The movie version is the complete version of the story. It includes all the ONAs and completely new scenes giving details on the background story of some characters.
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.
In a future where every family is in possession of androids, for which all basic human chores and tasks are delegated to, how does the relationship between humans and their robotic creations pan out when androids seemingly have artificial intelligence?
This isn't a new topic in the science fiction genre by any stretch of the imagination, but as a film Time of Eve manages to be a huge breath of fresh air with both its approach and execution to the topic.
The setting of the film mostly takes place at a cafe, called Time of Eve, where inside the cafe there is a rule that there will
be no discrimination between humans and androids. Because of this rule, the androids which enter the cafe do their best to be like human beings, blending in with all the customers. Normally androids are not allowed to act like humans in the outside world, but the rules of the cafe dictate that they must.
It is through this setup that we explore the story of two friends Rikuo and Masakazu, and how they manage to deal with the unsettling notion of androids acting independently of humans and pretending to be humans in a way that makes it impossible to distinguish them as androids. Throughout the story we are constantly shown how androids are put into a demeaning, subservient role for the humans and it really raises some interesting questions to its audience. Can human beings learn to accept artificial intelligence as equals to themselves? As beings worthy of the respect we can give other human beings? Or are they merely to be reduced to mere slaves? I give Time of Eve considerable praise for its spectacular job at expressing these themes and managing to make its audience actually think while watching.
While of course the film raises interesting philosophical questions, it also is merely a great drama. Too many scifi works get caught up in trying to show off lots of action rather than just explore interesting aspects of its setting. Time of Eve keeps its focus very simple, a slice of life story about humans and androids in the future, and it is incredibly successful at it. The character interactions and the emotional highs of the film all strike the right notes at the proper times. Everything just feels very genuine and fulfilling. It manages to pass through moments of sadness, laughter, dark moments, light moments, and offer an overall very satisfying experience. In particular, the final moments of the film are very touching.
On top of all this is a generally pleasing to the eyes art work and animation. The camera work is absolutely spectacular. There are several shots in the movie that convey so much emotion without even a single word. Even the completely mechanical looking androids shined in moments through mere clever camera focuses. It's hard to not be impressed by the director's techniques throughout the film.
If there is any reason why I didn't give this movie a perfect score, it is because there are many questions it leaves unanswered, though this may be on purpose. While the film is great as a standalone, the plot going on the side of all these things was too interesting to just not explore it (Though there are several indications out there that there will one day be a sequel). If some more closure is ever given to this film in the future, I'd have no qualms calling it a master piece.
Do you like theories about human-robot social relations? Do you wonder what it would be like to have a robot that developed human sensations? Then, Time of EVE might be for you. If you're looking for something more than that, steer clear. This is more a romantic slice-of-life piece than a sci-fi flick, and even calling it romance might be a bit of a stretch. The concept behind this anime is indeed noteworthy, but unfortunately, most of your curiosity will be satisfied as a byproduct of the film not delivering in the atmosphere it builds off of. In other words, you'll be left imagining what
should or could have happened, rather than being impressed with what actually did transpire.
Let's look a little closer into why Time of EVE fails to offer an impressive narrative.
EVE's plot is mostly about a pair of high school boys that find a new, fascinating experience in their world, involving androids that could easily pass for humans, were it not for their halo indicators that identify them as artificial. There is also a subplot about how the government (or some company) is trying to rectify this very issue. This subplot is basically abandoned as soon as it is brought up, and it never gains much ground. Instead, the majority of the plot centers around a cafe that the boys find.
It's a nifty cafe that brings up this very poignant social issue for the boys to understand and come to terms with. There's also a certain special robot that one of the boys takes a fancy in, and really, every encounter with a robot that they have is unique and compelling.
