Game Adaptation by Project No. 9
Streaming on HIDIVE
Akihabara has historically been a hub for otaku culture, but the people’s love of anime and manga has been mysteriously fading away. It’s not totally gone yet though, as a group of girls running an anime and manga cafe are fighting (literally) to keep the culture alive.
Jel’s verdict: Forgettable
This could have been much worse. Pastel Memories is mostly harmless save for some excessive jiggle on the girls, and thankfully it does not use its premise to feed what I always refer to as the “nerd persecution complex”: the reactionary sentiment a lot of otaku and other extreme fandoms have developed as they refuse to grow and improve with the world around them. The girls’ mission is coming from a positive place of love and not paranoia, kind of similar to the recent anime appreciation series, Animegataris.
Beyond that, I felt nothing watching this. The bulk of the episode is the girls traveling around town looking for some lost manga volumes. Then they drop the bomb at the end revealing they also have to jump inside a magical grandfather clock and fight the monsters that are causing otaku culture to disappear. This is where the source material kicks in and the girls go from generic anime cafe waitresses to generic anime gacha game fodder. It’s fine.
They do make the bizarre decision to end the episode before actually showing any combat, but to be honest I don’t think it would have changed my opinion. This is a series made out of obligation to promote the game, nothing more or less. Probably safe to skip.