One of the shows which was hyped up at the beginning of this season is Plastic Memories. The idea behind the series is that in a city in the near future humans and androids can live comfortable side-by-side. These androids look and act like humans, with human memory and emotions, the only drawback is that the androids only have a short lifespan before they begin to lose their human personality and their memories. It’s then the job of a Terminal Services to collect these androids just before the end of their lifespan to avoid any unfortunate accidents when they begin to lose their personalities and memories. The idea of humans and androids living side-by-side is an interesting one, but ultimately one that Plastic Memories wastes in the end. It’s worth noting that this article will include spoilers for Plastic Memories.
One of the best examples of this series wasting a good idea actually just happened in episode 8. Our lead character, Tsukasa, has recently discovered that androids can be reloaded with new software so that while their personality might change and they’ll start afresh, they’ll be in the same body. Because of this Tsukasa begins to wonder if there is even a small possibility that androids can regain their memories after being installed with new software. This is most definitely an idea worth exploring, but sadly one that the series doesn’t do justice to at all as it awkwardly tries to slide some unfitting comedy into the story.
Rather than explore the idea of humans and androids co-existing the series tries to wave a love story which really doesn’t really fit. I’d much rather explore more of the relationship that humans and androids now have, and really Plastic Memories only truly offers us a glimpse into this world during the first couple of episodes. I guess my best example of something that sets an example for what Plastic Memories could have been is Time of Eve. Sure, Time of Eve is slow and in a lot of ways it was definitely going for something that Plastic Memories isn’t, but it still showed how humans and androids could live together better than Plastic Memories has so far.
I think ultimately a lot of the problem runs in the fact that this is seemingly a 13 episode series which, 8 episodes in, has completely failed to impress. A lot of the concept about the Terminal Service has been left unsaid or unanswered. Why do the androids only have so much time before they begin to lose everything? Why hasn’t there been a fix to this problem or at the very least why don’t we know if people are even looking into improving things? How did this world come about of people treating androids like humans, surely we wouldn’t have accepted it that easily, so how?
Plastic Memories has yet to answer any of my questions and in the long run it will probably to leave me with far more questions than I even begin to have answers for. It’s sad that a series that could have been so interesting if it focused on the world around it has ended up more of a harem and romantic story than anything. Sure, have your romance, it’s kinda cute, but stop being so dull and actually explore more of this awesome world you have around you.
Plastic Memories is currently streaming to the UK via Crunchyroll and Viewster.