Plastic Memories

Title:Plastic Memories
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: AMAMIYA Sora
Animation - Dogakobo
R1 License - Aniplex of America
TAKUMI Yasuaki
In a future not too far away, androids that look exactly like humans begin to spread across the world. The android production company SA Corp. produced Giftia, a new kind of android that has the most amount of emotion and human-like qualities out of any other model ever seen. However, due to problems in technology, the androids have a service life, and once they pass that, it gets pretty bad. For this reason, SA Corp. creates a terminal service in order to retrieve Giftia that have gone past their service life. A new employee at the terminal service named Tsukasa Mizugaki forms a team with the Giftia Isla to retrieve the other androids.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

Series premiered on April 4, 2015.

13 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 7 7 7 6 6 7 Ggultra2764 [series:3024#1552]
(Rent-/ Watch+)

Plastic Memories was a series that seemed unsure of what it wanted to be. On the one end, it had a unique premise on paper in its focus on a retrieval service tasked with taking back androids called Giftias from their owners before their operational time is up and exploring the moral implications that come into play with both the retrievers being forced to drive apart a Giftia and their human owner, and how the various human owners have to come to terms with saying good bye to a Giftia they became close with. On the other end, we get a romantic dramedy played up with a milquetoast male lead becoming attracted to the cute-looking Giftia girl who is among the retrieval agents that he takes up a job with. The series mixes focus between both these premises as male lead Tsukasa tries bonding with the Giftia girl in question named Isla and becomes familiar with the varying challenges that come with being part of the Giftia retrieval unit, which I found myself not really enjoying.

My issues with the romance angle that Plastic Memories attempts to milk has to do with my lack of interest in the two as a possible couple. Tsukasa is a bit bland for the series male lead with his idealistic and milquetoast character and while I didn't mind some aspects to Isla's character involving the Giftia retrieval premise, being clumsy and just as milquetoast as Tsukasa played more into traditional romantic comedy titles that I've grown to despise in recent years due to their superficial attempts to force comedy into the romance played out between the lead couple in question. Many of the retrieval workers are also rather bland with their characters as they mostly exist for comedic gags and to push along the relationship between our two leads.

The elements of Giftia retrieval explored within Plastic Memories were my main draw to the series and saved it from complete mediocrity for me. The series explores a number of the cases that the retrieval agency get into as the human owners have varying reactions and situations to dealing with parting with their Giftia with some having to learn to cope with moving on from the loss of a companion and others having come to come to terms with the developments. One episode also explores what would happen if Giftias are not retrieved before their operation time is up, making for the most suspenseful moment within the series. This element ties into Isla's character as the years she has been tasked with retrieving Giftia and her operational time running low have taken their toll on her mentally as such where she tries distancing herself from others and questions if her job is only to sever bonds with others. The series would have had plenty of potential at exploring the moral implications of the retrieval service and how one could believably cope with bonding with someone you know has more limited time than a human's natural life span to bond with. Instead though, the series opted to devote more of its time toward Isla and Tsukasa's developing relationship as it would get prominent focus by later in the show's second half, whom aren't exactly the best couple I could care for.

As it is, Plastic Memories was a series that had a premise with a good number of directions it could have gone with the Giftia retrieval service. Instead, the series opted to become yet another typical rom-com title with a milquetoast pairing that I couldn't find myself getting behind due to how cliched both members of the pair were. Your mileage may vary on how well you warm up to it with the differing premises it offers up.

Last updated Saturday, June 27 2015. Created Saturday, June 27 2015.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3024#628]
(Two episodes watched):

Well, here's a show with an interesting premise: the need to reclaim androids which people are likely to have become deeply attached to on an emotional level. You would think that such a premise was tailor-made for a drama, but that's not what it's used for here. Instead we get what's largely a silly comedy. But the jokes are not terribly funny, and the largely unsuccessful attempt to insert comedy in the first place made it virtually impossible for me to be moved by the emotional side of the story. Basically, the mediocre humor trivializes the drama. The characters being pretty much 2D doesn't help either. We get a hint that maybe Isla is nearing the end of her android lifetime as well, but after two episodes she still seems largely a stranger to me and I still have little idea whether any sort of interesting plot will come together. Isla just doesn't have enough of a personality for me to care what happens to her; she has about as much personality as the average anime character (even though she is an android), i.e, very little. If a show hasn't caught my attention after two episodes (and watching it seems like more of an ordeal than something to look forward to), it's pretty safe to say that it probably never will, and I am only wasting my time. It's a pity that so little talent was apparently allocated to a premise which had great potential.

Last updated Wednesday, April 22 2015. Created Monday, April 06 2015.

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