Spring 2015: Plastic Memories

plastic_memories

A world where technology has advanced enough to create human-like androids who can move, think and feel. They’re no different from humans. But the technology isn’t quite there yet to make them perfect. That’s what Plastic Memories talks about.

The only flaw that Giftias have is their limited lifespan. Despite creating such perfect beings, technology still couldn’t allow them to live for longer than 81,920 hours. That’s about 9 years and 4 months. When time runs out, Giftia lose their personalities and basically break. That’s where our protagonist comes into the scene.

Tsukasa Mizugaki gets a job in a field he knows almost nothing about. He doesn’t even know what he’s supposed to do. That’s until he learns that half of his new colleagues are Giftias. A pair is made from a human and a Giftia, who then go to retrieve other Giftias who are about to “die”. Most of the job is done by the non-human part of the team – called the marksman. A marksman is responsible for negotiating with the retrieval targets and later wipe their memory. A human is only supposed to supervise the process. But that’s just on the surface. A human’s role is to provide moral support for the Giftia’s family.

It so happens that Tsukasa runs into his partner even before getting hired. In an elevator he sees a girl looking at the city through the glass and crying. That girl’s name turns out to be Isla. She’s a veteran of her job. A real pro. But that doesn’t stop her from being really shy and constantly getting into silly and embarrassing situations. But at least she’s cute, and her voice actress is one of my recent favourites.

In this episode, Tsukasa gets his first assignment. There is an old lady who refuses to sign the retrieval contract. Time is running out, and something has to be done. Isla, Tsukasa’s parter promises that she will definitely succeed in persuading the woman. After that she fails every day, until another embarrassing situation brings her face-to-face with the retrieval target – a cute little girl named Nina. She’s actually aware of her time running out, and doesn’t want her grandmother to be sad. After overhearing Isla and Nina talk about their fear of losing precious memories, while the two were taking a shower (because that’s what random strangers do right after meeting), the old woman realizes that she must let the Giftia go. A very emotional scene follows.

I read about other people reacting to the first episode of Plastic Memories emotionally. I was ready for the feels. I was even slightly bored at first, because I thought I can’t be shocked by anything now. But the sadness came from an unexpectedly simple situation. No plot twists, no big reveals. Just a sad scene. And I admit my eyes got teary. I believe it is an achievement to get such an emotional response after just one episode, without resorting to cheap tactics like suddenly killing off main characters or their friends.

The farewell scene was very beautifully drawn, especially the crying. Nothing else was too memorable in the visual department. Isla’s character design is nice, though (and yes, I think she’s already just a step away from being in my favourite anime girls list with her facial expressions and clumsiness).

Score: 9/10

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Posted on April 9, 2015, in Anime, First impressions, TV and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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