Look, I’m probably as tired as you are of the casual Ghibli comparisons attributed to animation that soothes or bears a gorgeous sense of color and atmosphere… But the new teaser and date confirmation for Eden, an original animated series coming to Netflix reminds me strongly of Miyazaki’s first Ghibli feature, adapting his manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. It’s also got lots of Wall-E as well, and now I’m even more here for this series.
In a future where humanity has seemingly gone extinct, the world is populated by robots scrapping by in towns and settlements across the rocky plains. Robots, and one girl, apparently, when young Sara is found and sheltered by ‘bots sympathetic to the squishy, fleshy baby seemingly dropped on their doorstep. Sheltered from the likes of the appropriately red-and-black (you know, the definitive bad guy color combination!) killer droid Zero and its legion of drones. The mystery of humanity’s passing and the world the machines have inherited is Sara’s to be explored.
Eden is the creation of Justin Leach–whose previous work includes Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Ghost in the Shell 2–and Yasuhiro Irie, whose credits include animation on Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Bebop. Guys who know their stuff!
As much as I prefer 2D animation, the digital technology Eden employs has a fluidity visible in the new teaser (as well as the previously-released trailer below) that some 3D anime lacks; a choppiness to the 3D style that, here, seems a nonissue. And narratively, the prospect of humanity as a scourge of nature, slowly fading from life on Earth feels very much in the spirit of Miyazaki’s epic Nausicaä saga. Except, here it’s robots taking over, rather than giant mushrooms and gargantuan insects.
Netflix has become home to a slew of anime films and series, but Eden looks to be a strong addition to their original lineup. It all just looks really darn good; the art direction, the color palette, all welcoming enough while maintaining the sort of edge a story like this needs. With a May 27 premiere set we won’t have too long to wait and see how Eden shakes out. Money says that the evil robot is a guy in armor.