This is the story of only eleven days belonging to a young man who dared to fight under the atmosphere of this country, and the girl who watches over him.
Saki Morimi, a young Japanese woman on her college graduation trip to the United States, decides to take an extra detour to Washington D.C, which she considers to be the center of the world. It is in front of the White House that she meets a mysterious yet charming young Japanese man holding a gun and a cell phone, with no memories... and completely naked. As he manages to elude police patrols sent after him, Saki, understandably perplexed by the situation, gives him her coat for the sake of modesty, only to discover later that she had left her passport in the pocket, and must find him to get it back. She eventually runs into him again under even stranger circumstances and, in an effort to recover his memories and prove his innocence, the man (introduced as Akira Takizawa on one of his many passports) accompanies Saki back to Japan.As the two make their transition, Japan is struck by a missile that bisects a plane in the air and explodes in downtown Tokyo, causing several casualties. The attack seems to relate to a previous event known as "Careless Monday", when ten missiles struck downtown Tokyo — somehow, without the loss of a single human life. After everything that has occurred, Akira and Saki form a strong bond and continue in search of Akira's memories together; however, the former soon realizes not is all as it seems — his cell phone carries 8.2 billion yen in the form of digital money, and can contact a mysterious female voice on the other end named Juiz, who can apparently grant any request, including bribery and assassination. She informs Akira that he is Number IX, and that, as one of the Seleção, it is his responsibility to spend all the money and become the "saviour" of Japan. If he fails, he'll be eliminated.Eden of the East (Higashi no Eden) premiered in April 2009, with director Kenji Kamiyama of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex fame at the helm (bringing along with him Production I.G), and character designs by Honey and Clover's Chika Umino. The first episode had the highest ratings of any late-night anime that week, ranking #10 overall.The series ran for eleven episodes, with two theatrical films following, The King of Eden in November 2009 and Paradise Lost in March 2010. Both the series and the movies have been licensed for US release by FUNimation. Now available on their YouTube channel. Technically there are three movies, a prequel movie entitled "Air Communication" met with a theatrical release just prior to King of Eden but in actuality it was nothing more than 2 hour long Recap Episode with the characters recapping the events of the series, it didn't even get a separate release, being relegated to an extra on the King of Eden DVD.Has nothing to do with the 1952 John Steinbeck novel East of Eden (well, actually, they do reference it once), nor with the RPG series Far East of Eden aka Tengai Makyou.
Action Survivor: Akira frequently gets himself into crazy situations, like being chased by cops, gunfights, car accidents etc. and often comes out relatively unharmed due to sheer luck, intuition and resourcefulness.
Although she never goes evil, Juiz changes over the course of the show in ways that were almost certainly not intended. After the timeskip, she evolves to fit what the various Seleção want/need.
XI's has become a loyal assistant with a close emotional connection to her employer.
IX's answers the phone after six months like a mother waiting to hear from her son, and sounds deeply hurt when he asks if he can cancel a previous order.
VI's has become a Servile Snarker; the pair spend most of their time yelling at each other.
II's has become a flirty secretary hanging onto his every word.
I's hasn't changed an inch. All he ever wanted was a servant who didn't question his orders.
Amnesiac Dissonance: Subverted. The trope appears to be in full effect when the friendly, goodhearted Takizawa learns he ordered the missile attacks before he wiped his memory, but it's later revealed that he actually prevented the attacks from causing any fatalities and later took the blame for them.
Played mostly straight for the US release. Since they would have had to pay royalties for each episode the song played on (due to US royalty laws), Funimation opted not to double the release budget and have "Falling Down" only in the first episode and commission a standard theme song for the rest of the series. The opening for the rest of the episodes in the US release is "Michael ka Belial" by Saori Hayami, the Japanese VA for Saki.
Blessed with Suck: The Seleção are given 10,000,000,000 yen to spend to help 'save' Japan, but this negatively affects almost all their lives.
And if you fail, attempt to abdicate from the Game, or use the money for blatantly selfish reasons you'll be eliminated.
Blush Sticker: About two-thirds of the younger cast members have this going on, plus Saki.
Brick Joke: After the credits of the second movie, Takizawa finds Mr. Outside and smacks him in the face.