But here's the problem: that's the entire plot. There really isn't much more, and what the movie sets itself up to discuss never ends up being talked about beyond the chit chat in the cafe. It presents a very dynamic issue, and it relents and instead indulges in how the boys are dealing with their own personal dilemmas, rather than exploring the wider problem that they themselves encounter and recognize. Essentially, EVE gives us a lot to consider and then skirts the issue itself, so that you have to assume the boys' success in the cafe means the world will be okay with it all. A little bit anti-climactic, to say the least.
To me, this is where Time of EVE really disappoints. Most of the backgrounds in this film are of the cafe or the houses of the family. Rarely do we even see the outside world, and when we do, it's not a very impressive design. There just isn't much going on at all besides the characters themselves, which are often facially blank (robots) or just simply plain. Granted, there are some careful details to certain parts (one of the boy's robots come to mind), but I would expect more from an anime that touts a futuristic concept and delves into robots and their evolution.
If you want to watch a visually stunning anime, this is certainly not the one you're looking for.
The music and sounds in Time of EVE are fitting and often well-designed, helping to create moments of laughter or calmness for the viewer to experience alongside the characters. There isn't much else to say here. It's not the best sound design for an anime, but it certainly isn't lacking. The pace is well-kept and the mood is appropriately enhanced by the aural ambiance, which seems to reflect the soothing nature of the cafe itself.
I really wanted to be compelled by the characters in Time of EVE, and you might say that this movie is more about the character development than anything else. However, it simply doesn't deliver. The behavior of the characters is monotonously predictable, to the point where it dulls the entire gist of the film. Am I supposed to care that the protagonist has decided to take up his talent by the end? You can see it coming a mile away, and there really is no confusion as to how each character will interact with another. A robot that seems human? Well, that may have been exciting, if only that wasn't the whole point of the cafe's rules in the first place.
Yes, there are some touching moments, especially with Boy B's dad and his robot. However, not much ultimately comes of anything, and we are left feeling that the film was merely a recitation of potential issues of human-robot interaction, rather than any resolution or defining wisdom to the dilemma. There just isn't much going on here, and it's hard to ignore when the anime sets up so many possible, compelling conclusions.
This shouldn't be surprising. Time of EVE just doesn't impress, despite having ample opportunity to do so. That isn't to say it is a bad film; it has many fine qualities and certain moments are very genuine and heartfelt. However, these moments are muddled within an aimlessly wandering plot and a setting that lacks pizazz or anything other than the catchphrase of the movie being repeated on far too many objects. What could have been a visually-engaging and conceptually deep film ends up falling short and relying on the common cliches of shounen anime and slice-of-life melodrama.
If you are looking for a new sci-fi movie to watch, Time of EVE is not it. If you are interested in seeing the growth of two young guys and their puberty-infused social problems, coupled with an android twist, then Time of EVE will satisfy, amuse, and tease you. Sadly, what Time of EVE won't do, however, is precisely what it seems set up to do in the first place, and with that in mind, you might enjoy the film more than I did.
Eve no Jikan is a story about the lives of the customers who visit a café where you are not allowed to disciminate against robots/androids to the point that when your in this café you have no idea who is human and who is an android. The film asks many questions concerning whether androids really should be treated as mere things or as people, and you get to meet people who are extremists for both sides of the point.
The setting is stated as 'probably Japan' and is set sometime in the near future, i like how they took a few current inventions that you see
today such as cameras and keyboards and beefed them up a little without going overboard Star Trek style.
The art for the show is very good, each character is drawn and designed nicely, they do use quite a bit of CG but they use it well and i does not stand out and adds to the feel of the story, i really enjoyed the movement of the camera, at points it spins on the spot and we get to see the cafe in its 360 glory, there is the occasional zoom to the other side of the room seemlessly and we are even treated to a hand held feel when it show the view point from the eyes of a character.
Voice actors did their job spledidly, though it is not surprising as they are 'big name' actors, the music was really nice, theres some decent piano tunes and the rest really highlighted the atmosphere and fitted the sci-fi setting, the ending tune played with the credits is the best part and is some beautifully.
