Eve no Jikan explores the time where androids, now commonly used as home servants, have become complex enough to be almost indistinguishable from ordinary human beings and their intelligence has reached a level where a few of them are starting to show signs of auto-re-programming, in other words, they are starting to do what they want because they want to.
Rikuo, the protagonist, knows that these machines are capable of making decisions to adapt to different conditions since that is their programming, but the slight improvement in the flavor of his coffee had no logical reason to be, he never ordered or asked for this, he never complained about the previous blend of coffee beans and its still readily available for consumption. His android had, on its own, taken the decision to change the blend without receiving an order or having a logical reason to do so; even worse, it did it because it thought Rikuo would like this blend better, a decision entirely based on a hunch, or to say it in another way, it felt that he might like that blend better.
It thought... it decided... it felt...
It may seem like the most innocent thing in the world, but this kind of decision making is what makes every single human being perfectly capable of breaking every single law conceivable.
If you are familiar at all with Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot" or at least any of the movie adaptations you will find this take on it quite interesting; mind you its only taking some ideas from "I,Robot" it's not even a spin-off or anything like such. Off the top of my head the 3 laws of Asimov were: "Do not harm human beings, or let them be harmed", "Always obey humans unless it comes into conflict with the 1st law", "self-preservation is a priority unless it conflicts with the 1st or 2nd law."
Being interrogated by a human would force an android to say the truth since they must obey the second law and a robot capable of taking its own decisions would be immediately disposed of as defective, so they incur in the most basic from of lie, hiding information. By maintaining secrecy of their sapience they can achieve self-preservation. If you know "I, Robot" this will ring some bells.
It all happens in a very special place, a café where androids and humans are to treat each other as equals (as humans) while in the premises; some kind of peaceful, neutral, gray zone; a very illegal gray zone by the way.
Rikuo finds out his house servant android has being going to this place for no specific reason, by following Rikuo's android movement log with his friend they find this café. They initially sense this place to be dangerous so they decide to follow the rule at least for the time being. Strangely enough, because of the nature of the rules of this place, they both start trusting these people, machines or not, more and treating them as equals (its mostly impossible to tell whether someone is a he/she or an It anyway).
The story may seem dark and serious but it isn't so much, there is a fair amount of humor and drama very well placed along the movie that keep it from being some kind of tragedy or full-on android rebellion like "I, Robot".
Robots that act like humans
That being said, by following the one rule on that café one is left to wonder, how much of their friendly interactions, expressions, tears and laughter is genuinely theirs and how much is a simple attempt at obeying the rule by imitating how a human would act?
Taking into account that even older, simpler, obviously artificial "clients" assist to this café insisting that they are humans, how much can you trust one of those new generation androids to actually have genuine feelings similar to a human's?
Eve no Jikan is a very interesting, relaxed looking movie, but it actually has a very high pace, a lot of information is exposed very fast and sometimes various different pieces of information at once, a lot is also exposed in a non-verbal way so be sure to watch very carefully all scenes. This makes it a movie with a surprisingly high rewatch value.