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Decent, but DAMN is it slow paced and hard to follow.
on 17 August 2012
Okay, right off the bat it's probably a no-brainer to tell you that there is no point in watching this movie if you haven't already seen the previous movie AND the preceding television series because Eden of the East, because believe me, the story here is DENSE to the point where it can very easily make no sense whatsoever if you haven't been playing close attention from the start of the entire thing... and even then, it isn't exactly the easiest story to follow.
The story primarily revolves around Japanese college student Saki being unwittingly thrown together with manic amnesiac Akira Takizawa once again and their continuing attempts to unravel the mysteries of his past following his memories being erased on at least two occasions. Central to this mystery is the group known as the Selacao, of which Takizawa is apparently a member. The Selacao are a small group of people who have each been handed a vast fortune, with a Star Trek looking mobile phone connected to an AI called "Juiz" being how they manage all their transactions, and told to basically "fix Japan" with it however they see fit... and as it turns out, all of these people are seriously insane in some form or other, with one of them being a supermodel who is a serial killer with a penchant for castration (Earning her the nickname "Johnny Taker"). It's pretty weird stuff. This movie follows on from the prior movie, which saw a once again mind wiped (At his own request) Takizawa believing he is the illegitimate son of the recently deceased Japanese Prime Minister... putting him in a position to begin a political ascent with the intention of satisfying his wish of becoming leader of the country... for whatever reasons. However, with the remaining Selacao still determined to get in his way with grand plans of their own it seems Saki, Takizawa and their allies only chance of bringing this whole situation to a head is to finally find and confront the man responsible for the creation of the Selacao conspiracy, Mister 'Outside'.
Now... I consider myself a man of some intelligence, but after watching through a TV series and two movies, Eden of the East remains a truly baffling piece of work to me. Oh, it provides explanations(Of a sort) for everything going on eventually, but the reasoning WHY certain characters take the actions they do at some points is just a mystery to me. The story has been a fairly dense one from the off, but there was always the promise of answers and pay off by the time it concluded... but apparently there wasn't the promise of satisfaction at this conclusion at the same time because that's exactly what there is not. There isn't enough in the way of a real payoff for everything that has gone on up until this point. I got to the end and the only thing going through my head was "That's it? All of that just for this?" and the feeling was not helped by the glacial pacing and dry, talk heavy focus of the two movies... I wasn't expecting a massive gunfight to finish things off or anything but a little tension... a little genuine excitement... are these too much to ask for?
It looks very nice and the voice acting is good, the soundtrack is excellent and there is a lot to like here... but I found too much of the experience as a whole to be dull and unengaging. Not an anime to remember as a classic in ten years I think.