Eden is a new four-episode 3DCG anime series from Netflix, and it is set thousands of years in the future where there are no longer humans on Earth and only intelligent robots remain. While this premise is something that sci-fi fans are likely already familiar with, it is a setting that not a lot of new anime shows tackle.
Aside from its post-apocalyptic setting, Eden also promises to tell a heartfelt story with memorable characters and explore themes such as humanity’s place in the world given our destructive nature to the environment.
Given its premise, there’s a lot of things going for Eden, but does it all come together well to make for a series that’s well worth watching. Here’s our review of Eden on Netflix!
Before we proceed, we will be referring to Eden as an anime series here in our review, even though it is a 3D animated show that isn’t wholly produced in Japan. While the series is produced by Qubic Pictures (based in New York) and CGCG Studio (based in Taiwan), Eden is directed by Yasushiro Irie (of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood fame) and written by Kimiko Ueno, both of whom are based in Japan.
A Heartfelt Sci-Fi Story with Interesting Themes
Eden’s story follows two maintenance robots who accidentally awaken a human baby from stasis. This event challenges their belief that humans are mere myths, and from there, they become the “parents” of this human girl who is named Sara.
While I won’t go into any details about the series’ story (so as not to spoil you), I can say that Eden’s tale is one that has a lot of heart. Even though there’s only one main human character, Eden’s robot cast is a lovable bunch. Plus, as the story progresses, viewers will find out what happened to humans in the past; and personally, I found that story to be quite moving.
Along with its heartfelt story, Eden also delves into some interesting themes, including the destructive potential of humanity. As it stands right now, we humans are irreversibly hurting our planet, and while there are a lot of advancements towards green technology, it might be too late now. In this regard, Eden asks the question: is Earth better off without humans?
While it might seem like Eden is a major downer of a series, it does overall have a strong message of hope. Sure, humanity can be a force of destruction, but on the flip side, humans are capable of incredible things as well.
Now, for seasoned sci-fi fans, the series’ setting and themes might not be new. In fact, as a sci-fi fan who was watched/read a lot of sci-fi stories, I didn’t find Eden’s story to bring anything truly new to the table. So, if you’re looking for a sci-fi story that’s fresh and new, Eden might not give you what you’re looking for. But the series is still solid in its execution.
Even if the themes it explores have already been tackled in other stories, Eden’s take on it is much more approachable. In fact, I’d say that Eden is a great watch for viewers who aren’t into sci-fi, or for younger viewers who might find other sci-fi stories to be too complex or too “adult” in terms of subject matter. Overall, I’d say Eden is a great gateway or entry point to more “high concept” sci-fi works.
Short but Sweet
One thing to note with Eden is that it is a four-episode anime miniseries, with each episode being 25 minutes long. While I was concerned at first that having only four episodes will limit the show’s storytelling, I found that Eden was able to tell a satisfying story even with a limited number of episodes. This makes sense when you think about it though as the series overall is 100 minutes long – that’s the length of a typical movie.
Aside from begin able to tell a satisfying story, Eden’s plot is also rock-solid. What do I mean by this? Well, I’m usually a stickler for a movie/series’ plot in that I can be rather critical of stories that don’t make much sense when analyzed; for instance, some introduce new developments/plot points that have not been foreshadowed or at least alluded to. In this regard, Eden is an exercise in solid storytelling as the story’s progression made sense almost all the time (except maybe for a climactic fight that seemed a bit of out of the blue). Eden also properly foreshadows several story developments well, meaning the major plot reveals felt natural.
Before our final verdict though, let’s talk a bit about the show’s animation and voice cast. Personally, I found the 3DCG animation to be of good quality for the most part, especially in terms of how it looks. Though I did find that the animation was a bit stiff at some points; it did work well for the robots though as they definitely felt “robotic” in terms of how they moved. As for the voice cast, I found that the English cast was good in it; after all, it does feature some big-name talent such as Rosario Dawson, David Tennant, and Neil Patrick Harris. The Japanese voice cast is also good, so which one to choose will depend on your preference, and you shouldn’t go wrong with either dub.
Eden Anime Review – Final Verdict
Netflix’s Eden is a short and sweet anime that has a heartfelt story and tackles some rather deep themes about humanity’s place in our world. While the series’ setting and the themes it explores may not be new for sci-fi veterans, there is a still good in Eden, especially for sci-fi novices and for children. Overall, Eden is worth checking out, and it is especially recommended for families with kids who are looking for a short animated series that has a bit more to say than your typical kids show.
Eden will release on Netflix on May 27, 2021.