Review: Plastic Memories, Episode 9: After the Festival

Review:

Well, you saw it last week (and if you haven’t, then why are you reading this review?): Tsukasa confessed and was denied. Enter this episode, where he is little more than a disconnected zombie thanks to his rejection. Of course, that just means that the staff members of Terminal Service 1 are going to stick their noses right into this situation! From trying to cheer Tsukasa up to attempting to get Isla to admit how she really feels about Tsukasa, you can bet that this group of busybodies will stop at nothing to bring this couple together! But can everyone accept what is going on as feelings are bared and facts unearthed?

Okay, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way right off the bat. Within the first minute of the episode, Yasutaka tries to get Tsukasa’s attention with a dirty magazine. Yes, this is mentioned in the content guide, but it also bears mentioning here, because it was a point of considerable frustration. Firstly, because it puts something completely debauched in the middle of a story that is dealing with emotions, relationships, and other serious topics (even if does so comically at times), and secondly because it really isn’t necessary in the first place. It’s the same effect that Eru’s perversity has on the narrative. Sure, what they showed wasn’t the worst they could have made the content, but that doesn’t mean what was shown was acceptable by proxy.

Thankfully the above mentioned scene does occur in the beginning of the episode, which allows the rest of the episode to get better. Not that this makes up for the fact that the dirty magazine is shown in the first place, but at least we didn’t sit through a good narrative only to have it ruined by this terrible content. Instead, the episode gets to redeem itself and build a quite enjoyable narrative with only a slight disturbance by Eru’s presence in a couple sections. Other than that, we actually get quite a bit of Tsukasa/Michiru interaction in this episode, which just goes to further cement Michiru’s position as the resident tsundere, although her concern for Tsukasa and Isla really does shine through this time around. Ultimately, she steps in to help the situation, even though she knows how badly things could turn out and in spite of her own feelings for Tsukasa. It is also interesting to see the contrast between how she handled her dad’s “death” and how Tsukasa is handling Isla’s imminent “death”.

Tsukasa’s characterization is also commendable in this episode. While he ultimately does not give up his pursuit of Isla, nor his desire to be with her until the end, he doesn’t simply bounce back from his rejection as if nothing happened. His shock is certainly played up for comedic effect, but I imagine this is a little more realistic than the characters who tend to get rejected and jump right back to trying as if nothing ever happened. While he may not necessarily grow in this episode, his steadfast resoluteness is cemented even further, which is good, because the ending of this episode will undoubtedly put that resolution to the test in the next.

One thing that does seem out of place is the lack of any mention of the black market retrievers that were introduced near the beginning of the series. While the show has definitely shifted its focus more towards Tsukasa and Isla, it seems like a waste to have a perfectly legitimate point of conflict in this world and not use it to further the story. Of course, there are still several episodes left until the end, so this may resurface before then, but as of now no further mention of it has been made. Only time will tell how this narrative will play out, and black market retrievers or not there will probably be plenty of tears shed by the end of the series.

A Christian Perspective:

So I don’t have one definitive point to make with this episode. There were a few little things that popped out to me, though, so I will just discuss those.

At first, the way that Tsukasa’s co-workers tried to cheer him up reminded me of Job’s friends. While Job’s friends may have meant well, they ended up being a terrible source of console, serving to only further exasperate Job. While Tsukasa’s co-workers may not go that far, they certainly don’t help much. Yasutaka’s solution is to first simply mess with Tsukasa by fooling with his face and hair before moving on to flipping through a dirty magazine in front of him. Of course, none of this works, and how is any of that supposed to help Tsukasa’s situation, anyway? Then there is Zack, whose attitude has never trended towards the sympathetic in the first place. It’s not much different this time around.

Of course, the comparison to Job’s friends falls part when Michiru actually reaches out to Tsukasa in order to understand him and offer some genuine help. She even goes so far as to meet with Isla and try to get her to admit her love for Tsukasa. It’s pretty evident that she likes Tsukasa, yet she puts her own interests to the back burner for the sake of helping others, which sort of reminds me of Paul’s words in Philippians 2:4.

Finally, I can’t forget to discuss Tsukasa’s steadfast resolve. Although he has been rejected, and although he knows that his best case scenario is about a month of time with Isla before she is ultimately retrieved and her memories destroyed. Nevertheless, he presses on towards his goal. This is a good allegory for how we should be in the Christian life. Sometimes it’s not convenient, sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes there is no end to the struggles in sight, yet we know we have to press on, because the goal (being with Christ) is worth more than the struggles or bad things that may come with continuing our pursuit.

So, there you have it, a few “mini-lessons” from this episode. Did you pull anything else out of it?

Content Guide:

Spiritual Cotent: None

Language: 1 “d***it”, 1 “cr*p”, 2 “d*mn”, 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: Kazuki is shown sitting at a bar with both a glass and bottle of alcohol in front of her
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: From 00:52 – 00:59 Yasutaka opens a dirty magazine in front of a dazed Tsukasa and flips through it—women are shown in their underwear and mostly (if not all) topless, with at least one showing her buttcrack and pretty much all of them showing their breasts just slightly covered by things that aren’t clothing; around 1:20 you can see the magazine lying open on Tsukasa’s desk from a distance; Eru is shown in cleavage-revealing bunny girl outfit, and she is also drooling and acting creepy over the thought of Isla in pajamas; Isla is shown walking out of the bath with a towel wrapped around her—you can also see her underwear in a basket next to the door

Violence: A flashback shows Michiru’s father getting shot

Blood/Gore: None

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