Although I had my reservations before I started watching it, the opening episode of Eden of the East managed to tick all of the boxes that enabled it to keep my interest and then some. Before you ask no, numerous scenes features a naked man wasn't a box that required ticking in case you were wondering.
While this second episode of the series starts to give us a few clues and snatches of information about exactly what is going on with "Akira", the overall plot and storyline remains veiled in plenty of intrigue and mystery. What we do learn however is that "Akira" has 8.2 billion Yen available on his phone which he apparantly has a "responsibility" to spend, and also that Juiz, the mysterious woman who he can call upon at any time, can do anything that he wishes. Juiz also refers to "Akira" as a messiah and a priviledged person - Well, with 8.2 billion Yen in his pocket she probably has a point.
The trouble is, it appears that "Akira" isn't the only one in this position, as we're also introduced in this episode to a detective with the same phone as our male protagonist, who appears to be having a few debt problems, and who certainly isn't afraid to use Juiz's help to the fullest of its abilities.
All of this occurs against the backdrop of a Japan that has recently suffered a fresh missile attack, one which has this time downed a plane, a far cry from the previous attack where ten missiles hit Japan but not a single person was killed - An event now known (in that wonderfully understated Japanese way) as "Careless Monday", and a rather eerie topic for this show in a month where North Korea has tested a missile with the ability to hit Japanese soil quite easily. Speaking of such things, Eden of the East also has no qualms about referencing 9/11 freely, even discussing the Freedom Tower which will replace the destroyed World Trade Centre towers thanks to its near-future setting.
Despite all of this intrigue and mystery however, where this episode really succeeds is in the dynamic which exists between "Akira" and Saki, which works brilliantly on so many levels. While "Akira" is the one with no memory, he frequently appears to be the more astute of the pairing, while despite having a complete and functioning memory Saki remains a bit of an enigma to us as viewers at the moment, which serves to create a real bond between the two of them, and as a result to us watching too. It's all pretty subtle, but it really works for me, adding the icing to the already fascinating cake that is Eden of the East. To be honest, I really can't wait to see some more of this show as I'm truly intrigued by where it's trying to take us.