Pastel Memories Episode 1
Studio: Project No.9
Streaming: Crunchyroll, VRV
Akihabara is known as a mecca for otaku culture today. Throughout the streets, you will find video game and manga shops, maid cafes, and new technology to buy. What if that culture disappeared though?
Pastel Memories carries this concept and takes place sometime in the future where Otaku culture has declined. no one really remembers what Akihabara was like when it featured otaku life. Now, a group of girls discover a treasure trove of otaku artifacts and try to get their memories back.
There are many references to otaku culture throughout the episode, which is nice, but there isn’t much substance here. At the end of the episode, I was left with the feeling that nothing really happened. There are a few moments where it is implied that there might be something deeper here, but for now, everything feels shallow. The final minute of the show leads me to believe that this show might possibly be going in a fun direction, so the next episode could make or break for the series.
The character designs aren’t particularly original, unfortunately. A few of the characters look like they ripped straight out of other series (One character looks just like Hanekawa for the Monogatari series). Most of them appear to be typical girls with large breasts, wearing bland dresses. The key visual and ending imply that there will be more fun costumes later, which might brighten the visual design up. Of course, this will likely lead to more fan-service as well.
Pastel Memories somewhat interesting premise is constantly distracted by unnecessary fanservice. Having characters with ridiculous proportions is one thing, but needing to emphasize those curves every couple of minutes is just distracting. There are quite a few moments throughout the episode where the entire frame is just of a chest with no context. Pastel Memories‘ fanservice shouldn’t be a surprise due to Project No.9’ history. The studio’s most popular anime is currently And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online? which might as well only exist for the fanservice.
The animation is inconsistent at best. Quite a few characters have unnatural movements throughout the episode. There are multiple moments where the only thing moving on the characters are the breasts. The music is standard but isn’t anything special. If there is one thing I do like, it’s how bright everything seems. The show carries a cheerful tone thanks partly to the upbeat characters, but mostly to the vivid colors. Overall though, this episode’s production is about as average as it can get.
Pastel Memories will appeal to some, but it shrugs off most of its wide appeal through useless fanservice that actually distracts viewers from the narrative. The concept is fun, but nothing interesting actually happens in this episode until the very end. Unless you want to see cute girls discover otaku culture, this one is a pass.
Pastel Memories Episode 1
Unless you want to see cute girls discover otaku culture, this one is a pass.