「守りたかった約束」 (Mamoritakatta Yakusoku)
“The Promise I Wanted to Keep”
Well, Marcia getting nabbed and becoming a Wanderer was a predictable development after last week’s cliffhanger, though we only learnt about the exact mechanics of it this week. As I may have mentioned previously, an episode like this is necessary, certainly, to show what the consequences of going over the Giftia expiry date is, because we need to see what the stakes are for Isla. Turns out, Giftia who go into overtime are no longer Three Laws Safe, become crazy monsters, and develop an unhealthy obsession with their loved ones. And here I thought it was just dementia. Suddenly the entire Giftia business looks a lot nastier. This revelation is made more unsettling by the fact that androids in the surprisingly progressive Plastic Memories world are treated as people, beholden to certain human rights.
Of course, no rights Giftia have may actually matter because it seems that, as oft in anime, there are no police. Surely, it can’t be that easy to kidnap people routinely and get away with it if there were. ‘Black market retrievers’ sound as much like underground puppy factories as anything, but they’re probably just a criminal syndicate, but it’s hard to make violent crime a profitable business model in a functional, lawful society. Conspicuous, and dangerous. That said, this is the future, so if Plastic Memories was channeling any level of cyberpunk then I guess corporations are the law. SAI, at least, seems to have it’s own private army running around in urban centres. Is it any surprise that our big amoral robot masters are also in bed with the military industrial complex? Aren’t they all? It almost goes without saying, at this point.
I guess it does make sense, on some level, for SAI to call in its personal muscle instead of public authorities. The fact that your product turn into killing machines when they expire is probably a difficult angle for PR to spin. Actually, why are Giftia created with so much physical prowess at all? Isn’t it more expensive to make them so highly specced? Surely they could have made safer civilian models, unless mass production doesn’t make that cost effective these days. Adding a limiter afterwards, especially flimsy software limiter instead of a hardware one, is awfully impractical. It leads to other impracticalities, like making your pencil pushers attempt to re-enact an episode of PSYCHO-PASS and shoot some virus-laser-I-dunno gun without any training. Is that thing safe? Actually, I know it isn’t safe. Anything that goes boom when you pull the trigger is not safe. In fact, anything where you need to pull a trigger to activate is not safe. That’s just common sense.
1496 hours ~ looking ahead
Even with lots of questions addressed, many more have emerged. Some are immediate, like whether Tsukasa hit Isla, what happened to her, what her fancy sci-fi double-blade thing is an where she got it. Other are more long term, like Isla’s involvement (or lack thereof) in the debacle three years ago. So many loose ends! Don’t play the drama so high and then leave me hanging, Plastic Memories. It’s foul play.
For the sake of being positive, I’d like to take a moment to note how hard Plastic Memories is trying in general, which is the kind of push an original series needs. The soundtrack is excellent, as always, and I personally continue to love the detailed backgrounds. It also, once in while, breaks out some fairly interesting camera work for no other apparent reason than to impress. This week’s example: water effects. Since Plastic Memories is putting in some effort, I’m also consciously biasing myself to try and like it in response. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do hope that whatever happens it’ll be a good watch.