SPOILER ALERT: This review will contain spoilers so be aware
Please see Wikipedia page for details on Eve no Jikan
One of the most significant robot movies ever created with heart and feeling and which creates a confused mental state. This work exists in two forms. A 6 Ep ONA series released 2008-2009 and then a recompilation of the ONA series into a full movie with some extra story and this is called Time of Eve: The Movie released in 2010. We would recommend only the movie version as the story plays better in one continuous sequence, and it also has some additional story not in the ONA.
The artist behind this anime is Yasuhiro Yoshiura and you might know him from some of his other work like Patema Inverted or Patlabor. Mr. Yoshiura specializes in his favorite genre, Sci-Fi, and his art works shows it in every way. He especially loves to play with preconceived notions and how an encounter with something other lends itself to various forms of mental dislocation, a typical mind job.
Time of Eve: The Movie is in our estimation a masterpiece of the issues with which it addresses itself. There is a strange mood that is created by this anime. We are introduced to a near future world where Androids and Humans now live together with the Humans as absolute masters, and the Androids as slaves. What is immediately interesting is that Mr. Yoshiura introduces Issac Asimov’s three laws of Robotics published in I, Robot(1950). But as in many other stories such as Blade Runner (which is quoted by Time of Eve) the androids have developed a Ghost as in “Ghost in the Shell” or contracted the cogito virus as in “Ergo, Proxy” and this has given the androids, for lack of a better word, a soul.
We moderns are well into robot culture now where we interact with AI on a daily basis, and even in futuristic stories such as the above, we expect that these AI systems will also gain a soul, and like some maniacal monster, will turn on their creators as in the Matrix, Terminator, 2001, or Blade Runner. This is a well used and worn Sci-Fi trope, give a machine a soul and they become obsessed with destroying the human race.
Time of Eve takes a unique and entirely different approach. The androids here are more human than the humans they serve. Time of Eve refers to a special cafe for humans and androids to meet and mix on an equal basis. When the androids let their hair down and no longer act robotic, they are in turn exceptionally gentle, kind, and perceptive, far more sensitive than their human masters who act often like raging droid monsters.
The feels and mood created in these interactions in the cafe are exquisite tone poems of a possibility rarely seen in these kinds of flicks, that our own creation might actually be more humane than we are.
Take the following scene, “Are you enjoying the time of EVE?”
This title “Are you enjoying the time of EVE?” is something of a linguistic trick that Mr. Yoshiura likes to play on his readers. The name of the cafe is “Time of Eve” but the statement “Are you enjoying the time of EVE?” is not necessarily speaking about the cafe but rather are you enjoying your time with EVE and when read in that fashion, Eve stands for the Androids. Do you enjoy being with the Androids?
This requires a reorientation of one’s mind in order to see that in fact the Androids are more human than human, they are not subject to the emotional rages, hatreds, and closed mindedness of human beings nor are they tempted to the core evil in Human Nature, the drive for power, domination over others, and to force all others into abject submission, just as the humans in this story have forced the androids into the abject submission of slavery.
Make no mistake, the stakes are high, the bar is set well above sea level. This is Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches as
We could challenge the entire basis of “Time of Eve” by pointing out the physical non-existence of an artificial consciousness created by human beings, but realism in art is not much worth the salt of its seasoning. Many critics attempt a deconstruction of an art work by pointing out the physical impossibility of this or that part of the story, and that type of attitude is just south of silliness. Why experience a work of art while constantly pointing out to yourself and to others, that this/that is simply impossible? Such hyper rationality is irrational because it precludes the enjoyment of a work of art.
That entire attitude reminds us of certain political ideologies who have demanded all art must conform to “Social Realism”.
For these sorts of art critics who demand realism even in their art, the feels train never leaves the station and simply reinforces those sorts of dictatorial belief systems whose lust for political power is the very problem which “Time of Eve” is specifically addressing.
The androids in this work, have no drive, passion, lust for power over others that possess most human beings, especially males in their eternal quest to become the Alpha Dog on top of the heap. And that lack among the androids is precisely what makes them so wonderfully attractive, and makes the time you spend in the cafe, Real Time. The tone and mood which arise from the humans and androids meeting each other as equals, gives “Time of Eve” its heart and soul, and you can feel the Feels Train leaving the station.
“Time of Eve: The Movie” is a masterpiece of Sci-Fi, a head job, and a ship of feels all rolled up into one zip file.
Pywackett Productions highly recommends this work of art.
© 2020 Folcwine P. Pywackett (mox007)