Time of EVE Welcomes Impartiality Through Reflection | OWLS “Mirrors”

Chances are that if you were linked here from another blogger pal, then you might be new. To those first-timers, “Hi, I’m Takuto, welcome to my anime cafe!” As part of the OWLS blog tour’s  seventh monthly topic, “Mirrors,” I decided to incorporate what would have been my standard Time of EVE review into this reflection on artificial intelligence and robotic spirit.

“Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all?” When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favorite anime and other pop culture media that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.

I’ve always loved that wicked mantra, so thanks Lyn for the prompt!

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A brief discussion on the spring 2010 anime film “Time of EVE: The Movie,” produced by Studio Rikka, directed and created by Yasuhiro Yoshiura.

She Left the House, and He Got Curious

Rikuo is just another Japanese student owning an android in the near future. While checking his android’s behavioral log one day, he notices odd check-in and check-out times. When Sammy, his android, finally takes another detour, Rikuo and his friend Masaki head out and stalk her. It turns out Sammy frequents a hidden cafe called “Time of EVE,” and the cafe’s barista Nagi only has one request: that there is no discrimination between humans and androids.

Being the compilation of a 6-episode series by the same name, Time of EVE follows a pretty basic formula: Rikuo and Masaki frequent the cafe in order to uncover more about each of its interesting patrons and, of course, find out just what kind of character Sammy really is. A tale of unrequited feelings, childhood dreams, and understanding comes to fruition.

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Director Yasuhiro Yoshiura solidified his wacky and weird yet oddly comedic and intelligent presentation style with this one. It’s subtle in execution, but anyone could still identify it as science fiction—and good sci-fi at that. I know people who don’t care sci-fi that walked out loving Time of EVE, and I think that’s largely because the film aims at much more than pondering ideas like sci-fi does; instead, it goes deeper, showing you that the genre also has a lot of heart once you pull the wires away. The story is touching, sometimes even hilarious with all the sudden zoom-ins, and its visual artistry still holds quite well as a visionary piece even today!

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THIS 10/10 AESTHETIC IS WHAT INSPIRED MY CAFE 

Yup, that’s right. Time of EVE so inspirational to me that it inspired the clean and modern look of my cafe here (or at least I hope it comes across this way . . . do I need to remodel!?). If I could spend all of my days writing and reading in one place, it’d be here, at the Time of EVE! Everything just feels so sleek and simple, yet intricate and “underground” at the same time. Like, the coffee (EVLEND) cups, and bar, the tall tables, the ceiling fans—ALL OF IT! It’s just a chill, quiet, aesthetically pleasing place = the perfect kind of place for me.

And I couldn’t forget Tooru Okada’s VERY 2008 soundtrack, which just happens to be included on the Blu-ray release, yay! The music adds wonderful immersion into the wonder and fun of the cafe, not to mention all of the very peculiar interactions that take place. The energetic child, the grandpa and his crazy kid, the sexy couple, and even the stoic man in the back: it’s as if they all have their own track, as well as a story to be told within the music and the dialogue. I’m very pleased that the show was crowdfunded via Kickstarter with a dub, too. (I only wish I could have participated to get the coffee set >.<)

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Sammy, You are an Android

a letter from Rikuo to Sammy, fan-written by Takuto

Sammy, what is it that you see in the mirror each morning when you wake up? I’ve noticed that you tie your hair up with a headband, scrunchy, or a flower when you go out sometimes. It’s unusual. You are an android, but don’t let that stop you from looking the way you want to look.

Now, Sammy, who is it that you see in the mirror each morning when you wake up? I’ve picked up on your subtle cues as to my tastes, preferences, and mannerisms. Perhaps that’s just the activity log recalling my “most recent selections.” But I like to believe that you’re growing, just like all of us are each and every day. You are an android, but if you find yourself wanting to be happy or sad, angry or surprised, I’ll understand. 

After frequenting that place you visit, that Time of EVE, I realized that it’s no ordinary cafe, but a safe haven from prejudice and routine. I’m kind of a nerd, one who gets picked on sometimes for saying please and thanks to you, my android, and if I had a place where I could go to escape all of the name-calling and expectations, well, I’d probably be at that cafe all the time, too. 

