Review of Eden (2021)

Moving picture, 100 minutes

Seen in 2023.

Anthropomorphic worker robots in a paradisical viral post-apocalypse raise the only human they know about.

Purely for children around age 7–10. The setting, plotting and animation are the work of many dozens of professionals, but they are barely up to the standards of a good amateur production. The show looks and sounds uncommonly dull.

As an example of why this show does not work, paradise is represented in it by apple trees and apple seeds. The apples are an allusion to an old pun: The Vulgate’s Latin malum, in one translation of Genesis (ca. 500–400 BCE), means both “apple” and “evil”, so it was chosen for the forbidden fruit in Eden, a place in Abrahamic mythology. Eden—this show—has no forbidden fruit, no forbidden knowledge, no Yahweh, etc. There is a melodramatic villain, but he neither lures people to eat apples, nor does the eating of apples provoke evil. Apples are therefore a poor choice with the name Eden. The author, Justin Leach, apparently knew only that the fruit is popularly associated with the mythical place.

The apple seeds, here a symbol of rebuilding civilization, are a similarly poor choice. Real apple trees, particularly the boring variety shown in Eden’s crappy CGI, are grafted, not grown from seeds. Real apple seeds are rarely viable. When they sprout at all, they do not grow into a biofuel that is also edible to humans. The entire production is plagued by a severe lack of authorial knowledge and intent. Prefer Genesis Survivor Gaiarth (1992) for a better implementation on similar but slightly more clever premises.

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series