The Very Best
If this just covers one arc, then oh my god, I wanna see what happens in the other arcs.
Based on an arc of the classic Space Age manga, Phoenix: Eden17 reimagines the future of space exploration into a contemplation of human nature. While the show’s pacing speeds through its plot points within four episodes, each reveal feels gut wrenching, as Romi consistently has to deal with changes in Eden, Earth, and what happened to her loved ones. Modern-style animation is used, but inspired the original style of its time, creating a modernized version of the original mangaka Osamu Tezuka’s stunning images. But it’s the series’ ideas that make the show unique. Greed, betrayal, isolation, and human error causes all the disasters in this show’s universe, and even when you know it’s coming, it’s still hard not to feel the devastation the characters feel. Despite being based on a manga created decades ago, Phoenix: Eden17 still feels like an entirely singular work. Given modern animation, the ideas of the father of manga feel like it’s something never seen before.
Starting from Eden, both literally and figuratively, Phoenix: Eden17 reminds us of the world that was granted to us, creating a peaceful civilization that is possible. The show reimagines an alien version of the Biblical creation myth, with Romi as both God and Eve, with the truth buried a thousand years ago from the innocent citizens of Eden. As Com serves Romi, he’s unfamiliar with the greed that chased Romi from Earth. With this motif, along with images of the phoenix and the Akira-like council that controls what Earth has become, Phoenix: Eden17’s masterful use of these familiar motifs gives fresh life to the ideas and worries human civilization had since the Space Age. With many of these worries resurging with today’s world, such as climate change and class inequality, Phoenix: Eden17 is a timely appeal toward our better nature.
What did you think? Who should watch it?