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Amnesia (anime review)

AmnesiaTitle: Amnesia The Complete Collection

Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi

Studio: Brain’s Base

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U. S. Release Date: June 3rd, 2014

Format: DVD / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Shojo, Romance,  Supernatural, Drama, Otome

Overall personal Grade: B

Synopsis:

She runs through the flaming building seeking escape. She struggles in the water, desperate to keep afloat. She wakes in the hospital, with no knowledge of how she got there or memory of who she was. People she doesn’t know come to visit her, but only the one whom no one else can see, the spirit boy who calls himself Orion, seems to understand what has happened to her, and he tells her not to let anyone know of her amnesia.

As the Heroine struggles to recall her past and connect the random recollections in her mind to form memories, one thing seems sure: time is no longer a constant, and the date of August 1st – the day she keeps waking up in the hospital – is somehow significant. So are each of the people she meets, though the stories that link her to them seem to shift like sands in an emptying hourglass. Will she be able put the pieces of the puzzle together, and what will she see if it becomes complete?

 

Commentary:

Amnesia is a wonderful example of a series developed from the visual novel / game known as Otome. These games set you up as the main character as you move through the different situations in the story. With Amnesia, we follow Heroine as she awakes with no memories of her prior life and discovers she is in a relationship with someone that seems to know her but she has not idea of who they rare. There are several young men in her life and every time there is a traumatic event in her life she awakes to find herself in a new relationship. She does have one constant and that is the fairy spirit that has attached himself to her soul and he ttys his best to help her out.

This jumping from one reality to another makes thing interesting, but ends up becoming a little frustrating as she ends up appearing more naive than she was early on. The reason for this frustration is because she does begin to remember the previous reality and she ends up playing the role of the dumb woman that is neither realistic or enjoyable. You know when you go to a bad horror film and you know the young lady shouldn’t go into the room or water and end up yelling at the screen “DON’T DO IT!”. This is a feeling that ends up becoming more frequent as there series progresses. It is not until the end of the series that she begins to have some semblance of intelligence. I never want to see anyone played out in this fashion, but this is what you get with Amnesia.

The animation style is right out of the manual of how to draw shojo characters. The girls are sexy and the guys ate almost stick men with strange but appealing close on that either make them look sexy or dark and mysterious. Of course they are beautiful with Heroine coming across somewhat plain compared to everyone else. This makes it easy to sympathies with characters who’s eyes we are seeing this through. I have to admit that the writer,Touko Machida, did a fine job of bringing this to life and interweaving the story that keep the real mystery lingering until the very end.

Overall Grade: B

Amnesia is a perfect anime for the love struck young girls and any romantically inclined fans, but if you are looking for action and adventure then you really need to look elsewhere. Visually it does a great job of living up to the genre it comes out of. Although, I would prefer somewhat less idealized stick figures. All I can think of is what would these young keen look like if they didn’t have their shirts on. I’m sure they would lack any type of muscle to their figures and look more like Jack Skellington rather than Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom.  Being a guy I can say it does nothing for me, but maybe that explains why I didn’t have the much luck with the girls when I was that age, I just wasn’t skinny enough. Anyway, I think this is a great series for role playing and a wonderful example of the gaming style of Otome. So, if you are looking for a little romance and confusion along with it then Amnesia is right up your ally.

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