Review: Plastic Memories, Episode 5: The Promise I Wanted To Keep

Review:

For the first time in the show’s history, we actually have something akin to a two-part storyline. If your memory needs a bit of refreshing, the previous episode ended with one of those black market retrievers showing up at Souta’s door and inquiring about Marcia. Rather than just have this as an unfortunate ending to her story, or as some kind of background plot, this actually carries into the main plot of this episode, with Marcia ultimately being abducted (this really isn’t a spoiler… it happens roughly in the first minute of the show). As a result, Terminal Service 1’s crew mobilizes in an effort to find the lost Giftia. Along the way back stories are revealed, old acquaintances are introduced, and hearts are broken.

This is the first episode of Plastic Memories to get really dark and violent. Granted, its violence is still quite tame in comparison to many other shows, but there are a few scenes that definitely shake things up. For the first time, we actually get to see what Wanderers are capable of, rather than just hearing about it, and we see why they are such a concern for the Terminal Service crew. The episode also takes time to delve into the story of Michiru and her father a little more, with a little bit of Kazuki’s story thrown into the mix. That is probably one of Plastic Memories’ strongest attributes: the secondary characters actually feel like fleshed out personalities, and not just creations meant to fill out the roster. The events of this episode impact many characters, not just the designated “main” characters.

The only flaw in this episode is the unexplained appearance of Souta in the midst of a blockaded area. Despite the fact that he is absent for basically the entire search prior to entering the blockaded area, Souta somehow knew where to go or presumably followed the Terminal Service car to the location. We’re never told how. He just randomly appears. Okay, sure, this is a dramatic point, not to mention a shocking one, as no one expected him to show up, but the problem is in reconciling it with the logistics of the episode, and as of now it doesn’t make sense. Perhaps the next episode will shed some light on this.

At the end of the day, this was a satisfying episode of Plastic Memories, barring Souta’s mysterious appearance (and the cliffhanger ending… but no one likes cliffhanger endings). Character stories and character relationships were explored, story elements introduced in the previous episode were expanded upon, and there was just enough drama and action present to keep things tense. Plastic Memories has a lot going for it, and has gotten off to a pretty decent start, so hopefully it can maintain this steam for the duration of the season.

A Christian Perspective:

Honestly, I had a really hard time thinking of anything for this episode. Usually I can come up with something after thinking about the episode for a few minutes, and on a good day something will pop out at me while watching the episode. Even after a few days, nothing particularly profound jumped out at me, so all I have is this: the problem with humans playing God.

Now, it could be said that the whole series encapsulates this idea, and that would probably be right, but while the series up until this point has shown more of an emotional issue (people having to part with their beloved androids who might as well be humans), this episode presents the idea of real, physical harm: namely, what happens when a Giftia becomes a Wanderer. The show makes sure to clarify that Wanderers are rare cases, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can come about, and from the two cases shown we see that they have ridiculous strength. Man tried to play God by creating a form of artificial life that very closely resembles man. Man’s creation could, if left unchecked, wipe man off the face of the Earth. While the idea of androids is certainly cool (what sci-fi geek doesn’t entertain the idea from time to time?), we have to ask ourselves if, as Christians, it is really an idea we should support. I suppose it comes down to how “real” the end goal would be, but I think we can agree that the result presented in Plastic Memories is humans fiddling too much with something they know too little about.

Let me just say that this isn’t necessarily to take a stance against the idea of artificial limbs. Some might say that if these people lose a body part (or were born without it), then that’s God’s will and man shouldn’t interfere. Others might say that perhaps it was God’s will that these things be invented so that these people could have what they otherwise wouldn’t. I do not know who is right in this argument, but I want to make it clear that this was not the particular discussion in question for this Perspective.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: None

Language: 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: A Giftia is tazed off-screen; a Giftia is shown being shot multiple times in a flashback—another flashback shows this same Giftia attack a man and a woman, and then shows him again being shot; a Giftia attacks Isla

Blood/Gore: The above-mentioned flashback seems to show a woman with blood on the ground near her leg; a man is shown with a bruised eye and blood on his face

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