If there is one singular show that makes me feel so many emotions just upon hearing it being brought up in conversation on message boards, hearing it's name tosses around in a discord server, it's this anime.
I was first introduced to Plastic Memories in May of this year. The "story" of how I stumbled upon it is nothing special. I just saw it on Crunchyroll and decided to watch it based on the.. art looking good.
(NOT to say that the art isn't good, I will get to that shortly.)
I sat down at 11 P.M., and started the first episode up, not knowing even a slither of what I was getting into.
That's when I realized I had made the worst mistake in my life!
From the first episode, I started crying. Pretty bad! Now, that might just have been since I was tired, but still! You're already gonna hit me with this stuff?! I just wanted to sit down and enjoy something good! Not have to worry where the hell I put the tissues.
After a rigorous 13 episodes, I was broken.
Nevertheless, I'm alive, I think. So after a rewatch, I think I am finally able to give a slightly bias, and excited review of this anime.
So, try to enjoy your read!
Tsukasa Mizugaki is in trouble!... Until he's not. He absolutely failed at getting a job, but his ol' pops has some great connections! He ends up snagging a job at the Terminal Service, a company that exists to retrieve these so-called "Giftia's", a new type of Android that has been created that has seemingly no differences to a human. They have a soul, they have emotions, they have it all. However, there's a catch: The Giftia's, (for, admit tingly, unexplained reasons, but I will address this later.) after a certain time passes, will have to be deactivated. If not, many, many things start to go wrong. This renders the seemingly perfect human replicas, imperfect. Certainly, this isn't the type of job our main character wasn't expecting. How will Tsukasa go about his days at Terminal Service One? Are they somehow different than the other buildings that are a part of the company? And who is this mysterious girl who he met that fateful day?
The plot of Plastic Memories is simple, but easy enough to digest. That's the way I like a plot. The set up is nice enough and the execution, I find is phenomenal. Similar to my Sakurasou review, unfortunately, I would like to keep this spoiler free, in the hopes of convincing you stragglers who haven't seen it, to go do exactly that. What I will say, however is, this anime, will try to get you. It really, really will. So be prepared.
This anime has some great, consistently solid art throughout, however, one of my personal favorite things about this anime that gets commonly overlooked is the animation. Don't be fooled by this screencap; Plamemo is NOT an action show. However, there are more than one instances where the show does have a scene where lots of heavy stuff is going on that involves it. And, let me tell you, this anime DELIVERS. Since I won't go into spoilers, I'll leave it at that. However, something I CAN mention is that, sometimes the anime goes for some great shots, and that's akin to it's great direction. Plamemo looks good, feels good, is good.
Honestly, I don't think I'm fully qualified to be talking about sound design, or anything of the sort. I will say as much as I believe I can, though. In terms of SFX, the ones in Plamemo are great. Never too loud or too out there, and nothing ever seems out of place. Again, solid.
In terms of actual OST, however, that IS something that I can comment on. The OST, when it needs to amplify a scene, ALWAYS delivers. There aren't exactly too many MEMORABLE pieces, (but, again, I'm not the best at judging this, since I don't remember really any Anime songs besides the OPs, anyway) but the emotional and intense ones are all great. However, when it comes to the more comedic/normal scenes, it's usually just generic rom-com sounding stuff. So, you won't be having eargasm's every second. However, the anime does have ONE extremely memorable piece besides the amazing OP and ED. "Again and Again", a song fully sung in English is a heartbreaking, absolutely breathtaking piece that was an amazing way to amplify a certain later scene in the anime. I don't suggest listening beforehand until you watch it because... wow.
Plamemo has a structure that goes mostly as follows: Side story of other people involving them and their Giftia companion, then seeing how the main characters deal with this. It stays this way for most of the story, having one or two episode arcs. Each one, even if it's only an episode manages to become captivating, and leaves you guessing. Each situation that comes up is handled amazingly with all of Plamemo's strengths, and it never feels forced or boring. Near the middle-end half, however, it changes and starts directly developing our main characters. Again, these episodes feel wondrous. Everything is paced perfectly, fast, but not too fast, and deadly. Just right. The drama is suspenseful, the romance is colorful... the comedy is average.
So far I've done nothing but praise Plastic Memories, but there are some things I have to admit. The comedy is EXTREMELY hit or miss. Now, with a plot that is set up to be so dramatic-focused from the get-go, you probably aren't itching for a comedy in here, anyway. I sure wasn't, at least. Let me at least give it this: Plamemo doesn't weirdly prioritize the comedy over the drama. I feel as though the balance is perfect, even if sometimes certain comedy scenes like they could've been cut a little bit short. During the middle of the show, I find it gets better with this and finds an even better balance. The comedy itself is very reliant on slapstick and, if that isn't for you, you may be rolling your eyes quite a lot. However, if Plamemo was JUST a drama-romance show, a part of me still likes to think I'd like it even more. As it stands, however, at best this is a minor, subjective issue.
Plamemo has a couple of issues in writing some basic rules for it's story. These aren't extremely huge issues, but they can get on the minds of some viewers, taking them out of the experience. For one thing, it is never explained why the hell Giftia's need to have a time limit. Obviously, the short answer is, "enact emotional response from viewer!", but I honestly think it isn't a huge deal they never go into huge detail about how the Giftia's are Giftia's. This anime's entire point of existing is to hone in the importance of memories, and get you in your heart with it's developing main characters. The fact that they never go in depth in the sci-fi aspect should only peeve extremely hardcore science fiction viewers. If you are going into this for the drama, romance and all of Plamemo's strengths like you should, this really isn't that frustrating.
There are also very minor things such as forgetting certain things established. Now, before you panic, there is only one instance in which I noticed, and that is in one of the side stories where they say no one can enter something and someone does. Again, something that can bug you a bit, and it's clearly just wanting to set up something for more affect, but if it still works, I don't see the reason to complain
Please give Plastic Memories a shot. It is one of the most underappreciated anime to come out in recent time. After it's release, I have hardly seen ANYONE acknowledge it's existence. I believe if you love a good dramatic and romantic tearjerker, you should look no further than here. If you are someone who loves hugely developed sci-fi worlds that bleed into the story, you are getting something that only barely walks past the starting line. Everyone else has already lapped past the finish line 3 times. Probably crying a bit, too.
Plastic Memories is not perfect, but I believe despite some minor flaws it has, it did what it set out to do better than the majority of anime in these specific genres.
Jesus Christ, that was a long one to type. Just goes to show how much I love this one, eh? :P
This review was much more.. streamlined than my last one, with categories and the like. Tell me if you liked this one more or less than my Sakurasou review, so I can see which format I should do if I plan on making more reviews. I may even make a spoiler review of this one, so I can go REALLY in depth on why I love it so. But, sadly I could only give tastes! Thanks for reading and have a great day!