Neil Patrick Harris is known for being one of the most talented guys out there these days. He can act with the best of them and also has a set of pipes that lends themselves to the musical variety when the opportunity calls. But many probably don’t know that he’s had extensive voiceover work as well, lending those aforementioned pipes to some popular characters over the years. Well now he has a new series hitting Netflix and he takes a slight different voice role. He’s going anime in this one, and is cast as a robot on the series. Eden just hit Netflix this week with an English translation.
Eden is a Japanese anime production that was originally created in that country, but now has an English version as well. The concept is unique. It’s well off in the future and humans have completely died out. Artificial intelligence robotics are now the only “living” things on Earth and have created something of their own society. That is until one of these robots accidentally wakes up a human baby who had been put in stasis. This causes an upending of what the AI had deemed “fact”. It had been long suspected that humans never even existed but this throws that “belief” to the proverbial wind. Neil Patrick Harris plays the robot Zero in the English version.
In Eden, Neli Patrick Harris as Zero plus the robots A37 and E92 are tasked with raising this human baby. It’s a flipped script narrative that works to humanize the artificial intelligence in a way we haven’t seen before. They are the parents now, drawing on what they have stored in their logs, but also what they can learn along the way that will make this child a human. Much of what they are doing is in secret though for fear that that other AI won’t understand this new human. There’s been a complete world shift. Here, check out the trailer for Eden:
You can see from the trailer that the visuals for Eden are stunning, offering a colorful and wonderful new world for not only this child but the robots raising her. Drawing on existential themes around humanism and what it means to be “alive” the show uses its strong voice work from Neil Patrick Harris and others to lend a robotic cadence to the machines that also have that twinge of humanity needed to elicit compassion. It really works with some even slightly darker themes that explore the idea around non-acceptance, fear, and what happens when “feelings” start to enter the world of artificial intelligence.
The English version cast for Eden is a strong one. Joining Neil Patrick Harris among the other robots is Rosario Dawson as A37 and David Tennant as E92. These are the parents of Sara Grace who is voiced by Ruby Rose Turner. The show was originally created by Yasuhiro Irie. Though there aren’t a ton of reviews for the show right now, those that have come in have been quite positive around the story and emotional levels dealt with even among the robots. In this way, the program clearly works.
As for Neil Patrick Harris, this isn’t the only voice work he’s done before having taken Nightwing in Batman: Under the Red Hood as well as Barry Allen’s The Flash in Justice League: a New Frontier. And from a science fiction standpoint, he’s about to appear in one of the most highly-anticipated movies in some time when Matrix 4 comes out later this year. Plus he’s going to go all retro at the holidays in 8-bit Christmas about one kid’s hunt for the first Nintendo system. He’s also in pre-production on Anita and Spinning Gold as well, both of which are slated for release in 2022.
In the meantime, go check out Neil Patrick Harris voicing a cool role in Eden on Netflix. It’s a different kind of show with significantly more heart than what you usually catch in this space. He and the others are able to capitalize on a wonderful script and creative idea around this humanity. It’s definitely worth checking out with the first four episodes available now on the streaming service.