Expelled from Paradise is an anime sci-fi fantasy with a unique twist on the dystopian-future genre. Humanity has achieved the ultimate form of evolution: digitization. Those who wish to leave Earth for a “better life” can have their mind and personality digitized and stored in DEVA; an off-world satellite revolving around the desolate planet Earth. The upper echelon exist totally in a digitized world. However, their DNA is stored in DEVA and can be used to generate a physical body within minutes or hours.
Expelled from Paradise was released in Japan in 2014 with a run time of 1 hour 24 minutes. It is currently available in the United States on Netflix. Wikipedia’s plot synopsis spoils the progression of the movie. The spoiler free plot is as follows:
Angela Balzac is an agent at the space station DEVA, whose inhabitants have no physical bodies, their minds digitized and processed into a virtual reality environment. After failing to track down the hacker known as “Frontier Setter”, who had infiltrated DEVA’s systems dozens of times to gather allies for his cause with no success, she is tasked to look for him down on Earth, now a barren planet where the rest of the humans live.
The animation in Expelled from Paradise is top-notch. The world of DEVA and the technology of the world, including mechs, are drawn with high-detail. Even during fast paced battles the level of detail is impressive. Expelled from Paradise was produced as a theatrical release, therefore high quality animation should be expected. The colors used for the environment and characters are brilliant. Earth is not depicted as a dark shadowy world typical in portrayals of dystopia.
When agent Angela Balzac arrives on Earth she finds clear blue skies and sunshine as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, life for the people left behind is hard and story spends plenty of time distinguishing the struggles of real humans against the perception of a “better life” promised by DEVA. Essentially the plot focuses on this contrast, what it means to be human and who deserves the best life has to offer. There is a scene in this movie between Angela and Dingo, her companion for hire, in which they touch on these issues in a way that relates with real-life social and economic issues. I won’t spoil it, but it will probably resonate with most people.
I hate to ruin this anime review, but I can’t ignore the negatives. Typical of plenty of anime and manga, Expelled from Paradise will appeal to the many fans of the Lolita fantasy. It fetishizes underage women, excuse me girls, in a way that does not move the story forward.
When Angela Balzac has to recreate her physical body to make her trip to the real world she is told it will take 35 hours to create an adult body. She is impatient and speeds up the process which produces a 16 year old body. As much as I appreciate nudity and firm T&A, watching Angela fly through the digital wormhole totally nude was totally pointless. I don’t mind looking at a fine body, but knowing this is a 16 year old girl makes plenty of shots in this movie somewhat inappropriate. There’s plenty of hentai for those looking for cartoon boobs and booty.
Overall, I was really impressed with the story. When Angela and Dingo track down and confront the terrorist threat the story takes an unexpected turn that works well to push ideas of a “better life” for humanity. This unique tale coupled with fast paced action and beautiful art is worth
7 out of 10