We live in a pretty convoluted world. It’s not necessarily bad, but people make it much harder than it needs to be. Why does it matter if you’re an android or a human? If we both value our own lives and only wish to help each other out, then I’d just rather avoid “things or beings” altogether. Sammy, you’re an android, and in this world so bent on exclusion and division, I only wish you the best. 

The fact that we gaze into the mirror to begin with reveals that we’re only insecure about something, really. But last I checked, androids don’t “feel insecurity,” only assurance in their code. This proves you can be anything and anyone you desire, so do it with pride for not only yourself, but anyone you inspire in the process, like Nagi, Masaki, and myself. 

For me, however, just please stop looking into the mirror—you look great with that headband on.

– Rikuo

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“Are you enjoying the time of EVE?” I sure am, so much so that I wish I never had to leave, haha! For Sammy, reflection about who she wanted to be came from experiences with the world around her, a fashion decision, and, of course, a trip to the cafe. Through the interactions with Rikuo, Nagi, and the other “people” at the cafe, she, an android, found individuality and character for herself, defying the laws of her creators and the social norm—strict servitude to the master. Considering its impact on myself, this blog, and sci-fi entertainment in anime, Time of EVE: The Movie is no undoubtedly awarded the “Caffe Mocha,” a film for all those even remotely interested in AI, as well as what it means to be human. It’ll fill you with warm fuzzy feelings for sure. Let me know your thoughts on this post and show if you’ve seen it!

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This concludes my July 17th entry in the OWLS “Mirrors” blog tour. Please check out Rai (Rai’s Anime Blog) who went right before me and wrote about accepting every fiber of one’s being in the gorgeously grim Elfen Lied. And now, I’ll turn it over to Carla (Pop Culture Literary) for this Wednesday, July 19th! Thank you so much for reading, and until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

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23 thoughts on “Time of EVE Welcomes Impartiality Through Reflection | OWLS “Mirrors”

  1. Ah, so this is the anime that inspired you to open up a small, quirky but yet cool, chillax cafe?? :D. I myself haven’t seen this particular anime but if I can, I’ll try to give it a shot. As usual good post Taku!!! :D.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is, the secret’s out!! It’s kind of a wacky anime (the directing is quite literally weird at times) but it’s full of cool and subtle things that I can respect. Also, if you do plan to check it out, I recommend viewing it as a movie over the six episode series because A) it runs smoother as a film and B) the film includes new scenes that the series lacks. I hope you do get around to it someday. 🙂

      Thanks a ton Rocco!! Glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice job. It was really interesting reading about where your inspiration for the aesthetic of the cafe came from. It’s pretty awesome when we find an aesthetic that really hits us and find a way to use it in our own lives.
    I really enjoyed your fan letter. That was fun, and revealed a lot about how looks impact the characters in the movie.
    EVE sounds a lot like a comic I once picked up. If you enjoy this type of AI dynamic, I recommend checking out Alex+Ada if you have not yet. It’s well written. I didn’t finish it because it wasn’t quite my style, but I do remember enjoying what I read. (If you don’t often buy comics that you’re unfamiliar with, might I suggest checking to see if your library has a subscription to the Hoopla app? That is how I read the first volume of this comic).

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems that most people liked this post because they found out about the cafe, which was an unexpected surprise on my end! When a show rubs off on us and changes us for the better, that’s when you realize that anime can be much more than just a “watched” medium.

      The fan letter kinda came about on its own—really, I wasn’t expecting it at all (nor would I ever write one in my life), but it just sorta came out, and I didn’t want to hinder that inspiration.

      This comic sounds very interesting! I do enjoy my fair share of AI sprinkled within a very much human setting, so maybe I’ll have to check it out.

