- Alt. Name
- Release Date
- Spring 2015
- No. of Episodes
- Doga Kobo
Here’s a quick question, if the memories a person made while living faded after death, would you rather not have lived at all? Or would you cherish those memories to the very end? Plastic Memories is a 2015 Drama, Romance, and Sci-Fi anime series Studio Doga Kobo (Monthly Girls’, New Game!). But unlike its previous work up to this series, it’s an original creation of anime. While the studio has had an arguably considerable amount of success leading up to this series but can they continue it with a unique piece that doesn’t have a huge fanbase to save them?
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After failing his college entrance exams, 18-year-old Tsukasa Mizugaki is offered a position at the famous SAI Corporation due to his father’s connections. The SAI Corporation is best known for its production and management of androids that possess human emotions called Giftia. Tsukasa’s position is in the Terminal Service department, where their main job is to recover Giftias that are close to their expiration, a graveyard department in every sense.
Tsukasa is ordered to work alongside Isla, a female Giftia whose only responsibility for the last few years has been serving tea to co-workers. Isla is initially withdrawn and indifferent to her partner, but as she and Tsukasa go on retrieval after retrieval and grow closer to each other and form a better friendship. As the two fulfill their responsibilities to rip apart memories, they discover what it means to memories of their own and what the price of making them truly means.
While the story isn’t going to win any awards on paper, it does show a lot of promise. It will potentially keep the viewer interested, and at the very least keep them pondering the next episode. The focus themes in this anime are a pretty safe territory, mainly due to it’s an essential social experience that anyone can relate to. Being about what friendship truly is and losing the ones we hold dear to our hearts. Although this tactic may sound bad, and at times it definitely can, this series never plays it safe and does, however, take risks when it obliged to. It never truly felt like the viewer can predict everything that will happen, and sure some parts are bound to be more predictable than others. Still, outside of that, it’s a solid emotional story.
The negative parts of the story are somewhat scarce, but at the same time, some are inevitable. Since this is described as a romance series, the viewer automatically knows the main characters are bound to get together, which isn’t a negative on the series. It’s just a negative on the genre itself. The pacing of the story was the problem to spot; it could be due to it being their first original series where they had nothing to match it with. Still, at times it would get a little fast while not detrimental then followed by a valley. Although it didn’t turn me off, it may turn some potential viewers away, which is understandable given this problem starts in the very first episode. They through a vast amount of information at the viewer, and at specific periods within this series, the character tells the viewer what the meaning of something is, instead of just leaving it to the viewer.
I only mention this because the audience has a mind of their own. LET THEM USE IT! The purpose behind any story is to create something the audience can interpret on their own, from each and every viewer who watches it. By which I mean that it’s not just what the writer wants the line to mean, meaning its what the viewer makes of it. If the show needs to tell everyone what’s going without them figuring it out themselves, then why even make the show at all?
The Art Style of this series is one of the many high points and follows the style of a majority of Doga Kobo’s series. Its clean and charming designs are unique but, at the same time, somewhat realistically pleasing to the eye. Perhaps it’s the use of muted colors sprinkled into the character designs that truly make them pop. Or it could be that it uses simplistic designs for each character that still makes the characters feel that they belong in our world. Whatever the actual reason is, the best part of the art style is that the color schemes are perfect for each character, and that’s something most originals miss the mark on.
Now while the character designs are unique and pleasing to the eye, the real star of this show is the fantastic production. The way this series was produced makes a lot of other series inside the genres to shame, especially when it comes to attention to detail. The lighting in certain scenes appends to the emotional level that it’s trying to tell the viewer, while also not going overboard with hints. The watercolor atmosphere this series gives mixed with the smooth polished production will render any potential viewer elated. Outside of that, the best aspect of this whole anime production was that with each opener, Isla’s emotional changes, and that’s the real sign of how much love went into this series.
While some characters in this series are more fleshed out than others, some are undyeable more important than others. Tsukasa Mizugaki, the newest employee at SAI Corp.’s terminal service who joined after graduating high school. However, he doesn’t know much about his job but is willing to learn and works hard to not let down his co-workers. Isla, a Giftia who doesn’t show much emotion. She starts working in a team with Tsukasa and supports him, she does not know much, and although she may be clumsy and shy, she works hard to not become a problem for her teammate. These two are the obvious focal point of the series, but the chemistry between them is real and feels like you’re watching a friend find their first love.
Michiru Kinushima, Tsukasa’s senior at work. Although they have no age difference, she teaches Tsukasa as his work superior. She gradually becomes friends with him along the way. Her teammate is Zack, a Giftia whose appearance is that of a high-class young boy. Although he may look like a little boy, he has the power to complete all the work smoothly. These two have a clear sibling-like relationship, and though some viewers may find it annoying, they do fit perfectly with everyone in the cast.
The last pair is Kazuki Kuwanomi, Tsukasa’s direct superior at work. Although she may not be the friendliest nor even the most approachable character, she has a heart of gold. Any viewer can clearly see that she cares deeply for Tsukasa and Isla and continues to watch over them like an older sister. Her teammate is the polar opposite of her, though. Constance, a Giftia modeled as an agreeable young man. He has an obviously gentle personality and performs everything smoothly to support Kazuki.
While the story may be bland to some, the characters in this series are spot on. They perfectly mesh together, and if one was missing, it’d feel entirely off. Together they are a family, and each has different great temperaments while also not giving the impression that they’re being forced into the show. The trouble with these characters is that if you’re not mentioned above, then there isn’t really any added story they add to the series, they’re just there to fill in space. At various points, they do add additional emotional support and work well within the series, but if a viewer is looking to have more, then what is mentioned above. Then they’ll be unfortunately disappointed.
Having this series have thirteen episodes is an absolute pleasure to the viewer and adds essential details without any filler to the story. Although there is arguably no fanservice in this show, they prove that a series can be great without lowering the standard of the series to reach audiences. This series was a joy to watch and could definitely become an instant classic for some, although not perfect but is absolutely enjoyable. The emotional level it brings to the viewer will make anyone shed tears and value love and friendship to a new degree. If you are looking to get into the sci-fi genre and aren’t into fighting robots, then this would be a great opener. And possibly great opener to the romance genre as well. The only advice I can give to anyone who watches this is to bring the box of tissues, you’ll need them.
There are a few difficulties within this series, but as a whole, it is quite delightful. The conclusion of this series is excellent and leaves the watcher craving more while satisfying the void of understanding it’ll never appear. Other series need to observe this series when trying to figure out how to end a series and genuinely do it well enough that leaves the viewer loving what their feeling. This is arguably one of the most touching series one could watch that is within the romance genre and should be viewed to no end.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.