HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
   
 
  Time of Eve Robot Cafe
Year: 2010
Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Stars: Jun Fukuyama, Kenji Nojima, Rie Tanaka, Rina Satou, Akio Nojima, Michio Nakao, Miki Itou, Mitsuki Saiga, Miyuki Sawashiro, Motomu Kiyokawa, Tomokazu Sugita, Unshou Shizuka, Yukana, Yuko Mizutani, Yuko Sanpei, Yuriko Yamaguchi
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Animated, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the not too distant future, androids have come into common usage as live-in servants, maids or bodyguards. The most recent models look exactly like humans except for the holographic halo encircling their heads. Like most people, teenage Rikuo (voiced by Jun Fukuyama) took robots for granted, till he noticed his android housemaid Sammy (Rie Tanaka) would wander off alone on certain days. One day, Rikuo and his school friend Masaki (Kenji Nojima) track her movements to a hidden café called Time of Eve. They are warmly welcomed by its friendly and attractive owner, Nagi (Rina Satou), who encourages them to be themselves. To their surprise, the boys discover Time of Eve is a place where robots behave just like humans - they gossip, flirt and bond over shared stories. Over time it becomes impossible for Rikuo and Masaki to discern humans from androids, something that proves cause for concern amongst the Ethics Committee - a government organization out to prevent robots from “infiltrating” the human race.

Robot girlfriends have long been a staple of juvenile romantic comedies in anime, but despite superficial similarities in its set-up, Time of Eve is not of the fan-boy wish-fulfilment sub-genre. Instead, creator Yasuhiro Yoshiura takes his robot concept in a more thought-provoking and disarmingly lyrical direction, one that continually surprises and charms. Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy and Japan’s foremost manga innovator and science fiction author, was once criticised for not adhering to the famous Three Laws of Robotics as lain down by celebrated SF writer Isaac Asimov. However, Tezuka pointed out that Asimov’s ideas were not actual laws set in stone, simply one man’s hypothetical concept, a concept he fully intended to challenge being heavily influenced by Shintoist and Buddhist beliefs. In Shintoism, all things, even inanimate objects, have a spirit. Buddhism posits that all things are capable of evolving into a higher form of life as they strive down the path to enlightenment. These ideas are at the heart of Time of Eve which adopts its android dreamers as a collective metaphor for social interaction in twenty-first century Japan.

In Japanese culture, people carefully cultivate an “outer persona” whilst keeping their innermost feelings and desires private, for fear of offending others. These social constraints, combined with further barriers erected by modern technology, have led to widespread feelings of alienation. Of course this equally applies to the wider world where all too often, fear holds us back from getting to know our neighbour. In the Time of Eve café, androids abandon their cold, emotionless, robot personas, along with their holographic halos, and express themselves freely. “ I want to understand humans better” says perky android girl Akiko (Yukana), then rather touchingly adds: “After all, we’re family.”

Countering the mistaken belief all “serious” science fiction should be dark and dystopian, this offers a more benevolent flipside to Test Pilot Pirx (1978) and Blade Runner (1982). One character even making a gag reference to that iconic Philip K. Dick adaptation and there are further in-joke nods to THX 1138 (1971) and The Terminator (1984) in delightfully tragicomic scene involving a clunky, malfunctioning robot whose scary appearance belies its cuddly nature. Nagi’s efforts to break barriers between robots and humans unfold over an array of alternately romantic, tragicomic or laugh-out-loud funny subplots whose episodic nature betrays the film’s origins via a series of ONA (original net animation) webisodes but build to a cohesive and involving story. Rikuo comes to question his previous feelings of superiority over robots and, in pondering what it is that makes us human, learns from their example. He starts to express his feelings openly and honestly. Meanwhile Masaki’s attitude towards the androids proves more complex. His first thought is the robots are part of some widespread conspiracy to usurp mankind. As we delve into his back-story, we discover Masaki was devoted to a clunky old robot named Tex (Mitsuku Saiga), who actually raised him, until his father (Akio Nojima) took drastic measures to sever their emotional bond. The various human-android relationships are quite poignantly drawn, although it is of mild disappointment that Sammy remains a stereotypically mild-mannered love interest when the Rikuo/Nagi relationship proves far more compelling. The film ends with a number of questions left unanswered which, alongside the tantalising end credit sequence that hints at some possibilities regarding what Nagi really is and what her mission might be, suggests a sequel could be on its way.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1213 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: