「知らない花火」 (Shiranai Hanabi)
“The Fireworks I’ve Never Seen”
Sorry for the lateness of this post. I’m currently living in interesting times, so to speak. Thankfully, it should be temporary inconvenience.
It’s seems neither of the shows I’m blogging have time for the OPs this week, though in Plastic Memories‘ case it’s merging the ED with the main episode and slotting the OP where it used to be, creating the effect that there’s actually two episodes of anime rolled into one; one regular one and another that’s only a minute long. Jokes aside, there actually are two halves to this week’s Plastic Memories, more or less, though they are related to each other.
Every time I reformat my PC it becomes something entirely different, too
The first ‘half’ is more world building, something that will continue to be necessary so long as there are new perspectives that can be shed on the society of Plastic Memories. In particular, this week introduces one Andie (the artist formerly known as Olivia), who is a multi-purposed character. She’s not of Terminal Services One, and we already know that the other departments do things rather differently, so this is an opportunity to see exactly how. Turns out, it’s nothing complicated; apparently they just run people down and browbeat them into signing forms they probably haven’t read. Surely that counts as contract under duress in whatever jurisdiction they operate under. Even if not, it does seem a lot harder than it really has to be. At some point they’ll start employing bounty hunters and before we know it we’d be on the highway to dystopian future.
Andie’s other purpose is to serve as an example of a ‘reset’ Giftia, and while her story with Eru is not exactly heartbreaking, it does give cause for introspection. I had thought Tsukasa was rather quick to accept Isla’s short lifespan, and it turns out that he hasn’t really fully accepted it at all, still looking for a ‘cure’ in his abundance of free time. Alternatively, if we assume that Plastic Memories is contemplating mortality, as usual, what Giftia go through is some weird sort of reincarnation. Some owners are evidently more zen about it than others (and the Giftia seem to be universally accepting of their lot, for whatever reasons), but the common theme is that memory is where personality is sourced (memories being important in a series called Plastic Memories? Who would have thought?). Even in the same body, Andie and Olivia are two different people. I wonder how the old lady in the opener treats her reset Giftia. A fresh start, or a rerun? A child, or a doll?
‘No! Our star-crossed love cannot be!’
On our protagonists’ part, the major event is certainly Tsukasa suddenly professing his love. In a regular rom-com where one of the parties isn’t terminal they’ve have dallied about for another 3 episodes at least before we got anywhere close to a confession. And it’s a confession by fireworks too! How cliché! Then again, this stuff is cliché because it works. Romance under the stars! Pretty lights! Somehow managing to find complete solitude through contrived circumstances! You can’t get better atmosphere than this.
And for a moment, it really did seem like it worked, because overall it was a fairly effective scene and the ED playing in the background made it seem like a done deal. I would have happily shut off the episode when the OP started playing and left it at that. Alas, gentle readers, I am committed to thoroughness for your sakes. It all seemed to go so well, and then Tsukasa gets completely shot down with no shred of dignity remaining.
Are you trying to duck, Plastic Memories? You had a good thing going there with the confession scene. It was a fine rendition of an old classic. Can’t you wait until next episode before undermining it? Is this cowardice? Backpedaling most craven, sir? Stick to your guns, Plastic Memories! Commit! Argh!
992 hours ~ looking ahead
In all likelihood Isla’s rejection of Tsukasa, to the bemusement of the audience, has something to do with awareness of her own lifespan. After all, they’ve just dealt with a woman who fell in love with her Giftia earlier in the episode, and that ended rather badly.
(It makes one wonder again, though: what exactly is SAI marketing Giftia as? Seems to be ’emotional crutch’.)
Alternatively, it could all be some stupid fake out for some stupid reason, just to keep the episode hanging over the week. In which case, I will not be pleased, Plastic Memories. I may have to frown at you quite sternly. Neither of us want that.