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Eden: It's An Endless World!, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – November 15, 2005
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A gay man, near death from the paralysis that has killed billions already, and two teenagers--one his best friend's son--live in a huge experimental facility, now dilapidated, that was built to foster plague-resistant individuals. The teens are its only success stories. Now the boy's father, his brain joined to a mechanical body, returns with soldiers and UN personnel. Amid revelations of friendship betrayed, a fight breaks out. With the help of an AI the boy has reanimated, the teens prevail. Twenty years later, the boy's son, accompanied by the same AI, explores a deserted city, and three men and a seeming girl capture him. Endo mutes manga distinctives for realism's sake (e.g., eyes look normal, not the size of saucers), keeps the violence short and sharp, inserts a few low-key satiric jibes at late-twentieth-century sociopolitics, and paces the narrative to facilitate milieu and character development. He conjures a postapocalyptic aura of near-palpable mystery. Why did what happened occur? Fortunately, this is just volume 1. Ray Olson
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Top Customer Reviews
It takes place in what could be considered a post apocalyptic age of man, but it is nothing like any other post apocalyptic manga out. It is filled with political intrigue, personal drama, and mind blowing plot arcs. The apocalyps is just the beginning and the canvas on which this story is painted.
It follows the life of a boy, Elijah, and his travels through the unique anarchic landscape of a world ravaged by a plague known as the Closer virus. With an ensamble of friends of happenstance, vicious enemies, and mosters, Elijah's world is far from the biblical paradise of Eden.
The author builds an array of interesting complicated characters, giving time to them as much as any main character, no matter how brief their life in the comic is. They are people for the most part real, aside from some who have been modified cybernetically.
As far as the artistry of the graphic novel is concerned, it is precisely that, graphic. It is not a novel for children, and often attacks adult issues head on. Aside from that, the action scenes are dynamic representations of the climax, either emotional or physical, of that scene. No shortage of blood, and guts, but not so splattered across the page as to be considered obscene.
These pictures are only there to support the myriad of plots, sub-plots, serializations and cliffhangers that are throughout the manga, as it heads toward an uncertain conclusion. There are twists turns and, growth, actual full fledged growth of the situations present, which become continually profound.
Read this manga for its drama, its violence and its imagination, whose vision of a post apocalyptical world can only be described as human.
The story in Eden--in this volume at least--begins with two teenagers, Enoah and Hannah, as they care for their guardian Layne, who's dying of a disease that hardens the skin and turns the insides of a human to mush. While caring for Layne, these kids learn of their responsibility to human-kind, as well as the tragic past that aided in bringing about the apocalypse in which they are living in. Later, the story moves to young Elijah, a boy whose only companion is a robot named Cherubim, as he goes about the everyday job of survival, including scavenging and hunting, as well as dreaming of girls.
Though admittedly the story is slow, and very little is given away as to what direction Eden is heading in, I can't knock it for the simple brilliance in which it is unfolding. Hiroki Endo put an emphasis on presenting the stark setting and conditions of living in the volume, and also made it clear that it is an intelligent plot no matter how slow it is. The back cover states that Eden is "a brilliant love song to post-apocalyptic survival genre" and I would have to agree on that. Eden is a smart story rivaling even Akira, and one I highly recommend for fans of darker, smarter manga.
This first volume is very good. The art is excellent. The story is introduced well and in an interesting way. I'm looking forward to finding out not only what will happen to the characters, but filling in what has happened in the past.
The visual storytelling is extremely well done. The battle scenes are clearly sequenced and paced in a way that is very cinematic. I found myself racing from panel to panel, my eyes frequently bugging out at dramatic and gory moments that are perfectly presented in service to the larger narrative and the emotional content.
The characters are quite convincing and engaging.
This is a fantastic piece of entertainment!