English: Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 9, 2012 to Jun 25, 2012
Premiered: Spring 2012
Licensors: Sentai Filmworks
Studios: Silver Link
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
Score: 7.951 (scored by 72,673 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
The story covers the Paranormal Investigation Club, a club that deals with the supernatural. From there, we have the other members starting with Teiichi Niiya, probably the only normal member of the group. He maintains an unusual relationship with our ghost troll Yuuko in which despite her flirtatious and mischievous attempts at him, he still values her as a friend and not forget her. Then, there's Momoe Okonogi, the most enthusiastic member of the group. Her enthusiasm of the the club is probably over the limits in Niiya's point of view as far as she shows the most interest in finding out what happened 50 years ago involving our lovely ghost troll, Yuuko. Of course, she still hangs out around the club while creating many mischievous interactions between herself and Niiya. Next, we have the Kirie Kanoe, the not so enthusiastic member. At first glance, she seems normal but when you get to know her more, you'll find that she's a very insecure person. Why? Well, for nearly every 5 minutes, she goes on about the dangers of Yuuko and warns Niiya to be on his guard. She can be seen as the antithesis of Yuuko for even though her outside (appearance) may resemble her somewhat, her inner self is worlds apart.
Then, finally our lovely ghost troll Yuuko, who can forget about her? After all, she is the star of the series and the "dusk maiden" of amnesia. Her flirtatious attitude with our main protagonist is guilty pleasure and some of the guys watching this might be biting their fingernails about how lucky he is. (I know I am at least sometimes) However, it does seems that despite playful self, she harbors a dark past she tries to keep herself a secret from anyone. She tries hard to forget about her past and make it into an amnesia but there's one thing you cannot forget: you can't run away from your problems like an amnesia.
And of course, even for stories like this, there would be fan-service, pool parties, and those cute "love-love" scenes. Then there is always those "horror" scenes mixed in with light comedy and even psychological twists later on. However so far, this series is not another Another (no pun intended). I mean seriously, let's ask ourselves: who actually got scared out of their pants in the first episode?
Despite this though, there is definitely an eerie atmosphere behind the curtains and lies beyond the horizon of the dusk. We also later learns the truth behind Yuuko's death and the hatred she developed that manifested as the her ying and yang. Hate is definitely a strong word this time around as her darker self becomes one of the driven antithesis of Yuuko's cheerful self. As she deals with her past with her new profound friend Niiya, they must cope with the horrors that may lie in the future.
Beyond that, I find the art of the series to be gorgeous as well as the various well captured angles of "dusk" in this anime and the night moon skies. Kudos to Silver Link I say, you sure know how to set a high bar for this season. As for the sound, it's not something you'll listen to while studying for your university entrance exam but it's also something catchy that fits the overall story. And take notice the OP and ED song that our beloved ghost troll Yuuko-san seems to be imitating. She would go pretty far in American Idol I'd say.
Overall, I find Dusk Maiden of Amnesia to be entertaining and makes Sundays a wonderful relaxing day to finish off the weekend. Its balanced light comedy and seriousness is something that most of us will notice and while it doesn't reach the necessity horror levels of some other series you may have seen in the past, it does makes it up with its entertainment and value. Its darker tone of the story later on will keep some of you viewers glued to your seat.
This is an unique anime at that and one such series this Spring Season that I'm sure most of us will not forget like an amnesia. (at least I hope)
Thankfully, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia), manages to steer its way through the conversion rapids - but not without taking some damage along the way.
Based on the manga by Maybe, the story revolves around the unusual relationship between Niiya Teiichi - a middle school student at Seikyou Private Academy and a senior member of the Paranormal Investigation Club - and the club president Kanoe Yuuko - the spirit of a female student who died in the abandoned school building 60 years before. The story begins with a rather humourous series of events that are initially shown from the perspective of Okonogi Momoe - a girl who is blissfully unaware of Yuuko's presence - and the beauty of the scene is that it not only forms a surprisingly good introduction to the main characters, but that the impact of this is reinforced when the events are replayed to expose the joke.
