Friday, 1 May 2009

Eden of the East - Episode 4

Thus far, Eden of the East is one of those rare series where I've actually enjoyed reading the writings of others over 'Blogging about episodes myself - It's been fascinating to watch the musings, predictions and eagle-eyed discoveries of others away from my own attempts at balancing conjecture, synopsis and relatively spoiler-free discussion.

In essence, episode four of Eden of the East finally takes us to the point where we understand the basics of the "game" the twelve Seleção are playing, and the rules of that game. Some aspects of this we already knew (the ten billion Yen for example), while other points such as the role of the Supporter are clarified. All of this information is procured by Akira tracking down Seleção number V, a physician who has spent all of his alloted money on hospital equipment and a place for Japan's ageing population to live happily and well looked after (an obvious commentary on one of Japan's real-life on-going hot topics). Of course, Akira quizzes this man about his own past as a Seleção but gets little in the way of solid answers - However, it's probably worth noting that the rules of the "game" seem to suggest that using the money for your own personal gain or entertainment would result in your death at the hands of the Supporter, so surely the fact that Akira still exists (particularly now we're reasonably sure he isn't the Supporter himself) and is alive and well suggests to some extent that Akira's spending so far has been anything but frivolous despite its outward appearance?

Away from all the nitty-gritty of the Seleção stuff, we get a nice juxtaposition of Saki's return to her normal, sedate life (which also suggests her apathy towards her friend Ohsugi while she holds a candle towards both her sister's husband and Akira to some degree) against Akira's ridiculously bizarre existence, which is really thrown into sharp relief via a surreal "dream" sequence in which Akira joshes with aliens. I can't help but wonder if there's some movie reference that I'm missing in terms of that particular scene, so perhaps someone else can shed some light on it? Speaking of movie references, I got a kick out of the mention of Quadrophenia - A good movie based upon a great album.

You could probably (and somewhat successfully) argue that this series loses a certain something when it's shorn of the dynamic which exists when Akira and Saki share screen time, and this episode certainly wasn't as fast-paced as we've been used to so far, but in reality this particular instalment really needed to take this deep breath of sorts and explain the basics lest the entire point of the series be mired in mystery above all else. So, overall I'm grateful that we have a slightly better grasp on the "game" that is afoot in the world depicted by this series, yet I'm equally pleased that there is still plenty to mull over and ponder. Plus, of course, you just know that Saki and Akira are going to be reunited again somehow, which will doubtless boost the enjoyment factor of this impressive series further still.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Arguably the best anime of the season. The characters are awesome, animation is solid, and the story is engaging. I am wondering though if we truly needed to be told about the game. I am just wondering how this anime would go if they kept things more secretive..