Eden of the East

Genre: Drama
Length: 11 episodes
Rating: meh for mild nudity
Score: Excellent

Akira Takizawa – not his real name – has lost his memory. He doesn’t know who he is. He also doesn’t know why he’s standing in front of the White House, completely naked, carrying a cell phone and a pistol.

Saki is on holiday in DC. She tries to throw a coin into the white house fountain from the road. Some cops see her, and are about to ask questions, but are distracted by the appearance of a naked guy with a gun.

Saki and Akira quickly become friends, but at the same time he’s trying to piece together who he is and what led him here. He gradually discovers that he’s part of something big: a game of sorts, in which a dozen people are given enormous power, granted by a mysterious woman named Juiz through their cellphones, and each charged with “saving Japan” in their own way. One player used this power to found a hospital and retirement community; one to launch missiles at Japanese cities. Akira’s own past appears to have included buying an entire shopping centre to live in, and doing something with 20,000 NEETs* who recently vanished from across Japan. Is he a good guy? Is there a reason he lost his memory? Is he going to survive this game?

Saki is mostly dragged along for the ride, since despite his missing memory Akira is deeply charismatic, beaming with confidence. He doesn’t tell her much about what’s going on, but he’s clearly not ordinary. As he gets deeper into this game of life and death, she’s left with just a few stray clues. Even though he seems lighthearted, the intensity with which Akira dives into situations, putting himself and others on the line, is captivating.

It’s hard to describe why I think this series is excellent. It’s fast-moving, original and awesome. And when it’s this short, it’s worth finding out for yourself.

* “NEET”: “Not in Education, Employment or Training”. A recluse, typically male, who stays indoor and does nothing useful.