Reviews of yesteryear: Eve no Jikan

Eve no Jikan is another request that I’m going into without any idea of what to expect. All I know is that it involves androids and it was created by Yoshiura Yasuhiro, the critically acclaimed director of Pale Cocoon, which… I also haven’t seen. Well, let’s take a look at Eve no Jikan and see if it gives me an interest in his other works.

Eve no Jikan has a very basic story. Androids and robots have been integrated into society. One day young Rikuo is going through his house android’s activity log and finds a strange message about the “Time of Eve.” This leads him and his friend, Masaki, to a cafe where the rule is to treat humans and robots the same. Really, it’s more of a character study dealing with questions of sentience and whether or not artificial intelligence can lead to both sentience and emotion. You might be thinking, “isn’t that really common in science fiction with Star Trek (Next Gen and Voyager especially), I, Robot, A.I and many others being examples? How does Eve no Jikan compare to all of the other stories that ask those questions?” Pretty well, actually. Eve no Jikan has a lot of really strong and emotionally powerful moments. The questions may be old, but they’re asked in a compelling way. My one issue with the series is that it isn’t as subtle or nuanced as it could’ve been. What really bothers me about it is that the answers seem to be the same for all robots/androids regardless of how archaic or advanced they may be. There’s no distinction drawn or exploration of the degree of sophistication that artificial intelligence needs to have to gain sentience. They had the opportunity but they dropped it.

A work like this needs interesting characters to work. Does Eve no Jikan provide them? In abundance. The major cast is both intriguing and sympathetic. One of the things they do really well is develop circumstances so that you don’t initially know who’s an android and who’s human, with a few obvious exceptions. In the end you know some of them but there are a few that are never actually revealed, which does help add some intrigue to the series. Each episode focuses on a character or two and illustrates what kind of circumstance they’re coming from while tying into the major themes. They manage to develop the characters better than some anime I’ve seen that are four times as long.

The art is the least impressive part of the series. This isn’t to say that it’s badly done, it’s actually pretty decent, it’s just not anything special. The only things that really stand out are the non-humanoid robots. Everything else is very basic.

The cast in this is really good. Fukiyama Jun, Satou Rina, Tanaka Rie, etc… all give really strong and subtle performances. The music is downplayed, but it does help maintain the mellow atmosphere.

The yuri factor is a 1/10. There isn’t any yuri in this.

My final rating for Eve no Jikan is an 8/10. It’s a great anime with spectacular characters, and a well done story. I would recommend checking it out. Especially since it’s only six episodes.

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