Pastel Memories is turning out to be a bit of a roller coaster ride.
Episode 8 had me convinced that the cafe scenes were going to be the only remotely entertaining parts of the anime!
We received some good content this time around.
Come for the cafe scenes, stay for the actual content.
At this rate, I just have to take each episode individually.
Time for some positivity.
What went right in Pastel Memories episode 9?
Yep, the hime cut was the beginning of something new here.
It’s exactly what Pastel Memories was lacking!
Now that we have a character with a hime cut, I can finally start appreciating Pastel Memories for the masterpiece it is….
Just kidding – but I did like the hime cut, as brief as it was.
Definitely better than no hime cut at all.
A good omen, perhaps.
And this hime cut ties into the plot of the episode, because this lovely girl is from a dating sim.
Here’s how it goes down.
The girls are slacking off, as you’d expect:
The two on the left are doing the tried and true “pretend to be working” by either wiping down a table or a cup for an eternity (what a way to spend an entire shift), while the three on the right are more honest – two are playing games, and the pink haired one is watching.
Seems like a great day to schedule 5 girls to come in and work. When you consider that there’s only 3 tables and that little lounge area in the back, even if they were busy with customers one of them would probably be standing around. You could easily get away with 2 staff here, one to work the back and one to work the front. But what do I know, I’m just a pair of glasses.
The black haired girl is the subject of today’s episode.
It appears she’s gotten into some dating sim games (which I’ve never actually played. Are they even fun? They always look so cheesy in anime), and she is upset because she can’t win over any of the digital gals in game. She’s also rich apparently, with a personal driver, so at one point she goes to an “underground” game shop to buy a bunch of dating sims.
Long story short today’s episode takes place within a dating sim, which is an interesting change. Like the Dragon Quest episode, I’ll take it.
We’ll get to the reference later, because I have no clue if this is an “actual” game, or if they made it up for the show. Seems like it has a distinct moment that means it could be a real game.
The thing that I loved about this episode was that they finally took my advice and did something interesting with Maya. Until now, Maya has been a two-bit villain who has added nothing to the plot. Which is a problem, because she is supposed to be the one infecting games with the virus, and thus we are supposed to be interested in stopping her. Maya and the virus have just been too boring for me to really care.
Episode 9 took this in a different direction, thankfully.
The girls jump into the game that’s been infected, and this is who they see:
Cute schoolgirl Maya!
Turns out Maya has a strong dislike towards men, because of some personal hangups I guess. And because this is a dating sim, it’s up to the black haired cafe girl to win Maya over.
Finally we get to see Maya in a way that makes her more interesting.
We don’t really know anything about her, or her motivations.
Why is she even spreading the virus in the first place?
Now, none of that is answered here, but I like that the anime used Maya in this way. It’s a step in the right direction, and I’m happy to see that – even if it is 9 episodes late.
She also looks much cuter as a schoolgirl.
Our heroine this episode manages to win over Maya, and they end up getting to the confession scene or whatever, in front of a big tree. But then some other schoolgirls show up, whip out some hooked cleavers, and proceed to attack out of jealousy. Turns out they have been infected.
Against Maya’s will, the mother virus shows up and attacks as well.
The heroine and her two friends fight them off and save the day.
It all ends with Maya leaving, saying that she enjoyed their time together, but that she wouldn’t lose next time. A nice ending.
What game is this referencing?
Does the plot ring any bells for anyone?
Good end > girls turn into zombies and attack the protagonist / heroine.
To wrap up, here are my thoughts.
Maya is the one who is causing the virus – to stop Maya means to stop the virus. But this isn’t a violent anime (at least towards humans), which means to stop Maya means to change Maya. It’s clear Maya has some reason for trying to destroy manga, anime, and games.
This episode was (hopefully) the first of a series of episodes that will work towards changing Maya’s motivations. Maybe she is lonely, or has some past grief that she needs to overcome. I’d like to see these motivations come out and get addressed by our heroines. I forgot to mention it, but we actually did see Maya in the real world last episode, walking through the city alone. The anime is hinting at Maya being the focus moving forward.
Three more episodes to make this all happen.
I can see an ending where the virus is gone, and Maya is working at the cafe, full of customers, with the other girls.
If this all goes well, I could see Pastel Memories making a small rebound. 4 episodes can’t make up for the first 8, but I’d still love to see the anime end on a nice note.
Episode 9 was the best to date. Pun not intended.
This episode was a pleasant surprise.
I’m mildly looking forward to episode 10.
Please be good!
Until next time,
Thanks for reading!