Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus watches another pretty Eden of the East movie while head scratching...
Arriving in Tokyo, Saki and Akira are soon separated as Akira is taken away by a group to have his DNA tested and to prove his parentage while Saki teams up with the Eden of the East agency to determine if the mysterious woman that ran away leaving her dog behind in a previous chapter is indeed Akira’s mother.
Now beyond that I’ll admit I’m a little sketchy on the details. Y’see I’ve only seen the previous movie and not the TV episodes that preceded it, so the finer details regarding 'The Game' being played by a number of characters in order to save or benefit Japan and the mysterious grandfather or Ato Saizo or No.1 (if indeed these are the same people – forgive me if I’m wrong on this) constantly has me on catch up in regards to the hard facts but with all that said, with my just-about grasp of the main threads here I still enjoyed Eden of the East: Paradise Lost and once again enjoyed a Production I.G. project that rather than ramping up the excitement opted for slowing it down and making it about character.
There is a whole lot of looking and talking into phones with this installment, especially for the first forty minutes or so. On top of that there’s a lot of questioning and second guessing and most of that is in scenes where characters talk to themselves about what they are going to do next or their feelings on the discoveries they make. The action doesn’t really come into play until later in the film and even then it’s not exactly Die Hard. Akira driving off in his Juiz unit, contacting the country via video phone message regarding his demands to make Japan a better place and some character fallout because of all of this, is pretty much as exciting as it gets. None of this is particularly visually exciting but it’s played from the heart and is quite climatic for the story that has talked about this sort of event over the last two films (and the series I’m guessing) with everything coming to a head and the game coming to a close (albeit in a relativity small fashion).
I’ve said before how much I love the art style in Eden of the East, it’s as close to perfection as anime gets in my book and Production I.G.’s work here just beautiful to look at. The DVD does an okay job at presenting the artwork but Eden of the East has a haziness to it that does not translate to standard definition as well as it would in HD. Colours are bright and bold but can often feel a bit pale. Reds become pink, oranges become more peachy and so on and even though this all looks very pretty, the lighting used in scenes is never given much opportunity to bring the image to life on DVD and the limitations are felt.
This is a pretty simple Dolby Digital track with strong dialogue in the front speakers and the score sitting in the rears but it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve. Doors opening behind characters or phones ringing are always keenly placed to widen the track. Busy streets or crowded airport lounges have a fuller sound to add a bit of depth and the sound effects for the Juiz lorries feel large from time to time. Bass isn’t used for anything but subtlety and as with the story nothing ever really kicks off to cause a stir but this is still a solid track that fits the style of the movie well.
The U.S. cast commentary has Mike McFarlane (ADR Directror) and the American cast talk about their characters and the story itself. It's an okay track and made all the more amusing by hearing these voices out of character and discussing their work.
The 'Director Kamiyama Interview' (04:04) is great even with the short runtime and has the filmaker talking about the story and the sort of person Akira Takizawa is and how in high school, boys like Akira are like the best of people but it doesnt carry into adulthood. A good argument for what the world needs.
Other than that it's trailers - a 'Movie Two Preview' (00:53), TV spots and ' Eden of the East Series Trailer' (01:04) a ' King of Eden Trailer' (01:00) and lastly a ' Paradise Lost Trailer' (00:59).
I’m not the guy to say whether Eden of the East: Paradise Lost was a success and wrapped up events like its fan base would like, because I haven’t had enough experience with the franchise to know for sure, but I will say that despite being a bit clueless to the larger story this instalment was still enjoyable. I think I preferred the last movie (mainly due to the nice stuff between Saki and Akira) but once again I liked the larger conversation about how to make a country better and the bold moves one might take to achieve that. This one really isn’t for newcomers but the disc is solid in regards to visuals and audio and there’s a small amount of enjoyable extras here too.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 21st November 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digitall 5.1 Englis, Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese
Extras: Commentary, Interview with Kenji Kamiyama, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Kenji Kamiyama
Cast: Ryouhei Kimura, Saori Hayami, Sakiko Tamagawa, Takuya Eguchi
Genre: Animation and Drama
Length: 88 minutes
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