There once was a show about androids and people coming together. Romance unfolds and the two protagonists eventually get together. And no, I’m not talking about Chobits (Or really any other show you thought of reading that). Instead I’m here to talk about Plastic Memories a show that features a mix bag cast of androids and humans who work together in Terminal Service One. It is the job of the Terminal Service unit to go out into the world to bring back Giftia (the androids of this world) before their time limit expires. It seems that in this world Giftia can only last for about 9 before their minds break down. What happens when a Giftia becomes a Drifter isn’t pretty and it is Terminal Service’s job to make sure it doesn’t come to that.
To start this show looks and sounds nice. But just because I say nice doesn’t mean it’s phenomenal. The art style is a mix of cute and functional and I rather like the style. However, I do have to admit that as much as I may have liked the way it was draw, and definitely the color palette, it does have its flaws. I cannot tell you how many times some faces would look weird or a little off. They generally took good care of Tsukasa and Isla, our series focus, but this left room for the background characters to get the short end of the stick. It isn’t as bad as some others but it is noticeable. Also it is a stated fact in the show that one of the characters, Kazuki, has an amputated leg and yet they didn’t draw her leg as such in a scene where she is wearing shorts. And personally, points were deducted for this fact.
I also enjoyed the opening and ending songs of this show. They were better than most songs used in shows like this by being a little slower but it definitely benefited the show as these slower songs really stuck to the feel good/rip your heart out vibe the show has going for it. That said I don’t remember a lot of the background songs although a pretty memorable one is Terminal Service. It’s the track used for the more upbeat scenes and is one of the best in the show. So expect a soundtrack that gets the job done but isn’t super memorable.
As for the actual content of the show, enter in series protagonist Tsukasa Mizugaki an 18 year old who got sick during college entrance exams and was unable to get into school. Through the power of his father Tsukasa gets a job with Terminal Service One. Initially unaware of what they do Tsukasa is soon faced with the destruction of bonds and memories as he comes to terms with his job to destroy beloved friends and family by taking them away. Along the way he is paired with the Giftia Isla. Isla is a quiet girl who has been serving tea to her coworkers for the last couple years instead of going out to the field. However she is the only one they have to partner Tsukasa with and so she goes back out in to the field, albeit a little rusty. Isla starts off as the average white haired anime girl but does develop some cute emotions as she learns to open herself up to her partner.
The other characters include Michiru, the shows tsundere. But don’t take that as a bad thing. Michiru is perhaps one of the best examples of a tsundere done right. She may be unwilling to admit she has feelings for Tsukasa but she is willing to put her own feelings aside to help him and Isla with their budding romance. Her friendship is a sincere one even if she can be mean from time to time. Her Giftia partner is Zack, a rambunctious child who likes to tease people. He often plays the cute boy act in order to get people to do what he wants. You will also meet Kazuki, Tsukasa’s boss and Isla’s former partner, Constance, Kazuki’s current partner, Yasutaka, a Kaji rip off, Sherry, Yasutaka’s stubborn partner, as well as Eru a pervy engineer.
The show takes off from its humble beginnings by giving us feels trip after feels trip and making us believe that this is just a typical work place show. And really I wish it would have stuck to that. The stories of these individual Giftia and their families were lovely. From the old lady that recycled her Giftia’s body over and over, giving each one a new name and loving them as new people to Souta a young boy being raised by a Giftia, named Marcia, and that Giftia’s tragic end. They were nice stories. And if the show had gone that route it would have been a good one.
However the show decides to take a different turn by inserting a pretty obvious romance between Tsukasa and Isla that had been blooming from day one. I wanted Tsukasa and Isla to get together. And at first I liked the inclusion of their romance from awkward coworkers to Isla slowly opening up to Tsukasa. However the story spends so much time focusing on in-and-out characters and not directly Tsukasa and Isla that the sudden switch to purely focusing on their romance was a little harsh. There’s also the fact that the romance has a time limit and one that is fast approaching. I believe that if the series had started and stuck with the romance plot, it too would have been a good story.
In the end however Plastic Memories’ story was stuck somewhere in between a story about the harsh reality of the immersive use of androids in the world and a single, sad romance between one such android and a normal human. And for this reason, Plastic Memories is a show that had infinite potential but in the end decided to stick with just being average.