      Thanks so much for reading my post! Receiving reflective and meaningful comments like this one reminds me why I do all of this in the first place. I’m happy you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The truth is revealed, this is the anime that inspired you to make this cafe blog. I am actually surprised. You have amazing writing and I like how you talked about the topic very detailed. Awesome work Takuto! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehehe yes, here it is! Man, Matt, you flatter me all the time and I quite often don’t feel worthy of the praise—your comments mean a lot to me, and I’m very glad you enjoyed this post. I had a great time writing it, trust me! Thanks a bunch~!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome bro. I think your writing is really great and I encourage you to continue doing what you do best. I also now curious about this anime.

        Like

  4. Ive not see Time of EVE but it sounds like something that would seriously interest me. I loved the letter to Sammy, very touching. Its always nice reading about something that had such a strong impact on the individual.

    Also, your cafe is looking great! No need to remodel 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a really neat series, definitely unique and ahead of its time. I’ll recommend the film over the series though just because of the smoother run and the included scenes. Try it! And the letter . . . that was an inspiration rush that came out of NOWHERE but I’m pleased with the results. I’d never write somewhat weird letters like this, but it seemed appropriate at the time. Hearing how anime impacts people positively is always a joy, I agree with you there!

      Awwww thank you, I’ll keep it this way for now just for you 😉

      Thanks for stopping by~!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve not seen this anime, but after reading this post, I’m definitely interested in it. It pretty much sounds like my cup of tea so to speak 😊It’s very cool that this also gave you the inspiration for your blog. Really enjoyed this post, and thanks for sharing this story 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES, it’s a really cool film with all sorts of ideas and ideologies about the future of humans and AI, which is perfect for someone like myself. I’ll bet that you’d enjoy it if you ever got around to it. If and when you do, watch the film over the anime, as the film fits the flow better and includes scenes that the series does not have! And yes, this series means so much to me because, at the time of making my blog, I was watching this, which in turn pushed me to design the blog’s layout around the cafe setting. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this post! It was a fun getting to write about how far an anime has taken me! Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  10. Awesomeness choice for this months theme ^^ I’ve seen this series floating around on crunchyroll !! Def want to check it out even more after reading your piece on it. Nice fan letter you do have a Nack for writing dear Taku !!

    You talking about this show reminded me of chobits honestly. That no matter if they are a cyborg shouldn’t be looked upon as just that.

    Fantastic work as usual Taku 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why thank you! It IS on Crunchyroll and it’s ABSOLUTELY worth the watch! And awww, you think? It sorta just “happened,” and I was like, “Nah, I’ll just leave it so that I meet some sort of ‘suggested’ word count” LOL.

      I’ve heard many nice things about Chobits! Not sure why I haven’t seen it yet, quite honestly. Maybe because it’s a romance anime, and while I do love me a good romance, I prefer it as a subplot. If it’s as you say, then I suppose I should add “There’s more than meets the eye.”

      Thanks a ton Lita, I had great fun writing it!

      Like

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  12. You really know how to make a person curious enough to want to watch something just because you wrote about it. And I’m going to echo everyone here: Takuto and anime cafe. Hmmmm.
    I haven’t watched this series, but I’ll definitely add it to my to-watch list. I’m immediately reminded of Chobits, but I bet that this will be more serious and will have more depth, than Chobits with its ecchi scenes. Although I won’t know exactly until I watch it myself. It’s also interesting how you chose an android to write about when our topic concerns self-image. Really intriguing post to read, Taku. Keep up the great writing. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arria, that’s so sweet of you to say! Hehehe I think that was everyone’s big takeaway on this one. :3

      Chobits also seems to be the census recommendation for me, so I plan to check it out if I’m ever finding myself revisiting the AI department in the future (and trust me, that won’t take long). Going with an android on this one was a very big decision to make for me. I mean, we all understand how complex we can get, but what about on the most fundamental level—how are our actions and reactions observed and made sense of from the perspective of something (or rather someone) so simply yet relatably flawed? So humanly flawed? That to me is what androids represent, and I’m glad you found my choice here just as intriguing as the others. Thank you for stopping by! I love revisiting old posts and catching up with good friends on these kinds of intellectual things.

      Like

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