Eden of the East (東のエデン) is a 11-episode sci-fi/conspiracy thriller from 2009 directed by Kenji Kamiyama (who also directed Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex).
Three months after a series of 10 missiles strike Japan, amazingly without any casualties, Saki Moriyama is in the US celebrating her college graduation when she happens upon a mysterious man with amnesia. The man, going by the name of Akira Takizawa, figures hes connected to something big when he finds a stash of passports in his apartment and a phone with 8 billion yen and an assistant who can seemingly make anything happen for a price. Using Saki to get back to Japan the two of them try to sort out who Akira really is, and whats going on with the group of strangers who all have phones loaded with cash and complete discretion to do whatever they want until it runs out.
Eden of the East is heavily inspired by conspiracy thrillers and it knows it- Akira even references Jason Bourne in the first episode, so it plays those strengths to the hilt. It weaves the double mysteries of Akira’s amnesia with the group known as Noblesee Oblige so that it has plenty of little reveals it can feed you every episode as its characters investigate whats going on, perhaps its biggest success is how it makes those reveals happen organically so you don’t get the sudden leaps of logic some thrillers rely on. With a number of people who have been given the phones all acting independently there’s also a large pool of potential enemies or allies since all their motives are unknown.
Balanced against such morally dubious individuals are Saki and Akira; even though he seems to have hints at stuff he did in his past he’s enough of a lovable goofball to work as a protagonist you can root for and she is a great partner as the random civilian who starts going along for the thrill of it (and potentially because shes getting a crush on him even though she doesnt see it). Also they have a shiba.
I said the series was 11 episodes long, thats not entirely correct. The TV series stops at 11 episodes without actually concluding anything as it sets up two sequel movies you’ll need to see to finish the story. Its an odd layout that was especially rough when it was airing as the movies werent out for a while and means you need to spend extra effort tracking them down to finish the whole thing.
Moreover, they really could have used some of the money/effort spent on those movies fleshing out the sidebits of the series better as theres some subplots which just get dropped; Saki has a group of friends who kinda just vanish for instance. The writing was focused on Akira’s plot and it shows.
Weeb Level: 2/10- Akira actually lives in an old movie theater (the lucky bastard) and it contains a number of references to Western movies so those kinds of tropes will fare you better than anime ones here.
Fanservice: 3/10- Akira is introduced standing naked on the street as seen above, although it keeps itself from showing anything thanks to generous blurring. Most of its female cast never get very revealing with their clothing with one notable exception and even thats fairly tame.
Quality: 9/10- If not for the movies issue this would be an easier 9.5
Where to watch it: A Funimation exclusive now the only place to watch the TV series is on their site. Not the movies though, you have to buy those since Funi doesn’t understand how streaming works. Indications are Netflix used to have it, but I cant tell if it was removed when it was dropped from Crunchyroll.