Warning: Slightly NSFW image below.
Another show I’ve already written about(here). First of all, I guess I’ll comment on one of the remarks I made in the other post: The reason the character designs of Higashi no Eden, aka Eden of the East, remind me of Honey and Clover is probably that they share a character designer, Chika Umino. Other than that, I’d like to withdraw my statement that the “characters mean nothing”. In retrospect, it’s only true for some of the antagonists. Having seen the two sequel movies, I have to say that I love the main characters.
The reason why I like them doesn’t entirely depend on the two movies, though. It’s something more complex and way more vague than that. For starters, a routine demographic-based analysis(i.e. are the characters reminiscent of shounen, shoujo, seinen or josei shows) of the characters doesn’t work. The character designs make me want to paint it as a josei show(like Honey and Clover), but that would be too simple. Saki, for instance, could be considered relatable to adult women, but she’s still very different from characters in the other josei shows I’ve seen. She doesn’t consider herself incomplete or something like that, nor does Takizawa act as some kind of saviour toward her, except maybe in the very beginning(the story told through the pictures in this post). She’s just a regular girl with regular problems, and Takizawa mostly just causes trouble for her. Actually, that kind of makes him seem like a character from a shoujo show, but there are so many aspects to his personality that it wouldn’t be reasonable to write him off as a delinquent troublemaker.
Ok, so, looking at the genre list on MAL, I had an epiphany. Maybe the fact that this show is listed as an action comedy drama mystery romance sci-fi thriller explains why it’s hard to pin down the character archetypes. And I think I suddenly understand why not many other people I’ve talked to have loved this show. As I may have hinted at with my comparison to 24, Higashi no Eden is a very ambitious show. And, like 24, it doesn’t always succeed at what it tries to do. In fact, looking back at it, I can’t even remember most of the plot twists because they either weren’t interesting or didn’t make sense. Or maybe I just didn’t get it. 24 isn’t too difficult to get, but you never know with anime… (case in point, the picture below)