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EVE no Jikan (The Time of Eve) Act 2 - Sammy

EVE no Jikan is an anime series based around substrate chauvinism and self identity. It is an anime depicting the use of robots and androids as servants and slaves in a slightly futuristic but still contemporary society. In other words, the near future. Each episode is approximately fifteen minutes in length.

This review is of the second scene, Act 2.

The act, starts in the same manner as the one before.

The scene opens on a white background, upon which the following lines slowly appear:

"In the future, probably Japan.

Robots have long seen practical use,

And shortly after, Androids come into common usage."

After they fade, the screen moves straight into the start of Act 2, with no augmented reality overlay. This time, it opens on an empty mug once full of coffee. Two voices are speaking; a master and his android. Its Rikuo and he's trying to find out the lasttime she went out. She claims it was two days ago, to shop for provisions. He questions if she did anything else, a question which she denies. The scene moves to show that its the same room as the first episode opened on - Rukuo's living room. His sister, Naoko, pops up and quips "hey, lately you've been talking to it as if its human."


Naoko, and Rukuo arguing over treating the android woman, identified as Sammy, standing on the right - as a human.

Rikuo ends the debate by commanding 'breakfast' and Sammy acknowledges the command, moving off to make her master's breakfast.

The TV comes into focus where an announcer is joking that those who treast androids as if they were human, must have trouble communicating with real-life humans. He is annoyed enough by the announcer that he snaps a status-command to Sammy, who whilst she cooks breakfast rattles off her assigned chores for the day, in chronological order.

The scene fades out, to be replaced with Rikuo's classroom in school that day, still the same noisy place. A male android walks into shot, and his halo flashes from orange to green - he has brought clothes for his master. The master thanks the android, and immediately is riddiculed by another student "you thanked this thing?" showing the deep disdain for androids in the society.


Just a Thing, attitudes show. Are they justified?

Meanwhile a conversation is taking shape between Rikuo and Masaki. Both know Sammy is lying when she says that she went nowhere else than groceries and clothes the other day, but, androids cannot lie, can they? One of the other students calls out derision as Sammy was addressed by name, clearly believing the androids don't deserve even names. In response, the teacher has one of the members of the class recite a modified version of Asimov's three laws of robotics, which govern the androids.

1. Robots may not inflict harm on humans. Additionally, they may not ignore dangers to humans, or be the cause of harm to humans.

2 Robots cannot disobey commands from humans. However, if the commands contravene the first law, this rule does not apply.

3. If doing so does not contravene either of the previous laws, robots must engage in self-preservation.

The teacher then points out "There is no rule against lying."

Shocked, Rikuo and Masaki descide to follow Sammy on her shopping trip in the afternoon.

They end up of course, without having yet found Sammy, outside the now familiar nondescript alley door, leading to cafe Eve no Jikan. Whilst depating what they are even doing here, both slip inside, and descend the stone steps beyond, heading towards the hidden interior.


The familiar sign

Nagi welcomes them, then looks concerned and asks what's up. Rikuo breathes out a breath he did not even realise he was holding. Sammy's not here. Masaki reminds him that she might come in later, its better they find a table to wait and see.

The two of them find a table on an upstairs balcony, which is technically at street level. There, with a full view ofthe door, they wait, continually arguing about both the ethics of doing this, and Rikuo's preference not to have a confrontation here. After a scuffle with a little girl who thinks she is a cat, and the kindly older man they take to be her father, Rikuo discovers an old grand piono he had never noticed before, at the back of the main room.

As he settles down, he asks Masaki if the little kis is human. Masaki says he truly believes she is, but then they both thought Akiko was a human girl when they met in this place last time, Rikuo befrended and became besotted about the lively tearaway teen. Then, at the end of act 1, discovered she was 'just' an android, serving her master. Not a very well treated one either.

They watch a couple's romance from the piano, until the couple both turn and look at them, awkwardly.

