Friday, December 5, 2008

Eve no Jikan 03: Eve Lovers

Rikou and Masaki learn more about Eve Cafe's resident lovers...
ACT 03: Koji & Rina
More Screencaps from Eve no Jikan Act 03

The scene opens with a close-up of a man (the other half of the Eve Cafe couple) and a woman. The camera pans out and we see that the two of them are in bed. The woman is clinging to him and he looks mildly tortured. Eventually, he leaves her side, leaving her alone on the bed. In another part of the city, his woman lover is waiting by a car with a man in a black suit who keeps talking to his earpiece.
In Rikou's home, his sister Nao is watching a TV broadcast about android-holics yet again, this time sharply reminding viewers that love between androids and humans is not real. Nao starts to comment about the phenomenon but stops herself when she realizes that Sammy is present. Next, she asks for Rikou's status and Sammy promptly answers that he is having lunch outside.

At that moment, Rikou is, of course, with Masaki at the Eve Cafe. All the usual people are there: Akiko is getting chummy with the strange guy from before while the couple are still lovey-dovey with each other. At Nagi's suggestion, Rikou and Masaki decide to next get to know the cafe's resident couple.
The guy's name is Koji while the woman introduces herself as Rina. To his horror, Rikou finds that he can't take his eyes off Rina's delectable assets. Fortunately, Masaki is there to keep him from making a complete fool of himself. Next, Rikou's eyes fall on Koji's digital camera and can't stop himself from checking it out. However, Rikou makes a blunder when he activates the "m-link," which projects the camera's entire gallery. Several of the photos include Koji and the woman from earlier. Rina naturally feels put off by this and excuses herself.
Rikou goes after Rina but inadvertently sees her examining one of her legs. He makes the shocking discovery that she is in fact an android, as revealed by the mechanical parts underneath her faux-flesh. It seems Rina got her wound while rescuing her master from an assassin. Rikou, thinking that Koji is Rina's master, makes the erroneous conclusion that Koji is a VIP. He attempts to comfort her by saying that just as the Evlend coffee taste eventually grew on him, so will things start to get better for her. Rina then makes the discovery that Rikou actually understands (or at least, tries to understand) her.
Back at the table, Masaki and Koji are having their own disintended conversation. Masaki is skeptical about Koji's feelings for Rina, even going so much as to call it make-believe. But Koji insists otherwise. He then reveals that Rina reminds him of his master, her gestures and even the looks she gives him. He says that he feels sorry for her and doesn't want to hurt her. Masaki concludes that by this, Koji is operating under the First Law of Robotics. Just then Rikou and Rina return. The boys leave the table to give the couple some time alone.
The next day, Rikou and Masaki finally get their stories straight. Where at first they thought that either one of the couple was an android, serving the other as master, now they realize that both are androids, serving different masters. Even more amazing is that even Koji and Rina haven't realized that they are the same -- androids. The whole thing amuses Rikou as he likewise makes the realization that the two are actually acting like a real couple, keeping things from each other, worried that the other might get hurt. Masaki, being his usual skeptical self, insists that love between androids must be fake but Rikou only smiles.

That evening, Rikou comes home to only Sammy as Nao is out. While Sammy fixes him dinner, Rikou comments about her hairband (yet another accessory, courtesy of his mother perhaps?). Sammy wonders if Rikou doesn't like it, which comment embarrasses Rikou so much that he can't say a word. He probably doesn't dislike it.

OMG, I totally knew it! My exact words in my comments on Episode 2 is this: "As for the couple, I think they're both androids." And I was freakin' right!!! Haha. Forgive me. I can't help but gloat because my speculations are often way off. But this time I was right on target.

NAO - She's not as apathetic towards androids as she wants people to believe. When she realized it was Sammy there instead of Rikou, she actually held herself in check. Of course, it could mean that she was not willing to get into normal "human" conversation with an android. But when she didn't even bother to finish her statement and instead asked Sammy for Rikou's status, it felt as if she was forcibly reminding herself that Sammy is just an android. A question then: if you have to remind yourself about the existential nature of a thing, doesn't that mean that you have come to see it as other than what its nature makes it to be? A true existentialist wouldn't even second-guess and just brusquely treat an object for what it is, without adding or substracting anything.

KOJI - I can understand him merely obeying the first law and nevertheless finding a loophole, which allows him to carry on a relationship with Rina. He justifies the relationship by the fact that Rina reminds him of his master and that by being with her at the cafe, the traditional barrier between master and android is somehow removed, allowing him to "love" his master back (something he can't do in the outside world without putting his master to harm). It's quite selfish what he's doing, whether you look at it from Rina's point of view or from his master, but he's not breaking any law.

RINA - Her story is a lot less clear. I can't quite figure out which law she is obeying. Is she using Koji as a substitute for her master (he's doing the same thing)? She tells Rikou that she feels inadequate around her master. Then perhaps, Koji makes feel more than adequate, but if that is the sole reason she is with him, it is thoroughly selfish and I still don't get what law she is obeying. Maybe, the question is not what law she is obeying but what law she is breaking. Because when you look at it that way, Rina, like Koji, has found a loophole in the laws. She is free to love Koji without breaking any of the three laws of robotics.

MASAKI - Still the skeptic but he can't hide his kind nature. I have a feeling he got mad at Koji that one time, not because he thinks Koji is just an android pretending to have human feelings but that he thinks he (Koji) is lying. Masaki realizes that Koji is just using either woman as substitute for the other. I wonder if that changes the way he thinks? But then again, he was the first to accept that androids are capable of acting independently of their masters so long as they do not break any of the three laws of robotics. His curiosity is more academic and he is not entirely closed to the idea of an android's individuality.

RIKOU - For a guy who was quick to deny his own android's individuality, he seems more apt now to think of them as capable of "human" feelings. But this behavior of his only occurs while he is at the cafe. He fits the description of a closet android-holic. I wonder if his little experiments at the cafe would help him get out of his shell more.

As usual, great production. Admittedly, this episode lacks some of the more unusual camera angles that feature much in the first two episodes, but it makes up for it by the use of humor on more than one scene. The use of humor, of course, not only serves to entertain the viewers and lighten the mood but to subtly show how our two characters are starting to feel comfortable at the cafe.

UP NEXT -- Act 04: Nameless. It'll be out in January 2009. I can't wait.