Anime: Freedom Project

Not much changed in the future.

The Freedom Project was created to celebrate Nissin Cup Noodles' 35th anniversary in 2006. The centerpiece of the project was a 7-part OVA released throughout that year. The character and mechanical designs for the project were done by Katsuhiro Otomo of AKIRA fame.

Centuries in the future, the space station Freeport dropping on Earth sets off a chain of events that renders the planet uninhabitable. The last survivors of humanity are the domed city of "Eden" on the far side of the Moon, which was established as a base for Terraforming Mars — the project is abandoned, and the city's leadership turns its focus inward. Eden becomes a self-supporting city-state able to support its population in comfortable, albeit micro-managed, lives.

Takeru, a rebellious boy sentenced to community service outside Eden's dome after an accident in a quasi-legal motor-vehicle race, witnesses something crash on the moon's surface. Among the wreckage, he finds a photograph of a young girl and a bunch of children, with a message written on the back saying that "We are safe. Is anybody out there?". Takeru becomes obsessed with the girl, and eventually realizes that the pictures were taken on Earth, despite Eden's ruling council insisting that the Earth is still a wasteland. Takeru decides to go to Earth himself, at any cost.


  • Adorkable: Takeru becomes this whenever he's around Ao.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Ao, whose race is never explicitly stated (but is most likely Florida Seminole).
  • Arc Words: "Freedom" — besides the obvious meaning, it's used as a Shout-Out to NASA's Freedom 7note . It also becomes significant as the name for the crews of the post-apocalyptic Apollo missions and the mothballed Mars colony ships hidden within Eden colony. Similarly, "Apollo".
  • Art Shift: Eden and the Moon are, for the most part, crisply-rendered CGI environments. Earth, on the other hand, features extensive hand-painted backgrounds and a generally more organic feeling.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Everyone in Eden, young or old, wears a bracelet that tracks them and issues official warnings. Then there are the security cameras and the monitoring of Web searches.
  • Black Helicopter: Eden's Council has Black Shuttlecraft that it sends out when Takeru and Kazuma steal a rover to see the Earth for themselves.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Ao (well, more like braids, beads, and Daisy Dukes).
  • But What About the Astronauts?: Eden base after the disaster.
  • Cel Shading
  • Cool Trike - No Otomo project would be complete without one.
  • Cool Old Guy: Alan.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: The Earth's seen better days when Takeru and Biz arrive, but most people seem to be handling it with a smile.
  • Domed Hometown: Eden.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Takeru goes to great lengths for a girl he's only seen in a photo.
  • Eagleland: Subverted — Americans are the most friendly, helpful people you could ever hope to meet when they have no money or government.
  • Earth That Was/Scavenger World
  • Evolving Credits: The opening sequence changes in the fourth episode to reflect Takeru and Biz's escape to Earth, along with revealing Ao's face.
  • Expy: Takeru looks and acts very much like Kaneda from AKIRA.
  • Fake Defector: Kazuma, after being left behind while Takeru and Biz left for Earth, managed to become an elite member of Eden's council, and takes charge of capturing Takeru once he returns to the Moon. However, he was trying to get into position to change Eden's society from the inside, and secretly takes steps to help La Résistance free his old friend and escape with the Freedom-series spaceships.
  • Fan Disservice: At one point, Takeru and Biz end up in full-body alien costumes that are just a little too tight. Awkwardness ensues.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Language is generally milder in the English translation - i.e. kuso ("shit") is translated as "dang".
  • In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race: Canaveral is a grouping of just about every ethnicity, and this is clearly beginning to happen with their children.
  • Lighter and Softer: The protagonist and his buddies get involved with some dangerous bike races. They also end up opposing the military and the government. However, nobody dies or gets any part of his body shot-up or exploded.
    • Well, at least nobody dies of anything other than old age.
  • Message in a Bottle: "Earth is well. See you soon."
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: 5.5) Futurology.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Many of the residents of Earth.
  • Product Placement: This miniseries was explicitly created to promote Nissin Cup Noodles. It shows.
    • Paranoia Fuel: If there supposedly isn't any contact between Eden and Earth, why are Cup Noodles readily available in both places?
  • Purple Is Powerful: Ao's jewelry.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: Ao's town at Cape Canaveral in Florida is able to put together a small rocket that can carry message capsules all the way to the moon's surface each year. They were even able to assemble and launch kitbashed Saturn V rockets with passenger-rated capsules... twice! The second one even launched successfully!
  • Recycled In Space: This series has often been called "Logan's Run in space".
    • Episode 6 has invited comparisons with Oh Edo Rocket, though the overall tone couldn't be more different.
  • Road Trip Plot: After crash-landing in Las Vegas, Takeru and Biz drive 2400 miles to get to Cape Canaveral. They make the journey with no problems whatsoever thanks to Nissin Cup Noodles.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
  • Scenery Porn: This entire series is downright stunning to look at, but especially when we reach Earth.
  • Shirtless Scene: Takeru gets one in Episode 7, on account of being quarantined.
  • Shout-Out
    • In the prologue, they show a futuristic motorbike repair shop called Moonraker, where Takeru builds (or rather, modifies an old model he apparently found in a scrapheap) the trike he uses throughout the series and eventually even takes with him to Earth.
    • The Apollo 18 mission patch shows the astronauts' names as "Lee/Lifeson/Peart". Furthermore, one of these astronauts is Ao's father.
    • On at least one occasion, Takeru's bike does the classic sideways brake from AKIRA.
  • Spider Tank
  • Spiritual Successor: To Dallos — both works are about revolutions led by youth in colonies on the far side of the Moon. The bracelets of Eden are analogous to the headbands of Monopolis, and seeing the Earth for the first time is a climactic event in both stories. Freedom offers more closure and a detailed look at conditions on Earth.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Eden's Council ignores the Earth's revival and maintains totalitarian control over its people out of a desire to avoid the mistakes they believe led to Earth being destroyed in the first place.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Takeru and Kazuma.
  • Windows of the Soul: Ao spends much of her screen time as a Shrinking Violet. Her absolutely fierce eyes, however, tell a very different story.
  • You Are Number Six: Eden's government refers to people by their name and serial number.