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EP. REVIEW: Plastic Memories


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11674
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:07 pm Reply with quote
A very surprising series imo for a Spring original. I wasn't intentionally hyped about this judging on the premise but the emotional appeal and themes of the series really can be captivating. I like how some of the comedy is mixed in as well and how the storytelling is working so far.

A hidden gem gem for this season.
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konqueror



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:36 pm Reply with quote
An "A" for forced drama with androids? Wow...

"We have emotions! We are people too!" How many times has this been done in every media ever?
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bobob101



Joined: 28 Jun 2013
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:53 pm Reply with quote
If you like this shows aesthetics, check out last years engaged to the un identified, the both shoes have the same studio, director, and character designer too.

I was really impressed by this show. It was one of the shows I actually went in blind to and really liked ( BBB was another great sulfide. This show screams potential, I can't wait to see how it progresses.
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garlogan78



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:58 pm Reply with quote
konqueror wrote:
An "A" for forced drama with androids? Wow...

"We have emotions! We are people too!" How many times has this been done in every media ever?


This. This seems like a drawn out Kowarekake no Orgel.
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Animelover12313



Joined: 07 May 2014
Posts: 278
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:41 pm Reply with quote
I wasn't emotionally invested in this show as many others because I don't get attached to characters easily. But have to admit that this show is great.
Definitely looking forward to more of Gabriella's reviews also, they always have great insights! Laughing
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Via_01



Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 551
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:51 pm Reply with quote
konqueror wrote:
An "A" for forced drama with androids? Wow...

"We have emotions! We are people too!" How many times has this been done in every media ever?


Many, many, MANY times. But that doesn't make it bad. It's an idea, a concept, the bare bones of what the show is, and it shoudn't be judged solely on that.

However, I'll admit that I'm a sucker for these types of stories. There are some obvious instances where the show is trying to manipulate us into feeling emotional, but I'm always up for being manipulated as long as it's not noticeably cheap.

So yeah, I'm enjoying this. I'll keep watching.
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HaruhiToy



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 4118
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:08 pm Reply with quote
It is hard for me to not think of Mahoro -- who had a "cease to function" countdown at the end of each episode. It sure was a damper on all the fun but did manage to make it more meaningful somehow.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9840
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:17 pm Reply with quote
One thing I find odd so far is that, given the functions of the teams as grief counselors/public relations, they are given the designations of marksman and spotter, as if they were snipers on a hunt. I have to wonder how that evolved.

I know sometimes androids and owners are uncooperative with the retrieval teams, but if in the beginning the interactions were confrontational more often than not, you'd think softer, more euphemistic terms would have been chosen to try to lessen that image, like calling a slaughterhouse a packing plant. And if it's always been a mostly cooperative interaction, why pick shooting terms?

The reactions to this series so far is interesting: "The feels! They burn! I hates them!" The feels! They warm! I loves them!" The very essence of "one person's garbage is another's treasure." Very Happy
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blessed



Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 68
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:53 pm Reply with quote
Looks good but hoping it won't lie in April
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Jajanken



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
Posts: 680
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:03 am Reply with quote
New shigatsu but lesser known. This is a keeper.
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CoreSignal



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 726
Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:49 am Reply with quote
Via_01 wrote:
konqueror wrote:
An "A" for forced drama with androids? Wow...

"We have emotions! We are people too!" How many times has this been done in every media ever?



However, I'll admit that I'm a sucker for these types of stories. There are some obvious instances where the show is trying to manipulate us into feeling emotional, but I'm always up for being manipulated as long as it's not noticeably cheap.


While I also think an "A" is a little high, this show knows exactly what it wants to do, i.e. make you cry. I also thought the first episode forced the drama but if you enjoy tearjerkers this should be a pretty solid show.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:59 am Reply with quote
Really digging this series, the concept is common but the deliver is interesting so far.

konqueror wrote:
An "A" for forced drama with androids? Wow...