Unfortunately things don't really proceed so well for the rest of the series as, although there is an actual story behind everything, the plot is broken up into a series of short arcs that only last one or two episodes. It's an approach that can be surprisingly flexible when used correctly, and given the importance of the ubiquitous "seven mysteries of [insert name here] school" it's understandable why this method was used. Sadly the move from manga to anime has been far too rushed, and the compression of information causes too great a shift in pace between each arc. In addition to this there are several major plot points that are noticeably absent in the anime - mainly because the shadow of early adaptation reared its ugly head again. Dusk Maiden is yet another show that has suffered the ignominy of being animated before the manga was complete, and this causes a few contextual problems that the writers have tried to gloss over - with varying degrees of success.
As with most adaptations the character designs are taken directly from the source material, and as with the majority of school-based romantic comedies there isn't really anything special in this department. That said, Dusk Maiden is stylistically and aesthetically pleasing to the eye - mainly because director Oonuma Shin has applied a number of the visual tricks and techniques that he used in the "ef" series. Unfortunately the character animation isn't as crisp as it could be and some of the movements are a little odd, but aside from that (and several moments of shoddy line work along with the repeated use of low angles and sunsets - which can become a little tiresome after a while), SILVER LINK have produced a good-looking show. The design mentality works particularly well in a number of scenes, serving as a pleasing visual reference to reinforce the show's genre foundations of horror and romantic comedy.
Dusk Maiden does contain some fanservice (it's a school-based romantic comedy with harem elements after all), but the approach is far less aggressive than that of a number of anime out there. These moments are often caused by Yuuko's carpicious nature and the amusement she derives from making Teiichi uncomfortable - which is a nice change from the usual protagonist falling face-first onto a random girl (or her falling on him).
One interesting aspect of the series that does bear mentioning is the overt symbolism related to Noh and Kabuki theater - Momijigari. The meaning of the repetitive red and yellow maple leaves is something that can be easily passed of as a way to make the scene look good, but it's actually a subtle reference to stories about a beautiful maiden/princess who was actually a demon in disguise, and who is ultimately killed by the man she is attempting to seduce. It's a surprisingly telling visual device that, once understood, gives the plot some extra weight and sets a performing precedent that the voice actors and scriptwriters can build on.
Dusk Maiden opens with Suzuki Konomi's "Choir Jail" - accompanied by a straightforward visual medley to introduce the main characters mixed with the maple leaf metaphor. The closing theme is somewhat noteworthy - showing Yuuko sitting against a window in what is presumably the abandoned school building, singing "Karandorie" by Okui Aki while the sun sets. Both sequences feature some decent audio/visual choreography, and this is largely true for the majority of the series. The score contains a variety of tracks that add some nice background to scenes and jokes, and there's some surprisingly good effects work on display - although this is offset by a degree of untidiness, and the usual comedy-centric noises can sometimes feel out-of-place.
Given that the series crosses two very specific genres there's always the danger of the script going from one extreme to another - especially with an adaptation of an unfinished work - and while this does happen on some occasions the writers have maintained a pretty good balance between the disparate elements for the majority of the story. The Japanese dub fares particularly well because of this, but the translation into English could have been approached in a more intuitive manner as it is a bit too ... literal. Tsubasa Yonaga handles the role of the befuddled and slightly put-upon Teiichi very well, and Hara Yumi delivers a good performance as the precocious amnesiac ghost Yuuko. Kitamura Eri (Kanoe Kirie), and Fukuen Misato (Okonogi Momoe), also work rather well in their supporting roles, and while the all of the voice actors have moments that don't quite fit, their collective efforts are pretty decent.
On the other hand the English dub is rife with issues that could easily have been resolved during the translation and ADR processes - which is probably why Clint Bickham seems to struggle with the role of Teiichi and Emily Neves (Yuuko), seems unable to pronounce her love interest's name correctly. Jessica Boone offers some solace as Kirie, but it's the talented and highly experienced Britney Karbowski who suffers the most as Momoe. The lacklustre scripting issues are underlined by the adherence to literal translation, so the entire English dub is littered with out-of-place terms and the rage-inducing 'kun', 'san', etc - all of which have a big effect on the viewer's perception of the characters.
