Adam by Eve review: Netflix’s wild anime import introduces musical artist Eve

“Have you ever fallen asleep in class and woke up with a jerk?”

That’s more or less the most accurate way to express the Japanese singer and composer vibe that Eve (stylized as “E ve”) exudes in her work. For nearly a decade, cartoon Music video pursued the fleeting sense of a dream that felt too far-fetched for reality, but solid enough to be a memory. In his songs – featured in anime like Jujutsu Kaisen series and movies Josee, the tiger and the fish – everyone shares that weird feeling, where the line between dreams and repressed worries becomes blurred, manifesting in the crossover and fusion of music and different types of animation. Eve’s new audiovisual work Eve’s Adam: A Live In Animation, currently streaming on Netflix, is a multimedia experiment that sifts through all of his work so far. While it’s chock full of remixes and recalls of Eve’s history, it’s an astonishing, accessible summary of his visual and sonic style.

At the heart of the story is one of Eve’s past creations, “Hitotsume” (One-Eyed), a supernatural being that appears in Eve’s manga. Kara no Kioku and some of his music videos. Here, One-Eye is a mysterious creature that appears in everyone’s dreams, especially that of high school student Aki (actress/model Hanon) who is searching for his missing friend Taki ( singer/model Ano). Doesn’t take much time Adam by Eve to take on the general tone of the singer-songwriter’s music videos, it’s kind of a weird waking dream. This 58-minute music video/concert movie/animated dream diary pushes that idea to a logical end, with Eve’s dreams and fantasies infiltrating the real world, in the form of Cartoon beasts and monstrous minions crawl off billboards and drift across highways and rooftops.

Given that the work here encompasses much of Eve’s career, it’s appropriate that he once again call upon some of his closest collaborators. Chief among them: screenwriter and editor Nobutaka Yoda, who directed many of Eve’s music videos, such as “We’re still underground” and “Heart forecast. Nobutaka’s author voice may be the second biggest factor in Eve’s career. The movie also shows Eve rehearsing with Waboku, who directed the music videos for Eve’s “Okinimesumama” and “Tokyo Ghetto”. There, he directed the animation for the segment featuring the new song “Taikutsu o Saien Shinaide.”

Produced by Studio Khara, famous for Evangelion Rebuild quadrilogy (a series that in itself has shown an interest in animation colliding with the real world), Adam by Eve It felt like a flashback for Nobutaka as well as for Eve. The former member’s psychedelic music video for “We’re Still Underground” transforms fantasy into everyday life, as its protagonist drifts through a magical land as if nothing had changed from the city. he usually lives. The clash of color and texture, the real and the impossible, is extended in Adam by Eveeven when other directors take on special segments.

Adam by Eve recalls the raw and visual experimentation of indie anime rather than the blockbusters for which studios like Khara are primarily known. For most of the first half, Nobutaka was happy with his editing and textures being precise, superimposing animation and text on top of the composited and subdivided live-action image. It is often overwhelming, as if the artist’s imagination is exploding from his silhouette.

That blend of playfulness with a very heartfelt story is like the perfect embodiment of the relationship between Eve’s complex, upbeat, soaring compositions and his more melancholy lyricism. . Nobutaka’s use of overlapping letters also creates an interesting synchronicity with Eve’s preference to keep her face hidden during performances. Thus, Eve becomes another surface on which these animated images are projected, in a curious inversion of the artist’s usual relationship with these drawn figures acting as figures. represent him.

While animation is present throughout the entire film, only a few scenes are fully animated, as the story gradually builds towards the promise of media fusion. Fully animated sequences are dedicated to the new songs accompanying the film. Animator Khara Hibiki Yoshizaki (Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon A Time) directed the animation for the segment featuring Eve’s new song “Bōto” (“Mob”), a gripping macabre vision of a world first fully absorbed by One Eye, then undone in release of pent-up frustration in a combination of both 2D and 3D CG Animation. Then one of Eve’s most famous songs, “Kaikai Kitan” (the opening theme of Jujutsu Kaisen) became the symbol of the movie. As handled by visual effects artist group Kaki and animator Yūichirō Saeki, it exploded outwards in many media, as a triumph of suitability and devotion seen in the previous animation segment.

A series of clones of one-eyed Eve's alien character in a blue computer field in Adam By Eve

Image: Netflix

For some people, the phrase “live-action / animation hybrid” may remind you Who framed Roger Rabbit and its ilk. And the “adult anime photo album” can also bring back memories of Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystemsci-fi companion to Daft Punk .’s album Discoveror even the more recent Netflix musical anime project Sound and fury. But Adam by Eve doesn’t have much in common with those works – it takes a less structured approach to its visual storytelling. If anything, that first half recalls the groundbreaking work of House Director Nobuhiko Obayashi uses collage and superposition techniques, with cartoon elements infiltrating the live-action frames as a symbol of the supernatural. Outwardly, there is a bit House get in the way Adam by EveThe animation transforms the texture of the close-up real person into something more ethereal.

However, the project follows a few rules – cleverly, the film divides live action and animation between old and new songs – so songs like “Heart Forecast” already have music videos. The animation is restructured in this story. “Heart Forecast” specifically speaks to Aki’s longing for her friend as it reenacts her memory scene of frivolous pastimes. As a reminder of the song’s changed importance, the song’s music video plays on the screen in the background.

Admittedly, the meaning of Adam by Eve still a bit blurry on first viewing. In points, the One-eyed monster represents commercialism and conformity and possibly even patriarchy. At other times, he seems to represent more edgy concepts, like anxiety and romantic longing. There’s a surprising amount to unpack here, and it can be easy to miss some of the symbols of the artist’s frame of reference and context, which feel like they could be rewarded in retrospect, based on the amount of images of the movie. But simply looking at the fluid, gripping collision of dreams with reality, it’s a satisfyingly daring adult animation project, one who cares less about explicit story and more into visual expression for its own sake. In any case, it all has a very different feel to New Year’s Eve, like the projection of the singer’s mind directly into our world.

Adam by Eve To be stream on Netflix now. Adam by Eve review: Netflix’s wild anime import introduces musical artist Eve


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