Eden of the East – 06
Shiratori has brought Oosugi to her hotel room and has him restrained in a chair. She starts to threaten his Johnny with her cigar cutter, but she gets interrupted by a call and is forced to leave for a while. Unaware of this, Saki meanwhile has Akira bring her back to Micchon’s place, and she calls her sister to tell her that she’s not coming home because she doesn’t want to face Ryousuke. Her sister isn’t happy with this, but Ryousuke thinks that they should leave Saki alone for a while. Saki then tries to contact Oosugi, however she gets interrupted by Micchon, and she ends up asking for a change of clothes. The next day, Saki fills in her friends in the Eden of the East group about Akira and how he wants to support them. Hirasawa is very suspicious, but Micchon finds it interesting, and they decide to go visit Akira to see what kind of person he is.
As the others are leaving, Kasuga tells Hirasawa of the meal he had with Oosugi the previous night that he thinks was meant for Saki. He suspects that Oosugi saw Akira and Saki together, and he’s worried because Oosugi disappeared drunk after dinner. They don’t want to exclude Oosugi from all this since he was a founding member, so Hirasawa has Kasuga try to find him. At the shopping mall, Saki’s friends are impressed by the place and the merchandise still sitting around, but Hirasawa’s attention is drawn towards an off-limits area. He doesn’t get the chance to check it out though, and the group moves on to Akira’s room. Hirasawa gets freaked out when music suddenly starts playing throughout the mall, and Akira ends up riding in on a large mechanical bear to welcome them.
Once they get settled down, Hirasawa questions why Akira wants to support them and what he wants with Saki. Akira’s answer to the second part is that he feels that she doesn’t need to work for older guys who dump gyuudon on her. He also reveals that he’s seen the Eden of the East program that can be accessed with any cell phone. It works as a sort of image search engine that displays notes wherever the phone’s camera is pointed, and it turns out that Micchon wrote the program. When Akira asks about them starting a business, Hirasawa explains that they had a little trouble. In the beginning, they were a small recycling community, and by developing the image recognition engine, stuff that was junk could be changed into valuable commodities. This was thanks to how Saki labeled images with new values, and the others soon followed suit. That in turn led to the tool being used to find lovers when students themselves started to register with it, and this was trouble.
Hirasawa doesn’t want Akira’s help though because he sees Eden of the East as a paradise of NEETs, and there’s envy towards those who are able from those who are not. Akira presents this in a different way however by asking for their help in accomplishing his supposed duty as someone who is able. Saki wanting to participate as well pushes Hirasawa towards agreeing. Afterward, Akira picks out a change of clothes for Saki from one of the stores, and he and Micchon place fireworks in the shape of a happy animal face to light up the courtyard. During the festivities though, Hirasawa gets a phone call from Kasuga concerning Oosugi. Kasuga thinks that Oosugi might have gotten involved with someone who’s been hunting Johnnys, all based on a posting on a message board by a guy who claims to have been confined by a woman and has been asking for help. Rumor has it that there have already been as many as 20,000 victims of this hunter, and Hirasawa asks Kasuga to send the URL of the message board.
Despite all the explanation about the Eden of the East group, the very nifty program, Micchon being very cute, and even more emphasis on NEETs and the current generation of young people in Japan, the most interesting part of this episode for me was probably the Shiratori stuff. Now all that blood and that cigar cutter from last week’s episode make a lot more sense: she simply cuts off penises and bleeds men to death. I think the key is that 20,000 number because it might signify that both Akira before the memory wipe and Shiratori were aiming for a certain minimum amount for the competition, and Shiratori’s idea might be some sort of twisted world for women. Regardless, it sucks even more for Oosugi than I thought, though I’m half-inclined to think the fact that he isn’t dead already means that he’ll find a way to survive through it, especially since his friends now know about his situation. It makes me wonder if Akira can get Juiz to interfere with another Selecao. On the other hand, if that apple is to have significance (after all, it’s the centerpiece of the beginning of the ED and a part of the Eden myth), then maybe it would be more important for him to die.