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Yasuhiro Yoshiura-san Answers your Questions

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1654 cr points
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Posted 12/12/08 , edited 12/12/08
Thank you everyone for your questions!!! We picked a handful of questions for director Yoshiura, and also for the series producer, Tom Nagae.

Thanks again to all the people who asked questions and help make this a successful, exclusive interview on Crunchyroll. Hope you enjoy this!

Yasuhiro Yoshiura responds:

1) How did you get this idea of making this anime?

I began working on the concept right after finishing my previous work, “Pale Cocoon,” at the end of 2005, I think. I don’t remember precisely when it was.

It started with the producer’s idea that I create an anime series. But, I’d only had production experience working solo or with a small production team, so I thought it would be difficult to suddenly create an anime series. So, I conceived of a “one situation drama” approach, creating just one 3D set, as a way to make it feasible. After all, I’d created a previous work using this approach. However, once I got to the stage of developing the project, it ended up going beyond just “one situation.”

So, I thought a lot about what kind of story to pick for that setting, and the basic idea developed into “the main character visits a certain café. There, he has some kind of mysterious experience.” With that as a departure point, I thought up a number of ideas and exchanged emails with the producer, but at one point I suddenly came up with the theme “the difference between humans and robots gets blurred.” I started fleshing out the story from there, and it turned into the present form.

Another thing was that I’d enjoyed reading science fiction by foreign authors like Asimov since I was a child, and I’d always liked the topic of “robots.” Also, I’d never fully liked the portrayal of androids in other anime works. It always seemed like androids were overly treated like humans, or else treated like slaves to the extreme, and there was no room for doubt regarding those viewpoints. For me, I’d always thought that therein lies a vast sea of confusion. So, from a different angle, I think you could also say there are few anime works that focus on the relationship between humans and androids.

2) from where did you get the name 'time of eve'?

I want to keep this a secret, so you can enjoy the story as it develops. If you stick with Rikuo and the others, you’ll find out!

3) Did you have any reference for your character designs? If so, what are they?

The character designs are also created by designer Ryusuke Chayama. I create the basic drawings, and he designs the images. There isn’t anything concretely that I’m using as a reference, but one thing I’ve talked with him about is “let’s use a simple design.”

4)Could you please talk about the similarities between "Aquatic Language 水のコトバ, ", "Pale Cocoon ペイル・コクーン", "Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou ヨコハマ買い出し紀行" and "Eve no Jikan"? Of note are: ingenius computer interfaces, coffe shops, human-android relationships.

I touched on this in my response to the first question, but it’s a fact that I used “Aquatic Language” as the base. “Aquatic Language” is a self-produced work from my university days, and I’d always thought it might be interesting to turn it into a series. And so I made that a reality when the opportunity came around.

The second common point is that the story is always “dramatic.” An easy to understand example from overseas is a situation comedies like “Full House.” I myself have done theater before, and I’m always thinking about how to apply the interesting aspects of drama to anime.

In terms of “Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou”, I know about it, but I haven’t actually read it. I’ll check it out!

5)Why did you decide not to focus on one or two character only like in other animes?

One reason that I can give is that I simply like ensemble dramatic works. As I mentioned above, I like theater, and I think theater has interesting ensemble works, more so than other genres. That’s one influence.

Another reason is that this work is a “one situation drama.” The setting is limited, so the story necessarily turns into the story of people who gather in a certain place. So, if I focused on just one or two people, I think it would be difficult to move the story forward. For example, it wouldn’t be that interesting if each time Rikuo came to the café and just talked with Nagi.

6)My question has to deal with the limits of the android's actions. Are they able to do anything as long as it does not go against the Three Laws of Robotics, or do all of their actions have to be linked always to the Three Laws? Both Rina and Koji seemed to be rationalizing their actions by saying it was all to "help their master", which is what caused me to question the inherent restrictions they must deal with since they're androids.

