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Edens Zero Moments That Made Us Cringe

In the summer of 2021, the first season of "Edens Zero" was released globally on Netflix. The series, from "Rave Master" and "Fairy Tail" creator Hiro Mashima, follows the intergalactic adventure of Shiki Granbell, Rebecca Bluegarden, and Happy the (robotic) cat as they search the cosmos for Mother, a legendary Goddess who has the power of making any wish come true. They are joined by a mechanical engineer from the past named Weisz Steiner, a swordswoman who can't stop saying what she's thinking called Homura Kōgetsu, the adorable anti-bot machine E.M. Pino, and three of the Four Shining Stars: Witch Regret, Sister Ivry, and Hermit Mio. Together, they sail across the universe on the spaceship, the Edens Zero, which once belonged to the robot Demon King Ziggy, Shiki's grandfather.

Rarely does a show get everything right in its first season, and "Edens Zero" is no different. While there were many highs in the first 25 episodes of the series, such as the Sun Jewel arc, there were a lot of lows as well. Dramatic moments are deflated by juvenile humor or objectification of the show's female characters, not to mention tonally out-of-nowhere references to forcible violations in a show skewing towards a younger audience.

While this list of cringe-worthy moments in "Edens Zero" may seem critical, it should be noted that Season 1 had a solid final story arc and showed off a promising teaser for Season 2. So, everything appears to be looking up for "Edens Zero" next season, especially for fans who want answers to their burning questions. Nonetheless, here are the "Edens Zero" moments that made us cringe from Season 1.

Shiki was a total creep to Rebecca when they first met

First impressions mean everything and, unfortunately for Shiki, his introduction to Rebecca in the first episode of the anime was among the worst. 

In Episode 1 of the anime series, Rebecca and Happy visit the abandoned robotic theme park known as the Granbell Kingdom. After meeting the robotic residents and failing to record their elaborate opening performance for their B-Cuber channel, Rebecca and Happy set off on a quest to find another splashy event to record. They meet Shiki, the human grandson of the Demon King, riding a giant robot kitty built for the theme park. 

Shiki, who has grown up with robots all his life, is overwhelmed by Rebecca's soft body and displays some pretty inappropriate behavior. After having his hands all over Rebecca's squishy cheeks, Shiki moves straight towards her bust. It's hard to believe Shiki and Rebecca become best friends after his pervy performance.

A tone-deaf gag about genders

When it comes to the intergalactic world of "Edens Zero," Shiki Granbell is a fish out of water. Even though Shiki was raised well enough by his adoptive robotic family, he's still clueless about human society and the technological advancements made outside of his archaic home planet of Granbell. 

Episode 2 of the anime plays up Shiki's naivety by having him mistake a hologram of Mother for the actual goddess and having Shiki awkwardly ask every stranger in the Shooting Starlight adventurers guild to be his friend. After a space thug kidnaps Happy, Shiki pursues him in a gravity-defying chase sequence. During that scene, Shiki spots a variety of people of all shapes and sizes. He spots a man, a woman, and a small, muscular person with male and female features who he decides to ridicule. While running past, Shiki says, "Man! Woman! I have no idea!" 

It's an awful joke that reeks of transphobia. The only saving grace is that it's a very brief moment in the episode and the only one of its kind in Season 1.

A Fairy Tail Easter egg that's impossible to miss

Everyone loves Easter eggs in anime. After all, there's no greater joy in the world than spotting a sly anime reference to a creator's work hidden in plain sight. Hiro Mashima, the creator of "Edens Zero," is anything but shy about making "Fairy Tail" references in "Edens Zero." So much so that Natsu Dragneel and Lucy Heartfilia, the power couple of "Fairy Tail," are constantly seen in the background of "Edens Zero." 

However, it's not much of an Easter egg hunt if someone lays all the eggs right in front of you. It's even worse when a show shoves the Easter egg in your face and tells you to look, which is exactly what happens in one Episode 3 scene. Set in a restaurant operated by alien "dogs" called Plue, Shiki opens up to Rebecca about his disappointment that most adventures in the Shooting Starlight guild are jerks. Shiki tells Rebecca that he thought everyone in the Shooting Starlight would be friendlier, "like a family." 

"Family" is the keyword here, as the Fairy Tail guild is often described as one big happy family of misfits. Rebecca responds by saying she heard of an anime or manga like that, as Natsu and Lucy from "Fairy Tail" are seen walking away in the background. It's a "Fairy Tail" reference that "Edens Zero" refuses to let its viewers miss.

Shiki's overplayed fear of bugs

For most of Season 1 of "Edens Zero," Shiki Granbell is nearly unstoppable. No matter the size or strength of the opponent, Shiki always comes out on top. It's not until the tail end of the season that Shiki's gravity-manipulating powers are better defined for the audience by establishing how Shiki wins his battles using his Ether Gear while also setting up limitations on his abilities. 

