|Plastic Little (プラスチックリトル Purasuchikku Ritoru?) is an anime created by Satoshi Urushihara. It was published in Japan as a one-shot OVA. The anime motion picture was first released in North America on VHS by ADV Films, in 2001 ADV announced that the anime would be released on to DVD on February 5, 2002. Like much of Urushihara’s work, Plastic Little provides significant amounts of fan service.|
The main character of Plastic Little is Tita Mu Koshigaya, a young woman who captains a ship, the Cha-Cha Maru, whose business is capturing exotic creatures in the ‘sea of clouds’ of the planet Ietta, apparently a gas giant of some kind, and selling them to collectors and zoos. By chance, she saves Elysse Aldo Mordish, a young woman of her own age, from a rogue faction of Ietta’s own military forces, led by the armored commander Guizel, who already killed Elysse’s scientist father. As the military conducts a vicious chase for Elysse, it becomes apparent that she holds the key to a secret that could determine the fate of the entire planet’s independence.
Although the anime’s overriding goal is of course that of saving the world, an almost equal amount of time is spent on character interaction. Much of Tita’s crew once served under her father, and Tita has inherited much of the respect and devotion that he earned from them. Tita and Elysse’s relationship is the focus of much screen time; Tita risks life and limb for Elysse seemingly on a whim, later explaining that she felt it was impossible to stand by and watch her capture. In a small heartfelt speech delivered during a sunrise breakfast, Elysse speaks of feelings for Tita that could be interpreted as being ‘like love at first sight’. Tita has also shown some fondness for Nichol Hawking, a somewhat bumbling young man on her crew who has a long-term crush on her. Tita’s feelings for Nichol are shown in much less detail, restrained to a small, chaste kiss on his forehead after Nichol has fallen asleep beside her sickbed. Tita never makes romantic feelings clear for either of the possible love interests.
In a short mini-series of comics that followed the OVA, this tendency to use action and adventure mostly as a vehicle for character interaction continues. Elysse and Tita are not together physically, but apparently keep in very regular communication via videophone. (For which communications, Tita does not seem particularly inclined to wear clothes.) Other issues see Tita searching the Cloud Sea in the vain hope her father might somehow still be alive, and helping Nichol to win a race he’s been attempting for years. Much is made of a family dynamic among the crew, with Balboa an obvious father figure for Tita, Mei as mother, and Mikhail as gruff grandfather.