The Wandering Witch – Making Plastic Memories

Posted on Apr 15 2015

Wandering Witch Making Plastic Memories

Welcome, all, again. Today I break one of my own long-standing rules as I prepare to discuss the anime Plastic Memories with just two episodes broadcast so far. And please notice that I am not calling this a review–such is quite implausible with my having watched so few episodes. Nonetheless, I feel that this show’s overwhelming emotional impact demands immediate exploration, and I am eager to share my enthusiasm for it with you! Plastic Memories was created by Naotaka Hayashi; studio Doga Kobo is producing the anime, while a spin-off manga is to be serialized in Dengeki G’s Comic. The anime is being simulcast on Crunchyroll on Saturdays at 1:00pm CDT.


Plastic Memories is set in a near-future in which one company, SAI, has successfully married androids to synthetic souls, resulting in beings virtually indistinguishable from humans. Unlike humans, however, these “Giftias” have a set life expectancy, it being roughly 9 years and 4 months (81,920 hours, exactly). At the end of this time, a Giftia’s memories and personality will quickly deteriorate, leaving just a soulless machine. In order to prevent this occurrence and any corresponding complications and customer dissatisfaction, SAI has a Terminal Service division tasked with collecting Giftias which are nearing their expiration and erasing their memories and personalities. Terminal Service employees work in pairs, one human and one Giftia, and travel to the client in order to physically secure the subject Giftia. The human of the team acts as spotter and supervises the actions of his/her partner Giftia, who acts as marksman and both negotiates the return of the subject Giftia and begins its deprogramming.


Our protagonist is Tsukasa Mizugaki, an 18-year-old who failed his college entrance exams because of ill-timed appendicitis. Luckily for him, his father has connections at SAI, which lead to Tsukasa being offered a job in Terminal Services. He arrives just brimming with energy and ignorance, both of which are quickly dispelled. And because no one was expecting a new Terminal Service employee, Tsukasa becomes part of an ad hoc team that pairs him with Isla, a girl whom he witnessed crying while on the elevator. Tsukasa is surprised to learn that Isla is a Giftia, while Isla seems equally surprised that she is being reassigned to field work after becoming a fixture within the Terminal Service office. Neither is prepared for the work at hand, and we witness some rather spectacular failures. Michiru Kinushima, however, finds no humor in these failures. She is Tsukasa’s designated trainer, despite being a year younger than he, and is concerned that his failures might reflect poorly upon her and her team. But Tsukasa is also dissatisfied, and suggests to Isla that they try sharing responsibilities more evenly; to wit, he will negotiate, while she continues to handle the deprogramming. So, how will this work?


How will this work? Tsukasa is bravely exploring ways to improve his team’s morale and performance, while completely unaware that his partner is only weeks away from her own expiration. How long will it be before he learns this truth? More importantly, how will he and Isla confront it? Tsukasa has already witnessed client reactions ranging from resignation to stubborn resistance–how will he react, not as a client, but as Isla’s partner and friend? And Isla herself is acutely aware of her impending demise– but how will this awareness affect her relationship with Tsukasa? To misquote the great Dorothy Parker: “What fresh Hell is this?” For the moment, the characters provide the laughs while the situation provides the tears. But for how long?


Despite flashes of humor which include some jaw-dropping slapstick antics, Plastic Memories is essentially a show addressing serious issues both individual and social. Mortality has always been a sobering topic, and it plays a central role in this series’ plot. For example, in the show’s portrayal of sensitivity (or lack thereof) towards expiring Giftias, it is easy to see both an exploration and critique of society’s attempts to address issues relating to an aging populace. Questions of informational privacy are also acknowledged, particularly in regards to medical records. And what about the rights of a family to protect its members from outside threats? Can a simple contract really override those rights? Moreover, what about the rights of the Giftias themselves? Are they truly autonomous, sentient beings? If so, should they not therefore have rights to protect them? And last, as the Giftias’ Creators, what should be our own rights and responsibilities towards them? Depending upon the viewer’s personal responses to these questions, the scenario envisioned in Plastic Memories might seem to represent a step towards either a more utopian or more totalitarian society. So be warned: this show is engaging, intriguing, and even a little intimidating. And I love it!

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  • HuntikAnimeLover19 April 16, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    great blog dude! Enjoyed your blog a lot! – HuntikFan1017

  • moonhawk81 April 17, 2015 at 8:23 AM

    Thanks for the compliment! I really love the chance to offer these reviews.

  • Haltfire302 April 22, 2015 at 1:18 PM

    I’m ridiculously excited for this show.

  • moonhawk81 April 26, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Me too! Especially about the character development, which has so far been phenomenal and will really intensify the emotional impact of Isla’s coming expiration. . .

  • Kayarath June 29, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Wow that actually a unique concept!

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