For the longest time, however, the only thing that stood in Shiki's path toward victory was his hyperbolic fear of bugs. In almost every episode, Shiki's fear of bugs is played for laughs. It's a gag that isn't really offensive, but not really particularly funny, either. At least, not as funny as the show thinks it is, considering how much screen time it gets. At the very least, Shiki's fear of bugs actually plays an important role in the story of the Sun Jewel arc, as he's too petrified to fight against the monstrous alien insects that plague the Labor District. It also leads to some cool heroic moments from Homura Kōgetsu and Rebecca Bluegarden, who rarely has time to shine in battle.

Bad guys can't stop staring at Rebecca's legs

Rebecca Bluegarden is a beautiful woman. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Regrettably, "Edens Zero" sacrifices so many worthwhile dramatic moments just to point out how insanely attractive she is. Case in point — Rebecca's battle with the Foote Brothers in Episode 5 of the anime series. 

While the brothers' weird obsession with legs is played for laughs, they're still portrayed as a deadly threat. That is until they find themselves entranced by Rebecca's legs as she flees from their kicks. The Foote Brothers become so obsessed with Rebecca's legs that they flat out stop the battle and start begging her if they could touch them. As Rebecca is creeped out by the brothers' obsession with her legs, Shiki crashes the scene and defeats the Foote Brothers with his Magimech Attack: Gravity Windmill Kick. 

Of course, this resolution means that not only was Rebecca's battle with the Foote Brothers used as another opportunity to objectify her, but she was also robbed of finishing her fight.

Rebecca as a slave

Elsie Crimson may bear a resemblance to another red-headed beauty from a different Hiro Mashima show, but she's anything but honorable. She is actually the infamous Armored Space Pirate who conquered the Seven Cosmic Seas with her fleet of space pirates. 

In Episode 6 of the anime, Elsie hijacks Rebecca's ship with a tractor beam and pulls it inside her own ship. Elsie then tells everyone onboard that she plans to rob them blind and sell them as slaves to the planet Guilst, also known as the Planet of Criminals. Rebecca, terrified for her life, starts imagining a horrible scenario when she is sold off to a perverted man who demands she take off her cat-girl lingerie. Based on that fantasy, it's obvious what's being implied with the term "slave." 

It's a gag that feels inappropriate for the series and further weakens Rebecca's portrayal on the show. Thankfully, Elsie isn't as cruel as the rumors suggest — at least, not to the grandson of the Demon King. She merely wanted to test Shiki before giving him his grandfather's ship.

Rebecca and the tentacles

Following the gag of Rebecca Bluegarden being sold on the black market as a slave to disgusting men, Episode 6 further humiliates the main heroine by placing her in a suggestive scenario straight out of an adult movie. 

After being hijacked by the Pirate Queen Elsie Crimson, Shiki Granbell and friends find themselves on a ship infested with parasitic lifeforms armed (literally) with tentacles. As Shiki marches on towards Elsie, everyone else is left to defend themselves against the weird alien creatures. The tentacles capture Rebecca and wrap themselves around her body in an incredibly provocative manner. 

What makes this scene even worse is that Weisz Steiner, who recently joined Shiki's crew, uses the opportunity to try and get a dirty peek at Rebecca's body. In fairness, Rebecca does get to have the last laugh in this scene, as she escapes the tentacles right after Weisz is bound by them, leading to Rebecca mocking Weisz by attempting to peek at his body.

Planet Guilst

Out of the 25 episodes in Season 1 of "Edens Zero," the Guilst arc deals with the heaviest subject matter: human trafficking. Unfortunately, the anime handles the subject matter as delicately as a bull in a china shop. 

Earlier in the series, the show joked about Rebecca being sold as a human slave by Elsie the Pirate Queen. In Episode 9, the unthinkable happens. Rebecca, and other female B-Cubers like her, are kidnapped by a group of mercenaries known as Rogue Out. Rogue Out takes the girls to Guilst, the Planet of Criminals, where they are sold to Illega, an evil frog-like alien who plans to use the girls for his perverted experiments. Past B-Cubers sold to Illega were stripped of their clothes and had their bodies petrified so that they could be used as "furniture." Any girl who tried to escape would end up dying in the harsh environment of Guilst. 

Needless to say, this is all heavy stuff for a show that skews at a younger audience and also overindulges in fanservice. Despite the dark subject matter of its story, "Edens Zero" keeps whiplashing back to its juvenile humor by having the girls form a naked pyramid to escape Illega's tower and putting Rebecca in degrading situations. It just doesn't work.

The fat shaming of Couchpo

Among the captured B-Cuber girls of Episode 9 is Couchpo, a food-oriented streamer with a figure bigger than what you would typically see on "Edens Zero." To put it bluntly, Couchpo is an obese woman. And, unfortunately, the show spends way too much time making fat-shaming jokes at Couchpo's expense. 

