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EVE no Jikan (The Time of Eve) Act 3 - Koji & Rina
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EVE no Jikan (The Time of Eve) Act 3 - Koji & Rina

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 episode, number three, predominately concerns itself with Koji and Rina; the couple seen in both previous episodes, very much in love.

As 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 3, with no credit sequence.

It opens on a couple laying in bed, Koji and a strange woman. Koji staring up at the ceiling. Both are fully clothed, and no halos are visible anywhere. Shortly after, Koji gets up and leaves, leaving Rina asleep on the bed.

The scene switches, to a very familiar house. Naoko is lounging on the couch, staring at the news. A reporter is saying on the tv, "no matter how similar they look, they are still different from humans of flesh and blood". Mention is made of sexaroids, and she quips to herself that sexaroids are going to make a declining birth rate even worse. Changing the channel, she sees a man and woman, backs to the camera, watching a sunset. she has an android halo above her head.


An early hint at the promise of mixed relationships

Rather than just stand there, he slowly tumbles to one side, and she follows, leaving just the sunset. A message on the screen flashes up "love does not exist there." Its a commercial, warning against the dangers of interracial love, between humans and androids.

Sammy appears, heading out of a door behind Naoko, and she quips that this commercial has been appearing more and more, recently. Naoko commands Sammy to tell her Rukio's status. Sammy replies that he's left the house, and gives the exact time he did so -12:03 pm.

Rukio is having lunch, and guess where he's eating? Eve no Jikan seems to occupy his spare time more than ever. Naga is quipping this to him, just as the scene switches to that underground cafe/shop/equality centre. Masaki is there also, and Naga says offhand that unlike Rukio, she thinks he is a bit of a deliquent - he's skipping classes. She leaves them to it, as the cat-girl from last episode steals another person's glasses.

Most of the people in the cafe are regulars, and the boys are starting to recognise them on sight. Still, they don't really know any, other than Akiko, the girl Rukio had something of a crush on when he thought she was human. He still might. They look at the couple sitting together in a quiet corner. Masaki quips that its an android lover getting funky with his own android, apparently desiring to mix stereotypes together.

The two stare at the couple as things get more and more intimate and expressive between them - then the boys start having a go at one another for staring. Naga catches them, and invites Koji and Rina over for a friendly get-together. Now seems a good time for a reminder of the rules.


It is very difficult to try to work out who is human and who synthetic when the rules prohibit asking

Immediately after this, a hand - presumably Nagi's - reaches out to a laser keyboard drawn on the counter, and inputs commands to lower the lighting level. A man near the counter, next to Akiko asks Naga if that was really necessary, wouldn't it have been better to just let things develop naturally rather than dropping the boys and the couple in the deep end? Hints that there might be much more to the shop than there seems. Naga says that four people would stimulate more conversation, and the man puts out a hand to restrain Akiko who was starting to head off to make it five.

The scene fades out.

It returns to the cosy group of four, with the couple - Koji and Rina - on one sofa, the boys Rukio and Masaki on another, with a table in the uncomfortable zone between them. For some time, no-one speaks. Rina finally introduces them, breaking the silence, and half-bows. Immediately both boys focus on her chest. Masaki diverts attention by introducing them both. He hugs Rukio during the intro, and Koji smiles saying the two of them get on well together as an item. Queue much stammered denial, and embarrassed explaining that they misunderstand, its not like that. It does at least, break the ice.

Rina's feminine movements are gettign too much for Rukio, who follows every single one with his eyes, growing increasingly uncomfortable as she leans in to kiss Koji. Eventually, the world is just her, and her movements, until Masaki punches him, hard. The sound pulls attention from all round the cafe. A new embarrassed silence begins.

Masaki asks if they come to the cafe together, as they come in often. Koji says that no, they come in separately. It seems neither knows if the other is an android, and neither cares. they lapse into silence again.

At the bar, the man quips how things are going splendidly, and Naga just laughs.

Rukio spies that Koji has a cameraphone, and tries the angle of technology to stat a conversation going. Koji lets him have a look at the phone, which he has customised the hardware of, giving a massive data storage capacity, and Rukio notes that it has the ability to link with other devices, so he links it with the table display to see what happens. A montage wall of all the recent photographs blossoms into very public life in the air above the table.


Koji really doesn't like these being public

Rina sees one she doesn't like, and rises, pointing at it with her finger. It enlarges as she does so. It shows Koji in bed with another woman. Just their heads together. All goes silent as everyone digests it.

Koji stutters out that its not what she's thinking it is. She turns to him angrily and he takes a step back. Looking down sadly, she remarks on how far away his heart is. How she feels uneasy no matter how often they meet, or what they do together. Now, she knows the reason. Her leg gives out from under her and Koji moves to stop her falling. She asks to be left alone, and heads upstairs.

