by Amanda Cancelmo
*Disclaimer: Chances are there will be spoilers for Plastic Memories Episodes 1-4, because I had no will to continue watching it. Thank you*
For weeks online has been abuzz with the sad sad show Plastic Memories, or as I like to now call it: “How to Teach a Robot to Love Without Really Trying.” Viewers talk about how the show wrenches their guts and pulls their heartstrings, but since my heart was already crushed by the fact this was a robo-romance and not a fun slice of life about kids building gunpla I bravely boarded the “Feels Express” en route to the biggest feels trip of my life.
Or after reading this description…. maybe not.
“After failing his college entrance exams, 18-year-old Tsukasa Mizugaki is offered a position at the renowned SAI Corporation due to his father’s connections. SAI Corporation is 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—it is a graveyard department in every sense. To make matters worse, Tsukasa is ordered to work with Isla, a female Giftia who was never given any responsibility other than serving tea to her co-workers.”
-AnimeList Description of “Plastic Memories”
Beginning of episode one: The First Partner. Tsukasa ends up in an elevator with a girl who, as she gazes out into the vastness of the city-scape, and instantly falls in love with her. Turns out later on that the girl is a “Giftia” who’s only programming seems to be serving tea and being as “kawaii-desu” as possible. Theres nothing really of merit throughout the episode save for more tropes then you can shake a stick at. As you can read in the description above, a few plot points only matter in the last five minutes when they are deactivating a robot in the back of what looks like a Toyota Prius.
Mostly the anime is a slap-stick romantic comedy aimed at teaching Tea-bot 3000 how to not act like a 4 year old who just ate a pixie stick and more like a proper love-robot. That really takes hold in episode 3 appropriately titled “We Just Started Living Together” which makes the series sad in a pathetic sort of way, not a boo-hoo sort like I was lead to believe. The entire episode is wasted on a running gag of how many times Tsukasa can get in trouble for doing weird stuff in his dorm by his Tsundere coworker.
And finally, the 4th Episode: I Just Don’t Know How To Smile. At this point they’re just trying to throw a party for an orphan boy who’s Giftia they’ve come to take away so he can feel “loved” before they pretty much ruin his life. At least he got to apologize for calling his robot a liar though, so he can feel a bit better about that. The episode ends with a hippo-man coming to take his Giftia from him as Tsukasa give a foreboding monologue about “having bad memories”.
All in all, Plastic Memories is a rather underwhelming show so far. If you want a Robo-romance that will tear heartstrings or punch you in the guts and tear out your feelings you’d best look elsewhere.