GOOOOOOODDAMMIT! Goddamn you, Studio Production IG! You go to Hell and you DIE! How fucking dare you follow up your extremely fun and entertaining 2009 TV series Eden of the East with two talking head movies that make Patlabor 2 look like Ninja Scroll or FLCL. What the fuck were you thinking?!
Okay, I wouldn't call the Eden of the East TV series "groundbreaking" or anything as obnoxious as that, but it was fascinating, had some fun characters, and a very unique story (12 seemingly random Japanese citizens from all walks of life are given a high tech phone hooked to an AI operator who would help them spend an allotted ¥8.2billion in whatever ways they wanted to as long as they "saved Japan" from itself. If they failed to, or spent the money on themselves they'd lose the game, and would be eliminated). It also constantly moved forward, starting with intrigue, nudity, and brainwashing in Washington DC with one of these 12 chosen citizens (known collectively as the Selecao), and ending with even more brainwashing, 20,000 naked NEETs, and 60 missiles launched at Japan (oh yeah, SPOILERS for the TV show!). The main problem with both 80 minute movies that followed this great TV show is that combined they had enough information to pad out maybe 3 complete episodes (meaning 60 - 66 minutes of storytelling). Tops. And that's really pushing it. NOTHING. INTERESTING. HAPPENED. Not in either movie, and especially not in the "grand finale." And the extremely awesome promise of cool shit to come (with that unbelievable cliffhanger in the final TV episode)? Pissed away in a matter of minutes in the opening of the first movie. Goddammit Production IG...
Okay, let me just back up and tell you what Eden of the East I: King of Eden and Eden of the East II: Paradise Lost are all about. So we pick up 6 months after our main amnesiac Selecao savior of Japan (one Akira Takizawa) had the 20,000 NEETs (people Not in Education, Employment, or Training) he previously shipped to Dubai (who had just returned... Very angry) devise a way to stop the 60 incoming missiles that another Selecao sent to blow up big chunks of the country because he was a disillusioned pissant. The video captured of him pointing at the missiles that day — pretending to shoot them down — became an icon for the youth in the country who were dissatisfied with the crap their elders kept piling on top of them like fascist oppressors, man! So when Juiz (the artificial intelligence unit on the other side of the Selecao's special phones who can make anything happen the instant he/she requests it) makes Takizawa's last wish of the TV series happen (namely making him "King of Japan"), he's whisked away into the night, and the whole world is left to wonder just what has happened to this enigmatic young man... Especially the plucky young female protagonist of the series, one Saki Morimi, who had put up with so much of his crap and never got even a little lovin' in return.
Saki hasn't taken Takizawa's disappearance well. In those intervening 6 months she's gone to America several times to look for him, neglecting her duties at the now popular (and very rich) start-up company she was a founding member of: Eden of the East (the small website that Saki and her college friends created in the TV series has since become super popular and profitable after people started using it to find out who Takizawa was after the missile crisis).
Then, almost randomly, Saki bumps into the brainwashed Takizawa on one trip to New York City, and they hang out... For 60 minutes... Doing nothing. It seems that Juiz translated his final request in the series to mean "turn me into the illegitimate heir of the late Prime Minister of Japan so that I can wargharblegarble." It makes no goddamn sense really — especially after seeing how clever and swift and cool Takizawa's strange requests were granted in the televised part of this story. And you know what? In the end, making Takizawa out to be the Prime Minister's love child amounted to JACK SHIT... But I'm getting waaaay ahead of myself.
Okay, so while the amnesiac Taki and Saki talk and talk and talk (about NOTHING) in New York, Selecao #1 in Japan is finally taking action to make himself the winner of the game. He tracks down all the mobile Juiz AI units that are being shuffled around Japan (one Juiz unit per Selecao) and launches missiles at them in order to eliminate the competition... But he stops after only doing this to 3 or so of them. For no reason (honestly, this was a pretty smart idea if he followed through). Number 1 also starts wooing some big players in Japanese politics, and he starts pushing reforms to put into effect a 100% inheritance tax in order to keep parents from supporting their deadbeat NEET children, and to stimulate the stale economy (if they can't pass any inheritance on, they might as well spend it!). NEETs get all pissed off, and old people are all like "Heh! Get a job, dirty hippies!" and the country's even MORE at odds with itself... That's where the first movie ends. It was 80 minutes of something that easily could have fit into ONE 22 minute episode. Fuck.
