Thursday, March 7, 2019

Eden's Zero Review - Chapters 11 to 20

Written by Shiggins

Part 1 of the catch-up!

As I said before in another review, I had decided to give Eden's Zero some space to grow and develop, since it seemed to be following Mashima-senpai's usual formula of a slow uninteresting introduction before the story finally creeps up in full. Has it happened yet? And even if it hasn't, does that mean there is nothing of value? You'll have to read here to find out!

Reviews: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9&10

I feel sorry for whoever has to make the XXX parody of this one. Half the job is done already!
This big review starts with the leaving of planet Norma, thanks to the new addition of the team Weisz, who still remains a fun addition to the cast, despite acting like he doesn't want to be. His power to remodel equipment with his own genius, skill and Ether Gear is displayed and we then get a video chat with the original Weisz, who awkwardly explains about a new threat known as a "Time Eater", which ate 50 years of Norma's life and created a new timeline of the planet. To put it simply, there's no time paradox or connection with new Weisz and older Weisz. This is when they meet a large pirate ship, ruled by Not-Erza herself, Elsie Crimson, who attacks the group and has a darker interest in Shiki.

Okay, the comparisons to Fairy Tail are clerly going continuing to be tough to ignore.
Shiki fights through the pirate ship, with some help from Rebecca and Weisz, and Shiki is shocked to discover Elsie is actually a skull-faced parasite who is copying her while Elsie watches in secret. Shiki defeats Elsie after another discovery, that his father "Ziggy" (the demon king) failed to reach it to Mother. Also watching this exchange are Elsie's enemies, the Star System Alliance Force, led by a man literally named Justice. Elsie rewards Shiki and co by giving them the ship, revealing it actually belongs to Ziggy and is called Eden's Zero and she owed him a debt. The group explore their new ship, and discover a bath, which enhances Rebecca's ether inside her and she somehow is able to blow a hole in the roof with it.

When Shiki sits on the throne of Eden's Zero, the ship reads his DNA as the next demon king, and a female android appears. The android is a follower of Shiki now, known as Witch, and she purges the ship of all the bugs and mess that grew during her absence. She also redesigns the ship to resemble a dragon. To find Mother, Witch explains that he'll need to find Ziggy's "4 Starshines", one of which is Witch herself, so they can get past a difficult area known as the Dragon Fall. There's also at least one area that can't be opened without another Starshine. And with that, they make it back to Blue Garden.

Well, at least Mashima-senpai still focuses on what's important.
After Weisz runs off, the trio, and Pino, head to the Guild where we get a brief cameo from Clarisse who you've already forgotten, and Rebecca's rival Lavilla, who repeats her shtick of mocking Rebecca and wanting Shiki before leaving, while Rebecca has been summoned to see the elusive master. Meanwhile, Lavilla has been targeted by a cyborg assassin who tries to take Lavilla, but is stopped by Shiki. The two battle it out with their Ether Gear, before the assassin, Jin from the planet Guilst, is forced to leave because of convenient phone calls.

Returning to the Guild, they discover a broken Happy who reveals that Rebecca and the Guild Master have been taken away by someone, as well as several other content creators from all over the city. Realising that this is from people working with Jin, Shiki heads to Eden's Zero to prepare for a rescue mission. As they travel, Rebecca wakes up surrounded b-cubers and seeing Jin with other goons, Ganoff and Moscow, through a glass window. They explain they are mercenaries of "Sister", who is supposedly one of the Starshines, and they are doing a mission for a frog-alien called Illega. After some threats from their captors, Rebecca gets to know the more successful b-cubers.

Shiki's prejudices - Confirmed!
Back at Eden's Zero, Happy is still damaged and they need the help of Sister to repair her. Witch explains that she is the Shield of Eden's Zero, Sister is Life, Valkyrie is Sword, and Hermit is Heart. Witch wonders if Pino will be Eden's Zero. They then get a surprise when Weisz and a new character appear on the ship as well to help, the girl revealing herself to be Homura, who speaks her mind to the point of being clueless and seems to know about Eden's Zero.

