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First Impressions: Amnesia - JAPANATOR
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First Impressions: Amnesia photo
First Impressions: Amnesia

12:00 PM on 01.22.2013

drifting... drifting...


This season's anime with all the pretty boys and a blank slate girl is no other than otome game adaptation Amnesia

Amnesia features an unnamed heroine who seems to have lost all her memories (appropriate series title), and is surrounded by a bunch of hot dudes and a few nice girls who seem to all care about her. While she tries to figure out what she's forgotten, she sees scary flashbacks and we get some glimpses of shady behavior. And nothing connects.

Since I'm a little late, I'm going to summarize the story so far based on the first two episodes instead of just the one. 

The heroine, who has no name that we know of, wakes up after a tumble and we learn that she has no memories before August 1st. She's surrounded by people who seem to be familiar with her, and her only link to what's going on is this demon spirit kid called Orion, who explains that he accidentally bumped into her soul on his way through and has merged with her. She needs to regain her memories in order for her life to go back to normal as well as to be separated from Orion. 

It seems simple enough, and Orion tells her that she needs to do it by making conversation with people that seem familiar with her so she can try and remember things. The problem is that most of her flashbacks have been pretty wacky, and she can't piece anything together. The second episode ended in a cliff-hanger in which she... well, she fell off a cliff, and then woke up at a hospital where one of the hot dudes is there to make out with her when she wakes up. 

In some ways, I think Amnesia is kind of brilliant. The direction kind of drifts along from experience to experience without really seeming to form any plot. Normally that'd be a bad thing, but in this case it feels atmospheric, since the main character is so lost. Additionally, keeping the heroine's name in the dark is another nice way to add dimension to the plot, whatever that may be. It seems like much more is at work besides her trying to remember what her life was like. 

The artwork is, surprisingly, pretty and stylistic. I have no idea how some of these characters get around in their elegant costumes in a seemingly regular town, but otherwise I love the palette and wild arrangements. Everyone's eyes and hair have cool gradients to them and it makes the show pleasant to look at. It's unfortunate that Sad Sack (this is Pedro's nickname for the unnamed Heroine) is surrounded by such nice-looking and colorful dudes and still manages to be a total space case. 

I don't have many complaints about this show despite my opening line. I am not familiar with the source material, though at the end of episode two all I could think of was, "BAD END - start over!" And that's pretty much exactly what it felt like when Sad Sack opened her eyes up again at the end. But we don't really know what's real and what isn't, so it's possible she's having another weird fantasy. Or is she?

There's some crazy stalker dude that keeps doing creepy things when she's off-screen, but then he pulled this whole "I'm such a cutie-chan" move on her after saving her from oncoming traffic and bounced his merry way off. We don't know what his involvement is yet, though players of the game might be able to elucidate. He seemed pretty happy to see her run off a cliff, though. 

Though I don't think the show is bringing anything new or amazing to the table, the production behind Amnesia has some merit; and if I were easily entertained by Cute Anime Dudes I'd probably be more than happy to watch this every week.

The first two episodes didn't exactly grab me plot-wise though, and one of the main characters reminds me a lot of Miles Edgeworth while others remind me of the most banal descriptions of their basic "types." In other words, the characters are all forgettable, including the protagonist. I think it's a missed opportunity, though I can't speak for how true this adaptation is to the source material.

For those interested in watching Amnesia the legal way, you can catch it simulcasting on Crunchyroll every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. EST. Sentai have also announced the license for this anime, so you can expect a State-side release later this year. 






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