Saturday, 13 June 2009

Eden of the East - Episode 10

For a few episodes now, I've been questioning how Eden of the East can answer all of the questions it has posed in what little time remains of the series proper (assuming it doesn't all spill over into the expected movie, which I'm imagining it will still have to) - Well, I guess this is how... In short, episode ten was packed to the rafters with mind-blowing revelations.

After receiving his mysterious phone call at the end of the last episode, Akira remains on the platform as Saki and Mikuru board the last train. Again, this gives us some fantastic moments which sum up Saki and Akira's current relationship without uttering a word - Saki moves forward to step off the train and stay with Akira, then changes her mind and lets him go alone while seeming to instantly regret her decision. This seems to be enough to finally give her the impetus to call him and voice her concerns, to which Akira has no real answers - Regardless, he advises her to stay on the line and listen to his next moves to see what transpires.

What does transpire is an invitation from Seleção number I (the man responsible for killing Itazu of course), who promises to reveal the truth about Akira's lost memories and even the identity of Mr. Outside. As you might have expected, Mr. Outside's real persona is suspected to be a wealthy buisinessman with huge political influence, but what you may not have expected is the revelation that he is most likely already dead (in the eyes of Seleção I at least), with the gain continuing apace despite its creator's demise. In essence, number I's plan is to win the game by becoming Mr. Outside himself, a plot which he is following with the help of two other Seleção, not least the man responsible for Careless Monday.

This is where things get really interesting, as the plot unfolds for another, larger scale missile attack on Japan from these Seleção, while Akira finds out why (or at least partly why, I suspect there's more to it than simply one thing) he wiped his memories. The issue, as posited by Seleção I, is that Akira was betrayed by the people who he saved from those missiles - Despite going out of his way to ensure nobody was killed, the populace still wished for something bigger and "better" (or worse, depending on how you look at it) to happen in their lives. Even all of these revelations are without the sudden appearance of a ship loaded with crates of naked men outside Akira's shopping complex...

With so much going on in this single episode, it's difficult to know where to start, but all I can really say is that I loved every second of it. There are so many intriguing ideas brought in via this episode that you could probably write a book on them alone, from Seleção I and his cohorts plan to improve Japan by essentially wiping out the elderly and the lazy (an evil scheme if ever I've heard one) to the feelings of entitlement and/or helplessness felt by the country's younger generation, right through to the concept of Akira being betrayed by the people he saved as they still weren't satisfied despite escaping death. This latter point is what really threw my mind into overdrive - With wall to wall news coverage of disasters, bad news has to all intents and purposes become entertainment, to the extent where we actually welcome huge disasters as a way to break up the everyday mundanity of life and let us live vicariously in a world of danger and sadness.. with this in mind, is there a subconscious part of us that revels in and enjoys watching these horrors unfold through our TV screens and web pages, feeling safely distanced from them even when they occur in our back yard?

So, with one episode to go, there still seems like a lot to cover, but I'm feeling a little more comfortable that this final episode should be able to shoehorn in a reasonable amount - I'm sure we'll be left hanging for the movie (such is the nature of the cogs within the marketing machine), but I now feel like I almost know enough about what is going on in this series to be satisfied with that outcome. Whatever happens in the finale of this series, I'm ready and waiting to come along for the ride wherever it's going to take us.

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