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Eden of the East: Paradise Lost PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 30 November 2011 00:00
Eden of the East: Paradise LostEden of the East returns for one more outing, with Mr Outside emerging from the shadows to finally pick a winner to his little game. Although while it does a good job of tying up all the story's loose ends, it's perhaps not the ending you would've expected...

Saki and Akira return to Japan, flying straight into the domestic mayhem that his request to be "King of Japan" has caused. Juiz's planning to bring about his request has been quite impressive, with no stone left unturned, but it's the news that he's the illegitimate son of a former Prime Minister that's created the biggest stir, with his widow being determined to prove the claims false. Meanwhile, Eden of the East are being targetted by the authorities as a potential terrorist group themselves, making it that much harder for the group to help Akira in his quest; Selecao Number 1's plans seem to be coming closer to fruition; and Mr Outside himself is finally located, and persuaded by Akira's actions to finally choose a winner to his little "game"...

Back in JapanRacing to catch up

Number OneMan with a Plan

There are two ways you could look at the Eden of the East movies, really. The TV series stands complete in the sense that it tells the story of Akira's search for himself, which the Selecao "game" helps him do - all you really need to know about Akira is there, if that's all you want. It's only if the game itself intrigued you that the movies come into their own - King of Eden acts as a stepping-stone to Paradise Lost, doing all the necessary groundwork for the big reveal that comes in this movie. So it's been built up to provide a lot: the conclusion to a deadly game, whose aim is to secure the future of an entire country.

The finale comes down to two approaches to saving Japan: Selecao Number One is a career civil servant, with plans to restructure the country that would be what you'd perhaps consider a quite traditional approach, even if they're drastic in the scale of what they'd do: more of the same, only faster, if you like. Akira represents the hopes and aspirations of the younger generation, trying to persuade the older generation to step aside, taking their tired approach to running the world with them and letting new ideas take over. Mr Outside is the neutral observer, weighing up the two approaches to decide which one will work the best, and who deserves to be the victor in his high-stakes game.

Be prepared, then, for the big reveal to be a little unexpected, as for all the mystique that surrounds Mr Outside, and all the impressive abilities that Juiz is able to bring to bear for the players, when we finally get to see who's responsible for it all, it's considerably more down-to-earth than you might expect. It's hard to say more without giving out some rather major spoilers, which I don't want to do - just bear that in mind.

That said, the journey there is Eden of the East at its best. The story moves along at a cracking pace, switching back and forth between Akira's own actions, with Saki tagging along as best she can (and events move so quickly that she has real trouble keeping up); and the Eden gang's own efforts, as they take the lead in tracing both Akira's mother and Mr Outside, making use of the technological wizardry that they have at their disposal. It's good to see the Eden gang given as much focus as they have been, with them each getting to play their part in unravelling the show's mysteries - it would have been very easy to make this the Akira and Saki Show, but that urge has been resisted in favour of a true ensemble story, with everyone's contribution being a necessary part of the whole.

Not much in the way of complaints on the story front, then - it's perhaps not the ending I would've like to see, but it does tie everything from the current 'game' up while dangling a hook for it all to be kicked off again should the people behind it have the burning need for a sequel. Eden of the East was always a good idea done well, and Paradise Lost gives it an appropriate & enjoyable ending. For fans of the series, it's a good send-off and well worth seeing.

Rating - ****

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