Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Time of Eve Review


In the future, probably Japan.
‘Robots’ have long seen practical use,
and this is the era just after the common deployment of ‘Androids’.

Time of Eve is a SciFi ONA series by Director Yasuhiro Yoshiura and Studio Rikka. It aired in Japan in August 2008 with six 15 to 27 minutes episodes. A film, Time of Eve: the Movie, was release in March of 2012. It’s the exact same series but in movie form with a few little extras. As of this review, Time of Eve has not been licensed.

Time of Eve's Rule: Humans and Robots have no distinction.
In the not too distant future androids have come into common usage. Taking the androids for granted, humans treat them as if they were common everyday tools, while on the other hand, some people empathize with androids due to their human-like appearance (save for a digital ring floating above their heads). This has become a social problem and these people are frowned upon as a result. Rikuo, one who has taken androids for granted for his entire life, one day discovers that Sammy, his home android, has been acting strangely and finds a strange phrase recorded in her activity log. He, along with his friend Masaki, traces Sammy's footsteps and come upon an unusual cafe. This cafe's main rule is to not discriminate between humans and androids.

The animation is certainly a nice stylized choice. It’s smooth, full of interesting reflections and shadows, and full of rather realistic characters. But the real secret to Time of Eve is it’s camera work. Time of Eve gives us interesting shots through doors, railings, ceilings, and I’m sounding like a creeper right now......... Yup. The music for Time of Eve is rather simple. There is only music while at Time of Eve. I don’t remember there being music elsewhere. It’s like they wanted Eve to be a place that just comes alive in it’s own way. There’s also a funny SciFi reference, musical, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The story is a really nice one. What it is is our main character Rikuo learning more and more about androids by visiting Time of Eve, a place where there is no discrimination between the two. Through the interactions with other humans and androids, Rikuo learns about being more respectable to androids and stop treating them like dirt (You know, since EVERYONE and their grandma, in this world, treats them like junk). This series also has some of the best dialogue and character interactions I have ever seen! It just so enjoyable to watch. There’s just one little problem.... And I think this can be summed up with one little phrase that a lot of otaku may have heard before from a fellow anime critic:


Time of Eve doesn’t quite have a proper ending. It ties up the main story, but leaves so many plot holes that the series screaming “SEQUEL” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sadly, there is no sequel. And, it’s a shame, because I would have loved to have seen what was in store for this little cafe. What, with the impending doom that’s just beyond the corner, you would think that there would be more.

The characters, as I’ve said before, give some of the most interesting interactions with each other that I’ve seen in a good long while. I, personally, think it’s because of the different stories and personalities that are show through these characters. You have our main characters, Rikuo and Matsaki, two human high schoolers who stumble upon Time of Eve. Then there Nagi; the owner, Koji and Rina; android lovers, Chie and Shimei; Robot foster parent and daughter, Akiko; a teenage android with a lot of spunk, and Sammy; Rikuo’s family android. There are a few other characters that stop by the cafe form time to time and we get to interact with them, but these are our big spotlights. The personalities and knowledge each person possesses is distinct and makes the androids seem more human they first appear to be.

*sigh* Now for some more bad news.... There’s no dub for Time of Eve..... Normally, I go into more detail about the Japanese cast in this case, however, there isn’t a lot to go on here. With only six episodes, and not even full length ones, it’s difficult to pin point what kind of performance they doing. That and I got really distracted while watching this that I didn’t bother paying attention to the voice actors.... Heh heh.... Sorry guys. But I will say, overall, the cast is really good.

I mentioned early when I talked about music that there was a funny SciFi reference. Well, SkyNet isn’t the only reference that is cleverly placed in this series. The writers took the time to add in many a SciFi reference into this series, though some may go over your head. Some are more obvious like using Blade Runner or the Terminator, but then there are some more obscure like the 3 laws of robotics. I really do like how they just snuck those little things in there for the super SciFi nerd in the crowd. I’m not much of a SciFi nerd, honestly, but I bet if I show this to one, they would squee like a little girl.

At the end of the cafe trip, Time of Eve is very unique looking and interesting to watch, minus the lack of ending. The characters are relatable, the animation is pretty, and moral of the story is a rather interesting take on, if you’ll pardon the comparison, racism. Time of Eve is very much a hardcore otaku series, so it’s not for everyone; some people may be bored due to lack of explosions. But overall, I’d say Time of Eve is worth your time.

Next time we look at more series that are, rather, appropriate to Halloween. And, from what I hear, this one is the best of the best. Until next time, otaku on my friends.

Special thanks to MadShadow for the request!

If you wish to suggest a series for me to review, then either leave a comment below or email me at lilacanimereview@gmail.com.

Also, as of October 3rd, the official Time of Eve Facebook page reposted the review onto their page! If you want to check them out just follow the link!
Time of Eve Facebook Page

2 comments:

  1. Lilac - We just reposted your blog on the Time of EVE official fb page. Delighted that you discovered Time of EVE!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Time-of-EVE/237998516269727

    ReplyDelete
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