|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
(Watched 2 episodes, last year)|
Mixing rom-com with horror drama? Meh, I don't think I'm enjoying this mix too well. The four characters that are introduced in the first episode seem quite archetypal with the hapless male lead attracting multiple love interests (Niiya), the seductive ghost gal (Yuko), the clutz and the snarker of a close friend for said clutz. I'll admit the first episode was unique in how it pulled its comedy with the events of the first episode shown from clutz gal's perspective and the second half showing off the same events with Yuko now visible to the viewers. However, the second episode felt a bit rushed in showing how Teiichi and Yuko met with one another and introduced clutz gal. The characters with their stock archetypes and the shoddy mixing of suspenseful and funny moments don't have me warming up to Dusk Maiden of Amnesia all too well. Guess this will mark my first dropped title for this season.
(Completed, as of now)
Compared to my thoughts from last year, Dusk Maiden is solid despite some rough bits in its plotting. Focused on Teiichi and two other girls at his school trying to learn more of the origins of ghost gal Yuko, the series does have a somewhat rough start as the first half serves to introduce the characters and have comical antics typical of high school comedies come about. Yuko and Teiichi made for the more interesting characters in this series thanks to the former's tragic past that gets hinted to and the chemistry between them, while Momoe and Kirie don't really get much to do throughout much of the series besides the show teasing a possible unwanted harem for Teiichi to be involved in and Kirie getting a small role to advance the plot in the title's second half.
The second half of the series is where Dusk Maiden shines when more of Yuko's past and her nature get revealed, putting a major test to the relationship she establishes with Teiichi in the first half of the show. Hints are dropped earlier in the show regarding these elements to her character. But the second half explores them in detail which are not only tragic when revealed, but also add some psychological elements to the series with the means in which Yuko handled her past dilemmas. The second half only suffers from a cop-out resolution to the events in the final TV episode and a bonus special that adds nothing new to the story for the series except more humor with the characters.
Visually, Dusk Maiden sports gorgeous scenery shots of the various areas of the school sporting plenty of detail and vivid colors. Character designs get similar treatment in how they are drawn and the series makes effective use of cinematography and special effects during its suspenseful moments when depicting elements of Yuko's mental condition and past, especially with the tenth episode when Teiichi relives the events leading to Yuko's death. The music for the series consisted of orchestral and piano pieces that did their parts to enhance the suspense and drama of the series which was very effective in conveying the emotional impact faced by Yuko and Teiichi in major scenes.
While having its rough moments, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is still a solid comedy-drama focused around the exploits of Yuko and her developing relationship with Teiichi, as the boy helps her in learning more about her origins.
Last updated Sunday, August 18 2013. Created Monday, April 16 2012.
(Watch+ or Rent-)|
(All episodes watched):
My first impression was that this seems like it might be a clever and witty comedy (I had thought it would be a horror show going in). Little of the synopsis above comes about in episode one; instead at a routine meeting of the Supernatural Investigation Club, the not completely swift Okonogi-san experiences strange things and tries to make sense of remarks made by Niiya-kun (her secret love), who is supposed to be able to see ghosts. During the second half of the episode, the first half is replayed, except this time we see it from Niiya's viewpoint--there really was a ghost present, named Yuuko, but she is a mischevious rather than malevolent one. The strange remarks he made earlier make perfect sense now. One very good joke caps off a number of fairly good ones. So far, so good for Amnesia.
After the largely comic first episode, the main story gets underway in episode two. However, the plot seemed confusing to me--I felt uncertain if there really would be much of a long term plot at all, or if this would be a series of short stories. Character development seemed to lag, and it took awhile before I could name any interesting things about anyone other than Kanoe. But the show had a little wit to it, and I didn't mind watching. Amnesia was seeming like a modestly amusing and entertaining show, even if it didn't thrill me. Episode five, with the cultural festival, was fun as the Paranormal Investigation Club sets up (surprise, surprise) a haunted house. This one, however, was quite realistic. I guess I was getting to like the characters, even if it was unclear if they will ever undergo any profound development.
I didn't get episode six at all. Some sort of school legend about a murderous 'Redman' freaks everybody out, and the mob seems prepared to commit murder. But I can't believe that things would get so out of control so fast. Also, I didn't understand exactly what amother girl, also named Yuuko, was trying to accomplish. It just didn't make sense. Let's sweep this one under the rug and get back to the usual plotline. After the better-than-average episode five this worse-than-average episode six was especially discordant. In episode seven we learn that Yuuko seems to have a 'shadow'--basically (if I understood it more-or-less correctly) there's a good Yuuko and an evil one. This might be interesting, but again my enjoyment was hampered by the muddled, confusing messages I got. Yuuko has never been a saint, yet now she has an evil shadow as well? How did she 'seperate', and why? Which version of Yuuko contains the jealousy? Which one did something bad to Niiya?
...or maybe that 'shadow' business was just a metaphor, because there's no sign of Yuuko #2 in episode eight. A reoccuring problem I had with Amnesia was that the main plot seemed garbled. Strange stuff happens, but then it's over and gone as quickly as it arrived, and it's unclear if it will affect what takes place in the long run. I was left wondering if there would ever be any resolution to this ghost-who's-lost-her-memory business. I guess I was enjoying this show in a largely episodic manner, since the plot as a whole doesn't hold my interest or make enough sense to register in my memory, or to summon the sizeable investment of brainpower which was needed to understand everything.
However, things got back on track in the final couple of episodes. In eleven Yuuko's good and bad sides finally clash and reconcile themselves, but solving that problem paradoxically means that in twelve she must say good bye to Niiya. All the plot elements finally come together and make sense--better late than never. The conclusion works well and provides a little catharsis. I was taken by surprise by the twist at the very end. Maybe this show would be more enjoyable to a more serious, concentrated anime viewer than myself. Still, the premise was odd, jokes were OK, and things worked out in the end. So, I don't regret watching Amnesia.
My favorite line: "I was somewhere between heaven and hell" --Niiya
Last updated Monday, July 16 2012. Created Saturday, April 14 2012.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://www.amnesia-tv.com/|