At first Teiichi appears to be little more than the common-or-garden lead male in a romantic comedy (with some harem elements), but he does have some good points as, unlike other stories of this type, he is determined to stay with Yuuko. In this respect he has more in common with the likes of Morisato Keiichi from "Ah! Megami-sama" than the usual harem leads of the last decade. As for the ghost herself, Yuuko is very clearly an extremely lonely character who, upon finding that someone can see and touch her, displays her affection in much the same way an abandoned puppy would to someone who fed and cared for it. The development of the relationship between these two is one of the central pillars of the storyline, and it's interesting to see the progression of their relationship clash with Teiichi's desire to know how Yuuko died and her desire to run away from anything that hurts or upsets her.
It's unfortunate that time restraints and the need to leave a major chunk of the plot out of the ending (because it hadn't been written), meant that Kirie's growing friendship with Teiichi and her relationship with Yuuko are never fully realised - especially as the latter adds a competely different tone to the ending of the series. The sad part is that anyone who has read the manga will understand just how much has been left out, and the meaning behind the sinister shadow becomes much more horrifying than the anime depicts.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is predominantly a story of what could have been. The decision for early adaptation, combined with the limitations of a twelve episode series, has forced a number of edits and alterations that are noticeable - but only if the viewer has read the manga. While it lacks the punch of the source material - particularly at the end - the series offers some interesting concepts, a few laughs, and a rather sweet relationship between a boy and a ghost. The stylish visuals work surprisingly well with the storyline, and although the series plays fast and loose with some of its elements, several themes are dealt with in an astute manner. Aside from the issues with the English dub the narrative holds together quite well - which is an achievement for an adaptation of an unfinished story that has been crammed into a short series while trying to cover the holes in the plot. read more
There is one tiny flaw in the story: it's slightly hard to follow. If you don't really pay attention to what the characters tell you, it can be easy to fall behind and get confused. Nonetheless, if you can follow the explanations, the story will be awesome. Story wise, it's really as the synopsis says: the school ghost Yuuko can't remember her past whatsoever, and the main protagonist along with some others form a club to help her discover it. Now, the synopsis makes the story sound extremely spooky and the anime is classified as horror, but it really isn't, so if you're not a fan of horror stories, do not worry. It's more of a thriller and mystery; the horror elements are almost nothing. In fact, there's a lot of comedic moments since it is a romance.
But I think the way in which they tell the story is flawless. The beginning episodes may seem a bit filler since they're individualistic and don't seem to contribute plot movement at first, but they're important to the story as a whole, which is what I was saying before about following the story closely. The pace at which they reveal details is perfect as they don't try to flood you with too many revelations, but leave just enough cliffhangers to make you watch the next episode. And like a true mystery story, they don't completely leave the viewer in the blind; you too will be able to decipher the mystery with some thinking. This may cause some people to think it a predictable anime, and while the ending was sort of expected, I would not say it was predictable.
Normally art style isn't a huge aspect in a lot of anime, but since this is technically a horror (it really isn't scary I promise), the visuals are semi-important, and I think the artists did a wonderful job portraying the thriller elements. The art sort of reminded me of the Bakemonogatari series, and for those who have seen that, the art was extremely important in making it fantastic, just like in this series.
Fitting music for a mystery anime. The opening and ending themes were alright; they weren't amazing but the sound effects and spooky motifs were perfect.
I think this is where other people would have the most disagreements with me. There's a lot of criticism for the male protagonist since he's sort of cliche, and while that is true, I think his slightly cliche personality was important to developing Yuuko, the truly interesting character of this series. Because she's a ghost with amnesia on a journey to discover her past, her personality naturally changes as she recovers memories, and this extremely unpredictable and dynamic character makes the series fun to watch because you really never know what she'll do next, and the predictability of the male protagonist molds well with hers. If both characters were too dynamic, it would make the story too chaotic since it is a mystery by nature and the viewer already has to keep track of the plot and all its details.
I normally don't watch horror/thriller/mystery whatever you want to call it, but I was definitely not disappointed. If you're hesitating because you don't like horror (I personally get scared pretty easily), don't let that stop you because the horror aspects are minimal and only add to the excitement of the mystery. It's a story with funny moments and emotional moments, and enough plot twists to keep you watching. There were honestly no flaws that were significant enough to decrease the quality of this anime, and I think this show appeals to a broad range of fans: those who love romance, mystery, or just a good story with highly developed characters will find this show enjoyable. So please give it a watch!
