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Eden of the East: Paradise Lost

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Not everything needs an explanation

Again, some things are left unanswered. We don’t find out exactly how the Seleção game works, for instance. Probably for the better, since it’s intended to be more an open-ended metaphor for the power of money in the modern world than anything that can be given a functional explanation. People who insist on having an airtight reason for everything will rip their hair out—that is, if they ever got this far in the first place. But Eden gets away with its more absurd leaps of plausibility more often than not, because it gets us to care about who these people are and what they want. We believe in what’s going on through them, which is all any good anime can do for its audience.

Director Kenji Kamiyama and screenwriter Dai Sato collaborated before on what is arguably one of the best anime yet released: the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex franchise. That show also tackled larger social themes—our relentless self-technologization and political polarization; the way an idea can be more powerful than an individual—by wrapping them in a slick thriller plotline. Eden is a little less immediately plausible than Ghost in some ways, but it attempts to speak that much more directly to our moment in time than Ghost, and urges us to not simply sit back and let history be made by others.

P.S. Stick around after the credits. There’s a reward.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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