Original Run: April 11, 2021 - October 3, 2021 Number of Episodes: 25 Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction Based on the Series Created By: Hiro Mashima
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Edens Zero. Reader discretion is advised.***
The year is X492. Rebecca Bluegarden and her best friend Happy (voiced respectively by Mikako Komatsu and Rie Kugimiya) have landed on the planet Granbell, the first people to do so in a hundred years. Believing Grandbell to be an abandoned amusement park inhabited by only robots, it surprises Rebecca and Happy to run into Shiki Grandbell (voiced by Takuma Terashima).
Rebecca and Happy take Shiki with them to explore the wider Sakura Cosmos. On their journey, they meet a variety of different people and machines. Soon, they even acquire the spaceship Edens Zero, which once belonged to Shiki’s grandfather.
Eventually, the crew of Edens Zero expands to include a wide variety of eccentric characters:
- Weisz Steiner (voiced by Hiromichi Tezuka)
- E.M. Pino (voiced by Shiori Izawa)
- Homura Kougetsu (voiced by Shiki Aoki)
Together, this group of unlikely friends makes it their mission to locate the mythical being known simply as Mother.
I will attempt to frame this review in a style that is, hopefully, beneficial to anyone who has not seen the Fairy Tale anime. For context, both Fairy Tale and Edens Zero are the creations of Hiro Mashima. Thus, their visual styles are virtually identical – and in some places, exactly the same (nice to see you again, Happy).
Be that as it may, these shows are different enough. Nevertheless, as I write this sentence, I realize how difficult it will be to continue without comparing the two, a task Edens Zero made significantly more complicated with its multiple references to Fairy Tale. This show had at least three Natsu and Lucy cameos.
With that said, let’s get started, and there is no better place to begin than with this:
Edens Zero was, by and large, fine. Sometimes it was cringey, sometimes it was flat, and sometimes it was painfully standard. However, more often than not, it was fun.
Now, when I use the word “fun,” I do not mean game-changing. Heck, if you were to look up shounen anime, you would see Edens Zero in big, bold letters. There are more twists, turns, and unexpected happenings on the way to the store than there were in this show.
As a result, some might call this series dull; others may say it’s safe. I consider Edens Zero to be satisfyingly familiar. This show had plenty of enjoyment in it. Granted, none of that came from the story. No, this series’s best aspect was its characters.
At the bare minimum, there wasn’t a single member of the titular starship’s crew that was a burden. Everyone had a role to play, even if that role was simply a comedic one. There is value in that, and this show found a good balance.
Given that, I think it would be beneficial if we included a quick overview of the five primary crew members of Edens Zero.
First, Shiki was always a delight. He was in this comfortable spot between being a ditzy airhead, astute room-reader, and bubbly badass. There were plenty of things he wasn’t aware of since he had never left his home planet. But he wasn’t some fish out of water either. Shiki knew how to adapt, which allowed him to be a solid anchor for this series.
Second, Rebecca is a character I’ve seen before. In every respect, she was Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy Tale. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, I’m basically saying you should give her a chance. Her purpose in this story, particularly at the beginning, was quite – how should I put this – bouncy-bouncy. And yet, as this show went forward, her personality moved in an upward trajection. If that still sounds pretty bad, I am taking a leap of faith with her.
If Rebecca does turn out to be the Lucy of Edens Zero, then we have a character who will, eventually, become memorable. This show just needs the chance to expand her place within it.
Third, Pino. This little robot was the first character in this series to counteract the goofier atmosphere. Although Edens Zero tended to be lighthearted and silly, it was not afraid to go dark on occasion. Warning, there were a few character backgrounds in this show that were noticeably disturbing. Pino began this tendency, and you have to wonder how far this series will take this tiny android.
Fourth, Weisz was Edens Zero’s resident jackass. He was a total sleazeball who prioritized himself whenever possible. Despite that, his comeuppances were never too far behind. By the end of this show, Weisz was someone his friends could count on, even if it meant accepting his eccentricities. Besides, Weisz’s pigheadedness often turned him into the butt of a joke.
Fifth – and my favorite Edens Zero character – Homura had one of the more complete character arcs in this show. I’m sure there is more to her than what we have seen, but she had the most fleshed-out personality compared to her crewmates. Homura is also why I suspect this series has a chance of breaking away from a particularly annoying shounen anime trope.
Yes, when it comes to this show’s main star, that title goes to Shiki. Therefore, he will be the one fighting this series’s big baddie when the time comes. Fortunately, Edens Zero doesn’t have to rely on him to solve every problem. As long as Homura is in a fight, our heroes have all the firepower they need. While Rebecca and Weisz can hold their own, Homura and Shiki are on the same level.
BUT WHAT OF HAPPY?
Well, Fairy Tale and Eden Zero’s incarnation of Happy are two different characters, but they share one important trait. You will either find this blue cat enduring or annoying. I am in the former camp, but to anyone who isn’t, I get where you’re coming from.
Anyway, it was Eden Zero’s characters that made this show as much fun as it was.
Should a continuation release, it’s this cast that I will be looking forward to the most.
Follow me down this path a moment:
One of the major criticisms against Fairy Tale is its heavyhanded fan service. Although I enjoyed that series immensely, there is no getting around this point. I can recall several moments when things got a little too out of control.
Still, Fairy Tale built itself on a solid foundation of great characters and an exciting story when it mattered.
Besides, if you thought it was bad before, wait until you get to Edens Zero. Whenever this series saw a chance to show off boobs, butts, and/or skin, it took it.
As I mentioned earlier, Edens Zero’s story was nothing special. Through and through, it was a pretty standard, run-of-the-mill, nothing-gained science fiction narrative. While it worked and the characters took up the slack, I wouldn’t go into this show expecting it to wow you.
And to drive that nail in deeper, the CGI animation in this story was not good. This was horribly disappointing to see, especially since Eden Zero came out of J.C.Staff studios, the same company that has produced several visual epics, which include, but are not limited to:
- The Academy City Series
- The DanMachi Series
- Amanchu Season 1 and 2
Incidentally, A-1 Pictures was the primary studio behind Fairy Tale.
Edens Zero’s poor CGI always came during fight scenes, and even with all the action taking place, it was so easy to notice. Or in other words, it was distracting.
It is far too early to compare Fairy Tale and this series side by side. One has over 300 episodes, a couple of movies, and several years of character growth and reputation, and the other has just started. And we should remember, Fairy Tale’s best material didn’t come until much later.
This show has plenty of room to grow, and I would say it kicked things off decently enough.
Edens Zero has earned a recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Edens Zero? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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