"We have emotions! We are people too!" How many times has this been done in every media ever?


Except they're not doing that? We already know they have human souls and feelings, that's exactly why they need to take special care when retrieving them since they have to make a person (although not human) accept they're going to die immediatly. The concept is more about persons who know exactly when they are going to die and those who hold dear dealing with that, sometimes they deny it sometimes they just accept it, we still haven't seen a Giftia refusing to die yet, Isla being the "exception" since she tries to go against the tide for reasons we should have explained more in detail to understand.

I don't think and hope they won't go the "I have feelings too!" way since that's way off the whole thing.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
Posts: 3679
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:29 am Reply with quote
Episodes #1-2:

Plastic Memories' premise isn't particularly new - humanity has managed to create androids (called Giftia) with an intricate A.I. (read: "synthetic souls"). But what is does offer to the table is that it's dealing not with segregation, discrimination or slavery, but with the end of the road, the parting between the Giftias and their owners.

As a newcomer to SAI Corp.'s Terminal Service 1st Department, Mizugaki Tsukasa is, like the audience, being thrown literally into the fray, triggering a small moment of office-drama and confusion due to the fact that not only Tsukasa wasn't informed on what his work would entail, but his workplace wasn't informed that a new staff member is coming. To quickly resolve the issue of not having an available Giftia to pair with Tsukasa - the work is done in a cell of two employees, a human (the "spotter") and a Giftia (the "marksman") - Kuwanomi Kazuki assign the just-entered-the-room-as-if-on-cue Isla, a Giftia that hasn't been on the field for at least a year.

The work itself, on paper, is quite simple and easy to understand; Giftia aren't immortal, or even have a lifespan close to that of a healthly, modern human. They can operate for 81,920 hours (or about 9 years & 3 months), afterwards they experience numerous malfunctions, such as memory loss, behavioral changes and a decrease in performance. To prevent these malfunctions from affecting society (and SAI Corp.'s reputation), there are Terminal Services, which are in charge of collecting/retrieving Giftias who are close to their deadline.

The story presents a few layers, and each comes with a varying degree of tones; there's the dramatic layer - with owner(s) having to part from their "adodpted" family-member, the retrievals range from acceptance (an elderly couple part ways with a tearful smile), to denial (a Giftia-human couple tried to run away), to flat-out rejection (Shirohana Chizu don't want to let her Giftia Nina go. There is the more-neutral Slice-of-Life layer - with office antics and the varied personalities (there's the Serious Boss Kuwanomi Kazuki, the Recently-Promoted Employee Kinushima Michiru, the Slacker Ace Hanada Yasutaka and the Easy-Going Manager Yamanobe Takao) giving the show an atmosphere that feels at times like it took a page or two from other office sit-coms, like The Office. There's also the comedic layer - with Isla trying to convince the hard-headed Chizu to listen to her by ever-increasing the amount of sweets & tea with each visit (Isla even preferred to protect the content of the tray from spilling than to break her fall when she climbed onto the fence and into the yard. There was also scene at the end of Episode #1 (whose theme appear to be a recurring one, since it was repeated in Episode #2) when Isla broke the dramatic atmosphere of having successfully retrieved Nina by the failed attempt at comedy by commenting on she really needs to go to the bathroom.

But I wonder - was the scene really set-up as a "failed attempt" to create a few laughs with the audience? At the very last scene of Episode #2, Yasutaka asks Kazuki isn't she being cruel by not telling Tsukasa that his Giftia partner Isla only has 2,000 hours of Operational Time remaining (and by the power of possessing a calculator, it is revealed that it translates to 83 days and a few hours). That small scene gives more credence to my hypothesis that Isla - and the Giftias in general - are experiencing symptoms associated with elderly people, Dementia.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV)
the definition of Dementia wrote:
Multiple cognitive deficits, which include memory impairment and at least one of the following: aphasia [impairment or loss of speech], apraxia [impaired motor abilities], agnosia [difficulty in visually recognizing objects, shapes or people] or disturbance in executive functioning. Social or occupational function is also impaired. A diagnosis of dementia should not be made during the course of a delirium [confusion, audio-visual hallucinations, hyperactivity]. (A dementia and a delirium may both be diagnosed if the dementia is present at times when the delirium is not present.)
(bold added for emphasis, square parentheses added to provide brief explanation)

