Plastic Memories Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
August 9, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Plastic Memories” may feature a story reminiscent of “Video Girl Ai” and “Chobits” but it’s captivating story with interesting characters and backgrounds, takes the storyline from bubbly and fun to a storyline that transitions to something a bit more dark and deep. But it’s what I appreciated most about “Plastic Memories” and its storyline and character integration. So far, this first half of “Plastic Memories” is turning out to be exciting and entertaining. I can’t wait for volume 2! Highly recommended!
Image courtesy of © MAGES./Project PM. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Plastic Memories Vol. 1
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015
DURATION: Episode 1-7 (170 Minutes)
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English and Spanish
RATED: Suggested 13 and Up
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Originally created by Naotaka Hayashi
Directed by Yoshikyuki Fujiwara
Screenplay by Naotaka Hayashi
Music by Masaru Yokoyama
Original Character Design by okiura
Character Design by Chiaki Nakajima
Art Director: Masaki Kawaguchi
Anime Production: Doga Kobo
Featuring the following voice talent:
Sora Amamiya as Isla
Yasuaki Takumi as Tsukasa Mizugaki
Aimi as Sherry
Chinatsu Akasaki as Michiru Kinushima
Kenjiro Tsuda as Yasutaka Hanada
Megumi Toyoguchi as Kazuki Kuwanomi
Mitsuaki Hoshino as Tetsuguro Mikijiro
Nobuo Tobita as Takao Yamanobe
Satoshi Hino as Constance
Sayuri Yahagi as Zack
Shinnosuke Ogami as Ren Kawarake
Sumire Uesaka as Eru Miru
From the writer of “Steins;Gate,” Naotaka Hayashi, comes an original love story!!
“In this moment… I think I’ve already fallen in love with you, without even knowing your name.”
In a world where there were slight scientific advancements…
Tsukasa Mizugaki is offered a position at the renowned SAI Corporation thanks to his father’s connections.
SAI Corporation is known for its production and management of androids capable of feeling human emotions called “Giftia.”
Tsukasa’s position is in the terminal service department where their main job is to recover Giftias who are near their expiration – it is a dead end department in every sense.
To make matters worse, Tsukasa is assigned to work with a female Giftia named Isla, who was never given any responsibility other than serving tea to her co-workers.
In 2015, writer Naotaka Hayashi (“Memories Off 2nd”, “True Love Story”) and illustrator Okiura would create a sci-fi love story known as “Plastic Memories”.
“Plastic Memories” has since received an anime series adaptation, a video game and manga release.
The anime series is produced by Doga Koba and is directed by Yoshiyuki Fujiwara (“New Game!”, “GJ Club”), music by Masaru Yokoyama (“Freezing”, “Hyperdimension Neptunia”, “BBK/BRNK”), character design by Chiaki Nakajima (“Yuruyuri – Happy go Lily”, “Nisemonogatari”, “Love Lab”) and art direction by Masaki Kawaguchi (“Golden Kids”, “GJ Club”, “Angelique”).
And now the anime series will be released on Blu-ray in the USA courtesy of Aniplex of America.
“Plastic Memories” is set in the future where humans live alongside androids known as Giftia.
The story revolves around Tsukasa Mizugaki, an 18-year-old who has failed his college entrance exams due to medical problems.
His father contacts a friend who gives him a chance to work for SAI Corp., an android production company that creates Giftia, androids with human-like qualities. But the lifespan of the Giftia is 81,920 hours (nine years and four months). If the Giftia’s expiration date passes, the android will have major problems. From its personality, loss of memory and will display violence.
So, Tsukasa is assigned to the Terminal Services team of SAI Corp. which retrieves expiring Giftias and must erase all memories of the Giftia, and to avoid any problems, the owners of the Giftia must be present during the wipe of memory.
For each job of the employees of the Terminal Services team, a human is a “Spotter” and a Giftia is a “marksman” and must do the difficult task of reclaiming the Giftia from their owners, even if their owners have bonded with the Giftia. For the importance of not seeing their Giftia in bad shape but also for their protection.
Tsukasa is assigned to work with a Giftia named Isla. A veteran of the department, but unknown to Tsuakasa, Isla is near the end of her lifespan and only has 2,000 hours left. And through their partnership, both develop feelings for each other.
The characters are:
- Tsukasa Mizugaki – The main character, a 18-year-old employee of SAI Corp. and works for the Terminal Services team. He begins to work with his Giftia partner Isla, unaware that she only has 2,000 left in her lifespan and has feelings for her.