Movie 2 then opens with Takizawa getting all his memories back (please GOD don't ask me how... I... DON'T... KNOW.....) after having ridden a carousel and having a strange dream about his Selecao phone fucking his ear on the flight back to Japan with Saki. The two of them are met at the airport by the Prime Minister's widow and her entourage, and Taki's forced to donate hair for a DNA test to validate his/Juiz's claim of heredity. But then he escapes with the help of one of the NEETs he kidnapped in the first series. With the help of the Eden of the East crew (and especially "Pants", who swoops in like mothafuckin' Neo in the Matrix movies to save the day), Taki then tracks down both his and Selecao #1's Juiz mobile units and hijacks them. During THIS, Saki tracks down Takizawa's mother, finds that she really DID know the late Prime Minister and that Taki really IS his child, and then things come to a head at the PM's residence with bullets and bodies flying everywhere amidst the coolest explosions you've ever seen animated... No, I'm shitting you — things crawl to a close when Number 1 tells Takizawa that he forfeits, thusly allowing Taki to win, but he still wants to something something boring political blah blah even after he loses. Taki then uses the last of his money to have Juiz plug him into everybody in Japan's cell phones where he pep talks the nation by telling them he's NOT the PM's bastard child, he IS a terrorist, and that old farts and young losers should unite to make the world a better place. Then he peace outs.
Mr. Outside (the delusional rich weirdo who set up this whole Selecao game in the first place) then calls up the remaining Selecao agents, declares that the game is over, and then mindrapes/wipes them over the phone just like Joss Whedon's Dollhouse Initiative. But it turns out that Takizawa has been mindfucked once too often already, and he gets to keep his memories. Oh, and it also turns out Takizawa really WASN'T the PM's kid, and the entire subplot of Saki hunting down his mom to find out his's real story was COMPLETELY POINTLESS (and the mother ran away from her son in the end again too). But whatever, let me talk about the aftermath of this clusterfuck.
So after going through all this, having tons of missiles launched at Japan, people assassinated, lives destroyed, Mr. Outside just concedes the whole thing didn't work and calls it quits. Making the ENTIRE STORY pointless. Oh, and after getting away scott free in the end — memories still intact and a cute girl waiting for him — Takizawa leaves her and Eden of the East (the group that saved his ass in the end) behind and disappears into the city. The after credits sequence shows that Takizawa finally tracks down Mr. Outside again (6 months after the game ended) and tries to talk him into figuring out a way to save the country together — the youth and the old geezer. That's it. No solid ending, no happiness for anybody involved. No twists, no bends, no excitement, no death or destruction (well, Selecao #1 may have been killed by an upset and unwiped Selecao #10, who may have then been killed by Number 1's car, but we don't really know for sure [Hell, Pants was run over by a car more viciously than #10 and survived]). Just two overly long talking head movies.
And I don't mean to imply that talking head movies are bad. I mean, I love most of Quentin Tarantino's stuff, and his magnum opus (Inglourious Basterds) is pretty much a 3 hour chat-fest. When done right, a good writer and director can make magic out of what should be boredom. The EotE movies though are just painful to sit through. Honestly, it took me 3 months to find a decent translation of the second movie online because no big groups of fansubbers would even touch the damn thing because it was "lame and boring." They usually fight to get out the first translation of a hugely anticipated movie the instant it hits Blu-ray. I didn't believe their excuses though, and was pissed at first for this heresy of calling anything related to Eden "boring" (I'm telling you, I LOVED the series), but once I plodded through them both I realized that the fansubbing community was just trying to save us all in a way even more desperate than Takizawa was trying to save Japan in his impossible Selecao quest (where nobody believed him, and the whole country was against him). Christ! This reminded me so much of Ghost Hound in that it was such a brilliant and fun set-up, but the final act just shat all over viewers' hopes and expectations with nothing (absolutely NOTHING) pertinent or important to say.
Oooooooookay. That was so not worth anything. We waited so damn long to see how that weird anime series about the guy with the strange phone became the savior of Japan, and after watching characters talk on and on and on and on for two whole movies, it turns out all he had to do was call up everybody in the country and say shit like "Hey! Buddy! Yo, remember when I blew up those missiles and shit, and then disappeared for a while, and then said the Prime Minister fucked my mom and made me? Well, yeah, that was awesome. Now, I'm going again, but let's forget any of this shit ever happened. Okay? Alright! Awesome! Well... Bye!" Then he buggered out of town again, but it's okay because he saved Japan by doing that. See, it all makes sense.
Oh, and why in the hell did he leave that cute girl behind? Everybody was just dying to go panty-diving into her skirt, and she wanted nothing more than to hump his brains out, but he just left her. I didn't get how or why any of this stuff happened in these two movies. They both sucked and were so very lame. I didn't even get any sleep during them either as I kept expecting something interesting to happen, like in the TV show. But alas, the Japanese have proven to me once and for all that they have no idea how to end things without flying a fighter plane into them.
The Rossman here. Kuni took a nap at the start of the first movie when the talking just kept droning on and on. When he woke up after Chi-Chi and I had already finished up with the hooker and sent her on her way with Kuni's wallet, we convinced him that she would come back and visit him in his dreams if he was a good boy and didn't touch himself ever again. Well, we caught him 4 minutes later and told him the nice hooking lady would now haunt his sleep forever while trying to bite his Kuni stick off.
He ran off screaming "Never again! Never bite penis in half again!" into the night, and I never got him to review these two turds. Sorry.