The ED of the anime shows Akira using a Finger Gun to shoot down oncoming pencil-missiles. In the final episode, he's doing it again as fighter jets intercept the Tomahawks fired by Yuki.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Played with. Yuki thinks Mononobe is pulling this on him after the game ends because he doesn't realize his memories of him have been erased and is so offended by it that he shoots Mononobe dead.
Butt Monkey: Osugi, definitely. He gets routinely brushed off by other characters, stood up, and drunk to the point of nearly puking in the street. Then Kuroha apparently kidnaps him and threatens to de-Johnnify him... though it turns it was a serial rapist who had stolen his bag and cell phone during the aforementioned drunkeness.
Censor Box: "Johnnies" are always concealed by a white blob that's been scribbled onto the animation cels frame by frame, causing the edges to constantly move around.
Charm Person: The sight of Akira's magic penis persuades a businessman on the streets of DC to hand over his pants, and a policewoman to let Akira and Saki go.
Chekhov's Gun: Remember that introductory narrative about a prince?
Also, in the first episode after Akira finds evidence of his activities as a Seleção, he references the film Taxi Driver. Guess what the Seleção boss Mr. Outside works as.
Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: After Akira evacuated the people that lived where the Careless Monday missiles would hit, their first response was to assume that he and the 20,000 NEETs that helped him had something to do with them in the first place.
Conspiracy Placement: Seleção has a bad habit of marking all its equipment with the organization's symbols.
Cut Apart: A very drawn out example. Osugi is drunk and wandering around the street just as Kuroha is walking down the same street and the episode ends. Next episode we see someone with a bondage mask on his face tied to a chair and being threatened by Kuroha, and Osuga's friends are unable to contact him but eventually judge an online poster to be him by the pictures of his stuff lying around the room. A couple episodes later it turns out the two never met on the street: the man in the mask was actually a serial rapist that stole Osugi's stuff before getting kidnapped and Osugi had his phone taken away while his new co-workers were making him drink a lot as a sort of initiation.
Opening credits with a cyan/magenta-colored theme, overloaded with text, various elements related to the story and slowly-growing flower motifs — set to music by Oasis.
The extended version made to accompany the Japanese single release is even trippier, with imagery of bucking horse statues, cherubim statues, abstract photographs of buildings and power lines, as well as a hand holding a half-eaten apple.
The King of Eden has its own opening that appears to have been made by the same people.
Early-Bird Cameo: Mr. Outside makes several cameos in the series before his actual debut in Paradise Lost - appearing as a patient at Dr. Hiura's hospital, explaining how he got there so quickly to eliminate Hiura from the game, and again as the cab driver that takes Saki and Micchon to the mall in the last episode.
Embarrassing Nickname: Yutaka Itazu's is "Pantsu/Underwear" in the Japanese version and "Panties" in the dub.
Several terms in Portuguese (apparently only because Mr. Outside was a fan of Brazilian soccer), the English text sprinkled throughout the OP graphics, and the use of the term noblesse oblige.
The vaguely-Biblical intro text later shows up, rather unexpectedly, in Episode 6's background music, during the fireworks scene.
You also hear a brief snatch of it playing in the taxi to the White House at the very start of the first episode.
The helicopter Takizawa takes with Number I in Episode 10 has a sign that says "By all means please do the sheet belt," but this may be Truth in Television...
The Greatest Story Never Told: Akira himself announces to Japan that he was behind Careless Monday and other terrorist attacks. Even though some don't believe this story, very few people are aware of the whole truth by the end.
Groin Attack: Diana (Number XI). With a cigar cutter! *nervous laughter*
Hair Colors: Most Japanese characters have realistically dark hair, except for Saki and her sister, who have orange, and Kuroha who has light blue. This is never mentioned or explained.
Heroic Sacrifice: In The King of Eden, Diana moves the Number XI trailer to the front of the line of trailers carrying the Seleção system so that the trailer gets blown up, but the intended target (the Number IX trailer) survives.
The 20,00 NEETs whose role in Careless Monday gradually gets explained.
Several characters identify as NEETs even though they are actively engaged in society.
"Panties" Itazu's only pair of slacks blew away in the wind three years prior to the series, at which point he resolved never to leave his room again (though this may just be an excuse as he makes ready use of internet shopping for other things). Saki and Micchon get him a new pair in Episode 9, but he gets about five seconds of outside time before Mononobe (Number I) runs him over.
How Do You Like Them Apples?: The apple (as in the above picture) is very symbolic, though it plays no part in the plot other than its relation to Eden.