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Story - 7
One can never expect a deep and compelling plot from shows focusing on romance, the show usually depends on character relationships to hold the anime together. However while Dusk Maiden suffers from the lack of a gripping plot, the simplicity of the narrative is one of its strongest points. The horror is intense enough to keep yourself checking behind you every few minutes in uneasiness, and mysterious enough to make you wonder "What exactly is behind all this?". The horror leads up to and settles down nicely in the conclusion. With the simplicity of the plot we are drawn into the world of Dusk Maiden, but not enough that it detracts from the true essence of the story: the characters.
Art - 9
Silver Link never fails to provide quirky yet majestically beautiful visuals. Every character is handled with care, the backgrounds are stunningly effective at setting the mood, and the directing is top notch. The only thing bringing the art down from a ten is how static the characters' movements are. Subtracting that from the equation Dusk Maiden provides the quintessence of horror visuals, with each scene perfectly encapsulating a different variety of fear; insanity, doubt, sacrifice, and above all, fear of the unknown. Of course the directing and art aren't limited to horror scenes. With Shaft-like directing we are treated to a kaleidoscope of different angles and settings that make the important scenes quite unique.
Sound - 7
Dusk Maidens soundtrack itself is mediocre, I'm writing this with no recollection of any memorable tracks besides the opening, ending, and insert song. However even if the score is sub-par the tracks still correctly set the tone and mood of the scenes where they are used. And although I enjoyed the opening, it's inclusion at the end of the final episode ruined the mood which doesn't sit well with me. The ending was adequately suited to the show, providing a melancholic feel. Shifting the actual ending sequence itself provides excellent foreshadowing which is well done. Onto the insert song. The inclusion of this song in the finale was THE most brilliant thing the director of this show chose to do. It absolutely PERFECTLY sets the mood of the last episode, and I was bawling my eyes out the entire time.
Characters - 8
Our dynamic duo Teiichi and Yuuko share a fresh and different relationship compared to all the rabble churned out every season. Skipping the countless episodes of "D-does he like me...? I don't know... Better postpone anything romantic until the penultimate episode..." Dusk Maiden skips right into the lovey-dovey action. Some people may be put off by this but trust me, it's one of the shows greatest selling points. By choosing this relationship the studio has provided us with actual romance in the story instead of angsty teens, and provides us with a powerful ending that will throw your emotions into a roller coaster of turmoil. Yuuko as a character, Teiichi as a character and the relationship between them warrants a 10, but unfortunately the side-characters bring the rating down. There will be Kirie and Okonogi fans pissed at me saying this but when you have such a strong established romance the only thing potential rivals do is annoy you.
Enjoyment - 9
The final and penultimate episodes are usually the strongest in the series, with Dusk Maiden being no exception. With the heartwarming romance, horror, and drama all converging throughout the story one would expect a finale that far exceeds the sum of its parts, and that is exactly what is delivered. The final episode caused a few tears to stream down my cheek, and the last anime that made me cry was Clannad After Story. The directing was done so well that during the episode I didn't know if I would be left a sniveling mess or the happiest camper since cavemen discovered fire.
Overall - 8
Viewing Dusk Maiden of Amnesia was a pleasure each week, and while various nuances detracted from the shows overall enjoyment, it didn't keep the show from starting strong and ending with a bang. Whether you're looking for chilling horror, loving romance, tearful drama, or any combination of the three, you will enjoy Dusk Maiden. And remember, a story can be good whether it has a happy ending or a bittersweet one. read more
The artwork and animation was beautiful. They used the artwork brilliantly to differentiate between the “main characters” and the “other people” at a level even superior to Durarara!! The “ghosts” were also drawn very well, as a mass of dark formless matter which took different forms at different situations. The use of darkness and colour heightened the atmosphere and it was almost like I was living in the anime which definitely is a proof of how good it is.. The music was very good too. The OP and ED both were catchy and the in anime OSTs were almost perfect. The voice acting also didnt leave much to be desired. The various emotions of differently people were splendidly portrayed.
The anime is pretty coherent. It is based on the life of a dead girl and goes back and forth in time, in her memories, to arrive at a solution to what they were searching for. The timing of the “old memories” episode was perfect too. Many a time I have been irritated by the “old memory” episode, I found it out of place but not in this one. And of course I enjoyed the anime. A lot. Its been a while since I enjoyed a romance anime this much..
