(12ish episodes ?)
What’s it about ?
This is a rarity this season : a show that isn’t an adaptation or a spin-off of anything. Is that even allowed ?
Anyway, it’s S-F exploring the impact of human androids on society.
Tsukasa, our protagonist, somehow landed a job at the Terminal Service department of an android production company without having any clue of what they do there. He’s heard of the impressively human-like “Giftia”, but never actually seen one ; and he certainly didn’t notice they were three of them in the office.
Ms Kazuki, the sub-manager (whom the actual manager swiftly pawned the newb to) explains : Giftia have a life expectancy of a bit more than 9 years, after which their memories and personality start breaking down, and Bad Things happen. The role of the Terminal Service is to make rounds of all the owners as the time limit nears, trying to persuade them to relinquish the Giftia back to the company. (A later scene shows that they can get either a partial refund, a discount on a new Giftia, or even the same Giftia back, but with a new OS and a blank mental slate.)
Michiru is the co-worker who’s been tasked with his on-the-job training. It’s a bit awkward at first, especially as she’s barely been a year here and is younger than him. Anyway, it’s their partner Giftia (in her case, the kid-looking Zack) who does all the negotiating job ; the humans are there to supervise.
Isla is the Giftia assigned as Tsukasa’s partner, as the only spare one. (And even then, Ms Kazuki was reluctant and trying to keep her off active duty.) She’s got years of experience and a reputation of being very good at it… which makes it all the funnier when her attempts this episode turn out to be entirely inept. Repeatedly. (My suspicions are that either she’s starting to break down, or, more probably, that she’s just been wiped clean.)
We get to see a few Giftia owners this episode ; not all are accepting of the Terminal Service showing up. Which is understandable, given several of them seem to be using the androids as substitute children/grand-children… or lovers, as implied about the dude who made a runner with his.
Good enough. And I commend the director for going out of his way to sell the jokes ; there’s some great comedic timing here thanks to some well-executed shot-to-shot transitions.
There’s always at least one show each season that comes from nowhere and takes me completely by surprise ; the one that makes this entire project worthwhile just by existing. This amazingly hilarious S-F comedy often had me in stitches, and the premise feels strong enough to be developed over a full series.
Clearly, this is this season’s hidden gem. Even the terrible stinger joke can’t ruin it for me.