Eden has officially released on Netflix on May 27, 2021, and is an exciting take on the conflict between humanity and robots. Although the anime had its shortcomings due to its short runtime, the show allowed the themes to be center stage. However, while the show’s themes appear to be dark, it maintains an optimistic viewpoint across its runtime. I will focus on the anime’s central theme and explore how the show approaches robots vs. humans. Moreover, I will also be sharing my personal thoughts on the execution of the show of this particular theme. There will be major spoilers of the Eden film.
What Is Eden?
Before we dive into the anime’s central theme, we must analyze and dissect Eden’s setting. Additionally, we have to analyze it to understand why the theme would make sense in a show’s setting. Unlike other post-apocalyptic anime such as Ergo Proxy, Eden is peaceful and filled with greenery.
Additionally, there are no humans anywhere, and robots are the primary beings present on Earth. Robots in the show have a set goal in their daily lives, but they have enough cognitive function to question their existence. However, some robots believe that humans created them.
Robotic Humans and Human Robots
Before meeting their adopted daughter, Sara’s parents were robotic and monotone, making sense due to them being robots. However, as they continued talking with Sara, E92 and A37 started developing human characteristics. Additionally, other robots that Sara interacts with also have a human personality due to her presence in their lives. Because of this, robots find Sara as a vital and essential aspect of their robotic lifestyles.
Juxtaposing this, the leading villain Zero believes that humanity is a threat to robot-kind and the world itself. Zero believes this because humanity caused the world to become desolate due to their constant destruction, which raises questions on their value. What’s more, Zero was formerly human as his consciousness Dr. Fields who became tired due to losing everyone he cares about, blaming it on humanity’s frailty and constant destruction.
The Central Conflict Of Eden
The show portrays the theme of robots vs. humanity well enough, as it remains center stage throughout all of its episodes, but I personally think it’s surface level in execution. Although Sara has flaws due to being naive, she’s been primarily portrayed as a beacon of hope that can bring humanity and robot kind together.
In contrast, Zero has depth due to his character development from father to a robot. As a result, his argument felt more compelling as to why robots should roam free while humanity should remain dormant or not exist at all. However, the central conflict is resolved too quickly because of the short runtime, and Zero changes his opinion too drastically.
As a result, the central conflict’s resolution felt weak, and the relationship between humans and robots was too optimistic. Eden’s ending felt like it would restart humanity down a hopeful path. Outside of the longer runtime, the anime could’ve made the themes stronger if it showed us more about humanity’s destruction visually than a newspaper clip.
Eden handles its core theme of robots vs. humanity decently, showing the similarities between the two species. Robots slowly gain human-like traits thanks to Sara’s optimism and joy, while Zero gradually loses his due to humanity’s failings. Although the theme is present throughout the show, its quick resolution resulting from its four-episode runtime causes the display to miss out on its potential for a deeper narrative.
All images courtesy of Netflix.
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