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Amnesia - Reviewed by GaileOxstain
Posted on Sunday, June 12th 2016 by Crawen

Amnesia Cover


On the insistence of a friend, I was urged to watch “Amnesia”. Frankly, I was hesitant considering the series is named after one of the most overused cliché tropes in gaming, anime, and pretty much every other form of media. To my surprise the series renewed my expectations quite a bit, only for my faith to be dashed for a completely different reason than what I was expecting.


Plot:

Amnesia Screenshot 1 A college girl wakes up in a maid café break room, but she has no recollection of who she is. Though scared and nervous about the ordeal, she is advised by a mysterious fairy boy named Orion only she can see and hear to avoid going to the hospital so that she can regain her memories naturally through experience. Though admittedly responsible for unintentionally wiping her memories, Orion decides to assist our female heroine to gradually recover her memories and look out for her well-being. But without any memories of her life up until August 1st, how will she be able to tell who is friend and who is foe? Where is she now, and where shall she go?

Amnesia Screenshot 2 I really liked the premise of “Amnesia”. As overused as the trope itself is, the idea of a blank slate character discovering who she was and what her life was like before her memory loss bit by bit until the pieces form a complete picture fascinates me and leaves a lot of room for curious speculation on the part of the viewer. Strangely and unfortunately, the series does not go in this direction or even stick to a set direction for that matter.

Amnesia Screenshot 3 The plot focuses on the heroine’s attempts to make sense of the blank script her loss of memories creates, and I do have to say that the slow reveal is done quite well. The stories centered on each of the male character’s past and current struggles which really compliment the memory recovery process with interesting and engaging character tidbits that really make connecting with the cast easy and enjoyable. The story becomes a journey into the past via the shared experiences between the heroine and the male cast, both past and present. Each arc is memorable in its own unique way and leaves you hungry for more.

Amnesia Screenshot 4 And sadly I mean that in not the most positive sense because the story has this really annoying tendency to literally restart the storyline Endless Eight style, rendering the time spent beforehand essentially pointless. Apparently every time the heroine “dies” she just gets sent back to August 1st with several differences in the timeline, most notably being that she’s always dating a different guy from the main cast. As stated before, each of their individual storylines are interesting and frankly could have been excellent love stories in their own right, but thanks to the plot constantly resetting everything we are always left with an unfinished product that refuses to satisfy the viewer’s appetites.

What’s more, when all questions are answered concerning the heroine’s amnesia and the world jumping, the answers just don’t feel satisfying and ultimately it feels like the past ten episodes were ultimately pointless endeavors that served little purpose in getting the series to arrive at its final stop.

Characters:

The cast is colorful and each individual possesses likable traits that make them charming, cute, and memorable. Sadly we are given are not further development for a lot of the characters no thanks to the story constantly pulling the plug and rebooting.

Amnesia Screenshot 5 Heroine is…oh screw it! I know she’s supposed to be nameless for immersive reasons, but it’s more than a little weird and annoying when you can’t attach a name to a face. So for now I’ll just call her “Hiro” (For Heroine). At first I found “Hiro” to be a rather refreshing character what with her innocent yet cautious demeanor in the face of her amnesia, but over time her character just started to annoy me. She’s far too passive even for someone with amnesia and tries too hard to go with the flow that she lacks all assertiveness in times of crisis. “Hiro” should be asking questions to investigate who she was rather than pretend like everything is normal and just play it by ear.

Amnesia Screenshot 6 Shin is “Hiro’s” childhood friend and has a certain degree of aloofness about him. Despite coming across as something of a punk, he actually has a considerate heart and just hides behind his stern and serious tsundere façade. While lacking in tact, his brutal honesty serves him well and is always direct with “Hiro” concerning his problems as well as addressing her own. He is haunted by childhood stigma buts finds comfort in the relationship he has with “Hiro”.

