Sunday, October 13, 2013

NEETest Story Ever

There are many things that work out great for Eden of the East - a fabulous first episode (although NF has seen quite a few anime over the years, he hasn't quite seen one in which Washington DC was featured so heavily (the first episode in Eden of the East) and so wonderfully accurately! And while NF cannot (sadly) vouch for the accuracy of depictions of Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akihabara, Roppongi, Ikebukuro or the other Tokyo neighborhoods featured often in other animes, in this case at least, he could really appreciate the accuracy of the DC architecture that formed the background for the exploits of the protagonists in the first episode); a breezy, smooth flowing story arc; and wonderfully well etched characterizations.

But the thing that struck NF as the most impressive was the seamless transition of a series that looked like a simple, somewhat formulaic romcom (NF was a little apprehensive at first, given the theme, but the first episode convinced him to at least watch the complete eleven episodes of the series) into a bona fide science fictional escapade! In fact the SF themes are so subtle, unhighlighted and well stitched into the entire fabric of the series that you might be forgiven for missing out on them completely! The characters' interaction with technology is so realistic, effortless and casual that it makes you realize how even advanced technology slowly permeates our entire being with its users barely conscious of how their habits and routine have absorbed, adapted and subsumed and in turn have been subsumed by the said technology. (Another wonderful anime that manages to do this very beautifully is one of NF's all time favorites - Dennou Coil.) One wonders if it is unique to the Japanese culture to think so naturally about technology and portray its effect on society in such a restrained, understated way (the NEET phenomenon sure is very unique to the Japanese) or is it the hallmark of simply brilliant direction - after all the great Kenji Kamiyama - the director of Ghost in the Shell TV series, dons the mantle!

Great series - highly recommended!

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