Following a pandemic which appears to have wiped out the worlds
population, Layne watches over possibly the last two children
left alive. Hanna and Ennoia, who prefers to be known as Enoah
have survived in an ecological station, immune to the plague
that has ravaged the world, they contemplate their future.
With Layne slowly succumbing to the disease soon the children
will be on their own. But fate has a way of springing surprises,
when surviving elements of the world impinge on their idyllic
existence, bringing death and violence...
Eden: It's an Endless World is a new manga from Hiroki
Endo and based on Gnosticism, which was an early form of belief
that people were condemned to live in the material world with
the only escape being spiritual growth, in this it has much
in common with the Buddhist concept of Samsara. But don't
let the religious overtones of the story deter you from reading,
what is a mature and thoughtful work.
The book is a bit misleading as you think that you are going
to explore Ennoia (the Gnostic goddess of thought) and Hanna's
(apparently she has some sisters) struggles to survive, but
their ejection from Eden (the name of the island where the
ecological centre is located) comes very quickly and the main
thrust of the story shifts twenty years to their son Elijah.
Elijah is now on the run from the forces of Propater, who
have used the plague to make a play for world domination.
Ennoia, now a powerful drugs baron continues fighting the
forces of Propater from South America, as does Hanna, his
The second half of book one introduces Elijah and his world
- a world where survivors of the plague have augmented themselves
with cybernetic implants to survive. But Elijah does not travel
alone, having with him his father's war robot Cherubim (a
form of angel) whose rather indiscriminate programming means
that he is as likely to kill his allies as he is his foes.
The first half of the book is very well constructed. In order
to put into context what has happened to our main protagonists
there are a lot of flashbacks, something which could become
very confusing, very quickly, but the book places the contemporary
story on a white background and the flashbacks on black. It's
a simple, but effective, idea and not at all intrusive.
The second half of the first volume, and the beginning of
the real story, finds Elijah being captured by a renegade
force opposed to Propater, who require the help of his robot
to cross the Andes. The group - lead by Colonel Khan, a former
Azerbaijan Islamic freedom fighter who losses his faith following
he death of his son - also contains Sophia. Sophia looks to
be a young girl, but in reality is a fifty plus plague victim
who has had a whole body transplant. She plays surrogate mother
to Kenji, one of the more complex figures in he narrative.
One of the most interesting parts of the story, which is only
touched upon in the opening novel, is the religious divide
which apparently has come about in the world. Propater has
grown out of the UN and NATO, but appears to be a far right
Christian organisation, which labels the area that they control
as Gnosia, the area outside is Agnosia which appears to consist
of most of he Islamic world.
So, it's a good start to a new manga, which promises much
in the way of engaging storyline.