Amnesia Screenshot 7 Ikki on the other hand is more suave and a real lady-killer. He’s quite the charmer and manages to attract the affections of girls even when he isn’t trying. His influence is so pronounced that he even has a clique of fangirls that fawn over him, some of which aggressively so. But “Hiro” for some reason is unaffected by his seductions which only makes him want her more. Though he initially sees their relationship as just a game to win her over, he soon finds solace in the fact that he can’t woo her like every other girl, a welcome break from his fangirls. Granted said fangirls end up giving the two of them problems when it looks like “Hiro” will steal him away from them, leading to malevolent confrontations.

Amnesia Screenshot 8 From a magnetic social butterfly to an intellectual anti-social moth we have Kento. A mathematician by trade, Kento is a very logical thinker and puts very little emphasis on emotions or atypical social behavior. This makes it all the more weird that he and “Hiro” are dating in one particular world. Due to his analytical mind he finds it hard to understand the usual dating paragon, resulting in an awkward relationship between the two of them. But “Hiro” manages to bring him to new horizons and they form a special bond that can’t be defined by numbers.

Amnesia Screenshot 9 Up next we have another one of “Hiro’s” childhood friends, the energetic Toma. He serves as “Hiro’s” knight in shining armor but does not hesitate to stain his luster for the sake of her safety. Though usually a cheerful ray of sunshine for “Hiro” he holds back a darkness in his heart stemmed from his inability to express his true feelings and is prone to envy. So dedicated he is to protecting her, that he is more than willing to resort to extremist actions and doesn’t care if his actions make her hate him as a result.

Amnesia Screenshot 10 Coming full circle, we have the watchful and enigmatic Ukyo. While the world may change constantly for “Hiro”, Ukyo always seems to be a constant throughout her taxing journey to recover her memories and find a stable world. Though an omnipresent cast member, his role in the greater scheme of things is never made known until the final two episodes. But his pain may easily top the rest of the male cast members, and he has endured all of this suffering because of “Hiro” and his intensions for her.

Amnesia Screenshot 11 I would also like to give mention to the peculiar fairy Orion that escorts “Hiro” through her bouts of amnesia. He serves as a guidepost of sorts to “Hiro” often helping her ask the questions that would otherwise go unasked by the meek protagonist. However other than that and the moral support he provides, he figuratively and literally has no influence in the series and has even disappeared at the most inopportune times for completely unexplained reasons.

Setting/Art:

Amnesia Screenshot 12 If there is one thing that “Amnesia” gets full stars for, it is its artwork and character design. The locations are vivid and intricately detailed which really know how to set the atmosphere and mood of the current scene, not to mention the animation is well done. But hands down the best part of the visuals were the character designs. Not only were all of them unique and memorable, but their dark gothic fashion sense is living proof that black really does go with everything and really should be making a comeback on the runway. I also have to give special mention to the cast’s eyes which give renewed meaning to the term heterochromia.

Music/Openings Endings:

The music for “Amnesia” is well scored, but both tunes lack a certain degree of memorability. The opening is an excitable yet curious rock number, and the ending is has a jazzy piano undertone that evokes mystery.

Final Analysis:

I both love and hate this series. It had a lot of potential but fell short somewhere after the first few jumps. The story was good in its early stages but gradually losses its footing as it goes on thanks to the rug constantly being pulled up from under it, the characters are well developed but are cut short by narrative limits that rendered any development pointless, the art was beautiful and had one the best wardrobes of any series, and the music was decent for its purpose. There are parts of this series where I wish I could just forget the same as our nameless protagonist. I already like half of what “Amnesia” gives its viewers, but if I just so happen to get amnesia concerning my quarrels with the story’s weaker elements, just tell me that the series was perfect. Because I choose to remember what worked, rather than what didn’t. Amnesia Screenshot 13

That’s why I’m giving “Amnesia” 5 possible boyfriends out of 10.

Remember, Remember, Survive to September…

Amnesia Screenshot 14

- GaileOxstain


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