Eden of the East – 10
Akira allows Saki and Micchon to board the train back to Tokyo, but he doesn’t go with them and instead meets with Mononobe. Realizing that Akira still doesn’t have his memories back, Mononobe explains that he’s going to the academic city of Harima with the intent of winning this game, and he invites Akira to come with him. Akira, however, first gets a call from a concerned Saki who wants to know what’s going on. Refusing to let Akira hang up on her, she reveals that she knows that his cell phone is special and that he was with a woman during the hotel incident. She wants him to tell her everything, including who he is, but he really doesn’t know and offers to not hang up the phone so that she can listen in on his conversation with Mononobe. He also tells her that if he ends up being a criminal, then she can forget about him, and he’ll disappear. Saki thus listens in as Akira boards a helicopter with Mononobe and starts talking to him.
Akira first wants to know why he erased his memories and used false names, so Mononobe starts by bringing up the ATO company and its president Atou Saizou who is none other than Mr. Outside. During the reconstruction period after World War II, Atou was a wealthy and influential businessman who got his start in the transportation industry. He was proud of having built the foundation of modern Japan, but he wondered if the current Japan that had reached its limit was the best and if he had done the right thing. Mononobe feels that they’re victims of Atou’s whims to change Japan, but he also knows that Atou didn’t have much time left because of his terminal cancer, and he thinks that Atou could already be dead. As for how Mononobe intends to win the game, he claims that he’s planning on replacing Mr. Outside.
Once the two arrive at the ATO Harima Neuroscience Institute, Mononobe explains that he quit his old job as a bureaucrat when he became aware of Mr. Outside’s true identity, and he got involved with the ATO company, eventually becoming a corporate officer. He’s identified nine other Selecao, including Akira, and is now working with two of them. One of those is Selecao No. 10, Yuuki, who is waiting for them inside the facility, and Mononobe introduces him as the person who launched the 11 missiles. Mononobe then places a call to Juiz asking her to get him a bottle of celebratory champagne, and this piques Akira’s interest in Juiz again. As the three head to the control room further inside the facility where Mononobe’s other accomplice Tsuji is waiting, Akira asks about Juiz, so Mononobe reveals that Juiz is actually the giant system underneath them.
Extending an invitation for Akira to participate with them in redoing post-WWII Japan, Mononobe further reveals that there’s another missile attack coming tomorrow at 8AM, this time with 60 missiles. Yuuki defends this action by citing the exploitation of false equality and his own struggles with working and getting ahead in society. The original 11 missiles were his message to the government that – much like he himself had been told – their self-responsibility wasn’t enough. Mononobe agrees with Yuuki and feels that getting rid of the problems caused by the elderly and the lazy would help downsize Japan and renew its global competitive edge. Despite this reasoning, Akira is still against what they’re doing, and he wants to smack all of them. Yuuki recalls that Akira said the same thing before his memory was erased and he was helping people escape from the missiles’ ground zero.
Since Yuuki feels that they should tell Akira why he erased his memory, Mononobe reveals that Akira was betrayed by both the people he saved and the friends he cooperated with. Back in Tokyo, Hirasawa and the others have noticed that Itazu uploaded a ton of data onto the Eden server, and reading this data reveals the information behind the missile attacks, though Hirasawa thinks that it was the doing of Akira. Before they can get too far into it though, the group hears a loud noise outside, and they find a large ship has docked beside the shopping mall. Onboard this ship are dozens of shipping containers, and from them emerge hundreds of naked men that Oosugi realizes are the missing NEETs. Since the NEETs appear to be enraged, Hirasawa and the others flee, leaving behind their computer.
Saki meanwhile has become depressed and started crying because she feels that she’s just like the people who betrayed Akira. She explains to Micchon that back when the missiles came down, she had felt that it’d be better if something more terrible had occurred. By this point, Akira has left the facility, and Mononobe lets him go. In the meantime, a receptionist whose voice sounds similar to Juiz’s brings them some champagne like Mononobe requested earlier, however it’s just an empty bottle because there won’t be a celebratory toast due to how the victor of the game won’t be decided tonight. This alarms Mononobe, and checking the purchase logs on his cell phone reveals to him that Selecao No. 12 acted recently to move Juiz to a secret location. This causes him to think that Selecao No. 12 is the Supporter or even Mr. Outside himself.
There’s a ton of information and explanation provided this episode, but still so much more that’s still mysterious, and I wonder if they’ll have time to get through it all in the finale next week. For starters, they sort of get into how Akira was betrayed, but it was very vague, and I really hope they show more specifically drove him to getting his memories erased. Mr. Outside’s background was also revealed, but Mononobe not being 100% sure about his death opens up the possibility that he’s still alive and manipulating them. Maybe Akira will get to meet him yet. More interesting than that is how Juiz got identified this episode as a sort of advanced AI system, but the odd thing is that the receptionist at the end clearly had Juiz’s voice and was listed in the credits as “Juiz?” The simplest explanation is that she was probably the one who provided the voice for the AI system, but there could still be some plot twist there. The involvement of Selecao No. 12 complicates things further, and it worries me from a story point of view because there’s always the danger that they’ll bring out a previously unintroduced character for the finale to magically explain everything.
In short, there’s no telling how this’ll all get finished in next week’s finale. Maybe the NEETs who came back will get to save the world and prove their worth. Saki also grew a little as a character this week, but I suspect she won’t get to end up with Akira given what she said in the opening monologue way back in episode one. Regardless of what happens there, I really just hope they don’t end on a cliffhanger or something to be continued in the movie.