So a human, a robot, and an android walk into a bar…
…and make a damn good anime by the name of Eve no Jikan. While many sci-fi titles of this nature tend to swing too far with humanizing robotic creations, this particular series strikes a delicate balance between realism and idealism to forge a surprisingly intriguing watch. Indeed, the premise itself is hardly original or breathtaking, with the story taking place in a generic era of technological progress where androids have begun to look, think, and feel like their human counterparts. Insert a societal fear of these androids being surpassing humanity at everything from house chores to grand piano, and the summary hints at a unremarkable setting which can easily be floundered about with trite commentary and mundane philosophy.
Or, in the case of Eve no Jikan, a captivating setting with which to explore the more subtle conflicts of human technological and social progress. Spanning only six episodes at fifteen minutes a piece, the series does not waste any time half-heartedly piddling around with its topics; it knows it has a time limit and several different themes to discuss, so a point to is made to balance its narrative in every way possible. Much like Kino no Tabi or Mushishi, each episode introduces a topic, runs with it in the context of a story for a brief period of time, and then concludes with thoughtful open-endedness. The use of music and visual effects to supplement the story foils this methodology remarkably well, and ultimately deliver a smooth , relaxed, and intelligent viewing experience.
Despite the overall simplicity of Eve no Jikan’s presentation, it stays thematically consistent throughout its many different stories. Though certain parallels are drawn to highlight the androids’ remarkable similarities to their human masters, pinpointing the exact intent of these parallels is a more than daunting task. I still find myself wondering what particular focus the writers had when authoring each of the arcs, as the content can be viewed as commenting on different things by looking at it from different points of view. While not as intellectually stalwart as its more noteworthy peers, Eve no Jikan nevertheless proves an engaging and multi-layered watch.
I’m somewhat split on how to rate the animation. At some points it’s simply gorgeous, while at others the manner in which the camera pans is painfully choppy and hard to follow. Likewise, the character designs tend to be relatively plain, and fluctuate in appropriateness depending on the level of detail in the background. All in all, however, these complaints end up being trivial at best. As a whole the visuals are beautifully detailed, and nitpicking does little to detract from a remarkable level of quality. Environmental lighting can be considered nothing shy of spectacular, and special attention is given to even the most minor attributes of each character’s make and poise.
While the voice acting can’t be considered anything spectacular or worthy of notoriety, Eve no Jikan’s musical composition picks up the majority of its slack. The piece that plays when the main characters walk into the café is surprisingly catchy, and the soft tunes that permeate each scene are fitting and well-suited to the atmosphere. Despite having small dramatic peaks in each episode, the OVA never strays from the mood it seeks to create; tense-energetic pieces are juxtaposed flawlessly with melodic piano solos, and the idle sense of serenity that the café’s occupants experience is lightly passed onto the viewer.
The characters are, by far, what make this OVA succeed. The differences between humans and androids are intentionally blurred, and Eve no Jikan does a wonderful job of making the viewer skeptical as to each character’s distinction as an android or a human. While most of the café’s attendees are eventually exposed as one or the other, a handful of others are left unnamed and with enough gray area to, arguably, be considered of either category. This soft sense of mystery definitely drives Eve no Jikan’s potential into the realm of success, as it takes each of its themes and runs with it to its fullest potential without ever becoming obtuse.
I can’t think of a single character, be they main or secondary, who lacks vivid depth and a three-dimensional personality. For having such a limited runtime (movie length, really) the show fleshes out its characters remarkably well, giving them enough flavor to fit their roles well without overshadowing what they are thematically meant to do.
Despite Eve no Jikan possessing an array of well-balanced and skillfully handled themes, it just doesn’t have any umph to push it up into the tier of greatness. That said, it’s undeniably great at what it does, so don’t let this at all deter you from giving it consideration. As one of the more mature and intelligent sci-fi productions of recent years, it’s no doubt fit for audiences of all walks of life and certainly is not to be missed.
To be honest: I like this kind of anime. It's a story that never really starts or ends. You get a small portion of the life that the protagonists are living and it is great by doing so! You get that realistic feeling I'm missing in most of the animes, but at the same time it mixes it with surreal Topics and you can see the doubts that the protagonist has about the life he is living.
The anime itself only has six episodes but all of them are essential to the story. But why I gave only 8 out of 10? The answer is simple: All episodes are great and important for the character development but only one or two are featuring something like a main story. And at the end even this main story is only partly solved. You get to know each of the characters but when you finally know of their problems and want them to get over them, the anime just ends. Eve no Jikan is simply to short, but on the contrary that not-waisted-a-single-episode would probably get lost if the anime were longer.
The look of this anime is great. You have a good background with great detail and the scenery lets you feel the world that the characters are living in. On the Contrary the look of the main protagonists are a little bit plain. I don't know why they made them that way, maybe to make a more realistic look (you know plain is realistic óÒ), but it feels just a little bit too plain. The other featured characters are looking great and are exceeding the protagonists by far, which is at some points a little frustrating.
