Fresh off the heels of the first movie, I dove into the second film in the Eden of the East universe. Eden of the East Movie II: Paradise Lost as a movie delivers the fan service that I have been waiting on. Although, not a better movie then the first, it is catered more to the fans, if anything else. But, to keep things brief, it is a very boring follow up and a bit confusing at time. For instance, I wanted to know what Takizawa plans to do with the help of Mr. Outside at the end of the movie. In addition, just when you think Eden of the East will finally end nicely, it gives you everything but a good or happy ending. It isn’t all bad, as the animation is smooth and the expressions and movement along with the backgrounds and settings are visually amazing.
Paradise Lost really is completely different from the TV series, which may or may not turn you off. As for me, I view this as a negative since the new style and pacing didn’t leave enough time to effectively flesh out the characters. This was not as problematic in the previous film, The King of Eden, however, Paradise Lost plays out more like four episodes of a television series condensed into one go. Takizawa’s memories and identity are also finally revealed including his association with a former Prime Minister and his request to be the King of Eden.
Akira became the scapegoat yet again as he had did before. I am very much sure that he had this in mind the previous times he tried because he knew: he was part of the new generation, and unlike some of the old ideas being driven into the minds of the youth, he believed in things very much differently. Eden of the East could and should have been a lot longer than it currently is, and I just feel a bit cheated by the shortness of it all. It is hard to care about a film when most of the characters fall flat. The story is great but the amount of plot devices really bogs the film down to mediocrity. A big part of the excitement of the original series was the inter-episode action: trying to figure out and interpret everything that happened in the previous episode and speculate on what would happen in the next one. If only this film had kept up that level of energy.
In the end it joins the list of flawed series that actually do have quite a few points to make up for it. To break that vicious cycle is to give everyone, specifically the NEETs, the freedom to choose their own path and their own beliefs rather than becoming a mindless drone in the collective ant colony. By not insisting on a specific solution he had in mind, he rekindles in people the light of public discourse and experimentation to find better ways and better solutions to society’s problems. Story arc was pretty well thought out but painfully executed. Fans of the series should just avoid this one and hopefully they can manufacture a trilogy to once and for all, finish this series on a high note. In all honesty, I could watch Takizawa Akira run around doing his thing forever. It’s just that I thought this movie would reach new heights for the series, and it didn’t.