I think this is an issue about how you interpret the three laws of robotics, but in fact, these three laws are more complex than you might expect. For example, take the first law of not doing harm to humans and not allowing humans to come to harm. The definition of “harm” is left unspecified. For example, highly developed artificial intelligence, it seems like it would be impossible to deal with everything about the three laws with just a little bit of thought. In actuality, I recall that in Asimov’s novels there are depictions that touch on the uncertainty in the definitions of these three laws.

So, this is how I think about androids when it comes to “Time of Eve.” It’s not that they are restricted by the three laws, but rather they pour all their energy into abiding by the three laws. Just like humans live with a goal in mind, androids devote all of their actions and thoughts to the aim of realizing the three laws. I think this answers the question, but what do you think?

7)In you're own opinion if androids really existed do you think they should have human emotion/feelings?

I’m going to improvise a reply to this question. That reply is “I don’t know.” I have no idea which is correct. To go further, I don’t think it’ll be possible to give an answer until androids actually exist.

Questions answered by Tom Nagae, Producer

8) Why ONA release?
When we released Yoshiura’s previous work, “Pale Cocoon,” we had the painful realization that no matter how high the quality of the work, if people aren’t already familiar with it, then nobody will pay attention to it. For “Pale Cocoon,” we sold DVDs directly at Comike and the Tokyo International Anime Fair, and each time 2,000 to 3,000 people bought the DVD, but the one thing everyone told us was, “I didn’t know this even existed.”

So this time, our strategy is to build relationships with Japanese and international streaming sites that have the biggest audiences, to first give people the chance to get to know the series through free streaming. In that sense, our biggest goal for “Time of Eve” is to have fans get to know the world of Yoshiura’s works. We have confidence in the quality of his work, so if people just get to know him, then we are sure that we can follow through with the rest.

9) Will there be a DVD release?

We decided to insert a 3-month break in between episodes 3 and 4 in order to maintain the production quality of the series. But, people have just started getting into the series. For these fans, we know that 3 months is too long between episodes, so we decided to release limited edition single DVDs in Japan of each episode (3,000 DVDs per episode, without subtitles). Our hope is that fans will get to experience the “Time of Eve” world even more deeply through the DVDs.
We’re talking with distributors about the DVD release outside Japan, and are planning to come out with DVDs before the six episodes (i.e., the “first season”) are finished. We’re also considering a Blueray release with packaging that further expands the “Time of Eve” world.

10) How has the release over Crunchyroll affected the series? Why did you release it on Crunchyroll? Will it be more difficult to license the series?

We decided to partner with Crunchyroll because it has a network of passionate fans who genuinely love Japanese animation. We wanted to let these connoisseur fans know about “Time of Eve” and hear their responses. In fact, Yoshiura himself and the entire production staff read the passionate comments posted daily by fans on Crunchyroll, and it gives us a lot of encouragement. And, it inspires us to create a work with even better quality. In that sense, I think Crunchyroll creates an ideal relationship between fans and creators.

11) What other projects are in the works?

At DIRECTIONS, we have lots of indie creators around us who have a wide variety of styles and anime techniques. We’re aiming to produce their works, and create works with a variety of styles. If you get a chance, we hope you’ll check the Directions website regularly.
53324 cr points
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27 / M / USA
Posted 12/12/08 , edited 12/13/08
Nice Job!
9 cr points
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33 / M
Posted 12/12/08 , edited 12/13/08
It's wonderful to receive answers to our questions. I'd venture this is one of only a handful of times where the Japanese creators and staff took questions (mostly from people across the ocean) and answered them in the midst of production for the rest of the series.

