The second last episode is one of those calm and almost celebratory episodes that allow you to enjoy your favourite character pairing and bask in the sunshine of this lovely anime world because they have to hit you with the inevitable and unavoidable ending in the final episode. Episode twelve of Plastic Memories gives us slice of life moments of Isla and Tsukasa, their decision to be together, spend each day going through those mundane motions, have a party and just BE a couple after everything that’s happened. Even everyone at the office is encouraging the two to cherish their remaining time.
Kazuki tasks Tsukasa with singing Isla’s retrieval form. It’s at this moment that we see our strong and kindhearted Tsukasa waver a bit. He actually contemplates running away with Isla… I mean, it’s ridiculous to even suggest it given everything they’ve seen up till then but luckily Isla encourages Tsukasa to do the right thing here and Tsukasa gives his final signature.
The episode ends with a really happy farewell part of sorts because EVERYONE including the characters knows that all the pain and suffering comes the week after.
“And now it’s almost time for this dream to end…”
Cue the adorable couple’s house cleaning montage…
And then the nostalgic series flashback moments…
But BEYOND all the cheesy things they show us, Isla and Tsukasa actually head excitedly to the amusement park for their last day together and it is SUCH A SWEET WAY to tie the couple full circle in the story. As the day is ending, Tsukasa start to realize their time is ticking, ticking and ticking to an end but he tries to keep a bright face for Isla.
Isla gets permission to ride the Ferris wheel with Tsukasa one last time as the park is closing. Things start to get mushy here but Isla is SO THANKFUL for everything she’s had. Isla asks Tsukasa to end her life INSIDE THE FERRIS WHEEL which is just so outright and heartbreaking I don’t know how he had the courage to reach out to her like that. OMG ISLA ALL THE FEELS when Tsukasa breaks down in tears in front of her. The terminal service collection process is almost like a wedding ceremony and as the Ferris wheel ride ends, Tsukasa carries Isla out in his arms. DAMN I REALLY TEARED UP FOR THIS. OMG TSUKASA… when things are wrapping up after Tsukasa is “collected,” everyone is reading her letter. Damn this becomes painful real quick as the episode builds up to an emotional climax. The epilogue conclusion is really just a formality in the last few minutes.
Final Series Thoughts
In terms of a steady progression of romance, this series doesn’t do as well. We get too caught up exploring all the individual Giftia’s stories that we don’t have enough to unfold Isla as a truly three dimensional character. Rather, we get a lot of cute slice of life scenes that should in theory build up the relationship points between Isla and Tsukasa but serve more as comedic relief when we’re not talking about the main couple.
I also don’t see why Tsukasa would fall for Isla. They haven’t had enough heart to heart conversations to get to the deeper parts of their relationships… but I guess there was REALLY not enough time. The Ferris wheel part of the episode really helped because Isla starts listing off ALL the things she loves about Tsukasa. She’s so open and carefree in her last hours which endears her even more to the audience. It is really sweet that Tsukasa loves all the flaws that Isla dislikes about herself.
“I hope one day you’ll be reunited with the one you cherish.”
Life goes on after Isla’s time wraps up and it seems like not much in the terminal service department. It’s a little surprising Tsukasa is able to move on so quickly but I assume we skipped all the grief phases in order to give us a taste of the happy epilogue times. Just before the episode ends, he is introduced to a new Giftia as his partner. We don’t get to see his or her face but we can definitely assume that Tsukasa is meeting this new partnership with the same enthusiasm and open-mind as before.
Overall Plastic Memories makes a good effort in the drama and romance genre. It touches on certain themes but perhaps because of episode constraints we don’t have enough time to gravely explore the emotional intricacies of the events that transpire. I definitely think the series would have done better if it had been allotted twenty-four episodes so that we could have enough time to tell Kazuki and Isla’s back story as well as showcase more of their partnership together and even fit in more of Isla’s every day interactions with the supporting characters. The series is told from Tsukasa’s perspective though which is why the storytelling was more limited in that respect but Plastic Memories was still one of the stronger series of the season and definitely worth the watch if you’re looking for something to tug at your feels.
What are you pondering today?