Plastic Memories Ep. 8: What a cool girl

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So Tsukasa and Isla are at some old lady’s home to retrieve her android. The old lady surprises our hero by picking the third option: replacing her android with a new personality, then returning it back to her.

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For some reason, this bothers Tsukasa.

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— Of course, maybe the old woman just wants a love regardless of whether or not it’s the same child, it’s not a strange concept. If my cat dies, I’ll be sad… but I’ll likely get a new one and love it just the same. Sure, androids are human-like, so we should form stronger, deeper connections with them… but if there’s nothing you can do about them losing their memories, you may as well make the best of it.

— Tsukasa, however, starts wondering if it’s even possible for androids to recover their old memories. Um… how? I mean, c’mon, he has got to be an educated guy, right? So he should know how technology works, right? Michiru even flat out tells him that they replace all the components when they replace an android’s personality. It’s literally, physically impossible… unless the anime wants to venture into magical voodoo land.

— We all understand, of course, what it is that Tsukasa is after. Isla’s going to go away soon, and he would just love to keep his loli android around. But even if his emotions are getting the better of him, I think the question here is just incredibly stupid.

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— Some android drops by because it’s on a mission to retrieve a runaway. Tsukasa and Isla are tasked with assisting her.

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When Eru sees Andie, however, she immediately jumps and gropes the latter. Y’see, we don’t care because they’re both girls! We also don’t care because one of them is an android. Fantastic!

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— It turns out that Eru used to know an android that looked a lot like Andie (not that this changes anything). But she also knows that her friend had to go away. Andie is simply a lookalike, and yet Eru acted as if they knew each other all along. Man, the people in this show…

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— Even though everyone has told him it isn’t possible for androids to recover their old personalities, Tsukasa continues to brood over the question. He’s also bothered by the fact that no one else is bothered by androids getting new personalities. God damn, who cares? Some people are, some people aren’t. This is clearly evident by the fact that not everyone chooses to replace their androids’ OSes. This is such a pathetic non-issue.

— Eru and Andie become friends anyway, and they have a trip back to the former’s hometown. Conveniently enough, there’s a carnival to attend, and Eru wants Tsukasa to come along.

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— Hey, this is his opportunity to see if magical bits and bytes will magically appear in Andie’s memory banks just because her shell used to go to the same carnival! Hey, we’re men of science! This requires testing!!! *snort*

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— Oh yeah, Isla’s entire contribution to this fucking episode is pouting, looking mad, and looking sad. All because Tsukasa often has his attention divided by other girls. Oh. No. How dare he speak to someone else but her for just a couple of hours out of a long day?!

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— Then she proves herself to be the most useless android ever by getting lost.

— Eru eventually decides that she should make new memories with Andie instead of trying to relive old ones. It’s like we have to change and adapt to new things in order to survive in this world.

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— At that moment, fireworks go off and Tsukasa finally realizes that his loli android is lost. Cue insert song as we see an oh-so-romantic montage of the guy running frantically through the crowd to look for Isla.

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And where’s Isla? Huddling on some bench all by her lonesome because fireworks are scaaawwwwy. This is so fucking dumb. Fine, instead of an interesting, thought-provoking sci-fi series, you want to focus more on the emotions. You want to craft a love story between a human and an android. That’s fair enough, but it’s this… this stunted freakshow of a love story that we get instead of anything remotely touching.

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Last week, I talked about how Isla didn’t even resemble an android. She’s only an android on paper, but she acts like every other fucking anime character that we’ve ever seen. It’s such a waste of a premise, because what’s even the point of making her an android? Why even bother if we’re so afraid of weirding the audience out by having the main character fall in love with something potentially in-human?

