After a lackluster episode 3, Plastic Memories bounces back what an episode that brought some feels as well as some much needed plot development.
Here’s my review.
I won’t lie, ep 3 was really bad. Not only was the mood ruined coming out of ep 2, but it was a straight up filler ep. Having a filler within the first 5 eps is pretty bad, but having it be the third ep in is even worse. But putting that aside, how could Plastic Memories bounce back the following week? Well it did. Not only was this week’s ep progressing the plot, but it also showcased another type of retrieval job that would be even tougher on the Terminal Service employees. Basically this episode was a reversal of episode 1, where instead of a child getting taken away, it was the adult that was being taken away from the child. Honestly though this is more the type of stuff I wanted to see out of this anime, emotionally charged eps that really make you feel for the characters; this was an example of something I hope to see more of.
Already the job Tuskasa and Isla are doing is a painful one. They’re taking away someone’s companion after 9 years and that’s not something a person will part easily with. We’ve seen before that people are quite attached to their Giftia and in the final moments their emotions are overflowing. But this time it was different. This time it wasn’t someone trying to stop them from taking away the Giftia, rather it was someone making sure the Giftia was taken away.
Meet Souta; he’s a boy who’s parents died when he was still very young. In their absence he’s been raised by a Giftia named Marcia, but it’s sadly come time for her to leave. What makes this interesting though is that Marcia told Souta that she’d always be there to look after him. Yes I know in the long term it probably wasn’t the best idea, but to a grieving child it was the best she could do at the time. So fast-forward to a few years later and it’s time for Marcia to leave. By now she’s told Souta that she’ll be leaving and consequently he’s very upset about this, feeling that she lied to him. Technically he’s right about that, but I take it you don’t want me to bother you with technicalities.
Anyways because of this Souta has begun to wonder if everything she’s told him is a lie and maybe his parents lied to him and were Giftia too? Entertaining these thoughts for too long has given birth to hatred towards Marcia now, so when Tuskasa and Isla come knocking with the form to sign, he’s all over it to get Marcia out of his life. But not so fast Souta. Even though he’s signed the form, Tsukasa refuses to accept his signature and he won’t until Souta has cleared his negative thoughts up with Marcia. After all, parting on such bad terms won’t help Souta at all. So how can they fix this problem?
Parties make everything better. Well okay that’s not always true, but for a child they usually do. Souta’s birthday is coming up and as Tuskasa and Isla are flipping through some old photo albums with Marcia, they discover a secret recipe for a special strawberry cake his mother made for a previous birthday. The plan is set: they’ll make this cake in an effort to recall the memories of his mother, proving that she really was real and not a Giftia. Okay seems like a solid plan, so they execute it. With the help of Michiru and Zack as well, Marcia, Tuskasa and Isla ready for the birthday party. In the end it all goes off well and Souta is able to come to terms with Marcia. Job well done.
So while that was the main storyline of this ep, there are other important details that added to this being a very good ep. First up we have a scene where the boss, Takao Yamanobe, is at a meeting with HQ and it’s brought to his attention (for seemingly numerous times) that his costs for this group are too high. 5 times higher than any other group actually. This obviously isn’t good, but this is happening because at Terminal Service One, they do things slightly differently and take a more personalized approach to retrieving each Giftia from the client. While it may be less stressful on the person getting the Giftia retrieved, it’s a problem for the company as it’s costing them money they feel shouldn’t be spent. Things aren’t looking good for Yamanobe and his team. I hope he’s got a plan to deal with this.
Secondly, we have a flashback to the day when Kazuki and Isla called their partnership off. Back then Kazuki knew Isla’s time was coming soon, so I’m guessing she felt this was a good stopping place, rather than slog it out to the bitter, and tearful, end. This plays into why Isla is never looking very upbeat and happy all the time. Marcia mentions that she should smile more, something that Isla has a hard time doing, but she’s trying nevertheless. A scene that really touched my heart was when Isla was in the bathroom practicing her smile. What’s so sad about it is that she knows her time is coming, very quickly actually, yet she’s still trying to go out with a smile on her face. It’s tough to think about and it brings tears to my eyes when I stop and realize how painful this must be for her.
Thirdly we get some background info on Michiru. Honestly I want to like Michiru, but she’s so much of a tsundere that it’s just downright annoying. She’s nice for some moments, then such a bitch the next that I can’t work myself up to like her very much. Some of that animosity left when she talks about her past and why this current client hits close to home for her. Much like Souta, Michiru is an Android Child, meaning her parents died when she was young and she was raised by a Giftia. This situation is something she knows all too well and how stressful it can be. The only different is that in her case she didn’t want to her let Giftia father leave, and because of this be became a Wanderer. A Wanderer is a worst case scenario, something no one wants to have happen. It’s when a Giftia passes they shelf life and starts to break down. They lose memories, personality and can even assault people too. All in all it’s a bad situation.
Lastly and probably the most important detail is of Black Market retrievers. As the name clearly states, these are people who operate illegally in retrieving Giftia. As for what they do with them after, it’s not said but it can’t be anything good. We see just how bad they are at the very ending of this ep as one comes to visit Souta the day before Marcia is to be officially retrieved. A very creepy looking guy comes and talks to Souta, claiming he’s there to pick up Marcia. While we don’t hear the full conversation between his Black Market guy and Souta, it’s clear that Souta is torn between what he feels is right and what this adult is telling him. Being an adult and having that authority, Souta’s probably thinking that he should be listening to him as he’s probably been taught to listen to adults. But at the same time it’s clear something isn’t right with this guy. I’m guessing Souta might have complied with him, but we won’t find out until next week as that where this ep ends.
So looking back at this week’s ep I can say this was exactly what I wanted from this anime. After getting the gist of what the plot would be from ep 1, I was hoping we’d be seeing them dealing with a variety of clients and the problems they face in doing so. The addition of the Black Market people is well done as it seems like something that could very well happen as there are always people exploiting things. As to how much they’ll play into the plot in the coming eps, I’m not sure but I’m hoping a fair bit as they add more depth to this anime.
All in all Plastic Memories seems to have found it’s footings after 4 eps, but the challenge now it so maintain what it’s doing and start building on it. No more fillers and such, let’s just continue on with the plot, especially now that we’ve been given some key things that will be issues in the coming eps. I’ve still got faith in Plastic Memories, but if it really wants to be the solid anime I think it can be, then we need more eps along these lines as that’s where it really shines.
Wow, I was worried there for a moment but it looks like Plastic Memories still has a lot to show us. I really enjoyed this ep a lot and if we have more eps like this then it’ll be a great anime. So what are your thoughts about this ep? I’d love to hear them!
So as I’m sure you probably noticed, I’m back to using the HS release for Plastic Memories. Turns out that the one week I decide to switch to caffeine, they’re delayed. In light of this I think maybe the best option is to just stick with HS as I can always count on them having it out at a set time and I can build a schedule around that. I’ll see how next week goes. After this coming weekend I should have a better idea of what to expect and then I’ll be able to reevaluate my schedule properly. Once again if any of this matters to you, then this is the current review schedule. If not, well you could’ve just skipped this paragraph.
Up next we’re off to band practice in Hibike! Euphonium ep 4. I hope you’ll be able to join me for that one. Until then, enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya later!
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