Naga arrives to check on them, and sees the tail end of the scene, and a disappearing Rina. The party breaks up, everyone entering separate conversations, and Rukio goes to check on Rina. He peers from behind a stack of storage boxes, as he sees her, her back to him, against a support column. She lifts her leg onto a chair and pulls her dress up her leg slowly, as his eyes get wider and wider. Then, she exposes a hatch, with damaged wiring there. Rukio gasps at the sight, and her head looks up and straight at him.

Neither moves for a moment.


Rina has at the least, a prosthetic leg. Is she an android?

The scene fades out as a voice states 'protected witness has arrived'.

In the new scene, a girl who looks much like Rina is sitting in the back of a car as a bullet hits the window, spider-webbing it into pieces. She bolts out of the car and makes a run for it, into the building the car is alongside. The scene fades back to Rina and Rukio.

"I was deployed as my master's bodyguard," she says, speaking softly so Rukio can hear. "The emergency repairs were incomplete."

Rukio asks if coming here is for Koji's...her Master's protection. She replies that no, its her own initiative. He continues, asking if her leg should be looked at by the manufacturer. She pauses, looks down, and crosses her arms for a bit before she replies. She cannot have anything to do with her legal manufacturer, the company who made her body. They must not know that her master's companion is an android. Nobody can know, or it would be harmful for him. Besides, she values the time she spends with the others at the cafe. To her, that's more important than a leg repair.

She then says that in the shop, she is the one who acts the least human, isn't she? She fears being found out and destroyed, but feels it is going to happen sooner or later. She is consciously resisting her inbuilt adaptive routines, exerting her own willpower against base programming, because Koji, who is not her master, treats her like a human lady, gives her a bright spark in her existence.

The woman in the photograph was a shock, but the happiness Koji gives her, is too great to let go over something like that. She is going back.

Rukio bursts out about the coffee suddenly, confusing Rina. He says he was angry when the taste of the coffee he drank at home changed, but then found he liked it, it made him a little happier. He urges Rina to tell Koji. Even though he is a human, he will understand, love is love. Rina catches it and asks why Rukio thinks like that. He stops, blushes, and an image of Sammy goes through is mind. Something on his face gave him away because Rina reads it, clearly. She tells him gently that he knows those feelings, doesn't he, the feelings he had when he discovered. Collapsing against hte storage racks, he sighs.

The scene changes to Masaki and Koji, back in the seating area. The cameraphone pictures are displaying again, and Masaki asks Koji directly, how come there is not one single picture of him and Rina together. All these scernes, all these people, and not once are the two lovers photographed together. He quips that "it would be bad if people knew you had a pretend lover. Unless this other one is a robot too."

Koji blurts out, that Rina is not a robot. She is not his protend lover.

Masaki climbs on the table, through the projected display, demanding to know which lover is real.Koji looks at him and says that what he is trying to say is that love isn't just love. For a human, a human partner is best, is what Masaki means when he gets annoyed. Masaki agrees.

Koji looks down at his hand, flexing it as he speaks in short sentences about how he knows that, he does know it. He says that Masaki is right; they cannot transcend the relationship between human and andriod; there are some things they just cannot share. He sighs, and lowers his voice. "You see, I just want to help my master."

Masaki is utterly shocked, completely and utterly stonewalled. His whole argument laying in tatters around him, at this simple revelation. The woman in the photograph, is Koji's owner. He's an android.


Even after repeated close interaction, it took Koji's own admittance to know any difference existed

His master, doesn't want a human lover, she's happier with Koji, and a trip through Koji's memories in flashback form explains this. She dreams herself of becoming a robot, and is more than satisfied with the android in her life. Koji on the other hand, has severe self-esteem issues, and tries to find her a human lover. If that fails, then he must endeavour to be as knowledgeable as a human lover, for her benefit.

When he first met Rina, he felt she was the same as his master. The way she behaves and touches him, is almost exactly alike. The fleeting expressions, just the same. He hopes by understanding Rina, he will understand his master.

He begs Masaki to keep this from Rina, he doesn't want to hurt her. Masaki says that it is the cafe's rule. He shuts the display down as Rina and Rukio step out. He says his goodbyes, and both move to another table, leaving the couple sitting together on the bench.


Rina and Koji, both too afraid to admit to the other that they are synthetic

Rukio says there are all sorts of them as the two settle down. Masaki asks "androids?", and gets in reply "humans too."

The boys realise that thanks to the rules, its the same for androids as it is for humans. Both believe the other is human, both are trying to do the best by one another, and both get joy out of it. They might both be androids, but its normal love.

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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