Well I'm not the kind of guy who pays great attention to the music and the dubbing, so I won't rate it at all. Better to be honest with oneself than to rate something you don't have any clue on ;)
The character development is greatly made. You get to know the main protagonists and see how they are connected to each other. And it doesn't stop with the protagonists, each one the character that featured is thought through, but what is most disappointing is that you only get know the characters and their story and then almost immediately jump to the next one. There are quite some interesting characters I would have liked to know better, but with the limited time this series has it is imply impossible to make that happen. With the little time they had, the characters are really well made. You have close to no stereotypes and you get the feeling that even if the background of one character is not told that there is more to them than you can see.
I really liked this series and wanted to give it a better score than 8, but with all that restrictions in time and therefore with the not really finished story I simply couldn't. The main topic is the question of what makes something human or not without ever being spoken out loud in the whole anime. Also the catch phrase of this anime "Are you enjoying the time of Eve?" is pointing that way. The "time of Eve" can be interpreted with the "time of equality" or "time of tranquility" (remember the house rule: "no discrimination between humans and robots"). So the phrase is asking you if you are enjoying this time of peace inside this café, outside of all the discrimination of androids or humans and the stress you encounter in your daily life.
So my last words are: If you like topics like "What makes a human human" and are looking for an anime that lets you think about the way which humanity is going, this anime is for you!
This was one of those shows that makes you wonder about the human mind, and if it's possible for androids to have some kind of emotions. Those kind of shows are usually full of mindf*ckery and are more often than not filled with action, not this one!
While subjects like discrimination are treated a lot, it manages to keep a calm atmosphere throughout all six episodes. It does this by not focusing on the fight for android-rights, but by taking the Bartender approach by laying the focus on the conversations and individual stories of the different characters, following the android-politics from a civilian PoV, rather than a secret agents.
The animation was good, very good in fact, considering it was all CG.
Fun fact: It was made by the same small studio that also made Pale Cocoon.
Another story about androids evolving to the point where they can recognize their existence. After watching Matrix, I Robot, Ergo Proxy and etc., I wouldn't think there is going to be better series about AI, but I would suggest everyone to watch it.
Six episodes are not enough for such brilliant storyline, I would expect at least two seasons, minimum ten episodes for each season.
There are some questions left unanswered, like:
“Eve no Jikan” Review
It's the future, and scientists have finally developed androids that look just like humans. In order to keep humans from getting unnaturally friendly with the androids, robot laws are put in effect, making it forbidden for androids to go anywhere without a holographic ring above their head.
At the Time of Eve—a cafe “probably in Japan”--there is only one rule: treat everyone equally, and don't ask if someone else is a robot. Any android customers shut off their rings and mingle with humans. When it's impossible to tell the difference between man and machine, is there really any difference at all?
“Eve no Jikan” is every classic sci-fi nerd-otaku's dream: an anime that draws from Isaac Asimov's classic 3 Laws of Robotics and brings a new twist on classic themes of the robot story. Though only six ten-minute episodes long, it is nearly perfectly paced, spending all its time focusing on plot and character development while seamlessly slipping in balanced comic relief.
Its only real flaws arise in the final episode, which gets excessively melodramatic towards the closing scene. It's a fairly uninspired end, but very sensible, so it's tough to fault it.
The CG from Studio Rikka is absolutely gorgeous, and that's really all I can say about it. The effortless flow into the third dimension, perfect character and set designing, a wonderfully real technique from director Yasuhiro Yoshiura...if I say anything else it'll just be different ways to say “beautiful” again and again.
To start with, the themes are very fun Japanese instrumental pieces, which matches interestingly with the overall optimistic nature of the show. The voice casting is also pretty great. But the way music is introduced as a metaphor into the story itself, through the main character Rikuo, introduces a new way to access the message of common humanity.
Our POV characters, Rikuo and Masaki, provide effortless exposition and explain just enough of our new science-laden world that we can understand it. The show's plot is essentially to build their characters, and their arcs are suitably fascinating. But their relationship with each other is also built simultaneously, providing both comic relief and a strong source of tension.
Each episode focuses on one of the cafe's patrons and tells their story, which factors directly in with Rikuo and Masaki's respective philosophical journeys. It's an easy formula to screw up and fill with cliches, but this becomes a great science fiction tale instead.
“Eve no Jikan” is a gorgeous-looking Japanese take on concepts Isaac Asimov wrote about for decades. It doesn't take the robot genre anywhere particularly new, but the spin put on this particular iteration of the “human machine” story is beautifully handled; one might say it is at the same time an homage to science fiction's roots and a step forward to the future of the genre in animation and visual arts. It can't escape from its own melodrama at times, but succeeds in being a lavish work of great philosophical and psychological importance.