0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Eden of the East

Tuesday 1st March 2011

Director Kenji Kamiyama on Eden of the East, Catcher in the Rye, and things to do with ten billion yen.

Kenji Kamiyama“Ten billion yen is a lot of money for an individual,” says Kenji Kamiyama, “but the value of the money itself isn’t enough to change a country’s destiny. You need the initiative of the individual. I thought about how much money would be right. The basic idea was to have an amount that would be very good for one person to live on, but not enough for a revolution.”

And then, in Kamiyama’s anime series Eden of the East, he dumped the huge sum (£76 million and change) in the hands of a mystery man who fraternises with NEETs, slacker youngsters “Not in Education, Employment or Training”.

“People in modern Japan, especially the young, don’t really feel: ‘I am rich, so I’m happy.’” explains Kamiyama. “People compare their own situation to that of others, and that is a deformed kind of happiness. Consequently, people don’t feel the motivation to work, and they can’t feel content.

Eden of the East“This led to the phenomenon of NEETs. Because these people have no excitement or passion in their lives, their lives become flat. They secretly start to wish that something exciting or surprising would happen, good or bad, just so that they can feel that they are alive.”

In Eden of the East, a Tokyo missile attack and a multi-millionaire windfall should be enough for any slacker, except it comes with a price. Leading man Takizawa and his rivals have each been given ten billion yen with which to transform Japan. The catch is, if they run out of money, they die!

"The question in Eden was, if you had ten billion yen and you could use it as you wanted, would you spend it on yourself or would you be able to think of using it to change your country?”

BOURNE FREE

“It started when Fuji TV asked me to make a series,” Kamiyama says. “They knew Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and wanted something with the same strengths in the story, like a live-action TV drama.”

Bourne IdentityThe Bourne Identity was one of my favourite recent movies, so I took inspiration from that, and it’s mentioned in the dialogue,” Kamiyama confirms. “I also liked the idea of having a big mystery in which the hero is involved but he doesn't know why, as used by Hitchcock. I had to grip the viewer from the beginning.”

Being a movie fan, Takizawa continues an ongoing theme of cinephilia in Kamiyama’s work stretching back to an early episode of Stand Alone Complex that featured an obsessed fan of Jean-Luc Godard’s film Breathless.

“I learned a lot about life and relationships from film,” Kamiyama says. “I wanted to put that passion into the character of Takizawa as well, and to convey a message to youngsters who don’t watch movies like my generation did… to hint that there are interesting things you could learn in old films, and in old things around you, that you didn’t know about.”

Takizawa was also created with Eden’s deeper themes in mind. “When I was a student,” says Kamiyama, “I was surrounded by very interesting people who could take on the leadership of their class and organise things. But once they entered society, it was like they lost the spark that they used to have. So I wonder if society is destroying this individual spark. Takizawa is a very interesting, very brilliant guy who has got involved with this complicated game, the game of society. In the game, you have to get into society’s mechanism and recreate it for yourself.”

Hence Takizawa’s startling introduction: when he first appears on screen, he is stark naked.

Eden of the East“I wanted to show that he begins completely naked and then is able to change into a very active leader,” Kamiyama says. “You might say his introduction overlaps with the idea of a newborn baby, but the reason was to show he starts with nothing. He only has his initiative. The question is, can Takizawa go through society and remain himself? Is he somebody who people needs, or who nobody needs, someone who society is going to reject? How is he going to act in the social environment?”

TERROR TACTICS

“At least in Japan (which is the society that I have experienced),” says Kamiyama, “you grow up and you enter society, you find a job but there is this lack of motivation, of being the protagonist of the situation you are in. Since you were a child, everybody has said you are the centre of their attention, but that’s because the society is based on consumerism, not because you can take decisions. With Eden, I wanted to explore how you could take decisions and realise yourself, to be a real protagonist in your own story."

One touchstone of Kamiyama’s thinking is the novel Catcher in the Rye, which was a major motif in the first series of Stand Alone Complex. “From when I was seventeen until I was twenty-four, I felt that I was Holden Caulfield, the main character in Catcher in the Rye,Kamiyama says. “I was also inspired by Yukio Mishima’s way of thinking, and by an incident in Japan in 1960 [before Kamiyama’s birth].” This incident was a political assassination, when a teen boy and rightwing zealot called Otoya Yamaguchi fatally stabbed Inejiro Asanuma, the head of the Japan Socialist party.

Kamiyama says, “I was impressed by the fact that these two people, Yamaguchi and Asanuma, belonged to opposite political factions, but they had the same purpose. They were both strongly patriotic and the fact they couldn’t communicate with each other was in a way symbolic of the very tough situation in 1960s Japan. I took inspiration from it for the Laughing Man in the first season of Stand Alone Complex and the Kuze character in the second. Both are people who are trying to do good, but who are seen by others as terrorists”

Eden of the East is out now on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Manga Entertainment.

Eden of the East

MANGA UK GOSSIP

Eden Of The East

£5.99
sale_tag
was £24.99
On November 22nd, 2010, ten missiles strike Japan. Known as Careless Monday, this attack does not result in any apparent victims, and is soon forgotten by almost everyone. Then, three months later... Saki Morimi, a young woman currently Washington D.C. on her graduation trip, is saved by a mysterious man, who has lost his memory, and has nothing except for a gun and a phone with 8.2 BILLION yen in digital cash.

Produced by Production I.G (GHOST IN THE SHELL, JIN-ROH)
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama (GHOST IN THE SHELL STAND ALONE COMPLEX)
Music by Kenji Kawai (GHOST IN THE SHELL, IP MAN (1 and 2), DEATH NOTE)
Action and suspense in the vein of The Bourne Identity

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Hellsing Ultimate's Vampire

Hugh David on the vampire-hunter’s vampire
“Blessed by the Church, licensed by the State, Damned for all Eternity... All that stands between England and the Undead!”  The modern-day tale of Britain’s holy warrior order (the Hellsing of the title) fighting vampires with their own supernatural WMD (Dracula himself, here named Alucard), Kouta Hirano’s original manga debuted back in 1997.  Its stylised bloody action predates the global success of Blade by a year, while the idea of Dracula surviving into the modern era was being explored then by British author Kim Newman, in the first two volumes of the Anno Dracula series.

Deadman Wonderland

Matt Kamen follows the white rabbit in this brutal prison saga
After an environmental disaster ravages Tokyo, three quarters of the city is wiped from the Earth. What’s left of the once-bustling metropolis is re-developed into Japan’s largest prison, a privately owned concern known as Deadman Wonderland, that forces inmates into sadistic carnival shows for bloodthirsty spectators. To force participation, prisoners are collared with a device that slowly poisons them, a lethal dose building up over three days unless they eat a foul-tasting piece of candy to purge their system and reset the timer. The prison’s chief warden Makina is a no-nonsense ball-buster who never hesitates to punish insubordination or misbehaviour, often with a slash of her lethal sword.

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Unspinning Fairy Tail

Hugh David argues that the treasure is in the detail
The biggest influence on this anime is not tabletop RPGs or even the long-standing fantasy fiction genre itself. No, the stamp of numerous Japanese role-playing videogames is all over Fairy Tail, from the Atelier series to the Final Fantasy franchise, in particular Final Fantasy XII

Magi the Labyrinth of Magic

In search of the animated Arabian Nights
The literary history of the Arabian Nights that underlies Magi is fascinating. The one point that any Magi fan should know to sound erudite is that three of the show’s main characters, Aladdin, Alibaba and Sinbad, are named after famous Arabian Nights heroes. However, none of these heroes were actually in the original collection.

Origa (1970-2015)

Remembering the Ghost in the Shell singer
Despite her great fame, her stage persona was so far removed from her everyday self that she was rarely recognised in the street. “It makes me happy,” she confessed, “that living in Japan has given me such a great opportunity to have a personal life and a professional life. But I never forget that I have a mother and two sisters back near Novosibirsk. I make sure to visit them every year.”

Tokyo Night Life

Japan Underground's Tom Smith on how to rock and roll all nite in Tokyo
I wanted to see bands playing live music, experience local pubs and bar culture, and not get back to my hotel until it was light. Now, my nights in the city are as busy, if not busier, than my days. Here’s a quick look at some of the Tokyo hotspots worth hitting for music fans.

Tajomaru: Avenging Blade

Jonathan Clements goes in search of groove in a grove
Tajomaru: Avenging Blade is part of a trend in filmmaking that has seen a number of Japanese classics approached from new angles. In Hollywood, we have the Satsuma Rebellion retooled in The Last Samurai, and Keanu Reeves already at work on the forthcoming Forty-seven Ronin. Within Japan, Sogo Ishii’s Gojoe (2000) replayed a famous samurai legend with a gritty, glossy, pop sensibility. Shinji Higuchi’s Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (2008) re-appraised a Kurosawa classic through the priorities and influences of George Lucas’s Star Wars. Kazuaki Kiriya’s Goemon (2009) retold an old kabuki tale, re-imagined with the weight of a century of potboiler novels and schlocky ninja movies.

By the Will of Genghis Khan

“Not long ago, Genghis Khan evoked only unpleasant memories..." Er...
Andrei Borisov’s epic film By the Will of Genghis Khan presents the historical figure Temujin not as the terrifying bogeyman of European lore, but as he is remembered across much of the East, as a just ruler, a lawgiver, and a man of honour.

One Piece: Crew Manifest Four

Who will you encounter in this latest volume of nautical nonsense?
How does Luffy, a man made of rubber, fight a living desert?

Where is Victorian Romance Emma?

Why do we get Downton, but not Emma?
Fans of K-On! The Movie’s lovely and realistic vision of London may not be aware that in between that film and Steamboy’s loving depiction of a steampunk-era Manchester and London rests a show that is as accurate as either, and yet is also arguably the most English anime show ever made. Yet it still cannot be bought on DVD in the UK itself.

Interview: Yui Tanimura on Dark Souls II

Matt Kamen speaks with the director of the toughest game you’ll play this year.
For Dark Souls II, new directors Yui Tanimura and Tomohiro Shibuya promise the upcoming sequel will be every bit as challenging as its precursors.

Attack on Titan: How Will It End?

The second part, and what comes after...
This is the burning question for Attack on Titan fans, and it’s certainly not answered in the second volume of the anime series. Rather, Volume 2 shows a world which is still in the process of expanding, bringing on a great many vivid new characters – and arguably the most vivid of all isn’t even a human, but a sexy woman Titan who stomps all over the series.
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Eden of the East from the UK's best Anime Blog.