MOTHER: Saigo no Shōjo Eve (E.Y.E.S. of Mars), directed by Iku Suzuki. 80 minutes. December 26, 1993.
MOTHER: Saigo no Shōjo Eve was produced by Tōei Dōga, soon to become Tōei Animation Company Ltd., but it was commissioned by the M.O.T.H.E.R. Project, a pro-ecology environmental group. It was apparently designed to avoid the traditional anime look and to look more “American”. I don’t know if it was intended for American more than for Japanese audiences, but it was released in America on home video on September 9, 1997 (and is still available) by Celebrity Home Entertainment under the E.Y.E.S. of Mars title. It was often seen on the Sci-Fi Channel about that time.
MOTHER opens with a space fleet approaching Mars and apparently shooting it into rubble. An unnamed adolescent (later identified as Dew), a rebel, flees underground, going deeper and deeper, as a uniformed pursuer, Doorson, tries to kill him. The boy escapes; the pursuer radios that he is giving up the hunt because they have gone so deep that the air has become foul.
The title appears. But YouTube has two different versions of the main title; MOTHER for the Japanese release and E.Y.E.S. of Mars for the American release.
The movie resumes in what appears to be an unspoiled sylvan paradise. Dew runs happily through it. An old-fashioned stately mansion is located within it, at night. A voiceover establishes that it is a school for adolescent girls who have awoke in the forest two years ago with no prior memory. A girl, Eve Doorson, has a nightmare. Shaking books and a juddering lamp imply that the nightmare is resulting in telekinetic forces from Eve. She has a vision of everything being destroyed in flames and screams, awakening other the other girls. A headmistress, Ms. Theodore, tells Eve that it was only a bad dream, but Eve insists it is more. She is afraid it is a premonition of the world being destroyed. Another girl, Sarah, is seen watching.
The scene shifts to a high-tech observation post with three people; Mr. Sheldon, a bureaucrat; Ms. Theodore; and a technician. Sheldon demands to know why Eve is having nightmares when her charts do not show any unusual mental activity. Ms. Theodore wants to have all the girls’ memories restored. Sheldon says that it is impossible to change E.Y.E.S.’s rules.
The next day, some girls are tired of being awakened by Eve’s nightmares, but they are impressed when Sarah invites her to the library. They say that Sarah is the highest-ranked girl in the school and all the other students are scared of her.
Another scene shows that the girls are being spied on at all times, including when they are having classes in the forest. Ms. Theodore tells the girls that they are there to develop their Inner Mind training. Become one with the forest; the universe. One girl, Cynthia, can see the life force of a plant. Ms. Theodore calls on Eve to mentally stop a leaf from falling, which she has trouble doing. After the class, in the library, Sarah tells Eve that they are alike; she also has the same dream. Eve and Sarah become close friends; during this time Eve’s Inner Mind power increases so noticeably that everyone comments on it. Ms. Theodore confronts Sarah about it, but Sarah refuses to answer.
Dew sneaks into Eve’s room at night and tries to force her to come to the city with him, to find her parents and learn the truth. Eve asks for time to think about it. She goes to Sarah to ask her advice. Sarah orders her to stay indoors, and goes into the forest after Dew, but she turns out to be an enemy who attacks him. He escapes.
Meanwhile Eve, in Sarah’s room, concentrates and remembers her past childhood. At the same time, Eve’s parents, Mary and Arron Doorson, see her image through her mental power. Eve tells the other girls that she has regained her memory and they all have parents in the city. In the observation center, Sheldon tries to deny Eve’s mental power. He gets a call from Mayor Alister in the city, that Arron Doorson, a friend in the city’s police force, has gotten a mental contact from Eve at the E.Y.E.S. Training Center. Sheldon says that is impossible. Alister pretends to believe him, but she clearly doesn’t. After Doorson leaves, Mr. DeCardin, the chief of security appears. He asks how the life support systems are doing. Alister says that the life support is failing. Air, water, and food are almost depleted, and the city will quickly self-destruct. It will be the end of life on Mars and of humanity. Their only hope is if E.Y.E.S. awakens the girls’ mental powers, as opposed to DeCardin’s reliance on technology.
Dew finds Eve, who is now enthusiastic to go with him and find her parents. Dew takes her up to the city, demonstrating that the forest and the E.Y.E.S. Center is under the city. Sarah tries to stop them, but Dew forces their way into an elevator and they go to the surface. Eve is shocked by how rundown and filthy the city has become. Dew says that the city and Mars are dying, and that only Eve can save them. Ms. Theodore, radioing to Sheldon, says that everything has become very confused. She is no longer supporting any faction; she only wants to know the truth.
Dew says that the city was built by the Messenger 25,000 years ago; then he put himself into suspended animation. They (the rebels) need Eve to contact him telepathically to ask him what to do to save Mars. Dew introduces Eve to Patriarch Chalidon who takes her to him. Eve’s parents have joined the rebels. Sarah reveals that she is the niece of DeCardin, and she was planted at the E.Y.E.S. school to prevent the rebels from contacting the students. DeCardin says that it no longer matters. The authorities have decided to give up relying on Inner Mind power and to give all support to technology.
Eve contacts the Messenger. After 25,000 years, he no longer has a body so he takes over Eve’s. He tells their history: 25,000 years ago, humanity inhabited the fifth planet, Atlas. They destroyed it in warfare (it became the Asteroid Belt), and all survivors migrated to the fourth planet, Mars, where they built Atlan City; the city. Now that they have used up Mars’ habitability after 25,000 years, they have two choices: to develop their mental powers and live more with nature, or to continue with technology. The latter includes abandoning Mars and migrating to the third planet, Earth. The Messenger and the rebels believe in living with nature rather than technology. They have the support of Mayor Alistair, but DeCardin and the technologists have seized an Ark to migrate to Earth. The Ark is under the city and forest, so its takeoff will destroy both.
Everything is destroyed, and everyone is killed. Yet there is a happy ending: the spirits of the Messenger, the rebels, and all the E.Y.E.S. students migrate as pure minds to Earth to create Atlantis, 30,000 years ago.
The moral is to not destroy your environment; to live with nature, not technology. And we never find out what E.Y.E.S. stands for. Or how the forest existed underground. (That alone must have accounted for a whopping usage of Mars’ technology.) Or why, at the end, Mary and Arron Doorson go from overlooking the city on Mars to floating in spacesuits above Mars.
Complete movie – MOTHER title – bad sound
Complete movie – EYES of Mars title – better sound
Next week: “Forgotten” OAVs #26.