The majority of Couchpo's dialogue in the Guilst arc is her talking about food. One gag, in particular, sees the show cutting back to Couchpo talking about how hungry she is while Rebecca tries to escape from lllega's headquarters through the vents. Cursed by Couchpo's whining for food, Rebecca ends up in the food storage room. Even in the show's ending theme, "Bouken no VLOG," there's a visual of Couchpo stuffing her face while everyone stares awkwardly at her. 

It's a shame that the first woman with a non-traditional body in "Edens Zero" is instantly used for low-brow weight jokes, but Couchpo returns later on in the series with a more important role. Hopefully, the show will treat Couchpo with the respect she deserves in Season 2. At the very least, the service machine Mosco Versa-0 sees Couchpo as adorable.

The unnecessary narration of Xiaomei

"Edens Zero" is a straightforward show. The storylines — at least, the storylines in Season 1 — never get too complicated and usually wrap up in a couple of episodes. This makes it an easy show to pick up wherever and watch.

Despite this, the show felt the need to introduce a character who breaks the fourth wall to pop in and narrate what's happening to Shiki and his friends, Xiaomei. Xiaomei is a legendary fortune teller with the omnipotent power to know everything that's happening or will happen in the galaxy. Her god-like power was a gift from Mother, proving that the space Goddess does indeed exist. However, despite Xiaomei's vast knowledge, she is barred from discovering Mother's whereabouts. Xiaomei's power is so great that she even knows she's on a TV show and talks to the viewers about the current predicament of the Edens Zero. 

This is a clever twist, but one not used to its full potential. Most of the time, Xiaomei is unnecessarily telling viewers what they already know about the story as there will be other characters who share the same exposition as Xiaomei. At best, she's just there to tie a pretty bow on the story, so viewers know that the strange planet that Shiki visited lived happily ever after. Additionally, the meta-breaking narrative by Xiaomei never goes far enough with its humor. The worst use of Xiaomei, however, was her introduction of the teaser for Season 2, which makes her feel like a PR woman rather than an actual character.

Weisz's back pain

The Digitalis arc is a fun, albeit short-lived story storyline in "Edens Zero" where the cast visits a video game-like world to save Hermit Mio, one of the members of Demon King's Four Shining Stars. Since the world is based on a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, the Edens Zero crew create avatars for themselves to explore Digitalis. Rebecca and Happy create characters that look exactly like them, Homura becomes an exiled prince riding a strange rabbit horse, Pino becomes a human schoolgirl, and Shiki goes overboard by becoming a muscular monster. 

Weisz, however, decides to play the game as an exotic woman for the sole purpose of fondling himself. As the story goes on, Weisz realizes there's a downside to being this chesty. Interrupting a serious conversation among the crew, Weisz blurts out he can't take being a woman anymore because his character's big bust is hurting his back. Admittedly, Rebecca instantly agreeing with Weisz's assertion comes close to saving the scene, but it remains a cringey moment.

Xiaomei's kink

Xiaomei is considered the greatest fortune teller in the Sakura Cosmos, as she has infinite knowledge of the past, present, and future. However, there are limits to her power. 

First off, she is forbidden from ever knowing the location of Mother, the goddess who gave her the power of near omniscience. Next, and this is a handicap that Xiaomei placed on herself, is that she is unable to know the outcome of a match. Xiaomei can see all possible outcomes of a battle but won't know which route will be chosen until it happens. This rare instance of limited knowledge — turns Xiaomei on. Or, to put it more precisely, watching handsome men and women battle without knowing who will be the victor really gets Xiaomei going. 

It's a questionable character trait that doesn't fit Xiaomei, who already serves as the meta-breaking narrator of the anime, and it's uncomfortable to watch. It just comes off as weak and inappropriate humor included for the sake of it.

Captain Connor's foul mouth

As the crew of "Edens Zero" embarks on the quest to find Valkyrie Yuna, the last member of the Four Shining Stars, who is Homura Kōgetsu's teacher and adoptive mother, they come across a strange man among the spacefaring fish. Connor, or Captain Connor as he likes to call himself, is taken in and quickly becomes a part of the Edens Zero family, whether they like it or not. 

In a montage taking place after making himself at home on the Edens Zero, Captain Connor is seen making everyone's life on the ship miserable. Well, almost everyone. Shiki is amused by the older man's oddities and even plays along with calling Connor the captain of the ship. Pino, however, picks up some bad habits from Connor as he teaches the adorable little robot how to curse like a space sailor. 

While it's far from being offensive, the bleeping noises used to cover up Captain Connor and Pino's profanity is a tired gag that's been done better in other shows — look up Sailor Mouth from "SpongeBob SquarePants" for a superior example. Thankfully, the peculiar personality of Captain Connor is enough to make him an entertaining newcomer to the spaceship Edens Zero.