Today’s subject is all about androids and robots. Whenever in media albeit sci-fi movies, TV, books and even anime and manga, we have been fascinated with knowing all about robots. We envisioned them either being our servants, protectors, friends and even lovers. We can treat them with the respect and gratitude they deserve or just like an appliance you just use and sometimes treat like shit. But like everything in life, when it comes to dealing with robots, androids, etc., there are the Three Laws of Robotics (from Isaac Asimov) to abide by:
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law
And if you look closely, there’s never a law where it says that they can’t lie.
And that’s where Time of Eve comes in.
Sometime in future Japan, androids have been involved in every aspect of people’s lives. One day, upon checking his android’s behavioral log, Rikuo, a student, noticed his android’s returning times have been odd recently. With his friend Masaki, they found out the place where his android, Sammy, have been visiting: a small cafe called Eve no Jikan where androids and human are not seen as different. Upon talking with the “people” in the cafe and discovering more of Sammy’s behavior, Rikuo changed his view about androids and treat them as friends rather than tools. At the same time, elsewhere in Japan, the Ethics committee is trying to impose policies to reduce the involvement and use of androids in society.
Originally, this was an ONA set to 6 18-minute episodes and seeing how this is an approximately 2-hour movie, it plays as if you don’t even need to see the ONA to understand what’s going on. Story-wise, this is an amusing blend of sci-fi and slice of life where the slow pace helps the anime move forward as you know more about the situation at hand. Most of the time, the movie is consisted of segments that share the same theme of humanity and how it exists in androids. These androids show emotion as any other human being that you couldn’t tell the difference but no human would think of them as equals and the café is that perfect place for them and humans to co-exist and chat among friendly people. And even though I just used the 3 Laws of Robotics in this review, this story is more light-hearted and positive than what you usually would’ve get from something like this. The movie leaves you on a good note and a warm feeling in your heart although you do get a little of that during the runtime where some inner conflict involving trusting these androids.
The characters throughout the movie are appealing, they catch your eye and I can’t find a single thing to hate about them. All of them got some equal screen time focusing on their parts of the segment/story and it doesn’t feel like its just filler until we get to more important things. They made the main character Rikuo and his friend Masaki decent characters once you get to know them and develop throughout the movie. Sammy, Rikuo’s android, had some good moments here and there but she almost felt transparent as half the time, I forgot she was in there. Out of all of them, I actually like Nagi, the barista at the Time of Eve and one of the regulars in there Akiko the most, mainly because of both Nagi’s unsure but capable persona and Akiko’s joyful personality in the café.
So, for the art, Studio Rikka did a fantastic job on the animation with making sure the differences between who’s human and who’s android remain vague as soon as someone reveals it. The futuristic aesthetic is quite appealing and fitting to the story.
The music seems minimalist at best as it never seems that noticeable in the movie with the exception of some few moments where it’s a mix of electronic with some jazz thrown in there. Plus, Kalafina did the ending theme song to the movie and it was fine for what it is, just not memorable as their other songs.
The English dub was another great effort from NYAV Post funded through their Kickstarter campaign as when it comes to projects like these. At first, I thought Yuri Lowenthal and Michael Sinteriniklaas’ performances were good although between their two characters, they could’ve been interchangeable at first as they almost sound alike but later on, I could tell the difference between the two VAs and they did fine. Also, I’m really liking the voice work out of Stephanie Sheh and Cassandra Lee Morris throughout here as Nagi and Akiko, respectively.
FINAL VERDICT: Time of Eve is a riveting and thought-provoking movie that grabbed your attention from it’s out of the ordinary characters to its appealing story that is artistically pleasing as the visuals were. You get a gorgeous and encouraging story that’s worth re-visiting and could be considered one of these titles that could reach outside anime fans to general sci-fi fans.
Are you enjoying the Time of Eve? Well, I did and I give it….
9/10 – First Class
TIME OF EVE is available on Blu-Ray from Pied Piper Inc./Directions. There are no PERMANENT streaming options for this movie as of now.
That’s it for now. I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
Are you enjoying The MIND of the HYBRID one?
TIME OF EVE: THE MOVIE – animated by STUDIO RIKKA / distributed by PIED PIPER. INC – DIRECTIONS