Which brings me to the plot. The plot was refreshing. It had a bit of mystery and horror. But the way they handled the “ghost” and the “disorder” was amazing. The ending was almost perfect till they messed it up a bit going in the path to appease the commonwealth. It was a touching story and showed how bad “fanaticism” can be. It subtly also showed that this fanaticism never yields good results even though it itself is a supernatural anime. The romance factor is handled well too, the way I like it, with a nice development and fulfillment at the very end. I call these type of anime “soft romance” and trust me if its done well, it can put many proper romantic anime to shame. This one almost achieves that.
It is a very good watch. I sure most if not all will find something to connect to read more
[Synopsis]: Niiya Teiichi (Yonaga, Tsubasa), a student at Seikyou Academy, loses his way when exploring one of the older school buildings when he encounters a girl named Kanoe Yuuko (Hara, Yumi). It turns out that she is the ghost who has haunted the school for 60 long years and the source of the many horror stories and recounts of paranormal activity that circulate among the students. As she does not remember how she died, she and Teiichi along with Okonogi Momoe (Fukuen, Misato) and Kanoe Kirie (Kitamura, Eri) form the Paranormal Investigations club in order to discover what led to Yuuko’s death and uncover the many mysteries of the school.
Even though the story takes place in a school setting, the cast of characters is actually fair short, consisting of the main four characters and then occasionally introducing side-characters for small 1-2 episode mini arcs.
The main characters are pretty tolerable overall. Teiichi himself feels a little typical in his design and voice however he has a few points that make him endearing enough – chiefly of which is his dedication to Yuuko. While the show most definitely has some harem elements, it plays mostly upon the relationship between Teiichi and Yuuko and treats any other romantic interests as a comedic backdrop to the actual romance of the story. In this way, Teiichi does seem to genuinely care for Yuuko and goes above and beyond the more shallow, noncommittal iterations of the main character in a romance show in the way he actively displays his affection.
Kanoe Yuuko is similarly forwards with her feelings however even more so. I think that she is the best written member of the cast and her sometimes overly attached attitude and hands-on, affectionate nature really helps convey that she has felt very alone for a long time and is ecstatic at the thought of interacting with someone who can see and touch her. She operates equally well in both comedic and dramatic situations and is often the source of both.
Of the group, Kanoe Kirie is the most serious of them however this mood is sometimes undercut by her jealousy of Yuuko and her relationship with Teiichi for primarily comedic purposes. Okonogi Momoe joins the club because of her somewhat fanatical approach to the supernatural and is, ironically so, the only person of the main cast who can’t see or interact with Yuuko. She exists almost entirely for comedy’s sake in my opinion and doesn’t really feature any development or plot-related intrigue so I felt she was a little superfluous overall.
The character designs are fairly subdued which helps the show along in its horror and school elements. The show itself actually has a great deal of visual elements that lend themselves very well to its horror scenes and settings the most notable of which was the refreshingly dynamic directing approach of Oonuma Shin. Outside of utilizing fairly interesting shots in general, the show makes constant use of the white space of the screen to show the scene in animated slides amidst a black surrounding (in my experience, the techniques implored were similar to his other work in directing Ef: A Tale of Memories and its sequel). This technique worked very well given the horror tones of the show as it gave the visuals a dark and claustrophobic vibe when used. There is even an episode shot almost entirely in first person POV which I thought was really fun and worked quite well within the story. One of my only major qualms was that occasionally the body movements during dialogue would look outlandishly out of place with added motion or unrealistic movement but it happened rarely enough that I could overlook it. All in all, the visuals were one of the strongest points of the show and while the art itself may not have been crisp as one might desire, the style with which the show is executed makes up for it.
Otome x Amnesia is a little weird in that the combination of its genres are somewhat contradictory and this is one of my primary concerns with the show. Firstly, it works quite well as a horror show – the meat of the story is done in this genre and the overall tones are of this type as well. Romance is not necessarily a new sub-element within the horror genre either and in fact it feels quite at home within this show as well with the exception of the out of place harem themes and fairly consistent fan-service. Lastly, the show busies itself (unnecessarily in my opinion) with the comedy genre – depicting most character interactions outside of the straight-up horror scenes comically.
