Winter 2019 Anime

Is It Worth Remembering? – ‘Pastel Memories’ Full Season Review

Is It Worth Remembering? - A Full Season Review of 'Pastel Memories'

PastelMemoriesFull

What’s the show? Pastel Memories.

And what’s it about? It’s sometime in the future (or an alternate timeline) and the Akihabara we know and love with it’s anime and gaming billboards and otaku stores is but a shell of its former glory. 12 girls working in a manga cafe lead double lives fighting to save people’s favourite manga and anime from being destroyed by “viruses” that rob people of the memories of ever having experienced the particular manga or anime that’s under attack in any given episode.

Basically this, every episode.

…okay… Basically it’s like the movie ‘Inception’ but instead of going into other people’s dreams they’re going into different manga and anime worlds. That “normal” enough of a comparison for you to understand?

I mean I get it but what’s the point of it? This series banks heavily on people’s nostalgia for certain shows but more so the idea of otaku culture in general. The imagery of a ‘blank’ Akihabara devoid of its brightly colored branding and shop names is deliberately meant to evoke a sense of unease in the audience—at least if you’re a shameless Akiba fan like me. Though I’ll admit the whole idea of an Akihabara without the very thing that makes it Akiba—while making for a striking image—isn’t actually tied to the central narrative in any meaningful way but rather serves as a way to bookend to the series.

…okay… What?!

The transportation scenes are the show at its visually best.

I feel like you’re going down a tangent few people will care about, we all know you love Akihabara and take every opportunity to remind us of that fact but could you please reign it in a little and focus on the elements of the show that are important for anyone considering whether or not to watch this show? No one’s going to watch this show…

You seem very certain of that? Every season there’s a show that instantly gets dumped by almost every seasonal reviewer, gets a criminally low score and MAL and basically becomes that season’s anime whipping boy. Last season it was ‘Conception’ and this season it’s ‘Pastel Memories’ and it’s not like I’m going to pretend like this show is worth watching for 95% of the anime viewing audience—but I enjoyed it and I’m glad I watched it.

Yay!

I think the problem is you’re far too easy on ~certain~ anime. “Certain anime”, what do you mean by that?

You said this show had 12 girls on its cast, yeah? Didn’t ‘Conception’ have that many too? Are you saying I have a ~thing~ for the number 12?!

What? No! I’m saying you tend to overlook an anime’s flaws if you’ve got a bunch of good-looking anime girls to look at. Oh. Well yeah, duh. But I’m still not going to watch something if it’s boring or unimaginative. And the fact that over the 12 episodes we get to visit ten different worlds inspired by other anime and manga is a selling point in of itself. And while your mileage may vary depending on how familiar you are with the anime they are referencing in any given episode even the episodes about show’s I didn’t know were still interesting enough to keep me entertained.

That’s not how you basketball!

But it’s not perfect right? The show has flaws. Yes, plenty. The show is frequently unimpressive visually, with off-model characters, stilted animation and derpy facial expressions. The constant battling of the same bad guys each week just in a different locale can feel repetitive and the two part finale feels stretched wafer-thin just to fill the run-time.

Okay then—some balance for a change… so final recommendation and review for ‘Pastel Memories’? Unless your a diehard fan of the different anime and manga that get referenced in this series than there’s probably little reason for the average anime fan to watch Pastel Memories. For the sake of completionism the worlds our characters travel to are from the following series’: ‘Is The Order A Rabbit?’, ‘Rozen Maiden’, ‘Ro-Kyu-Bu!’, ‘The Ryuo’s Work Is Never Done!’, ‘Hamtaro’, ‘Dragon Quest (vg)’, ‘Mister Ajikko’, ‘Tokimeki Memorial (vg)’, ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ or ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’. But you know what, I admired the effort and the enthusiasm if nothing else and there’s too a certain charm to the ‘roughness’ of the whole endeavour. I will remember you: 76 out of 100.

For me, the references peaked in Episode 2 with the ‘Is The Order A Rabbit?’ world.

“76”?! Not to nitpick but that score seems kinda high… I gave 10 points alone to the ending credits—seriously these are the best ending credits I’ve seen in a long time—if ever!

Okay folks, just go ahead and disregard this entire review… it’s for your own sake, trust me…

I’ll never get tired of this ED.

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