Time of Eve-rors

Animation mistakes are inevitable. They’re also amusing. Some fans laughed over a braid whiffing through Elsa’s arm during that big musical number in Disney’s Frozen. Others got angry about it, and that was doubly hilarious. After all, such mistakes are everywhere, from gleaming cinematic treasures to those dollar-bin knockoff cartoons seemingly composted of nothing but animation mistakes. Mike Toole put up a column and a Tumblr dedicated to anime gaffes, and this feed shows us that you’ll find goofs in just about every big-budget animated film.

But hey, those little slip-ups seldom harm the story. A security guard’s misshapen arm or a magical schoolgirl’s chameleon eyes won’t confuse the audience that much. At most, a few kids might wonder why Brawn and Windcharger show up in the background of third-season Transformers episodes even though they died horrifically in the movie. Then their parents can explain that cartoons are not always perfect and shatter one key childhood illusion.

My favorite animation error comes in Yasuhiro Yoshiura’s Time of Eve, and it may be the only time that such a mistake altered the entire context of a scene.

Time of Eve, or Eve no Jikan, is a six-part series set in a future where androids can pretty much look human—so much so that they wear legally mandated hologram halos. The TV even runs commercials admonishing citizens not to fall in love with machines. Average teenager Rikuo notices some odd datestamps surrounding his family’s house-bot, Sammy, and he and his friend Misaki track the mystery to a café called Time of Eve. Inside, androids discard their halos and act like regular humans, leaving newcomers like Rikuo and Masaki unable to tell just who’s a robot and who’s a meatform. 

The series twists through the guessing game with a gentle humor, wrapping character vignettes in awkward moments and upbeat music. It’s mostly a goof on the Asimovian ideals of robot behavior and society’s desperate attempts to keep its creations from being too much like the hu-man, and I almost wonder if there’s a point about women’s rights circling further down. Either way, it’s a great little series.

Time of Eve is also an Original Net Animation, a neologism for those anime productions that premiere online. Its look is clean and competent, but it clearly wasn’t given a movie's budget. So some animation gaffes happen.

One of Time of Eve’s android patrons is Akiko, who’s a gleeful chatterbox in the café and just another somber, dutiful drone outside of it. Rikuo and Masaki get their first surprise of the series upon spotting Akiko wandering their school with a 3-D halo over her head. At the end of the fourth episode, they spy her again as she walks past their classroom and grins almost imperceptibly.

As she plods down the hall, her hologram halo is gone. Masaki and Rikuo aren't shocked, but the same doesn’t go for Kayo, a classmate with a rather obvious crush on Masaki. She stands there, stupefied.

Upon this Original Net Animation’s first airing, some viewers debated: was Akiko deliberately messing with her fleshbag friends, or did the animators simply forget about her glowing headgear? Will Kayo report her for breaking a latter-day Law of Robotics? For answers, let’s check the final version of Time of Eve.

Yep, it was an animation error. Akiko wears her holo-halo in the final cut, and Kayo is now merely shocked at the implication that the guy she likes is more into robot women. Could be worse. He could be married to a dating simulator on his Nintendo 3DS.

The movie version of Time of Eve, having recently enjoyed a successful Kickstarter, also gives Akiko the halo. Strangely, it removes Kayo from the entire storyline. She’s mentioned only in a snippet of hallway gossip.

Of course, one can’t make too much of this. As with most glaring errors, Time of Eve’s DVD release fixed the mistake. But it’s the only case where I remember an animation glitch affecting narrative implications. So I’m justified in bringing it up, right? Right?

Oh well. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to talk about Time of Eve.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:22 AM

    This is a pretty interesting anime with a interesting error to combo!
    I know about a case close to this in Darker than Black 2. All vehicles in that series are made with CGI, but on the beginning of the series, some polygons attached at the wrong places of a 3D model after the rendering process made a car on the background look like a flying car without wheels. This was never mentioned again, until the final scene in the final episode, where some of the main characters ride the freaking flying car like it was intentional from the beginning. And they even did it while making a monologue about future and evolution...