I'm quite content with the reply I got for my question (#6), so thank you once again!
2177 cr points
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32 / F / Quezon City, Phil...
Posted 12/12/08 , edited 12/13/08
yes! some of my questions are answered..

thank you
2821 cr points
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Posted 12/13/08 , edited 12/13/08
when it comes to futuristic and realistic storytelling, i think this could be the best this year or so..

i like how yasuhiro-san answers the questions.

you know, i was thinking, i hope a great story like this can be passed to generations.

also hope that you can still improve both story and animation.

eve no jikan is the best on its own gendre
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31 / M
Posted 12/13/08 , edited 12/14/08
My personal favorite is Pale Cocoon. I liked how Mr.Yoshiura combined his exceptional style of story telling and amazing visuals and I found it to be thought provoking and very enjoyable. The last time I remember thinking this much after I watched an anime was after watching Serial Experiments Lain. If these shorts along side Time of Eve are meant to act as an introduction to Yoshiura's work, then I can't even imagine how good his work will become after people realize his brilliance and allow him to unleash his creativity. I would really appreciate it if he made more stuff like Pale Cocoon.

From this moment on, I'm a fan.

[Edit] I saw Yoshiura's interview on the NHK channel and that is when I first saw that an OVA called Pale Cocoon existed.
47 cr points
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31 / M / California, USA
Posted 12/15/08 , edited 12/16/08
As Pale Cocoon was such a topic, i'll say this:
I found Pale Cocoon through an AMV released by Nostromo called Galaxy Bounce (should be easy to find).
I thought the animation and world looked incredible, so i found and watched Pale Cocoon.

I absolutely love Time of Eve, and it's definitely my favorite among what's been released by Yasuhiru Yoshiura. I would love for the DVD stuff to come to America, preferably in it's original japanese format and the options for english subtitles! I would definitely purchase it, and share it with my friends.
26 cr points
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Posted 12/16/08 , edited 12/17/08
Aww! My question didn't make it. I didn't want Yasuhiro Yoshiura to reveal his whole gear! Just a couple of tips and stuff.
36051 cr points
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Posted 12/18/08 , edited 12/18/08
I was hoping for them to at least answer my Chocolate question. Oh well, 1 out of 4 isn't bad. And I also highly enjoyed "Pale Cocoon" (watched it twice). Keep up the good work guys!
98 cr points
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38 / F / Philippines
Posted 12/21/08 , edited 12/22/08
More companies should see what Directions did and deal with shinji-san like this! Maybe then we wouldn't be so worried about this shift Crunchyroll is making. I have no idea how money will be made this way, but the international exposure should benefit them in the long run.

Thank you for the answers. We'll be patiently waiting for the next episode.
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28 / F / OR, USA.
Posted 1/20/09 , edited 1/21/09
I wonder what's the closest thing to "androids" existing today. ^^

Might the director or producer know?
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48 / F / usa
Posted 1/21/09 , edited 1/22/09
I first saw a slide show synopsis of "Time of Eve" at I didn't realize CR had it until the change over this January - All I can hope for is that when it is released in the USA on DVD - it won't be ruined by lame US dubs. It'd be GREAT to get the episodes with subtitles on DVD with their origional japanese voices - and the subs with tasteful fonts & font colors.

(I cringe when I see bright yellow subs - Yuck) - and yes, there are subbed versions of anime in bright yellow by the US licensed distributors.

- I also when I hear English dubs - I can't stand it - no talent.

Ok enough about my personal opinions!

I really like what I've seen so far (I also watched Pale Cocoon - blew me away!) the message is thought provoking and inspires me to think! LOL

Thanks for the answers -
107 cr points
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37 / F
Posted 1/23/09 , edited 1/24/09
i wish to know how did u compose the 3d with the 2d in such a way?
(even the programs names will do, though i want to know more..) it so beautiful i must know..onegaii...^^
i'm about to start my short film (only 3 min long) and really can use tips on what program to use..
beside that, i love your work.
80109 cr points
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30 / M / USA
Posted 1/23/09 , edited 1/24/09
After watching the first 3 episodes, i'm hooked. Storyline and Design of the anime are awasome, even though it's not the usual genre i watch, but keep up the good work.

Also, why is every episode only 15 minutes long?
33 cr points
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Posted 2/1/09 , edited 2/1/09
I have so much respect for the creators of this Show. You are an example of quality that takes the medium to its limits. If this is the future of anime, I can sleep well at night.

Its also good to hear that you wanted to take the concept of androids and AI to new issues that have never been explored. I have always felt the same about it.

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