The characters play a huge role for this series, the cafe has patrons of all types, the two main guys are similar to each other but are different enough at the same time and have to deal with their own issues throughout, there is also an enegetic girl, a nice waitress who treats everybody equal, a couple of love birds, a mysterious guy guy who references Blade Runner and an old man with a young child who thinks she's a cat, they all play a part and have a small amount of drama and issues to understand and deal with.
The genres given for this movie are sci-fi and slice-a-life and Eve no Jikan gives off a great feel of atmosphere of both the genres and the movie is something that can be easily enjoyed with its calmness. As a whole there are a few points that make you wish it was a full fledged television series, just to answer a few questions that were left and to see deeper into these characters lives, that is how good this is that it makes you wish i wouldn't end.
When we live in a world in which Japanese android newscasters can deliver the news and other “Geminoids” are closer to mimicking the exact appearance and movements of humans, the line between the living and the nonliving is constantly blurring by the day. What are the implications and the consequences of having lifelike robots live among humans? Will they fulfill Sci-fi lovers’ fantasies and take over the world? Or will they blend into society, disturbingly so, eventually becoming more humanlike than even humans themselves? All these possibilities and concerns are just humanity’s natural reaction towards the uncertain, and answers are sought out through various forms
of media, like the movie “Eve no Jikan.” Set in the near future Japan, “Eve no Jikan” is about two male protagonists, Rikuo Sakisaka and Masaki Masakazu, who enter a mysterious café named “Time of Eve,” in which its only upheld rule is to not discriminate between humans and androids. The two meet several androids that act and behave like any other humans while in the café and in the process experience a whole new perspective unbeknownst to them before. “Eve no Jikan” explores its own answer to the future’s prospect of having androids and humans coexist by telling a hopeful tale of a gradual learning and understanding between man and machine.
The story of Eve no Jikan then makes sure that it doesn't rush anything. The plot takes itself slowly, with just the right amount of dialogue, to deliver a simple message in the end. The plot sets modest goals and achieves them with a heartening resolution. The plot knows that it’s not the star of this movie; rather, it acts as a solid background in which the characters can shine. Even though the most of the show’s characters are androids, and even though they should be screaming out “robotic” and “emotionless,” they shine because they all show the one crucial characteristic that, I dare say, makes us humans: empathy. Androids treating humans like family, androids doing whatever they can to make others happy, androids loving one another, and even androids switching up the coffee blend to anxiously wait for a certain someone’s approval – these are all very “human” things to do. Seeing these actions, from what are supposed to be beings devoid of emotions, is surreal but also strangely poignant. Rikuo and Masaki observe these humanlike actions and start to change their views of androids over the course of the movie. The two realize that the androids can exhibit a range of emotions and once in awhile live as the humans do. In just less than two hours, “Eve no Jikan” does an incredible job of developing its two male protagonists, without managing to rush the process.
The soundtrack is pervasive, but in a good way. With just enough of a mix between electronic, classical, and jazz, the soundtrack is full of songs that hide a gentler, calmer melody beneath its mechanical and electronic sounds – much like androids themselves.
This “robotic” theme seems to be consistent even in the animation of this movie. The characters are, for a lack of a better term, “jumpy.” Their actions are sudden and unnatural like those of androids, especially when they talk. The movie also makes frequent use of the “dolly zoom,” or basically zooming in and out, to invoke a feeling of a robotic camera focusing in and out of a target. However, these choices in animation in no ways take away from the appeal of the movie, but add more to its unique robotic charm. The character design and the overall animation are modern and rather plain, but plenty beautiful enough to enjoy.
Several Sci-fi novels written by George Orwell, Philip K. Dick, or Ray Bradbury often depict a dystopian society in which the relationship between androids and humans is hostile. However, “Eve no Jikan” purposefully chooses the less popular yet more optimistic future in which the interaction between androids and humans is one of harmony. What evolves out of choosing this path is a beautifully touching story of a peaceful and trustful union between man and machine.
Whether you enjoy your time of Eve or not is up to you, but I definitely enjoyed my time of Eve and I will visit again in the near future.
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