Charles's Reviews > Eden: It's an Endless World, Volume 7

Eden by Hiroki Endo
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's review
Jul 23, 12

bookshelves: manga-graphic-novels, science-fiction, gothic-horror, reviewed, stat_male
Read from June 16 to July 23, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Stuff I Read – Eden It’s an Endless World Vol 7 Review

So this might be a sort of wall for me with this series for a while, probably at the very least until Christmas rolls around with some extra disposable income, mainly because volume eight is almost fifty dollars and it’s going to take some arguing with my own sense of cheapness to justify putting down that much to get a single volume of manga. I might convince myself somehow, and no doubt I’ll get back to this, but unfortunately for now this might be the last Eden volume that I review for a while. And I say unfortunately because I continue to enjoy these books, this series as a whole, despite the fact that they are quite dark and really know how to start kicking someone when they’re down. The volume opens, after all, with Helena just having been mutilated and Elijah basically deciding that he’s not going to sit by and let this sort of thing happen any more. If anything, this volume could be called “Elijah Decides He’s Not Worth Saving.”

And I mean that in the sort of pure versus fallen way that the series has played with and continues to play with. The world, as the author sets it up, simply doesn’t allow for purity, for innocence. These are things that can only be lost. And Elijah is now losing his. It’s not really a stark twist, as the entire series has been hammering this fact again and again, but to see it finally happen to Elijah, who to this point still had a bit of the naïve dreamer to him, the change is still tragic. We see, however, the idea that he has and that his father presumably has which is that if innocence is impossible then one must use the tactics of the enemy to shelter as many as possible from having to be quite so fallen. Basically, it posits that though true innocence is impossible, there are levels, and if people by and large can be kept to petty crimes, petty sins, then at least they aren’t the ones ripping limbs from bodies and raping people to death. It’s not the greatest argument, and obviously we’re going to see if that ultimately works out or not, but for the moment it is the path Elijah is pursuing.

And there is the sense that as he is doing this that this is what his father did before him, that this is way people almost have to fight, because trying to be better than it, above it, only makes you a target. So the way that they fight back is by harnessing that violence and hate and turning it against the worst perpetrators. In many ways this reminds me of The Once and Future King by T H White. And before people jump down my throat for thinking that these two admittedly different texts are linking, follow along. I have always liked The Once and Future King for its argument that, in the end, only right can make right. But to get to that point, the young King Arthur makes the mistakes that might for right is acceptable. Basically, he sees people saying that might makes right, decides that its wrong, posits instead that might for right can make right, and in the end sees that only right makes right, only by not sacrificing your morals can you create something good. It is a strong message and where I feel this series will ultimately lead.

But at the moment we’ve just reached the point where Elijah (a stand in for the young Arthur) decides that might for right can work. So he’s set himself to use the tools of the enemy to try and do good. The only problem, and one that we see right away, is that it makes him a terrible person. He’s basically lost the moment he torches a guy before shooting him in the chest. And so, as far as I see it, anything he does after that cannot rise above the methods he uses to get there. And I could be wrong, but it seems to be the point that the author is making, that these people in the story want to shield him from making that choice, that mistake, but that in the world he lives in (and perhaps any world) the ideal and the real cannot be harmonized. It is, again, a theme that plays out again and again, that beauty is paired with hidden corruption, that true innocence is impossible, that the only truly moral choice would be to die and as that is not a choice it becomes up to the individual to decide how to live outside of conventional morality.

But perhaps I’m muddying the waters here. Or maybe I’m just getting ahead of myself, and at some point the author will posit an alternative, a right for right. It simply feels at this point that in the world of Eden and maybe in our world as well, using right for right only ever ends in brutality, because there is no way for the right to defend themselves against the mighty. The volume, however, continues to be solid, and we get mostly back story for a few character who are probably going to die next volume and Elijah beginning his road to Hell. A solid volume despite the rather sleepy nature of it, but the way the series weaves this moral landscape is fascinating, at least for me. And I just like the series. The violence is at times completely over the top, but I think that it just helps it be was it is. So for that I give this volume an 8.5/10.

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