnny” gags it’s a good show.

Sorry for the kinda lazy review. Figured, since I said most of the information in the last review, I save you and I the trouble of repeating. I promise the next one will be a complete manservice buffet. So, until then, otaku on my friends.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Eden of the East: The King of Eden (English)

So, Eden of the East the TV series didn’t end. It just spawned a couple movies to try and complete the series. Well, seeing as how I reviewed Eden of the East last year, I figured it was time to complete the series by watching the two movies. This month, we’re going to be looking at the rest of the Eden of the East series with, what I’d like to call, Eden of the East Movie Month.

Eden of the East: The King of Eden is a 82 minute Psychological/Romance/Mystery movie based on the TV series: Eden of the East. It was directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell SAC, IGPX) and was released in Japan on November 28, 2009. Since then, FUNimation has picked up licensing for the film and released it last year.

The story continues where it left off from the Eden of the East TV series, and brings Morimi Saki back to the USA in order to find Takizawa Akira. The other Selecao however are actively moving to take part in the game, and a few in particular are making dangerous moves in order to eliminate Takizawa or move towards their picture of a better Japan.

The animation for this movie is very solid. I’m not sure if they had a budget to do the the entire series and the two movies, or if more money came in for the movies themselves. The animation is the same as the TV series, just a bit cleaner and smoother. The music is, pretty much, the same as the TV series so nothing new there. But, again, it’s solid overall.

The story for The King of Eden starts us off with what happened after the second missile attacks in Japan. Saki decides to go back to America to find Takizawa, and bring him back. However, Takizawa’s request to be the “king of the country” at the end of the TV series has began to take effect. Juiz is slowly turning Takizawa into the illegitimate son of the Prime Minster. With that and being known as the man who stopped the missile attacks, Takizawa is suddenly the eye witness and is being searched for about the incident. Along the way, Saki and Takizawa meet a few other Selecaos as they try to make their way back to Japan. Meanwhile, the other Selecaos start to take action and try to win the game. Now that I basically just summed up the plot for you, again, what did I think of the story. It doesn’t leave any holes and does tie up it’s loose ends from the TV series (ie, what happened after the missile attack). It kept the story going and we get more time to learn about Takizawa and even some of his past. And it does leave off on a good note. Overall, solid story.

The characters are fun to watch as well, good or bad. And we get more information about some characters like Takizawa and other Selecaos, even being introduced to, at least, one new Selecao. The major development, overall, is, again, with Takizawa. He lost his memories, and is trying to get some of them back despite everything going on around him becoming just a wee bit nuts. It’s great to see all of the major characters from the TV series come back and I hope they all will still come back in the next movie.

Now, when I watched the TV series, I talked just about the Japanese version. I decided, to be fair and, to review the movies with the English Dub. I got to say, I may be wrong about what I said last year in my review for the series. The dub is a lot more solid then you think, and shouldn’t be judged too harshly. Jason Liebrecht (Black Cat, Get Backers) and Leah Clark (Baka and Test, School Rumble) as our leads Takizawa and Saki are wonderful choices and each bring their character to life in their own way. The members of the Eden program are a well balanced mix of characters and just blend so well. Voices like Michael Sinterniklaas, J. Michael Tatum, Stephanie Sheh, Newton Pittman, John Burgmeier, and Lydia Mackay. As for our Selecaos, again, a well balanced mix of characters and interactions. With voices like John Gremillion, Todd Haberkorn, Josh Grelle, Jerry Jewell, Christine Auten, and Stephanie Young as good old Juiz. A very well put together cast, and a well put together team.

At the end of it all, The King of Eden is the precursor for the real story to come in Paradise Lost. It ties up some loose ends for us, as well as introduce us to the new conflict at hand with Takizawa’s last request to Juiz. Nothing new on the animation or character fronts, but gives off a solid dub that makes me want to watch the series again, but, this time, in english. It’s not a bad movie, but it isn’t outstanding. I just can’t wait to see what’s to come.....

Until next time, otaku on my friends....
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