Friday, 15 May 2009

Eden of the East - Episode 6

I have to apologise if you're getting a little tired of browsing around various 'Blogs and finding nothing but abject praise for Eden of the East, but to be quite honest it does continue to be something intriguingly special, so you won't be finding a dissenting voice in this entry.

After propositioning Saki to come and stay with him last episode, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a simple romance/sex thing on his part, but it appears that there was far more to their conversation than just that - Although Saki turns down the invitation to go straight back to Akira's shopping ball, she doesn't go home either, instead stopping off at Micchon's place before meeting up with the rest of the gang of friends we've seen a few times earlier in this series. Of course, Ohsugi is missing from this line-up, as he's rather busy what with being handcuffed to a chair wearing a gimp mask, under the threat of losing his "Johnny" at the hands of Shiratori, the Seleção we were introduced to last episode. What is it with this series and the name "Johnny" anyhow? Yet another mystery to unravel there methinks...

Anyhow, aside from Saki, it appears that Akira also has an interest in the company she frequents, for we learn in this episode that she was part of a team that developed a simply incredible search engine of sorts, which allows you to meta-tag any image and build up a database that can be accessed in real-time on a cell phone, performing image recognition via the camera to pull up the tags for any given item. Thus, simply catching a person in your view finder will give you a list of items of import that have been associated with that person - A terrifying prospect in one sense, but fantastic in another. Facebook would kill for this kind of technology.

In short, Akira wants to fund this company using his Seleção money to help them on their way, and so meets with Saki's colleagues to put together a deal. What does this mean for the rest of the series? Such thoughts may have to be put on hold, as Ohsugi uses a message board to call for help from his current predicament.

It may not have balls to the wall action or a deep pool of emotion to draw upon, but Eden of the East continues to be singularly and really rather intellectually fascinating. After discussing the view which this series seemed to be taking on society and its future last episode, we get more of the same this time around, with Akira explaining his fascination with NEETs in a suitably thought-provoking way, and really summing up the crux of the issue at hand - Yes, being socially awkward or reclusive may be negative in terms of old-school business and management, but this insular nature has in turn created a whole new generation of people who are able to think individually and thus create compelling and innovative products, while their unwillingness to communicate in "meatspace" has also brought forth a generation of services which means that you no longer need to interface with people on a human level to find out what you need to know about one another. Given all the "Facebook and Twitter are bad" coverage we seem to get in the press these days, it's both fascinating and refreshing (particularly for myself as an avid technophile) to see somebody actually "get it" and put forth some compelling points for a more technology and information-centric lifestyle.

That these points are put over so clearly without ever bludgeoning you to death with them or embarking upon long Ghost in the Shell-esque monologues speaks volumes for the capabilities of both the writers and animators here, and although I still have absolutely no clue where this series is headed it's already brought forth enough fascinating points and topics for discussion that it simply can't be beaten within this anime season, even at its half-way stage. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should take some time out to watch this series if you haven't already.

1 comment:

fantasymaydie said...

i agree. the new eden of the east's episodes concepts were AMAZING. i couldn't quite grasp them at first but damn is it thought provoking and you summed it up quite nicely my friend.