Pastel Memories – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Akihabara is a mecca for otaku culture everywhere. But that culture is on the decline due to a mysterious affliction causing widespread memory loss. Izumi and her comrades hatch a plan to restore lost memories and return “Akiba” to its former glory. (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The first episode of Pastel Memories suffers from tonal whiplash. The show opens with an overview of Akihabara getting covered by a dark, omnious looking sky but then immediately cuts to happy music and a cheerful girl running off to her part time job at a cafe with all the ditsy, oopsy, cutesy cliches associated with cute high school anime girls. While we spend the rest of the episode with the girls working at the cafe, they suddenly, just before episode’s end, start spouting lines about viruses, other universes and lost memories. We even have an anthropomorphic bunny like creature pop up, making you wonder just when you accidentally hit the remote and switched to a totally different anime. None of these transitions are seamless and each feels so jarring from the previous scene. The last segment feels especially out of the blue as none of the talk and events occurring in it were alluded to in any way prior.
Tom: It’s almost maddening how little thought has been put into the set up. So many questions are raised, yet the series has zero interest in addressing any of them. By how quickly our characters move on from all the holes in the show’s set up, it’s clear that the sudden death of Akihabara is little more than an excuse for the sci-fi action that’s teased at the end of the episode.Otherwise this first episode is impressively bland. Once we’re onto the idea of a former anime/manga shop turned coffee house, we spend a good twenty minutes watching the girls run around town trying to collect a manga series some little girl asked them for. What transpires isn’t clever, or interesting, as the same obstacles meet each girl, making for an overly repetitive introduction to this mediocre gacha game adaptation.
Linny: If the bevy of girls in the preview image didn’t give it away, Pastel Memories is adapted from a game, most likely a gacha mechanic mobile game. Thus its bevy of girls are all lazy and bland stereotypes with the most effort put solely into their hairstyle and colour scheme to make them ‘stand out’ from each other. Heck, you even get a cat girl who likes to inject her sentences with as much cat like meow sounds as possible, ticking off one of the most cliche ‘girl types’ in anime and games. These girls only further cement what a bland and uninspired show Pastel Memories is, with no thought put into weaving a cohesive and engaging story together. Consider this an easy skip for the season.
Tom: Outside of its bubbly, cutesy, tropey characters I fail to see any real appeal. The series seems poised at seducing more players towards the phone game of the same name, or perhaps something made exclusively for their dedicated player base. Yet seeing as Pastel Memories’ game has no Western release, this feels increasingly uninteresting. I’d agree that Pastel Memories is one of this season’s easiest titles to pass up on.
Pastel Memories is available for streaming via HIDIVE.