Eden of the East – 02
As their plane from Washington D.C. flies over Tokyo, Akira notices the still-smoldering ruins on the ground from where the missile attack occurred. There are other holes in the ground as well, but those are from the previous missile attack known as Careless Monday. When the plane lands, Saki checks her messages and realizes that she’s not going to be able to make her prospective employee interview. In fact, the airport is extremely crowded because the missile attack also caused a plane to crash, killing all aboard except for a six-year-old boy and girl. Saki is surprised to hear that people died this time since there were no victims due to the Careless Monday incident. Akira questions why that was, but the conversation get interrupted by Saki’s cell phone ringing. Her friends are coming to pick her up, however they’re stuck in traffic for the time being.
Akira’s own phone also rings with a call from Juiz who reports that he’s entered the range of the Selecao System. She wants him to carry out the duty of the Haves, but Akira doesn’t know what she means by that. Juiz continues to not reveal anything about his memory, but she does remind him that he has 8,262,307,719 yen at his disposal, and Akira eventually realizes that she can grant any request he has. He thus asks her to find him a way to get out of the airport quickly, past the lines in front of Immigration, and true to her word, Juiz arranges for an official to escort Akira and Saki out. What Akira doesn’t realize is that a person with a similar cell phone as his is able to see all the purchases he makes with his account, including the 100,000 yen bribe to the immigration official. Regardless, he and Saki are able to leave the airport without any trouble, and everyone thinks that they’re celebrities.
Saki then asks Akira out for some tea, so he decides to admit that he doesn’t know his own identity. Akira wants to figure that out first by going to the address on his passport, so he parts ways with Saki and runs off. Saki is disappointed, but a short while later, Akira returns because he has no idea where the place is. The two thus take the monorail together, and Saki realizes that Akira’s address is near one of the holes created by a Careless Monday missile, meaning that his home might be gone. Since they’re on the topic, Akira asks about the Careless Monday attack, so Saki explains that there have been eleven total missiles including the one from yesterday. The first ten came on November 22nd of the previous year, and no one knows exactly why the attack happened or where it came from. A short while later, the person with the same cell phone as Akira tracks him down to the train station, but it’s Akira who actually approaches this man because he noticed their cell phone similarities. Not letting on that he knows anything, the man claims that he’s with the police and checks Akira’s ID before letting Akira go.
By late afternoon, Akira and Saki are waiting together for a ferry so that Akira can head off on his own. When Akira asks Saki about herself, she reveals that she’s about to graduate from college and look for a job with her sister’s husband’s company. She lost her parents in an accident, but her sister and her sister’s husband working allowed her to go to college. Akira thinks that having a family is nice, and he’s reminded of a scene from his own past with his mother. With the ferry now at the dock, Akira gets on board and seems ready to part ways with Saki again, but this time he offers his hand out to her. She takes it at the last minute and joins him on the boat. As the two ride the ferry, Akira asks about Saki’s experience in New York, so she shows him the photos she took. A photo of the Brooklyn Bridge reminds Akira of a Meg Ryan movie, and he comments on how his memories of movies are quite clear.
One of the other photos is of the Freedom Tower, and the two talk about 9/11 and how Saki feels that they shouldn’t forget about it. Since the ferry is now passing by the smoldering ruins of the missile attack, Akira takes a picture of the two of them together in front of it. Meanwhile, the detective named Kondou from earlier looks over all of Akira’s purchases, including a brainwash program. He has his own problems to deal with though in the form of some debt collectors, so he calls Juiz and orders the two killed. They are shot in the head right in front of him, but because there’s a civilian witness, Kondou has to order that man killed as well. After being charged almost 1.5 million yen for that, his own balance is now only 7,034 yen, but he’s not that concerned because he’s after Akira and his duty.
That was certainly an interesting way to end the episode. It’s scary how quick and efficient Juiz is at fulfilling requests (unreal even), and it looks like we have our first major antagonist with Kondou. I’m not convinced that he’s evil though and am more suspicious of the motives of the mysterious organization that has someone/something like Juiz at their disposal. The way they’re charged for each request is interesting as well. I had read previously that Akira had a ton of money at his disposal, and it’s starting to make sense why he might need that much. In fact, the way Kondou went “bang” reminds me of how Akira is doing the same thing in the ED, and that in turn makes me wonder if he can ask Juiz to shoot down a missile.
I was also surprised that 9/11 and the Freedom Tower stuff came up. I probably shouldn’t have been given the terrorism parallels in the plot, but I just wasn’t expecting them to explore what may still be a touchy subject. It makes me curious about if the director or writers are trying to emphasize any particular theme with that or if this is their way of honoring the victims or something. On a less serious note, this series is also doing pretty well in developing the romance elements. I’m enjoying seeing Akira and Saki’s interactions as they get closer, and both ferry scenes were cute – the one where the ferry is pulling away from the dock had some rather nice accompanying music as well.
So far, Eden of the East has been a really good series in pretty much all respects. I think my main complaint right now is that the show doesn’t have previews for the next episode, but that’s more my impatience speaking.