A great deal more discussion about the nature of what they are doing, and the very idea that an android can act with free will on any matter - from a new spot, far away from the glaring couple.During this conversation, the door opens and a girl walks in. Its Akiko, wearing a beanbag hat, and grinning. She spots them immediately, and waves enthusiastically. Rikuo cannot help but notice, and stiffens immediately. He sighs, knowing he has to go over and talk to her, and not having a clue how to talk to an android without a command-ring above her head; especially now that he knows she is an android, and was so besotted with her, when he believed she was human. Whichever way you look at it, this is going to be awkward.

He goes over to Akiko, who is grinning like a cheshire cat, and plops down on a stool. He tells her deadpan "you're so different", to which she squeals and tells him she's happy.

He collapses as low as he can, almost as if embarrassed, and mumbles a question, asking where her ring is.

She replies nonchalantly, that its turned off. If its not turned off, its a violation of the rule. Knowing its illegal for the androids to turn them off, he starts to say as much. Akiko announces that the talk ends, and grins in Nagi's direction. Nagi, looking exhausted, is tending to the cat-girl. She breqaks off and runs up to Rikuo, and squeals that he's wearing something 'weird'. Before anyone can react, her little fist swings up and into his glasses, to stop him wearing weird things.

She giggles and runs off, as he blinks and fumbles for them, unable to see clearly. Masaki meanwhile, is stalking the male from the couple earlier, convinced he is not human. The man looks to the wall and says "What do you want of me, blade runner", in an apt reference to that film. The man leaves, and Masaki tries to follow but finds the door won't budge.

Naga pipes up that once someone leaves, the door auto-locks for a few minutes, to prevent them being discovered - androids must wear halos at all times, outside.

Another side conversation, is switched to whilst this is going on, where a woman is buying coffee from Naga, and admits she is worried she does not know if her family likes it. Naga asks why she does not just ask and the woman says that 'he hates it when I do anything independently.'

The camera zooms out to Rikou, and Akiko, who again have devolved into an android-versus human debate, which Akiko is trying to squash, with somewhat less than perfect success.

This leads to the location of the missing glasses to be with Naga, and he goes to retrieve them. As he puts them on, he looks up at the woman buying coffee - its Sammy. Pulling her disguise scrunchy from her, as the hair falls into its usual position about her face, she desperately covers her face with her hands, but knows it is to no avail. As she peeks over them, all she can see, is the shocked Rikou.Scrabbling up her purchases, she leaves hurriedly, fleeing for the door, which locks behind her.

Nagi commands him to sit down as he pounds on the door. Cowed, and an emotional wreck, he complies.

The scene cuts to a boiling kettle for a little bit.

Nagi tells him the cup is on the house. She starts talking about the girl who left so hurriedly, about how she was so confused when she first srtarted coming to the cafe, but slowly warmed to them, able to talk to them about many things she could not talk to anyone else about. She says he doesn't understand, so many troubles that girl faces, but here, so long as he obeys the Eve no Jikan rule, he is always welcome to be. As she says this, she disappears behind the curtain at the back of the bar.

The scene fades to black.

It returns to a man talking on a cellphone to an unknown individual, saying that he was following an individual, but lost sight of him, when he left the shop. He could not tell if the individual had a halo above his head or not: that shop was definitely up to something. The man turns out, as the view pans out, to be Rikou. He's discussing the events of that day, on the phone with Masaki, back home, so that Sammy can overhear.

He puts the phone down and asks Sammy a question. He starts, "About that shop", to which Sammy starts to appologise, but is interrupted by his command for coffee. He tells her that the coffee lately, has been delicious.She calls out a heartfelt 'thank you', that shocks him.

A separate phonecall, in an office that possesses an AR map much like the start of Act 1, is taking a much more sinister bent. Someone is watching Eve no Jikan, and has seen android individuality begin to manifest itself. The shop will be watched, but allowed to continue...for now.

Further Reading / Viewing

The meaning of Substrate Chauvinism

Eve no Jikan (ONA)

Homesite (Japanese)

EMiNA :: Society of Modern Visual Culture

EMiNA :: Society of Modern Visual Culture, English Translation Version, EVE no Jikan

Staff Comments

 


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