Time of Eve
(イヴの時間, Ivu no Jikan
?) is an anime produced by Studio Rikka and DIRECTIONS, Inc. using 2D characters with 3D background. The first episode was streamed on 1 August 2008 on Yahoo! Japan, the second on 1 October 2008, the third on 1 December 2008, the fourth on 1 May 2009, the fifth on 1 July 2009 and the sixth on 18 September 2009. The official website mentions the series as "first season" leaving the second season a possibility, but it has not been confirmed.
"Time of Eve the Movie: First Season Complete Edition" premieres theatrically in Japan on March 6, 2010.
In the not too distant future androids have come into common usage. Rikuo, who has taken robots for granted for his entire life, one day discovers that Sammy, his home android, has been acting independently and coming and going on her own. He finds a strange phrase recorded in her activity log, "Are you enjoying the Time of Eve?". He, along with his friend Masaki, traces Sammy's movements and finds an unusual cafe, "The Time of Eve". Nagi, the waitress, informs them that the cafe's main rule is to not discriminate between humans and androids. Within the cafe androids do not display their status rings, and, when patrons depart, the door is automatically locked for two minutes to prevent someone from following them to discover their true nature.
The first few episodes involve conversations between Rikuo (usually accompanied by Masaki) and the cafe regulars: the bubbly Akiko, child Chie and her elderly guardian, the lovers Koji and Rina, and others. These conversations make frequent allusion to Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, often highlighting surprising interpretations of those laws, some of which form apparent loopholes. The overarching plot involves the beginnings of independence displayed by the androids, what they do with that independence within the bounds of the three laws, and what motivates them. Secondary plots involve the individual stories of each android the protagonists encounter in the cafe, and how they come to discover which patrons are androids and which are not.
Rikuo is a high school student and a very talented piano player. After winning the grand prize at a competition where a robot was the guest pianist, he decides to give up playing, since the robot played so well that he was moved by the performance. Like most other people, he treats robots and androids like appliances. He becomes curious of Sammy's activities when he notices that she comes and goes from the apartment at odd times. While reviewing her activity and GPS log, he finds an entry that says, "Are you enjoying the Time of EVE?" Retracing her steps, he discovers the cafe, Time of Eve, where humans and robots are treated as equals.