RogerBW's Blog

Plastic Memories 28 November 2015

2015 science fiction, manga adaptation, 13 episodes: AniDB.

The Giftia androids look and act like humans, but they have a limited lifespan: 81,920 hours. After that, they need to be retrieved and shut down before bad things happen. Mizugaki Tsukasa goes to work for Terminal Services, and is partnered with the Giftia called Isla…

There are some interesting ideas here, but the writers don't really seem to know what to do with them. Nobody ever attempts to justify the nine-year lifespan, and it feels sometimes as though it's there just to produce dramatic tragedy. And the "bad things" include superhuman rampages straight out of Bubblegum Crisis: so, um, why does your domestic companion-bot have the capacity for superhuman strength in the first place? Or, y'know, it could have a timer to shut it down before it goes mad.

The co-workers at Terminal Services are all standard character stereotypes (lecherous guy, violent woman, alcoholic pushover boss), and Tsukasa is strangely ignorant of androids given where he's working (and the way the things are used everywhere in the world). Yes, sure, stuff has to be explained to the audience, but it makes him even less convincing than the generic nonentity protagonist that he was probably supposed to be.

The first few episodes set up what might be an interesting world, but the story rapidly turns into a Dying Girl Romance: yes, of course Isla is coming to the end of her lifespan, yes of course she and Tsukasa fall in love, you can predict all this by the end of the first episode but the show still treats it as a series of great dramatic revelations. (That Isla looks distinctly childlike in shape, and often acts that way too, doesn't help matters.)

It's not a terrible series, but it feels as though it's been made up out of individual bits of variable quality which were then haphazardly glued together and don't really fit properly.

  1. Posted by dp at 08:05am on 29 November 2015

    Yeah, I liked the first couple of episodes - the focus on androids as companions for the elderly and so on was nicely realistic.

    And the basic idea of Isla seeming to be a young stereotypical clumsy anime girl, but this clumsy ditsyness actually being the result of what was essentially old age and senility (wearing out) had potential. But it was kind of wasted with too many standard tropes and silliness.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 09:15am on 29 November 2015

    If we'd seen more of the world, and of why so many people are using nine-year androids rather than trying to make human relationships, that could have been interesting in itself.

    And yes, they never really used the senility/breakdown idea – we had Isla furiously doing and re-doing the physical tests, but it never came to anything, and seemed more like gym workouts (i.e. to improve herself and last longer) than calibration (i.e. to see how much she'd decayed).

    Missed opportunities.

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