EDEN Vol. #08 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 222
  • ISBN: 978-1-59307-787-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: EDEN

EDEN Vol. #08

By Gary Thompson     March 18, 2008
Release Date: August 31, 2007

EDEN Vol.#08
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hiroki Endo
Translated by:Kumar Sivasubramanian
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Amidst the gore and turmoil in Hiroki Endo's stark, post-pandemic future, two war-scarred characters begin to - fall in love? In this volume new doors swing open for young Elijah, as his sniper skills increase and he continues his combat training. Overcome by the turn of events that brought him out of the wilderness and into a decadent, heartless South American city, Elijah seeks comfort in the arms of another survivor. Coping with a hard crush, a new school, and vicious gang rivalries, Elijah tries to adapt to city life, but will the surprise return of a major character uproot him once again?

The Review
This volume of Eden is basically two stories stuck together. The Pedro story arc comes to its climax and is resolved. The intricate plans that Elijah has been building up have nothing to do but to play out. The first three chapters of this volume are the execution and consequence of what Elijah has started. When those chapters are over, however, the book takes on a very different feel. The first three chapters end a very tense and consequential story, so what comes after is more visceral and light-hearted. While there is still tension, the focus is shifted from the global to the personal. In a sense, the rest of the volume does play out as a consequence of Elijah's dealings with Pedro, but it is more directly involved with Elijah becoming a man. This is rather circuitous, but it is a way to say that there is a lot of sex in the second half of this book; violence too, but more sex. The important aspect of it, though, is that it is neither random nor gratuitous.

Certainly, there are more jokes and sight gags in this second half than one would be accustomed to considering the gravitas of previous volumes and how much they shied away from that. But these chapters are "breather" chapters intended to let readers wind-down after everything that happened with Pedro. Of course, these chapters aren't unimportant, they are just, as I said, a shift in focus. Eden is just as much a family drama as it is anything else, it's just that it is played on an exceedingly wide scale. So when you have a family drama where the son is the main character, exactly how he becomes a man is a truly important aspect of the narrative. Just as in real life, there are goofy moments, sexy moments, violent moment, moments of regret, and moments of stupidity. You have to go through all of that to be a man. This is what Elijah goes through in the second half of this book.

This is really a volume that has it all. The conclusion of the Pedro arc works extremely well and has those moments of desperation and tension that made the first volumes so striking. Some parts of these chapters are heart-wrenching, other parts are karmic, but they are nothing if not affecting. The art of storytelling through sequential art is especially evident through this book, and much of the raw emotion is derived from Endo's superb direction. The sex is very sexy and the personal interplay is palpable. It is odd to see certain jokes, particularly sight gags, through this volume because of how out-of-character it is to see that in Eden, but they are fleeting and don't truly detract from the atmosphere. And, like I said before, the goofiness is part of a larger tableaux.

When all is said and done, this is another brilliant volume. Each chapter is thoroughly engaging and rewarding. Pedro's chapters are mesmerizing with their terse savagery, and Elijah's chapters are a joyful, yet severe bildungsroman. The combination of the two is yet another fantastic read that leaves you desperate for more.


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