by MrAJCosplay/Cartoon Cipher,
How would you rate episode 5 of
Edens Zero ?
How would you rate episode 6 of
Edens Zero ?
Well that was a lot quicker than I expected! Episode five and six of Edens Zero quickly wraps up the mystery of what was established in the last episode's story, gives us a little bit more insight into how exactly this world works, sets up another inciting incident, and sprinkles in some existential character depth for good measure. I like how Mashima subverts our expectations a bit with the “travel to the past'' plotline while finding a rather unique way to basically have his cake and eat it too. It's established that we live in a universe where it's possible to have time “stolen” in a way that doesn't disturb the rest of reality. So when our heroes touch land on this planet, they didn't travel back in time so much as set foot on a completely different planet from the one that used to exist with a completely different type of ecosystem and history. This basically serves two major purposes: it creates an excuse for Weisz to be added to the main team without getting into all of those headache-inducing time paradoxes, and it also helps set up even more possibilities with time manipulation for the future, especially when you consider some of the flashforwards we got in the previous episodes.
Despite feeling as though the main inciting incident was wrapped up a little bit too quickly, I like the fact that everything isn't immediately resolved. Turns out that Shiki's robot grandfather made our new character Pino after it was implied to be Weisz, and it seems like he played a bigger role in everything that's going on in the universe, but to what end we'll just have to wait and find out. I do like how that potential plot point is contrasted with Shiki's complete lack of knowledge and understanding about the real universe. I mentioned before in my last review that this world can be very unfair and vicious, but this is the first time we see that framed to Shiki in a way that he would understand immediately based on how it clashes with the way that he was brought up.
Most of Shiki's life was basically a lie and while you can tell that the robots he grew up with treated him kindly, the line is a bit blurry with regards to how much of that was just them fulfilling their duties as machines. After all, they were programmed to basically create a whimsical fantasy adventure for their human guests and in a lot of ways, the life that Shiki led was a fantasy. He was treated well by robots but also kind of treated like them with his own specific assigned role. Now he's being confronted with people that don't see robots the same way; people that basically grew where robots were always meant to be treated as objects. It's an interesting existential conversation and I like the way that it affects Shiki personally, although I'm not quite sure what Mashima's larger message is here. The robots of this universe clearly feel emotions outside of their intended directives and are always looking for people to serve, but how much do they actually care about themselves and their own well-being? Are we actually going to get some kind of thoughtful commentary on discrimination with robots? Hard to say at this point, but it's clear that Shiki is intended to be a sort of middleground. After all, he doesn't care if you're a human or a robot, he just wants to be friends with good individuals.
I only really have two major complaints about these two episodes, with the first one being how Rebecca wasn't really given a lot to do. Weird that we established she is more than capable of taking care of herself only to force her into a situation where her primary purpose seemed to be for fanservice. I'm not saying I'm against the presence of fan service and it's pretty par for the course for Mashima at this point. I'm just not always a big fan of a character literally having her strength taken away for the sake of delivering on it. Another thing that stood out to me was the overall pacing of these two episodes which felt a little different compared to before. I'm personally not always a big fan of episodes that either have the climax or major inciting incident happen in the middle of the episode, as it can lead to things feeling frustratingly segmented when you're watching something on a week-to-week basis. However, when you consider the fact that these episodes are supposed to be binged on the Netflix platform, it probably stands out a lot less. It just felt a bit off considering that the previous episodes were not really paced this way. Maybe if things were drawn out a bit more I would feel more comfortable about the larger implications about society that are being brought up, but it's clear Mashima isn't ready to reveal everything right out the gate so I guess I'll just have to be patient for now!
Edens Zero is currently streaming on Netflix.
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