Imagine a world where robots have long been put into practical use, and androids have just come into use. Similar to Will Smith’s I, Robot film, the robot society is governed by the three laws of robotics, but with the latter sporting “halos” of light so that they can be instantly recognized as non-human. One day Rikuo checks the log on his family’s android and discovers that she went somewhere without an order and a curious message is left in the log, Are you enjoying your Time of Eve?
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. This environment bring up a slice of life story that really focuses on and developing the characters in a thoughtful manner. Once at their seats Masaki and Rikuo notice that the android that they followed inside no longer has a ring above it’s head and they start to get paranoid that this place might be dangerous. That said Yoshiura clearly knows his science fiction, with constant references to Asimov’s three laws of robotics.
The film also holds up a very real mirror to how humanity acts, both in its positive and negative aspects. This is also influenced by the fluid animation in itself and most people can see the nods to Satoshi Kon in it. I can also definitely see the Shinkai similarities. This looks to have the same airy, atmospheric visual style that his films do, though perhaps a little more polished. The music is also great. Its usually minimalistic, but when it does show up, it shows up in a modern, contemporary feel that really makes you think you’re in a cafe. I’ll also mention that the length of each episode varies. The first is around fifteen minutes long, but each episode after that got a bit longer until the very last episode, which clocked in about twenty-seven minutes in length.
Sure, it may sound a little “I-Robot”-ish but the story is deeper than just androids freely thinking on their own. For me especially, it was definitely one of those films that resonated with me and provided a interesting exchange of ideas that were lingering in the back of my mind. 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. Where it came from and why it is there are the reason to keep watching.
Regardless of the taste, I would recommend Time Of Eve as just an interesting story if nothing else. Doing away with the usual 2D animation that sometimes meddles with 3D, this one puts 2D characters in complete 3D environments perfectly. And sometimes recreates those wide angle and 24p authentic film effect in some scenes. Steve Jobs (R.I.P.) would love this kind of show, I’m certain. It does have a few flaws in place, but not enough of them or seriously critical to effect my experience in a negative fashion. This cafe’s main rule is to not discriminate between humans and androids. Let’s hope in the future we adopt the same way of thinking.