Eden* is a small kinetic novel written by Kagami Yū (also known from ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two) and published by minori. Eden* got released as all-ages together with an 18+ patch under the name of eden* PLUS+MOSAIC. I read the all-ages version so I can’t say anything about H-scene quality or other differences in CGs. Both versions are being translated at the moment by MangaGamer, so there will be an English patch available soon. If I had to compare Eden* to other VNs, Narcissu and Planetarian come to mind. So if you enjoyed one of them, you should check this out.
This review is spoiler free.
In the far future, a huge mass of energy called “Planet of Destruction” suddenly appeares in the sky as a red star. Numerous scientists kept predicting the end of the Earth, but only at this point, 100 years before its predicted end, humankind began to see the position they were in – the Earth is dying. Humankind gets distorted, terrorist attacks and wars are decreasing the human population rapidly. Eventually a United World Government was formed to prevent any further human destruction. When the fighting ceased, the remaining humans came up with a plan to escape the Earth. At the same time, people were working on the “Felix Plan”: a plan to create a new technology to bring the remaining humans to a new planet. The story of Eden* begins 99 years later, when the Earth is on the brink of destruction…
This opening is 「Little Explorer」 by Harada Hitomi. The BGM is composed by Tenmon and Yanagi Eiichiro, two composers that are also known from other minori works. Art is by ちこたむ (chikotam) and KIMちー (Kimcheee). The opening is one reason why I wanted to read this, it’s really beautiful.
This story is completely linear and has only one route/ending. The prologue starts with the voice of one of the main characters, giving a short monologue. During your read-through you will return to his monologue from time to time. Eden* is about two people sharing their last moments on Earth. In the first scenes you will meet the two main characters, the male character is Haruna Ryō and the
loli female character is called Sion. You won’t have a clue what is going on at this point but after a few moe Sion moments you will enter a flashback.
As a special force soldier, Haruna Ryō gets assigned to Research Facility 703, a place unknown to most of the world. In this facility he will work under command of Inaba Naoto (right), the highest ranked officer. Haruna Ryō looks like a cold person, formed by the military. He hides all of his emotions and just does what he is ordered to do. Even though this facility looks really peaceful, he won’t let his guard down. Together with Asai F. Lavinia or Lavi (left) he is ordered to protect what this research facility resides, the felix Sion. Sion devotes her life to the Earth Escape Plan, the plan to evacuate all humans from earth before its time runs out. Even though Sion is an 100 years old being, she looks really small and fragile. Her daily needs are taken care of by the only maid in the facility, Erica (middle). After a few boring days of guarding the door to Sion’s working place, Haruna Ryō starts wondering what he is actually doing here.
You will enter more flashbacks and slowly you start to understand what is going on.
This part of the story played in the flashback Haruna Ryō has at the beginning of the story. After this flashback the story is nowhere near over. The flashback only explained what has happened and what is going on between characters, but it takes up about 50% of the total story. You could say this is where the story begins, or rather continues.
Art: I think Eden* has one of the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen in a VN. I don’t really care that much about art, but I have to say, from beginning to end this was just beautiful. The colors look a bit cold, but this really adds to the melancholic atmosphere. There are a lot of CGs and effects. On top of that this VN also features lip-sync.
Characters: There weren’t many characters in the story but all of them had a decent background story. Personally I liked most of the characters, but that really depends on personal taste.
Also everything revolves around a loli, so if you like that, this will certainly be a plus for you.
Music: The music is fitting. The tracks were played by violins in combination with a piano (I love violins) and most were really beautiful. There isn’t that much variety in the tracks though, but it doesn’t really matter because the story is pretty short.
Story: If you love reading stories that only revolve around a really small group of main characters and their emotions, Eden* does a really good job. I noticed that personally I can’t really get into a lot of nakige or utsuge/nakige combinations, but I know a lot of people do love it. They did a good job giving you a really melancholic feeling from beginning to end. And even though you already know the ending of the story when you start, most people still cried at the ending.
Story: Personally I think the flashback was the best part of the story. It’s a pity it only serves as a detour to explain what is going on with the characters and to introduce other characters. Overall I think there seems to be a lot to the story but it is actually really simple. The setting is interesting, but they don’t really do that much with it. The story revolves a lot around Felix beings and they do give little pieces of information about them, but you don’t actually know that much about them. If you’re sensitive for details like these in a story, it can be a negative point.
My rating: 6.5/10
Should you read this visual novel?
If you don’t really care about details in a plot but just the characters, the beautiful CGs and music – Yes
If you liked Planetarian – Yes, it certainly is a recommendation
If you can’t take sad endings – No
If you want an utsuge/nakige in an interesting setting – Maybe, it’s different from usual high school settings!