I don't know if the show is attempting to take that route, but it definitely touches on the subject, from my point of view. Isla has shown several times memory-impairment when she was asked to perform certain tasks (granted, it could've been her just faking it, but I think she's not), when she responded by saying "error, please repeat command". Additionally, she has shown a gradual reduction in motor abilities (her clumsiness during work, despite being a veteran expert, and her Maintenance test results), along with Yasutaka remark that Giftias can't simply forget or have "blanks due to off-time" reinforce my opinions on the matter. Also, it has being established that Giftias that remain active beyond the recommended 81,920 hours begin to experience memory-impairment, and Isla expressed her desire of wanting to be useful to her partner Tsukasa, the Terminal Service and SAI Corp. suggests that her mishaps aren't international, nor played for laughs. As for how it ties to Isla's bathroom scene at the end of Episode #1 - elderly people experience, in addition to memory-impairment, is the inability to control bowel muscles, one of the symptoms of a severe Dementia, better known as Alzheimer's Disease.

Trying to analyze, and quasi-force my hypothesis of, a character's mental state 2 episodes into the show isn't the best thing to do. However, the overall theme of the show presented thus far, as well as the show's title; plastic is a malleable substance that can be molded into various forms and shapes, not unlike memories, which can also be broken, having missing parts or bent out-of-shape to the point it no longer resembles the original shape (read: event), but also created in beautiful shapes to make nice objects (read: life experiences).

The visuals are very rich both in color palette and in its liveliness, with Chizu's house or the Terminal's office looking very pristine and bright. A contrast to the scenes that taking place in those locals. The characters themselves look good, with barely any off-model appearances so far. The animation also has some kind of "thickness" to it that appeared in one of the studio Dōga Kōbō's previous projects, Gekkan Shōjo Nozaki-kun.

Plastic Memories:

Gekkan Shōjo Nozaki-kun:


So far, the first 2 episodes managed to keep a constant level of entertainment, visual, voice acting and plot. And I hope the show will keep it up for the rest of its run.
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Octorockandroll



Joined: 03 Apr 2015
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:57 pm Reply with quote
CoreSignal wrote:
Via_01 wrote:



However, I'll admit that I'm a sucker for these types of stories. There are some obvious instances where the show is trying to manipulate us into feeling emotional, but I'm always up for being manipulated as long as it's not noticeably cheap.


While I also think an "A" is a little high, this show knows exactly what it wants to do, i.e. make you cry. I also thought the first episode forced the drama but if you enjoy tearjerkers this should be a pretty solid show.


I think it'll be fine as long as we start seeing more of Isla as a character in the future. In the first episode I was really feeling for her and I found myself crossing my fingers for her to get back into her groove, but in the second episode I thought she was not present nearly enough and when she was she gave surprisingly few feels moments. I get that they can't just drop everything she must be feeling with what she's going through but she should at least give us some sort of insight to her situation other than what the other characters tell us
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:12 pm Reply with quote
Episode 2 wasn't quite as strong as episode 1 (I might give it a B+ individually), but it still shaped up pretty well the reality of the situation without being too heavy-handed about it. Hence I think the A- was wholly appropriate.

And I disagree that we have not already gotten a goodly amount of insight into Isla's mindset. I have been pretty satisfied by how she has been portrayed so far.

To address a point that a couple of others have made, yes, this is not an original concept (and yes, I am also finding the way this compares/contrasts with Mahoromatic to be interesting), but what matters is how well it's being handled. So far I think the series is doing a fine job.
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