Episode 1 Impressions: Plastic Memories

Humans living with androids is a common theme in the world of fictional writing. It just seems like a logical next step for technology. Although few stories really focus on the concept of android disposal and life spans. Which is exactly what Plastic Memories seems to dive into.

e1plasticmemories06Synopsis
Tsukasa Mizugaki is starting his first day working with the manufacturer of Giftia (or androids), called SAI. Although after arriving at the headquarters, he discovers that the Terminal Service Department he’s working with actually takes place in a small building behind the headquarter’s gigantic skyscraper.

He shrugs this off, partially, and introduces himself to his new coworkers before asking the best question possible, “What exactly is the Terminal Service Department?” Well, in this world of Giftias and humans living together, Giftia only have a 81,920 hour life span (a little over 9 years). After that point, they begin to malfunction, so retrieval is important.

Each member of the department is paired up with a Giftia and the two work as a team to retrieve Giftia from clients. The human acts as a spotter and keeps the e1plasticmemories04Giftia in check, while the Giftia work as negotiators and work to bring the Giftia back safely. Naturally, since humans form bonds with their human-like Giftia, the process isn’t always so simple.

Some humans reject the loss of their Giftia, some close the door on agents, and some flee their home with Giftia in tow. Each of these cases, seemingly happening one after another for the newbie Tsukasa.

Being set on his own with his Giftia Isla, Tsukasa is faced with a shut in grandmother who doesn’t want to let her Giftia Nina go. Nina is young in appearance and seems to have become a granddaughter in bonds.

After Isla is brought into the house by a series of events, the grandmother overhears Nina’s concerns of becoming a burden to her grandmother because of e1plasticmemories12her nearly ended life span. It’s for this reason that the grandmother finally decides to let Nina go, putting aside her obvious selfishness.

Thoughts
During our podcast preview of the Spring 2015 season, I called out that Plastic Memories could end up being the surprise hit of the season.  Mainly because I didn’t hear many speaking on it.  Despite it being written by the same mind behind Steins;Gate.

Thankfully, my hopes for this series became solidified by a great deal of world building, comedy, and emotionally charged moments.  All within a single episode.  It’s a fairly common type future setting with androids and humans living side-by-side, but taking it into the realm of android retrieval makes it a different feel altogether.

e1plasticmemories16The characters, aside from a few, were decent enough, but my focus really turned to the characters they were interacting with.  Trying to gather exactly what each client was going through.  Be it friendship, love, or even family.

My main fear in the series is that it seems to be taking a very simple concept of “shattering bonds” and rolling with it.  It’s obvious that watching an old lady lose a girl that she’s made into her grandchild would be upsetting.  However it’s also very cheap writing and not very ingenious.

That is, of course, my critical side speaking.  It doesn’t stop it from being gut wrenching. I just hope that the show has more to offer than “Here’s the newest family we are shattering, watch and cry!”  Underneath it all, I still see potential in the world they created.

e1plasticmemories15We rarely see shows that acknowledge that technology only lasts so long, besides maybe Time of Eve and a few other examples.  To make it a focal point is another beast in itself.  At the same time, to make that the entire show’s guts; again, I run into fears here.

My hopes are still very high on this show, despite the obvious signs of future heart breaks (someone is already throwing death flags around).  I can’t wait to see if it can prove to me that it’s more than a one-note offering and I can honestly already recommend checking it out.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 1: The First Partner

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great

Pros:

  • Solid emotion
  • Good but simple concept
  • Comical moments

Cons:

  • Some annoying characters
  • Could be rather one note

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.