Thursday, August 11, 2011

I watched the first Eden of the East movie last evening, King of Eden. The Eden of the East TV series was a typical noitaminA show - eleven episodes, no guaranteed ending. The idea was that they'd provide the ending in two theatrical films, of which King of Eden was the first. The TV series was kind of cleverly confusing, a little bit like Total Recall in the sense that the male lead erased his memory just before the first episode starts, and there's the whole mystery behind why he did so, what the savior game is about, and all that. By the end of the series, you can almost forgive them for never really paying off on that mystery, as there's a lot of fun weirdness on the way to that non-ending.

The TV ending is suitably spectacular and has an air of completion about it, even though nothing really is solved in the end. Since the goal of the savior's game is to rescue Japan and its NEETs from economic and demographic damnation, you can see why it's easy to not pay off on the promise. If somebody actually had an answer to Japan's demographic doom which even made narrative sense, let alone real-world sense, people would be all over it like white on rice.

So, the first movie - time to start paying off, right? Not so much.

Instead of picking up where we left, we find ourselves with the heroine, traveling to the irrelevant Americas once again, this time New York City. It's six months after the TV climax, wherein everybody got arrested for... well, I'm not sure what - apparently saving Japan from blowing itself to oblivion? The protagonist disappeared, the Eden of the East kids managed to set up as a real social-media corporation, profiting from the mother of all publicity stunts, and our heroine... goes chasing after the missing protagonist. Her logic for how she's going to find him doesn't even make narrative sense, the Game people are still manipulating things in nonsensical fashion, they're still screwing around with the poor, much-put-upon mayfly prime ministers of Japan, and the writers are still trying to wring humor out of Japanese kids with illegal firearms bumbling around iconic American cityscapes.

The male lead has wiped his memory *again*, and he's still getting chased by various Game people. Rockets rain down on trucks, tedious startup office humor is indulged in, and I damn near fell asleep from the boredom of it all. The whole movie was just an indulgent animation crew chasing its tail on the big screen. It wasn't offensive, but it also wasn't really a worthy use of an hour and a half of my time, or my money. What the hell, Production IG?

I probably won't bother with the final movie. The ending of the TV series, as incomplete as it was, was at least some sort of ending. Bah.