Every Witch Way but Loose

hisui_icon_4040 I am hardly a person unfamiliar with pessimism. As I always joke that some people see the glass half filled, some people see it half empty, but I see it close to empty and probably filled with poison. But at times I have to wonder what dark pool of empty dread like the stare of the Great Old Ones must people be drawing their fears from to get so fatalistically morbid. There is a world of difference between being slightly cynically cautious and unhealthly fatalistic.

Oddly enough Masaaki Yuasa’s “Kick-Heart” Kickstarter seemed to draw out a lot of this negative aura. What should have been a moment of triumph had the feeling of a Pyrrhic victory. It invoked a scene were in the village was technically saved but as the heroes survey the ruins of their home they wonder if they paid a higher price than it was worth. But in many ways the recent smashing success of Time of Eve and Little Witch Academia proves that maybe people were worried over nothing.

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New York International Children’s Film Festival 2011

The New York International Children’s Film Festival is one of the many things that makes me happy I live in NYC. Truth be told I’d probably see all the films if I had the means. Normally, I’d make sure to see all the anime on the list but I just couldn’t bring myself to watch Welcome to the Space Show again, sorry! So instead we opted for some more international flare.

This year our sampling of the New York International Children’s Film Festival is truly an international experience. While there was an outstanding anime in the lineup, two-thirds of our selections were from non-Japanese animated features. We took in a French film as well as one from China. While a single film is hardly a full representation of the animated output of their respective countries it is still a fun thought experiment to compare and contrast them.

Time of Eve, while not new to me, was still a high priority. Not only did I love the ONA but I wanted to support the title in the hopes of seeing more from its creators or more specifically a continuation to Time of Eve itself. It also helped that the movie has an extra 15-minutes of footage. Time of Eve explores the relationship between human and robot when the lines start to blur. Titles that tackle this subject are about realizing your own humanity and acknowledging it around you, in Time of Eve we explore it through two teens, Rikuo and Masaki. The series is just as engaging a second time around with thoughtful amounts of drama, comedy, and questions. The additions to film are learning just a bit more about a couple of characters, but both of these additions just make you wish the series would go on to tells us their stories further. Like any true movie go-er should, watch through the credits as the stills actually tell you a new story and there is a scene after as well.

We went into the Time of Eve having seen a majority of the movie and knowing it was very good. If you are curious about the ONA series you can check out our review of it or watch it yourself on Crunchyroll. The question on our minds was what was added when they turned the series into a movie. It turns out they added a few new scenes which are mainly used to stitch the 6 episodes together while providing some major insights into the characters and world of the Time of Eve. The major benefit is the Ethics Committee is always being prominently mentioned from the beginning of the movie so they don’t move to the forefront only in the last episode like in the original. The extremely mysterious Setoro also gets a good deal more fleshing out while still retaining his enigmatic nature. They also make the origins of Nagi and the cafe a bit more obvious with a completely new epilogue during the credits. The movie itself is worth a watch for original fans of the show just for those revelations alone. While the movie does make a few things clearer it does introduce some new characters and questions and in doing so is practically begging for a second season. I truly hope that this movie is able to raise the interest and capital to make more of this wonderful science fiction series.

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Time of Eve, All About Eve

Narutaki and I found this series when we were doing our overview of Crunchyroll. We decided to check it out on a whim and were impressed how well it was done for something that was otherwise completely off our radar. It is fascinating series for a number of reasons. It is a sci-fi series in a time when sci-fi series seem so rare. It is also an ONA not based on an established property. I am hardly the most informed anime fan but I usually have a decent idea of what is out there. So when any modern title comes out that I do know about it is always intriguing.

I stumbled across Time of Eve and I don’t even recall how beyond the fact that it was on Crunchyroll while I was testing the site out. Though I am always interested in short series to check out in between other longer shows. Time of Eve fit into this doubly so because the episodes came out rather infrequently and minus the final episode run only 15 minutes long. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking this show doesn’t do anything, it uses its minutes very wisely.

  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.

In a deliberately unspecified time in the near future robotics has advanced to the point where androids are nearly indistinguishable from humans. They are so hard to tell apart that androids have halos over their heads to identify them. One day Rikuo notices that the android his family owns, Sammy, keeps disappearing from time to time. After some investigation he discovers that she has been going to a cafe named the Time of Eve. In this cafe no halos can been seen in hopes of promoting everyone treating each other as equals no matter who they are. Rikuo and his friend Masaki soon start coming to the cafe and slowly learn more about complexities of the dynamics between humans and robots.

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