Eden of the East - Original Soundtrack Review

Kenji Kawai mixes electronic music, classical, and jazz fusion in a score that matches the intrigue of Production IG's popular 2009 anime.

Theatrical Anime Higashi no Eden Original Soundtrack / Animation Soundtrack

 

Kenji Kawai has enjoyed a successful career as a composer for anime, video games and TV, having scored soundtracks for various projects throughout Asia. He is the musical genius behind popular anime and video games such as Ghost in the Shell, Ranma 1/2, and Death Note.

Kenji Kawai, Prolific Composer

Kawai studied music at the Shobi Music Academy for one year before dropping out to form a fusion rock band called Muse. He began composing for commercials and TV. At the suggestion of colleague Naoko Asari, he began composing for anime soundtracks. Kawai has also scored video game and live-action movie soundtracks. He has scored over 70 soundtracks since the early 1980's and has been been nominated for Best Original Film Score at the Hong Kong Music Awards in 2006 and 2007 for his work on Seven Swords and A Battle of Wits.

Score Highlghts of Higashi no Eden

There are 26 tracks included in the Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East) OST. Kawai's score includes jazz fusion, pop and classical elements. Society and Blue Monday are two classical themes. The piano is given a deliciously simple, yet mysterious ostinato theme in Society, while the strings add to the mystery with somber sustained chords.

Blue Monday is done in the style of a Romantic-period art song. The cello is given a melancholy motif that is scored in its lower register. The strings repeat the melody, rising to build tension while the piano maintains its ostinato rhythm.

In contrast, several tracks show off a 1960s pop or spy-show flavor. Eden of the East and Ame no Eden pay homage to hits from the '60s, such as Raindrops are Falling on my Head.

Juiz, Shopping Mall, futuristic imagination, and The Game are three tracks with a jazz fusion bent. Kawai uses a good deal of syncopation and ostinato rhythms to generate mystery. The electric guitar doing battle against the string section in The Game, set against to a ostinato electronic groove is particularly effective.

Winning Run is the only theme that doesn't share styles with any other track on the album. It has a strong classic western feel to it.

The soundtrack features two vocal tracks, Reveal the World, and Falling Down. Brenda Vaughn, an award-based singer/songwriter/producer, provides the vocals on Reveal the World. Her warm, rich tone is perfectly suited to this gospel number.

Falling Down is the opening theme, composed and performed by the popular British rock band Oasis. Its dark sound matches the tone for the intrigue of the show.

Eden of the East OST Album Details

Theatrical Anime Higashi no Eden Original Soundtrack / Animation Soundtrack
Animation Soundtrack
  • Featured Artists: Oasis, school food punishment, Brenda Vaughn
  • Music Director: Kenji Kawai
  • Recording Producers:Epic Records Japan, Inc.
  • Label: Sony Music Japan International
  • Released: September 23, 2009

About Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East)

Eden of the East is a psychological mystery-romance produced by Production I.G, and directed by Kenji Kamiyama. The story takes place after a fictional terrorist attack known as "Careless Monday." Although 10 missiles were launched at Japan, there were no casualties.

The story centers around Saki Morimi, who runs into a stark naked man in front of the White House. He is Akira Takizawa, a man of mystery and no memories. When they meet, all he has is a gun and a fancy phone loaded with 8,200,000,000 yen in digital cash.The show aired in the Spring of 2009 and is featured in Spring 2009 Anime Roundup - Eden of the East.

Two theatrical releases, The King of Eden (2009) and Paradise Lost (2011), complete the storyline.

Eden of the East was nominated Jury Recommended Work in the Animation Division of the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2009. According to Anime News Network's website, volume 1 DVD sales ranked 23rd, while the volume 1 Blu-Ray Disc debuted in 7th place.

Funimation Entertainment holds the licensing rights in North America.

Simple Melodies, Catchy Rhythms

The Eden of the East OST is extremely catchy, containing all the memorable motifs that fans will enjoy. The melodies aren't particularly complex but they are memorable. When combined with the funky ostinato rhythms throughout, you wind up with an catchy soundtrack worthy of any otaku's music collection. Any fan of Eden of the East/Higashi no Eden would enjoy this soundtrack as they wait for the theatrical releases to become available in North America.

Originally published on Suite101.com on Jan 8, 2010. Updated March 22, 2013. All rights reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.