- Isla – A Giftia who is a veteran of the Terminal Services team. She was once partnered with Kazuki and has been the tea server at SAI Corp. She is put back on the field, despite having 2,000 hours left in her lifespan and partners with Tsukasa. She has feelings towards Tsukasa.
- Michiru Kinushima – A 17-year-old who works in the Terminal Services team of SAI Corp. She was raised by a Giftia and empathizes with the androids. She has a mysterious history of why she joined the Terminal Services team.
- Zach – A kindhearted boy who is a Giftia and is Michiru’s marksman.
- Kazuki Kuwanomi – Tsukasa’s boss at SAI Corp Terminal Services One. She was formerly Isla’s spotter and is highly protective of her.
“Plastic Memories” is presented in 1080p High Definition. Featuring vibrant animation and wonderful character designs to capture the emotions of the characters, I was quite pleased with the animation. I did not notice any problems with artifacts or banding while watching this anime series.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Plastic Memories” is presented in Japanese Linear PCM Stereo. Dialogue is crystal clear and the voice acting is well-done. It’s important to emphasize that there is no English dub included.
Subtitles are in English and Spanish.
“Plastic Memories Vol. 1” comes with the following special features:
- Cast Tea Party – (42:29) Featuring cast members Yasuaki Takumi (voice of Tsukasa Mizugaki), Sora Amamiya (voice of Isla), Chinatsu Akasaki (voice of Michiru Kiushima) and Sayuri Yahagi (voice of Zack) who discuss the anime series and learn how to make latte art.
- Staff round Table – (28:25) Featuring crew members, Toba (producer at Aniplex), Naotaka Hayashi (original creator/screenplay) and Yoshiyuki Fujiwara (director). Also, special guest singer Eri Sasaki.
- Web Previews #1-8
“Plastic Memories Vol. 1″ comes with four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by character designer, Chiaki Hakajima and a clear case with 2-sided covers.
While the concept of androids, robots or virtual love interests is nothing new in anime series, as the subject has been covered in series such as “Video Girl Ai” and “Chobits”, the circumstances revolving around the characters of the series is rather fascinating and captivating.
“Plastic Memories” may have the banality of guy likes android, android likes guy but it’s not suppose to happen because, in the case of this series, the android Giftia named Isla has only 2,000 hours left in her lifespan, before she is forced to be shut down and have her memories wiped out.
In the world of “Plastic Memories”, these Giftia can only live 9 years and 4 months, before they are returned to the makers of the androids because going past their lifespan can lead to problems, memory issues and also potential violence.
So, it’s important for the members of the Terminal Service to retrieve these expiring Giftia.
For “Plastic Memories”, the series revolves around 18-year-old Tsukasa Mizugaki who is Isla’s spotter and immediately starts to have feelings for her. But he is not aware that Isla’s lifespan is down to 2,000 hours (she has 83 days left).
With the supporting cast, we learn about what happens to these Giftia who go past their expiration date and to find out about another team who goes after the Giftia turned “wanderers” if the Terminal Service team are unable to retrieve the androids and suffice to say, we get to see a change in the storyline which starts out as bubbly and fun to something a little more serious and a bit darker.
But as “Plastic Memories” vol. 1 only covers the first seven episodes (of 13-episode series), I am quite curious to see how this series will end.
As for the Blu-ray release, the anime series is vibrant and I really enjoyed the manga-style of character designs and how the character designer and team really did a wonderful job of showcasing emotions of not just the humans but also the Giftia. Lossless audio is crystal clear as dialogue features wonderful voice acting and music.
“Plastic Memories” Vol. 1 also comes with two interviews with voice talent and crew and you also get web previews as well. The Blu-ray release also comes with four collectible postcards, clear plastic Blu-ray cases and a slipcase featuring package illustrations by character designer, Chiaki Nakajima.
Overall, “Plastic Memories” may feature a story reminiscent of “Video Girl Ai” and “Chobits” but it’s captivating story with interesting characters and backgrounds, takes the storyline from bubbly and fun to a storyline that transitions to something a bit more dark and deep. But it’s what I appreciated most about “Plastic Memories” and its storyline and character integration.
So far, this first half of “Plastic Memories” is turning out to be exciting and entertaining. I can’t wait for volume 2! Highly recommended!
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