I Have Many Names: Akira. See the passports in Episode 1 and the Eden tags in Episode 8.
I Call Him "Mr. Happy": "Sir, I'm gonna have to see your Johnny." Used several more times as a slang term for a penis too. In Episode 7 we meet a "Johnny Hunter" who turns out to be one of the Seleção.
Innocent Innuendo: Crosses over with Double Entendre, In the first movie, Saki sends an e-mail to her friends saying she's found Takizawa and they're heading back to his apartment, Osugi misinterprets this.
Osugi: SAKI! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! YOU CAN'T DO THIS!!!
Keet: Akira is almost always cheerful and outgoing, not to mention frickin adorable.
Literal Genie: Juiz takes Akira's hypothetical "make the Prime Minister say 'Uncle'" request literally. Good thing it only cost him 60 yen. Implied to be Juiz being snarky, since she never makes the mistake any other time. It does have a positive effect, abnormally for the trope, and gets mentioned several times later by other characters
Lampshade Hanging: The show bears a resemblance to the Jason Bourne series, with an amnesiac agent and what seems to be a conspiracy going on. The show hangs a lampshade on it when, upon finding a variety of different passports of himself in his cupboard, Akira mutters, "not De Niro (having seen his many guns first and thinking of Taxi Driver), but Jason Bourne?"
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Akira had his memory wiped (apparently by himself) and cannot remember anything that has to do with himself — apart from his apparently near-encyclopedic knowledge of western movies (as in movies made in the West, not Westerns).
Laser-Guided Karma: At the end of the second movie, the two who launched the missile strikes are run over and shot, by each other no less.
Machine Monotone: Averted - Juiz is easily one of the most personable members of the cast. She does, however, respond in a largely monotone "Acknowledged. Noblesse oblige" whenever she accepts a request.
Mad Artist: Seleção No. VI, a member of the film industry who among other things tries to kill Saki and Akira via exploding Shower Scene because "There's never been a movie in history where two people are blown up inside the bathroom!"
Meet Cute: Akira meets Saki in front of the White House in the first episode, carrying a cell phone and a gun...and also completely naked. Saki, out of embarrassment, offers Akira her coat, then later discovers that she had put her passport in that coat's pocket, forcing her to seek Akira back out.
Memory Gambit: "Going by the history, IX was quite the charming individual before his memory was wiped. He threw away his past and bet on a new self. So I think you're fine as you are now."
No Ending: One of the main criticisms of the both the series and the films is that they end with quite a number of plot threads that either weren't adequately resolved or were just plain skipped over.
Older Than They Look: A majority of the cast are in their early-mid twenties yet look like they just turned 16. Micchon takes this to the extreme by being a 21 year old yet looking like she just turned 10. The sole exception is-
Plot Sensitive Latch: At the beginning of the first movie, Saki's suitcase bursts open as the cabbie manhandles it, spilling guns and ammo and grenades onto the ground- not hers, but a setup by one of the Seleção. How they got the suitcase to open at exactly the right time, though...
Scenery Porn: The first episode is an excellent example, with shots of Washington DC taken exactly from the city itself. The first movie does much the same with New York City.
Sequel Hook: The plan to bomb Japan is thwarted, but what's this? Akira asking Juiz to make him the king of Japan? And erasing his memories again? And slipping Saki his Seleção phone? Stay tuned for The Movie continuation!
And then, after the second film, The Stinger shows Takizawa climbing into the cab driven by Mr. Outside (who doesn't seem to remember him), and he slaps him with a sandal and lectures him about how their work together has only just begun and that they have a lot more world-saving to do. The film's final shot is of his cellphone...getting a call from Juiz.
Servile Snarker: Juiz, despite constantly speaking in a robotic manner, tends to make little quips about particularly outlandish requests.
Shipper on Deck: Sis ships Takizawa and Saki to the point that she practicality does backflips when she thinks they're going back to his home to have sex. Doubles as in-universe Shipping Goggles.
Shoo Out the Clowns: The entire tone of the show changes in Episode 8 when the plot really kicks in, the majority of the humor is cut out. Even Takizawa and Saki's romantic subplot is put on hold and not brought back until the last few minutes of the second movie.
Sleep Cute: Akira and Saki in the theater in The King of Eden.
Shoe Slap: When Akira manages to find Mr. Outside, he slaps him with a slipper, which he doesn't seem to mind at all.
