So I’m posting about a thing I have already written about. And there’s a reason for that. It’s reeeeeeeeeeeeealy goooooooooooood. Also it’s on Crunchyroll for streaming this weekend only so I thought I should finally finish this review up.
So yeah, Time of EVE. I watched the English dub shortly after my last blog post, and it’s been bouncing through my head since then. It was back when I was in uni when I watched the ONA, and I think it was kind of because it was a bit of a novelty back then… it was simultaneously released in English on Crunchyroll, and this was before the modern era of everything getting that. I think I still have the AVI files that they sold as legit digital downloads then (yes I checked I do). I don’t remember how much of an impact it made on me back then… I certainly thought it was cool that it namechecked stuff like the Three Laws of Robotics (being one of those people who thought Isaac Asimov was THE BEST THING EVER when I was in high school). That was back in 2008, apparently (or at least that’s when it started), which it occurs to me was like 7 years ago.
The thing about Asimov’s stories, though, is that a lot of them weren’t so much stories as they were clever logic puzzles disguised as stories. Like “oh well it LOOKS like they’re breaking the Three Laws but actually there’s this really clever reason for that”. They honestly weren’t exactly great character pieces… even the recurring human characters were more one-note personalities than anything else. His robot-based novels had a bit more plotline and character building, but I still have horrible horrible memories of super awkward sex scenes.
Time of EVE, on the other hand, is very much about the characters. The robot characters as well as the human ones. Writer/Director Yasuhiro Yoshiura clearly has a very different view as to what a robot is compared to Asimov… in fact it reminds me more of some of the themes you have in Astro Boy, like the “robots are fully-realised emotional creatures but they just want to make humanity happy” sort of idea.
The world of Time of Eve has always intrigued me. At the beginning of the film it’s described as “The future, probably Japan”. It’s more than just “probably” Japan though, based on the character names and stuff, but I wonder how much the Japanese setting influences the attitudes of the society portrayed. It strikes me as something of a conservative society, where weirdness and individuality is suppressed, which seems in line with how modern-day Japan is… So it’s maybe something of a commentary on this.
Since it’s an animated film, I should probably comment on the animation. The original production was fairly low-budget, but since this is very much a character driven piece rather than an action thing it still looks good. It’s also interesting to note that the backgrounds are done with CGI… I think most anime go for hand-painted backgrounds so it gives it a different feel.
I should probably talk about the plot. Basically it’s set in a future with robots and androids, and it explores how people and robots interact. The main plot follows two high-schoolers who find a cafe where androids and humans aren’t distinguished between (normally androids have a holographic ring above their heads), and they have their preconceptions challenged.
I feel like I’m being unnecessarily vague and wishy-washy about this film. Trust me it’s really good. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to check it out.
Also there’s a blu-ray release that I talked about earlier in case you missed that.
And that blu-ray is on amazon and righstuf now if you wanna buy it, I got it through the magic of kickstarter.
There’s a bunch more merchandise for it that I’ve got, I’ll probably do another obnoxious photos post in the future.