I’m 20 and male and am not ashamed to say that every so often it’s nice to sit down and watch something that doesn’t have guns, swords, dragons, bad guys or a cataclysmic event. An example of such a show is Plastic Memories, with the simple point of the show being romance – sure things happen but the main reason for the show is it’s love story.
Background and plot
Somewhere in the not too distant future the world is populated by humans and Giftias, fully intelligent androids who are completely integrated into the world. The story focuses on the retrieval service of the SAI corporation, the organisation that is responsible for recovering Giftias at the end of their lives. Tsukasa, a young man who has recently finished college but failed because of illness gets a job in the Retrieval Service. Enter Isla, a giftia who also works at the retrieval service and becomes Tsukasa’s partner.
The problem with this whole situation? Giftias are to all intents and purposes just the same as humans, but after 9 or so years have to be retrieved – thus losing their memories and personalties. The show focuses on development of Tsukasa and Isla’s relationship while constantly looking at the merits of making memories that will inevitably be lost. Deep, huh?
As a love story, Plastic Memories focuses primarily on the two main characters: Tsukasa and Isla. Tsukasa is a largely typical male lead: unsure on how to approach his relationship with Isla he constantly seeks advice with some rather comical results, but in truth is that he is deeply caring and is desperate to do everything he can for his partner.
Isla’s feelings towards the world she lives in and the idea of memories themselves allow for her to development to become really marked throughout the show. The way in which she opens up to Tsukasa runs along side her increase in belief that making memories isn’t a total waste of time.
Some of the other side characters get a fair amount of development, notably Michiru (episodes surrounding her father etc.) and Kazuki (if only in relation to Isla). It would have been nice to see some more development for some of the other side characters, but I can’t say that it was a weak part of the story as I felt the time was used best to show the development of Isla and Tsukasa’s relationship.
Sound, artwork and animation
Plastic Memories is a pretty anime. The artwork is precise and colourful and easy to look at. In terms of animation, it’s fine but there isn’t exactly any part that warrants extravagance (unless you count fireworks, which is okay and no more.)
The soundtrack is pleasant, and both the opening and ending tracks are good. I can’t say any of the sound stood out or increased the value of the show but it did capture the feel of the anime well.
Episode 10: No Longer Partners
After Kazuki breaks Tsukasa and Isla’s partnership the two are given the motivation they need to make the relationship work in Isla’s last days. It’s the culmination of the show up to this point and is really quite emotional. It sums up the show as a whole perfectly.
Best piece of music
The soundtrack to Plastic Memories is cheerfully unexciting. For the most part the music is good but doesn’t add anything to the show. I enjoyed the opening and ending tracks so here’s the ending for your listening pleasure.
Everyone likes twists, but Plastic Memories is a show that has done slice of lifeish romance very well in a way that really doesn’t need any. It was an anime that made me pleased, happy, sad and most importantly content. This was a show that is undeniably sad, but more importantly hugely satisfying. As far as run of the mill romances go, Plastic Memories is a fantastic example and I would recommend it to anyone with any interest in the romance genre.