Anime Review: Time of Eve

Ever since my first Terminator movie in the 80s, I’ve always loved movies, books, TV shows, and, of course, even anime about robots. So when I discovered this anime, Time of Eve, on Crunchyroll, it immediately caught my interest.

The story is set in the near future, a world with technology that’s really just a few steps ahead of our own. Aside from holographic menus and wall-sized ambient screens, robots are a common home accessory, making breakfast and coffee and even escorting a inebriated family member home. The basic conflict of the story is the blurring line between humans and the androids that walk among them, especially in a special little cafe called Time of Eve.

The main character follows his particular home android who has strayed off her regular path to the Time of Eve which turns out to be a coffee shop that has a particular rule: no discrimination between humans and androids. Through spending time at this safe space where the lines between humans and androids are erased and it’s impossible to tell who’s human and who’s not, the stories of humans and androids alike unfold. The format actually reminds me a lot of the classic novel I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, with each character’s story and development exploring a different aspect of the new android beings and how they relate to and affect humans.

I’ll pretty much watch anything with robots in it, but I have to say, Time of Eve has a nice touch to it. It has a very everyday life feel to it, and the exploration of robot sentience is done with elegant animation, playful music, and tongue-in-cheek story telling. One episode had a side-splitting reference to the Terminator series–I laughed till I cried. And yet at the end of all the laughter, there’s a tinge of tragedy lining the silver cloud. I’m now a fan of the writer and director, Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who authored this short series. There are only six episodes, but each one is gorgeously done and leaves the viewer feeling just a little less alone in the world.

A bluray movie has just come out and is now available for purchase in the U.S.

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