In other attempts to occupy multiple, sometimes conflicting, genres some shows feel like they become one genre first and foremost and the others are added for flavor however I can say that in the cast of Otome x Amnesia they are surprisingly equally present throughout the course of the show with horror being slightly predominant. What this all boils down to is that the show tries to be all of these things proportionally and it doesn’t really work for it. In my opinion, it could have been quite good had it only presented its horror and romance elements and nixed its pseudo-ecchi and comedic attributes. I found that the comedy undercut the serious moments of the show and when each horror scene is sandwiched by a comedic moment on either side with them intermittently spliced within – it ultimately cheapens the effect and tarnishes the mood. The comedy itself is not outstanding either and so I feel like it only exists to fill the gaps in action within the show while providing some sex appeal in the way of its fan-service.
The music was good enough but nothing I can make special note of. It mainly occupied the low-toned, ominous background style often seen in horror shows and it worked well for the show. It would play up the music slightly given the romantic scenes and relax a bit when things turned comedic so everything more or less functioned as expected in this regard.
[Final Thoughts and Rating]:
I thought the show, by way of its style and its story, was interesting and fun however I felt the overall experience was marred a bit by the fan-service, harem elements, and generic comedy. I think the show fell short in some regards and while I think it featured a good deal of potential it didn’t quite achieve would it could have for me.
I gave the show a 5 because, while it had some genuinely interesting and well-executed elements, it had an equal share of issues that made it feel mediocre in my mind however I still found it watchable for its high points.
I would recommend this show to people that enjoy those that enjoy the horror genre – it makes up the small majority of the show and is done quite well in a variety of ways. The romance wasn’t bad and anyone that is a fan of relationships that get to the point rather quickly instead of stumbling around for a while in the ‘who likes who?’ phase would do fine in picking this up. In general, anyone that can overlook the kind of typical comedy and fan-service should be able to enjoy the show just fine but if that kind of stuff is a turn off or might ruin the more serious mood of the anime than I suggest they stay away. read more
the "base" story is not original, it is a heavily used idea that most people manage to mess up. however this is not a story line that does that, the overall story is very well made and it changes the idea of the the ghost human romance idea. it will keep you watching with anticipation as the story gets more and more interesting and "intimate".
the art work for this fits perfectly with what it was trying to achieve in the show. it has the feeling of both a serious anime and something that you could laugh at as if it were just a comedy.
the sound fits great. the voices are perfect for the characters and the sound effects and music helped add the the comedy scenes as well as the suspense.
the characters are great it is what really shines in this anime. because of the way they were made you find yourself getting emotional attached to the characters. they also help to make the plot line as great as it is.
they is an anime that i liked so much and got into so much that i have watched this over 6 times now and i still think it is great.
this is definitely something that i would recommend to someone to watch whether they like romance, comedy, mystery, or drama. read more
In pure technicalities, Dusk Maiden is a pretty good-looking series. Productions which feature an element of horror or mystery can sometimes be guilty of straying too far to the “dark” side, but this show's color palette is all about contrast, with the high oranges and yellows of the titular dusk splendidly highlighting the deep purples, greens, and reds of the gloomy setting, as well as the pale features of key characters. The designs are pleasant, if leaning a little towards generic, the backgrounds are solidly detailed, and with the exception of a few off-model moments the art is of above-average quality. Some interesting choices in direction add heartily to the show, and they merit special mention. Many shots are angled to make rooms and hallways appear either smaller or larger than they are, adding an aura of claustrophobia or ominous openness to the setting. During moments of exposition, cuts to a brief black-and-white flashback or a series of still images illustrating a story are sometimes made—these are animation budget saving tactics, sure, but they're creatively used and mesh well with the folklore/legend motif that persists throughout much of the series, so I say “bravo.” The end result is that this show is almost never boring to look at. Quite the opposite; its visuals add greatly to the overall experience.
As impressive, though seldom as noticeable, is the musical score. It tends toward atmospheric noise, often relying on the eerie, echoic notes of a piano to gain the desired effect. Older, more traditional-sounding drums and chimes, slow and foreboding, sound right at home in the remnants of the decaying school building. Drama is sometimes accompanied by more complex orchestral compositions, but even these are usually integrated with a fair amount of subtlety. The most standout piece, a haunting vocal ballad, is used sparingly but effectively. The score can also be goofy, as the show can, but even the more lighthearted tracks usually have a thin coat of creepy applied to them, as if to present a playfully demented take on the school comedy soundtrack. That's a nice touch. Overall, the music does a lot while still feeling relatively minimal and unobtrusive, and I see no problem with that.