A wardrobe full of guns in the first episode includes Togusa's distinctive Mateba revolver.
Akira remarks that he had a mental image of Juiz being "a bunch of girls in some huge room [...] all lined up and ready to take our requests", like the GitS Operators.
Both series end with the interception of missiles in midair, averting major destruction.
A less obvious one is when the members of Eden are meeting in Episode 6 and one of them pops out of a rolltop desk several times in a subtle reference to the prisoner from the Akira Kurosawa film Sanjuro.
Soundtrack Dissonance : By Episode 2 things are getting weirder and weirder. Akira appears to be a renowned celebrity with billions of yen in funds attached to his bizarre, high-tech phone and no bloody idea how things got this way. Cue happy jazz!
The opening features Seleção symbols with Roman numerals one to twelve on them, supposedly referring to a speculated twelve agents working for this mysterious organization (Akira is IX). During this sequence, IV, V, and X fade away in that order.
Similar to the first example, there's a brief sequence in the first movie's opening that shows lines coming out of I's Seleção emblem and destroying II and XII.
The closing credits are perhaps even worse. They show Akira's paper cutout pointing at and shooting down "missiles" before they can strike. The same happens in the last few minutes of the final episode.
Supernatural Phone: The Numbers all have phones that can call Juiz, who will grant any request within the realm of their 10 billion yen budget.
Listen very closely to the song on the cab's radio at the beginning of Episode 1. (It helps if you've also paid attention to the text in the OP.) The song, a soulful gospel tune called "The King Has Come" plays at a few points (it pretty much becomes an Arc Song if you're listening closely enough), but most appropriately when Akira shoots down the missiles, and it is still playing when he orders Juiz to make him king of Japan. It also plays at the close of the second film.
While not written for the anime, "Falling Down" has some lyrics that are very relevant to the plot.
'Here am I, lost and found': Akira wipes his memory and loses his past, finding a new purpose in life in the process
'If you won't save me, please don't waste my time': If you have one of those phones then it's your mission to "save" Japan. Fail and you get eliminated.
'I try to talk with God to no avail': Akira goes looking for Mr. Outside, but never gets to meet him until the very end.
The repeated 'All that I've ever known': Akira has a past life, but it's now lost to him and everything after waking up outside the White House is all that he's ever known
It's quite fun to speculate on the lyrics from the full song that didn't make it into the anime too.
Take My Hand: When Akira reaches out for Saki to get on the boat and come with him, indicating that he still wants to be with her.
Later he does the same thing when she's in an elevator.
Title Drop: "Eden of the East" is the name of a small school recycling club Saki participates in. And the ridiculously cool search engine/BBS they wrote together, which can automatically tag photos and videos (hell, you don't even need to save a file, it can identify things in real time!) no matter what the angle.
Voice with an Internet Connection: Juiz can be contacted via a special Seleção cell phone, and the mysterious female voice refers to herself as a "concierge". She can assist every Seleção agent in a wide variety of tasks, from bribing airport officials to help skip customs and immigration, to bribing police officers to assassinate loan sharks.
We Hardly Knew Ye: Hiura (Number V) is introduced and eliminated in the same episode. Kondo (Number IV) gets two episodes to live.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the Johnny Hunter's view, justice means killing "the enemies of women" by cutting their Johnnies off.
Mr. Outside as well. He's fully willing to throw tens of billions of yen into the hunt for a "savior" for Japan, giving twelve individuals the authority to do whatever they deem necessary to save the country. And if they run out of money before they can do so, or don't want to shoulder the burden? Well, then they're screwed.
Will They or Won't They?: Saki and Akira get plenty of this. It's clear from the moment they meet that they're attracted to one another, then the relationship jumps back and forth, developing quickly (they spend almost the entirety of the first few episodes together - they date, they comfort each other, they even kiss) then backtracking and coming to standstill, before deciding to focus on their friendship and trust in one another for the remainder of the anime.
Did They or Didn't They?: Then in the movies Saki goes half-way around the world to look for him, only to find that he doesn't remember her. Nevertheless, they hit it off again right away, chase each other around New York, frequently put themselves in danger for each other, flirt, date, appear to have fallen in love, separate again, and at last share their second kiss before the finale. Then the end reveals that even though Akira promised to come back for her, Saki hasn't heard from him. Make up your minds guys!
If the final scene is any indication, Akira will eventually return and at some point, They Do.