Oh look at this, Jake’s reviewing another romance anime with macabre and depressing undertones… what’re the chances? Pretty good it turns out as the amount of feels these types of shows draw out can be super addicting and well hey it’s cheaper than a typical drug habit. And surprise surprise
After failing his college entrance exams, 18 year-old Tsukasa Mizugaki is offered a position at the renowned SAI Corporation due to his father’s connections. SAI Corporation is known for its production and management of androids that possessed human emotions called Giftia. Tsukasa’s position is in the terminal service department where the main job is to recover Giftias that are close to their expiration, a graveyard department in every sense. To make matters worse, Tsukasa is ordered to work with Isla, a female Giftia who is never given any responsibility other than serving tea to co-workers. – Crunchyroll
Here’s a rundown on Plastic Memories from my perspective. It’s a short 13 episode series focused on Tsukasa’s relationship with the Giftia Isla as the time draws closer and closer to her expiration date. Starting out, Isla tends to give Tsukasa the cold shoulder as she has a rather shy personality. But once the pair begin to grow on one another, they become a great recovery team in a field normally dominated with sadness. You see most SAI terminal service departments are rather blunt when they go to customers to retrieve the expiring Giftias. This can be traumatic for those who’ve grown to care for them as if they were actual people — which really emphasizes one of the show’s themes about what makes someone alive or human. Honestly there are plenty of moments in the show that remind me of Ghost in the Shell (which you can check out my review of the latest live action movie here).
What separates the department Tsukasa works for from the other terminal service departments is that they actually try to relate to their customers and make the experience easier for them — sometimes at the expense of their own feelings. A great example of this is when a customer decides to have her “daughter” Giftia’s OS replaced instead of trading her in for a new unit. Tsukasa is troubled at the thought of putting a new soul into the body of someone you know, and wonders if it’s possible for a Giftia to regain past memories.
Shortly after, with only about a month before Isla’s expiration, Tsukasa confesses his love to her at a fair. To everyone’s surprise she turns him down thinking it will be easier for him after she’s gone. However their boss Kazuki sets her straight in the end and the pair become a couple. We’re then given a couple episodes with cute dates and nervous progressions of love before the bittersweet finale.
This anime reminds me a lot of Anohana and Your Lie in April… Chobits as well now that I think about it… You know watching it that it’s going to make you sad, cry even, but you can’t manage to pull your eyes away. My only real complaint with the series is how young they made Isla appear. It’s a little creepy when the main romantic interest has the childlike moe appearance. However if you can overlook that it’s a solid watch. I’m actually surprised I managed to hold back the tears on this one as there were several moments that made me want to cry.
Plastic Memories is a very touching anime that probably could’ve been something really special with a slightly stronger plot or possibly a longer run. That said it’s a must watch for anyone into these types of shows.
I give Plastic Memories
4/5 Rice Omelettes with Hearts
Hmm I wonder if I should rewatch Anohana and do a review for it? I should probably start now, so that I can get the review out as soon as I’m released from the hospital after the inevitable heartbreak it’ll cause me.