If there’s a recurring theme in Dusk Maiden, it’s the thought that unpleasant feelings cannot simply be shied away from; whether consciously or unconsciously, people will be affected by their fears and insecurities. This is most evident in the form of Yuuko, who is literally torn in two by denial. She’s able to maintain her jovial and lighthearted demeanor only because she has dissociated herself from her anger, jealousy, and the memories of her unjust death, which manifest themselves as a malevolent black entity termed Shadow Yuuko. Like the repressed doubts she represents, Shadow Yuuko always lingers in the background, waiting for a moment of weakness to exploit. Moreover, the series uses interesting internal logic to explain the appearances of ghosts. When the students look at a spirit, it takes a shape that is reminiscent of their own emotions. Those who are calm and have no preconceived notions about terrible things lurking about might see something benevolent, like Yuuko. But those who walk the dark halls of the school with anxieties eating away at them might see something altogether more sinister in her place. This is a theme of reasonable weight, and it’s both conveyed consistently throughout the duration of the show and interwoven with the show's audiovisuals to create an atmosphere that can be rather entrancing.
Yuuko as a character is an interesting concept; a decent amount of thought is given to what it would really be like to be a ghost, weird as that may sound. She is starved for human contact, and understandably so—most people can't see her, and those who can usually see her as something to run from, the Yuuko of urban legends. The series is good at conveying the feeling that most of what we're seeing isn't Yuuko as she was in life, but a Yuuko who is a product of her stale environment and the cruel way that her life ended—a teenaged girl trying a little too hard to be a teenaged girl, her carefree and bubbly nature concealing all kinds of resentment, anger, and bitter desires which are all the more frightening because they're understandable.
Ultimately, though, the series struggles to break away from the traditional trappings of high-school romances: despite the good showing of tantalizing ideas and the fair amount of effective artistry, it still desperately strives to be, above all else, a show about a guy with all the verve of a dried-up sponge who is inexplicably loved by three girls. Teiichi himself is poorly characterized, and while he's often described by the rest of the cast as “gentle,” “earnest,” and “dependable,” these traits are perhaps more of a ghost story than anything in the series, discussed in whispers but never truly shown or elaborated on. A more accurate description of him would read along the lines of “he is there” and “he is the main character.” To be sure, he performs what the show dictates are the proper actions, never taking advantage of the loneliness and vulnerability of his female friends, helping Yuuko track down information about herself. Yet, there's no indication that it's because of his personality (and, for that matter, there's no indication that he has a personality). Rather, he's the male protagonist in a romance, and that's just what the male protagonists in romances are expected to do. He's a nice person because he helps people and he helps people because he's a nice person; forgive me for thinking that's far from compelling writing. The result is that most generic of characters, someone who is difficult to dislike but also difficult to notice or care about in the first place.
Equally damaging are the show’s shifts in tone, which are as frequent as they are jarring. Sharp interjections of half-witted slapstick, usually centering on comedic relief character Momoe, sometimes abruptly decapitate more serious moments. Fanservice and boob humor are plentiful and unsubtle, inserted at all of the wrong instances, often overstaying whatever welcome they might have originally had. There’s no avoiding that much of what goes on is fluff unrelated to what could loosely be referred to as the story, an observation epitomized by the fact that they somehow managed to cram a swimsuit episode in here somewhere. And, worst of all, the show’s appreciable atmosphere of somber, reflective melancholy can often give way to a soapy melodrama of poorly thought out and repetitive dialogue (“I’m so lonely…so sad…in so much pain…”) that is downright difficult to listen to, much less take seriously. Drama, romance and mystery seem closer to the real heart of the series, but its peripheral elements end up distracting from, rather than enhancing, its strengths, and some of its strengths aren't that strong to begin with. The series looks good, sounds good, and knows how to get the viewer caught up in the moment—qualities, make no mistake, that I appreciate. However, it's also the kind of show that's very vulnerable to hindsight, and looking back it's clear that there are plenty of issues with pacing, characterization, and tone.
