Eden anime is now available on Netflix with 4 episodes. Qubic Pictures is in charge of the production with Taiwanese animation studio CGCG and the CG anime has many big names behind it, including the director Yasuhiro Irie ( director of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), producer Justin Leach (Kick-Heart), character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto (animation director of Cowboy Bebop and co-founder of Bones) and music composer Kevin Penkin (music in Made in Abyss, Tower of God, and The Rising of the Shield Hero). Here is our review discussion:
‘Do you think the world needs humans?’ Eden presents this good question and sets up your expectations for the anime series. With such a strong list of staffers on this show, I was very eager and intrigued to see Eden and its take on robots and humans.
Yeah I agree, I have been thinking about Eden since we finished watching. I particularly enjoyed the interactions with the robots. Despite their metallic shells, they added a real human component to this world and I found the robots pleasant to watch. In particular, the question posed by Eden asked us to re-examine if the brightness of humanity was worth embracing the darkness with it. That one question alone gave me a lot to think about after finishing in under 100 minutes.
The anime’s episodic format was different from the norm with only four episodes at 25 minutes each. It felt like I was watching a four-part movie, except the episode breaks allowed me to ponder what happened after each “arc.” Justin Leach revealed Eden was originally pitched as a featured film in a recent interview conducted by Anime News Network before being adapted into four standard episodes. Regardless of its shorter runtime, Eden felt very cohesive and did a fantastic job of keeping the story moving.
Eden ended well as a standalone feature, but there were definitely other stories and themes that I would like to see in this world, especially because the overall theme explored the question if humanity was really necessary in this world. I feel that the ending countered that idea and implied that to accept the good of humanity, we also must accept its faults. According to that same interview, Justin Leach and the rest of the staff seemed open to exploring more of this world.
I’d love to see more. Speaking of the world, the background artwork was very impressive. Even though it was CG animation, it worked surprisingly well. It was a collaboration between CGCG, which had lots of experience with CG animation, and Qubic Pictures. It wasn’t flawless as there were moments where the facial expressions were a little goofy at times.
Yeah the adult facial expressions for Dr. Fields were fantastic. I wonder if the CG rendering issue was more with the child characters because of whatever capture setup was used.
I felt that the 3D CG animation overcame a lot of the stigma most fans would have with 3D animation. The animation style appeared to be animated “on ones” to match the standard 24 fps in current sakuga anime, instead of the current 12 fps used in most CG anime that accounts for its stiff motion. It is kind of ironic that some animations can get away with using the 12 fps animation if the animated subject was already going to be inherently stiff-looking (like a few giant robot shows), so I was impressed that the staff at Eden chose to go with the smoother 24 fps and blend the 2D and 3D parts well. It was nearly impossible to tell whether or not a shot was using 2D or 3D assets, which goes to show the level of talent in this production.
Overall, the CG animation worked well especially with the robots and there were a lot of robots.
Of course, every review discussion is a moment for us to applaud Kevin Penkin’s wonderful music. The soundtrack album used a blend of orchestral instruments and electronic synthesizers. Major props to the entire music crew contributing to this soundtrack, as all the background music helped elevate the storytelling of Eden.
Overall, I enjoyed the themes the most in Eden. I wish we got to see more of the world after the climax because there are a few questions I had for this world that were still left open. Maybe they could explore more in a future sequel. Do you have any last thoughts, Kwok?
Eden is a very solid show. It’s something I think anyone can enjoy and walk away with something to think about. Even then, the show was surprisingly wholesome and I had a lot of fun watching it. I’m looking forward to seeing more stories from Leach and Qubic Pictures.