The intrigue boils over in Eden of the East: Paradise Lost, the feature-length conclusion of a truly one-of-a-kind anime saga. Accused of terrorism and feeling the heat, Saki’s high-tech crew is in the crosshairs. Meanwhile, the shroud of mystery covering Takizawa is lifted as he and his fellow Seleção make their final moves. Every game must come to an end. For those playing Mr. Outside’s twisted game of conspiracy thrills, the end comes now.
As he did in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex--The Laughing Man
, director Kenji Kamiyama brings the Eden of the East
saga to a conclusion that feels appropriate yet remains ambiguous. In Paradise Lost
(2010), Takizawa and Saki return to Japan to end the game Mr. Outside created involving the 12 special agents known as the Seleçaos. The stakes are high: Takizawa must outwit the police, an entrenched plutocracy, and the remaining Seleçaos. Fortunately, he can count on the assistance of the oddball students of Eden of the East and the NEETS (young men with No Employment, Education or Training) he rescued previously. The object of the potentially deadly game remains unchanged: revitalize the faltering spirit and economy of Japan. Altruistic and compassionate, Takizawa reflects the attitude of the young Japanese who volunteered in record numbers to clean up the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Voice actor Jason Liebrecht makes Takizawa a likable and complex hero who can stay one step ahead of his friends yet command their loyalty. Leah Clark's Saki avoids the clichés of anime heroines whose sympathetic hearts turn them into doormats or crybabies. While Kamiyama ties up some of the strands of his complex narrative, he leaves a number of them hanging, including the possibility of further adventures for Takizawa--a prospect that will cheer the fans who made Eden of the East
such a hit. The most interesting of the extras is the Visual Commentary, a program Kamiyama presented to a live audience in April 2010 in which he and his crew discussed the film via onscreen text messages. (Unrated, suitable for ages 14 and older: profanity, violence, risqué humor, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon