Eden of the East took the anime world by storm when it debuted in 2009. Creator Kenji Kamiyama managed to capture the hearts of fans across the globe with his beautifully told tale of intrigue. It was a rare series that seemed to get everything right in its earliest episodes, with a charming cast, and a truly fascinating concept. The pacing was refreshingly tight, and the presentation was simply divine through the entire run.
Though Eden of the East did suffer from its own difficulties, the show’s many positives were enough to pull the series into countless “best of” lists for the year. The show’s popularity, both in Japan and abroad, led to the creation of two films: The King of Eden and Paradise Lost, which set out to right the wrongs committed by the TV show. Whether they were able to achieve this goal is up for debate, but this writer felt that they were a fantastic farewell to the series that captivated so many in its 11 short episodes.
In March, Funimation brought Eden of the East back into the spotlight with a limited Collector’s Edition. This release, which was billed as the ultimate release for the hardcore fan, bundled the show and its two sequel films into a single $99.98 boxed set.
We received a copy of the Eden of the East premium edition a couple of weeks ago. Given our appreciation for the series, as well as our love for all manner of fancy boxes, we felt that this was a title that warranted a full teardown.
Note: Product was sent by Funimation for purposes of review.
Eden of the East‘s premium edition consists of two components, which are shipped in a standard chipboard box. The Blu-Ray edition of the show is bundled with a box, which has the same dimensions of a standard Blu-Ray case.
The chipboard box is a stark white. The front of the box features the Selecao IX logo stamped in silver foil, which is set before gray texts and a radar diagram. The text reads “noblesse oblige , I pray for your continuing success as a savior.”
The back of the box features a color illustration of Akira and Saki riding a carousel together. The spine features the show’s logo, stamped in silver foil along with a “premium edition” label and a list of the titles featured in the release.
The box itself is wrapped in a paper wraparound label, which features a stark black cityscape on the front and a description of the series on the back.
the discs are packaged in a single gatefold case. The front and back of the gatefold feature key visuals of Akira and Saki, each of which are rimmed by a black and white border composed of items like cellphyones, toasters, and cans of coffee.
Opening the case reveals two more pieces of key art. The left image features Daiju Mononobe and “Johnny Hunter” Kuroha Diana Shiratori. The right image focuses on Eden of the East members Iwashita, Kasuga, Hirasawa, Katsuhara, and Ōsugi.
The discs themselves are set against a panoramic shot of the Tokyo skyline. Each disc is white, with grey text and a small label that denotes its contents.
The inner box, which is used to hold the physical extras, features the same “Selecao IX” design as the chipboard box on the front. The back features a color illustration of Akira.
Inside the box is the following:
- A numbered Certificate of Authenticity
- Four (4) Art Cards
- Three Stickers: Air King, Selecao IX, Noblesse Oblige Symbol
- Papercraft: Mameshiba the Dog
On-disc extras are identical to those found in the original physical releases. This includes:
- TV Spot
- Promotional Videos
- Textless Closing Song Trailers
- Air Communication
- Eden of the East: King of Eden News Flash
- Eden of the East: King of Eden Preview
- Eden of the East: Paradise Lost US Cast Commentary
- Interview With Director Kenji Kamiyama & Original Character Designer Umino
- Interview With Ryōhei Kimura (Takizawa) & Saori Hayami (Saki)
- Interview With Directors Kenji Kamiyama & Oshii
- Interview With Art Director Yusuke Takeda
- Interview With Composer Kenji Kawai
The main menu is presented on an overlay styled after Akira’s Noblesse Oblige cell phone. Menu items are presented as a list. Selecting an option opens a sub-menu, which is projected to the left of the cell phone overlay. A looping video plays in the background.
On the two films, the “Episode Select” menu is replaced by a scene selection array. images of each chapter are presented in a horizontal row, which serve as menu items.
The pop-up menu is a horizontal text menu. Submenus are presented as overlays that are placed above the corresponding menu item.
After last year’s disappointing Darker Than BLACK release, I was a bit cautious about the Eden of the East Premium Edition. Those fears proved to be moot, though, as Funimation was able to put together a must-have release for the die-hard fans of the show.
The overall presentation features beautifully understated aesthetic, with heavy use of negative space to draw attention to the artwork found within. The chipboard box is sturdy, and the actual gatefold case does a fantastic job of both protecting and presenting the discs, themselves. The physical extras, such as the stickers and art cards, are nice, though certainly not a real centerpiece in the release itself.
The menus are lain out well and easy to navigate, with the “phone” motif really working within the context of the show proper. The digital extras are genuinely fascinating, with the highlight being the staff interviews. These are genuinely insightful, and offer a different look at Eden of the East as a whole.
The video of the show proper remains fantastic, with fantastic color representation and no obvious defects. The colors remain vibrant, with no signs of crushed blacks or aliasing through both the TV series and the films. The audio is crystal clear on both tracks, and the 5.1 audio in the films and dubs are a treat.
The entire package is simply wonderful, and one that any Eden of the East fan would be happy to own.