In the distant future, the SAI Corporation has managed to fit robots with living souls, but there is a catch. Each robot begins to deteriorate at a high speed and may only last for 9 years. Upon decommissioning, the robots must be collected by a Spotter (human) and a Marksman (robot) where the target loses all memories. Plastic Memories follows the journey of newbies Tsukasa (human) and Isla (robot) as they wrestle with the questions of love and humanity.
Plastic Memories is not the first anime to tackle such serious and important issues as there have been many before it that have caused viewers to erupt with conflicting emotions and ask questions about their own lives. While these shows may be veiled in comedy, the underlying tone of the plot is much more serious.
Similar Anime to Plastic Memories
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: October 2007 – March 2008
On Tomoya’s first day of the new school year, he accidentally meets someone interesting, Nagisa Furukawa, who is repeating a grade due to illness. Nagisa’s goal has always been to join the drama club, but due to previous members graduating and lack of interest, it has been disbanded. Together, Nagisa and Tomoya reform the drama club and make new friends, while learning something about each other in the process.
On the outside Clannad appears to be a typical slice of life anime revolving around high school shenanigans, but at its core each character struggles through various struggles keeping them from moving forward. Tomoya often goes out of his way for Nagisa and this relationship is quite reminiscent of the one between Tsukasa and Isla from Plastic Memories, where one person is constantly trying to help the other overcome their shortcomings and romance eventually blossoms out of their strong bonds.
Both anime revolve around partners with a common goal, but eventually that goal shifts and changes until the only thing left is to make the other person happy.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2002 – September 2002
While walking home from school one day, Hideki Motosuwa stumbles upon a beautiful female persocom, a robot personal computer, thrown away in a pile of trash. Always wanting a persocom, he immediately takes her home. Once booted, the persocom can only repeat one word over and over again, “Chi”. Hideki assumes there is an error, so he has her analyzed by several of his friends who conclude that she must be a “Chobits”, a robot able to make its own decisions and is capable of emotion.
Similar to Plastic Memories in that there are robots with emotions involved, Chobits explores the idea of love and how far one is willing to go for it. Hideki and Chi form a bond that is solid and unbreakable, but Hideki has to make major sacrifices for his relationship to continue. Sacrifice and compromise are at the heart of both of these shows and both of these traits are important factors for real life relationships to succeed.
Chobits Anime Trailer
3. Angel Beats
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 – June 2010
Waking up in a strange place, Otonashi comes across a girl with high powered weapons aiming to kill a so called “Angel”. When Otonashi realizes they are referring to another high school aged girl, he immediately runs to warn her. In return, she kills him. Stunned that he’s still alive afterwards, he realizes that the place he has landed is somewhere in the afterlife, whether it be Heaven or Hell.
There are many similar traits between Otonashi and Tsukasa such as their need to help those around them and make their partners happy whereas both Nagisa and Angel tend to shoulder all of the burden in a failed attempt to not inconvenience others. Both couples struggle to understand each other, but ultimately just want what’s best for those around them. Heartwarming and sad, viewers will love this series for the same reasons they love Plastic Memories.
Angel Beats Trailer
Any Animes Like Plastic Memories ?
4. Air (Air TV)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2005 – March 2005
While traveling in search of “the girl in the sky”, Yukito survives by using what little magic is left in him to perform puppet shows for money. Upon setting up shop in a new town, he meets Misuzu who offers to feed him and eventually gives him a place to stay. During his stay, Yukito finds more and more evidence that the girl he is looking for could be in this town, but discovers that she is more than a blessing. She is a curse.
Misuzu and Isla may have completely opposite personalities, but both realize that they are living on borrowed time. With the limited time given to them, each woman wishes to understand and cope why they were chosen to be who they are. While Isla wishes to shut out the world as to not harm anybody, Misuzu welcomes everyone into her heart. While the basic plots are quite similar, Air can be seen as an alternate way Plastic Memories could have played out.
Air TV Trailer
5. Kowarekake no Oregel (Half-Broken Music Box)
- Episodes: 1 OVA
- Aired: December 2009
While taking a shortcut through an old shrine, Keiichiro discovers an older model Parents or android in the form of a young girl. He brings her home with him and quickly realizes she has some minor defects such as memory loss, lack of cooking skills, and being tone deaf. In an attempt to see her master happy, the newly named Flower starts a journal and secretly beings vocal lessons, hoping to bring smiles back to Keiichiro.
Both Plastic Memories and Kowarekake no Oregel feature women androids that are on the verge of breaking down. While Isla knows the exact amount of time she has left Flower’s sudden malfunctions throw her master off guard. The fragility of life is explored in each of these anime as each girl comes to terms with how they wish to spend their remaining hours and each realizes just how special their time really is thanks to their human partners.
Kowarekake no Oregel Trailer
6. Key the Metal Idol
- Episodes: 15
- Aired: December 1994 – June 1997
After her grandfather’s death, the robot Key inherits his will where she learns she can become a human girl after she makes 30,000 friends. She soon finds that this is tougher than she previously imagined as there are others in the world who would use her friendship in their favor. Together with her bodyguard Tomoyo and her best friend Sakura, Key sets on a journey where she discovers who she is and what exactly her mysterious powers are.
Key the Metal Idol is a journey of self-discovery which asks the question, “What makes us human?” Interaction with other humans is critical and without that touch, empathy is lost. Isla from Plastic Memories wishes to erase these emotions and distance herself in order to remain a robot and avoid the loss of memories, but Key instead actively seeks relationships out. Both anime bring a range of emotion to viewers leaving them pondering their own existence.
Key the Metal Idol Ad
Plastic Memories makes viewers contemplate the human condition and whether or not they themselves can accept those not traditionally human as one of our own, but the anime above show that physical bodies are not the most important element. What is inside is what truly matters. When our bodies have withered away to nothing, our memories and emotions are what linger on.