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But another big problem rears its ugly head in this week’s episode: Isla isn’t even a real woman. It doesn’t help that he towers over her. It doesn’t help that she is often helpless like some wayward child. But she doesn’t even have a real personality. They don’t even have real disagreements about anything ever. If she’s mad about anything, it’s only because “HURR HURR HE IS NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO OTHER WOMEN” or “OMG I JUST WANT TO PROVE THAT IM USEFUL TO YOU.” But otherwise, she would never complain about him or anything he does. She would never even complain about anything that happens around her, because holy shit, that would require her to have enough independent to care about anything beyond the Tsukasa and his immediate surroundings. She’s just this child to be coddled. She’s not someone who can find her own way through a fucking crowd. She’s not someone who can see fireworks for the first time and be marveled (or perhaps not even marveled). She doesn’t have any individual interests or hobbies or even quirks of her own. We don’t even see her go off and do something on her own for her own enjoyment. Her fucking existence revolves around the guy and the guy only. So yeah, Plastic Memories sucks, but it doesn’t suck because it chose to be a series about romance. It sucks because it chose to be a series about a romance between a manchild and his little baby android pet who has the body of a 12 year old girl and the mind of a 5 year old. For Christ’s sakes, she’s supposed to be a fucking android. Sure, I can buy the idea that they all have unique personalities, but you’re telling me a human-like AI capable of learning on its own is this useless and helpless and childish? Only in anime. Only in anime where the protagonists only ever falls in love with these perfect little servile angels whose only flaws are that they can’t live without their ganbatte-it-up protagonists. HERE HAVE SOME MORE TEA DO YOU WANT SOME TEA? And that’s so fucked up, man.

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Pfft. Just go watch Her.

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6 thoughts on “Plastic Memories Ep. 8: What a cool girl”

  1. “So he should know how technology works, right? Michiru even flat out tells him that they replace all the components when they replace an android’s personality. It’s literally, physically impossible…”

    Due to how technology works this should be not only possible, but a easy thing to do. In a man-made android, all its memories and personality are just data, and data written in a way modeled by man. There’s no mystery, just back-up the data before shutting down the old android, replace all the components you want, and then install the old data in the new android. It’s so simple it was the first thing that bothered me from the start, but I let it go because I understood it as a plot device.

    1. Due to how technology works this should be not only possible, but a easy thing to do.

      I’m talking about an android recovering its old memories magically from just external stimuli… not using backed up data. Obviously, I know how backups work.

      1. Sorry then, I misunderstood because Tsukasa thinks about the two ways this episode. The possible (well, the should be possible, but the giftias seems to be impossible to back-up and restore for some mysterious reason Plastic Memories will never tell anyone) and the magical.

  2. The whole “android”-thing is an excuse to make it into the “sci-fi”-genre. And it goes without saying that calling these things “androids” can pretty much be considered the thinnest excuse of one simply because they mention techno-babble. It makes me wonder if the writer even really knows knows what an “android” is. Most likely not because you know, 2010 Japanese manga industry; the only thing they know are panty flashes and that tits with nipples exist.

    Like I mentioned in the last post, these “androids” SHOULDN’T be bothered with human emotions. Simply because human emotions are severely complicated (not even WE fucking get it) and arguably a one-in-a-billion(s) chance of the evolutionary tract of organism to organism interactions. Actual VI/AI coders most likely wouldn’t even try to write that part into the code; it’d likely be a megaton of work for a whole lot of nothing. And even if AI grows sentient to emulate human emotion, why would they bother, minus the linguistic/hand langauge cues of each culture?

    Android 1 diving into the synthetic tits of Android 2? WHY, they’d most likely stand in front of the other and exchange data through a futuristic version of Wi-Fi. Or maybe even shake hands so that passer-byers wouldn’t suspect anything. Why would they bother to use physical parts and memory finite resources to do something that trivial?

    And Isla? Wow, this shit is going to go the route of E-Minor’s “voodoo magical land”. The anime romanticizes this too much. If “she” was that close to being defective, wouldn’t she be physically malfunctioning uncontrollably or doing some kind of mild Windows’ BSoD and collapse or stand wherever she is? The writer really is just conveniently forgetting what happens to technology, as far as futuristic human technology.

    Again, wow, really? Falling in love with a machine? Again, we probably hold and continue to hold some kind of sentimental value to pieces of technology, like how our parents bought our first smartphone or the rustic value of an alarm clock, but really? Do or will we have the same level of human love and devotion to something that we KNOW and REALIZE is an artificial machine? Much less a machine that will die with a very few short years of our own?
    My uneducated answer is no. Judging by the social and knowledge of past, present and possible future technologies, we humans will most likely ALWAYS treat technology, not matter how sophisticated or life-like, as technology.

    Unless they’ve got a life-like auto-lubed human-simulated reproductive organ to be used at will, then maybe. Only, I don’t see these pure virgin characters utilizing such a feature.

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