On planet Guilst, Illega reveals himself to the girls and shows a very disturbing goal of turning naked girls into statues so they can be his furniture and possessions. Ew. Their clothes are dissolved by bubbles, which I shall name the Zirconis Bubbles. At this time, Eden's Zero has arrived at Guilst and the group, minus Happy and Witch, explore the town and learn about how it was built on a massive tree, filling the planet with wood ether. They enter a church, and are met by a woman-android called Sister, who introduces herself as the leader of the mercenary guild Rogue Out.

Opinion: Whew, the next review is gonna be even tougher to write out! Might have to be even more brief...

Anyway, for those who don't know, I originally stopped reading Eden's Zero due to a lack of an arc that connected any of the individual stories together. While some might enjoy the somewhat-picaresque style of narrative, and I can certainly see why, I need to feel like we're heading towards a climax. The best stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. And as is common with Mashima projects, the beginning of Eden's Zero was/is practically episodic.

The animators are already in love with this series, I'm sure. The OVAs are going to be... interesting.
So you can imagine how delighted I am that we're finally getting on track. The characters want to go somewhere, so they have to find certain people. Bam! Slightly ripping off One Piece, but it's a common enough template for a series, with plenty of advantages and opportunities for adventure. And better yet, it's a perfect excuse for Mashima-senpai to introduce the main cast, which is always the first hurdle before getting to the meat of the story. Although I do admit that we seem to have found the first "Starshine" quite quickly, I'd rather meet them right away than take too long to do so.

With the characters introduced so far, I can say with certainty that I like them. Shiki is growing on me far faster than Natsu or Haru ever did, with his more childlike optimism and fascination with the world. Rebecca is great, quirky yet tough, but I am very scared of her being left in the damsel-in-distress-for-life position, like Sonic the Hedgehog's Princess Elise or Mario's Princess Peach, or Dragon Lair's Princess Daphne. Again though, I have to ask... Why did Happy have to be in this?!

Uh oh, Weisz kidnapped someone. And it's probably not the first time.
Pino is a nice character, I suppose. She makes me think she's going to be the maid for the Jetsons one day. And Weisz is an asshole, but I like an asshole when it's a fun asshole with a heart of gold. Asshole. The newest character, Homura, is... interesting. While I think she's got a fun personality, I'm rather put off by her introduction. Quite frankly, I don't think I've ever seen a more convenient entrance in any work of fiction, so surely there must be more going on here. Was she brought to Weisz's path by the direct intervention of God, or did she plan it herself? And Witch seems fine too.

The last two characters worth talking about are Elsie Crimson and Jin, two characters I hope to see in antagonist roles for the future. Jin's design is great, right alongside his stoic personality, and Elsie is Evil Erza. At least, I hope she is. I fear we're going to get a "twist" later on that she's actually a beloved hero, and it's the forces she's fighting that are the true villains. Personally, I'd go the route where both she and Justice are enemies of Shiki. I want Evil Erza!

Action is fine.

Possibly my favourite quality of Eden's Zero so far is the darkness it's showing off. The robots dying in chapter 1, the lives being wiped out by a Time Eater, and now naked girls being used as furniture? It shows a side of Mashima-senpai that I'm actually finding myself welcoming, so long as he doesn't cross his own limits. His world has been built up in a stylised way, and some darker acts could end up working against it.

Speaking of worlds, that might be what Eden's Zero has already surpassed Fairy Tail at. The world of Fairy Tail, while bright and magical, could also be quite inconsistent and struggle to world-build. A scene that stands out for me is when Laxus first sees Tempester, and is surprised to see he has a dog face, but in a world of talking cats, skulls and more, that's not strange at all. So why would Laxus even mention it?

Aaah. Now THERE is the nightmare fuel!
Eden's Zero has many worlds, each varied and with their own style of characters and locations. Planet Guilst is rundown and broken with ugly faces and lawless thugs, while Blue Garden is bright and colourful. In many ways, this is where I hope Eden's Zero focuses on most, since a setting can almost be as important as a protagonist. Stories like Harry Potter for example, where Hogwarts is practically a character of its own, are only improved by unique locations with beautiful detail.

Bottom line, I'm enjoying reading Eden's Zero right now. Finally! It has growing pains and plenty of glitches in need of patching, but it's starting to find its own path and leave Fairy Tail's bulky shadow. And hopefully in the next review, I won't even need to bring up Fairy Tail once!

So... was the bunny girl never important? Did Mashima-senpai just get really excited and want to keep drawing her for a while?

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page

No comments:

Post a Comment