On the Couch: EVE no Jikan 1–Prologue
~Are you enjoying the time of EVE?~
The past few days have been pretty hectic but I decided to pick up Eve no Jikan at Ottocycle’s recommendation – and I’m glad I did.
Anyway, this is going to be the first of the “On the Couch” series here in MechaPot so I’d better introduce it properly first. In this post, I’ll be discussing randomly and writing down my thoughts accompanied by screenshots depicting which scenes I’ll be talking about. So basically, as if I’m there talking your ear off while we rewatch the anime. Of course, comments are more than welcome as it’d then become a real discussion xD. Oh and SPOILERS ABOUND!
Eve no Jikan is a 6 episode long series which explores a dystopian world where androids have become commonplace, serving in almost every household as well as doing menial jobs. The concept has been lifted straight out of Isaac Asimov’s books, particularly the more famous “I, Robot” amongst the other short story compilations that the legendary sci-fi author has written on robots. They follow the same 3 laws of robotics which are:
1) A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
It is likely that, similar to Asimov’s robots, Eve no Jikan’s androids and robots have these 3 laws as the base from which the artificial intelligence is wound around – meaning that it is virtually impossible to override or modify these laws (ep 6 illustrates the this quite clearly).
Prologue – Home
Rikuo (our megane protagonist) is downloading Sammy’s (his household’s android meido) movement data into his mobile phone (!!!). This scene is LOADED.
First thing you’d notice is that you can’t tell who is the android for the first few seconds, especially when they both sit there unblinking and motionless, until the camera pans out to reveal Sammy’s cybernetic insides. The second thing you’d notice is that hey Sammy’s got a cool glowing ring floating above her head…but more on that in a later post.
Rikuo and his sister, Naoko, ‘converse’ with Sammy via mechanical-sounding commands like “status: family” and at one point he actually stumbles, almost asking Sammy a question in a normal fashion as if she was human. However, what’s interesting is that you’ll shortly find out that the androids are more than capable of understanding everyday human language, so why is it that Rikuo and Naoko go to the trouble of forming awkward orders? The likely explanation is that this is the way humans ensure that the line between human and android is kept distinct – an allusion to racism no doubt.
Naoko probably represents a “normal” person in the current dystopian society of Eve no Jikan. She is well aware of the differences between human and android and has no wish to change that. This doesn’t make her a bad person, despite the scathing statements she makes such as the one in the above screenshot – peer pressure is intense enough, imagine what it’s like on a society level.
Wow, talk about propaganda. Xenophobia and racism is indeed ungrateful. I’m a person whose thought processes work in a very logical manner and this sequence on the television made me extremely queasy. It’s just so stupid but then also so typical for humanity to find a reason to self destruct…this is why we just can’t have anything nice. So what’s wrong with food created by machines? The first law ensures that the food will not harm you and the second law ensures that none of your friendly robot workers are slacking off. If farmers and corporations manufacturing our food now followed these 2 laws, I’d be so much more at ease.