Plastic Memories – 03

PlaMemo 03-9

…this isn’t what it looks like…

…but then again, it never really is what it looks like. Well, after the revelations from last episode, we get a bit further in the mindset of Isla….so what is she thinking behind that dan exterior?

…again and again?

lie down, on the ground, to talk to bright skies

I’m glad I have the opportunity to watch this show more than once, either for the purposes of writing this or for just the sheer pleasure of doing so. They are doing some rather smart things in the writing. At first blush this would be something approaching the comedy of errors laden episode, but looking at it just a bit further, they’ve hidden a few surprises here and there. Which is not to say that much of the proceedings aren’t being held close to the vest, pretty far from it. It all revolves around how to handle Isla. How much is she speaking with her silence? It’s plainly obvious that she is alone in her own mental world. How can she not know her time limit? Indeed how long can this “default” state of hers last?

PlaMemo 03a-1

It would be fitting to call this episode a “comedy of errors”, after all nothing Tsukasa did during the course of the show even remotely payed off the dividends he wanted. But then, this is what one gets going on the advice of fools. Every single character that stepped into that role tended to see Isla in a different light, with none of them providing the much needed illumination into her life. She doesn’t need a strong, buffed-up man, nor a cook, nor a cosplayer (?). She is someone that is not very comfortable in their own skin. There is only so much you can do there. Kazuki provides the best light (while also providing that, by now, overplayed pervert warning) into the situation. Isla simply wants to be a machine. She might not be the best one she can be, but that is what she has to face.

PlaMemo 03-10

But for some of the depths of character the show is delving, it’s coming up short in at least one glaring aspect. Tsukasa is still ignorant of her impending time limit. Everyone else around her is aware of this fact it seems, and no one is letting the newcomer in on it. This makes very little sense at it’s face. As her partner, and now room-mate, he should be made aware of it. In taking a long look at the series, this seems like a telegraph, and a poor one, to maximize the impending drama. We know the show can perform well on tugging at the heartstrings; well, for the given value of how you value that. It’s manipulative at it’s face, but then again, all of fiction is manipulation. Good storytellers can wipe their fingerprints clean of that fact. Given how little the science fiction element is explored, or even cleared up, these two speed bumps could knock the show off it’s rails at such a slow speed. That’s kinda weird.

PlaMemo 03-14

But what Isla is going through is right there in the title. Plastic can serve two functions as a word in this context. One, in we think of plastics as artificial, man-made, and disposable. The other can refer to neuroplasticity, which can mean how the functions of the brain change over periods of time, and the way in which they change, including motor, cognitive, and memory. On a long enough time-line, memories fade, and are replaced by new one. Now how much the Giftia are based on us is still unexplored. But with the revelation that Isla is afraid to form new ones might be indicative about how she feels about the older ones.

That’s something the show is doing quite well in it’s quiet moments. She is given over to habits, serving tea as her only useful function, and the rest is somnambulism. Which is not to say she is either dense or dull. She picks up on the fact that she really is kinda annoying in some respects, and it bothered by that. Over self-reflection can really be a pain in a state like hers, but it got it on the spot here. Well that and a friendly little token.

Some other Memories

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There are many elements of science fiction and fantasy that can be well used for metaphor. If you have a skillful writer, the elements hit you deep and are allowed to resonate as the story progresses. At this point, I can say with some certainty that this may not be the case for this show. At the very best I can call it relatively inexpensive melodrama, though some would call it cheap. Still, it is early days, and it has time for surprises. We need to learn more about how and why Giftia are made, and Tsukasa needs to be brought into the fold, if there is going to be a decent payoff. It looks like it is pointing to him giving Isla a dignified Retrieval. If that is the case, then we already saw that in the first episode. Nope, give me something messy and interesting instead. This episode reminds me that I want to see them fight for a newer paradigm….


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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21 Responses to “Plastic Memories – 03”

  1. HannoX says:

    I’m starting to wonder about the term “Giftia.” Is there a reason they have a name based on the word “gift” rather than using the well-established term android? If there is, I imagine we’ll learn it at some point.

    I think given Isla’s job and how she’s seen so many other Giftia come to their ends she’s trying to isolate herself from others and trying to think of herself as only a machine, not a person, as a means of dealing with her own impending end.

    • skylion says:

      …between Lucasfilm/Disney and Google can they use that term?

      I’m half hoping Isla is actually a cut above the rest of the Giftia.

      • HannoX says:

        If you mean can they use the term android, sure. It’s been around in SF for many years. It’s definitely public domain and can’t be copyrighted, except in certain uses like for a phone.

    • BlackBriar says:

      That could be it. Even people can become irrational when they’re aware of their own impending end. Depression is one of the signs.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    …this isn’t what it looks like…

    It looks exactly what it looks like. Molestation of Android 5.0.2. Tsk Tsk Tsk.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I don’t know if the idea would’ve worked but maybe Tsukasa should have asked Isla from the get-go what was bumming her out. It would’ve saved him a lot of embarrassing moments and futile pieces of advice that didn’t help the situation. Not to mention making his image and reputation more and more questionable. Especially in front of Kazuki.

  4. zztop says:

    Tsukasa has a surprisingly fit body; I was expecting him to look skinnier and squishier.

    • BlackBriar says:

      It’s probably just me but I’ve recently noticed male leads are becoming ripped for their ladies.

      • Highway says:

        Except Issei Hyoudou, who in the books is described as getting bulky and ripped, but then they punted on that for the show. I seriously expected him to look more like someone out of JoJo.

  5. Foshizzel says:

    This episode kinda throws all the feels of episode one out the window, but I guess this series wants to be a little bit like Angel Beats which had plenty of dramatic moments with LOL comedy thrown in or was it? The jokes got super old with the MC doing everything the guys suggested? Yeaaaahhhh

    While this was the most meh episode for me I feel this will be the final episode that pushes some people to drop this series because it was out of place.

    • skylion says:

      I was going to do a blow by blow of his silly acts, but just said “comedy of errors”. That covers it fine. I could see people dropping after this one, yes.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I don’t know. Maybe this choice could work so as to keep things from being overly dramatic. Death Parade for example, from time to time, the formula was changed to abstain from a uniform-like feeling which I think was a good idea. Mostly because some people who started watching the series weren’t looking forward to the idea of humanity’s negative aspects always being brought out during the judgements.

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