But when it comes down to it, I don’t think it’s unfair to let this series scrape by with a pass. It does a decent amount of things well, and the things it doesn’t do well are frequently irritating but arguably not deal-breaking. Be warned, though, that Dusk Maiden is one show likely to split audiences down the middle; if you don’t mind the sound of some of the attributes I’ve labeled as weaknesses, you’ll probably appreciate the show a lot more than I've indicated, and if you do mind the sound of same, you might not choose to give it the benefit of the doubt, as I have. read more
“Dusk Maiden of Amnesia” definitely seems like an acceptable anime with the little plots, synopsis, and summaries written about it. Ultimately, it is your normal anime with a dark feel, and a lot of comedy and romance latched onto it. However, the anime mostly contains comedy and romance which I find it to be quite ironic. Usually the summaries written about this anime give you the feel of horror and mystery, but when you watch the episodes you see too much romance. The only times you have a feeling of horror and mystery into it is when you see the Paranormal Investigation Club trying their very best to find clues about Yuuko’s death, or when Yuuko is pretending to be a ghost just to scare the crap out of the main characters which is only a total of four. Lastly, the anime is way too fast paced, I kept on getting confused on like how much time has passed during the anime. To summarize it all up, I believe “Dusk Maiden of Amnesia” does a terrible job at showing any type of plot development because it gives me the feel that it is mainly concentrating on showing the relationship between Yuuko and Teiichi.
The main characters in this anime either show an advanced character development or an extreme lack of character development. The characters Yuuko and Teiichi are seen throughout this anime 80% of the time. I believe these two show too much character development because in just a short amount of time they already act like lovers who’ve been together since childhood or something. The problem with this is that you see the same scene almost all the time: Yuuko seducing Teiichi, Yuuko making fun of Teiichi, Yuuko touching Teiichi, Teiichi touching Yuuko, and both of them all lovey dovey. I love romance and all, but this is too much, I mean in just the first day they meet and you already see them on top of each other, it’s too much of a fast development for me. The other main characters Momoe and Kirie are pretty much shown 20% of the time throughout the whole entire series; they barely receive any amount of screen time which results into barely any character development. As a result, I believe the creators only made them to act as ‘extra’ club members.
The other problem I have with this anime is that it lacks background characters. I understand perfectly well that background characters are not that important to the anime, but seriously throughout the whole anime you just see four characters and their all the main characters! I don’t know if you understand this, but minor and background characters may not be that important to an anime, however when you see the same characters every episode, and no other characters at all, you slowly understand that minor and background characters play the crucial role of making it seem more realistic to the viewer. I mean think about it, if you were a person trying their very best to find clues to some death at a school than you expect to see some people who know some information about it, or at least you see just some random people off into the distance chatting about God knows what! But this anime doesn’t have any of that, just four characters in some big ass school. This anime takes place at a school, and at a school you have students, teachers, and all those other people, but there aren’t any of them around in this anime; it makes me think to myself “Where the hell are the other students? I mean I’m only seeing four characters the whole entire time, doesn’t anybody go to this school?” The only time I saw some actual background characters in this anime so far was on episode five, even if it was just a little bit it made me feel happy to know that some other people actually exist in this anime.
The art style of this anime seems like the only darn thing that is 100% perfectly fine! Even though the plot is all messed up, the art is like the only thing that makes me give this anime a decent score of 7 out of 10. The colors used in this anime were so pretty it makes me feel like I’m looking at some painting. The animation was also very well done it had a great use of graphics and effects. Yep art perfect in every way. Indeed the background artists could do a bit more better job at making the backgrounds seem older to give the overall anime feel a bit of pizzazz, but it’s still fine just the way it is. Oh and did you guys know that the people who drew this anime did a great job at showing some fan service? Well now you know, so if you like these sort of animes with fan service than you might actually think “Holy crap, I’m in Heaven.”
Seems okay, I have no problems with the voices used in this anime nor the opening and ending songs of the anime. Though I don't know why, but both opening and ending songs didn't seem to attract much attention to me, I didn't really like them that much, but I still thought it was good for the whole mood. The only thing that needs fixing is the better use of background music to better add the mood of the events occurring throughout the show. If the anime had some special sound effects or my favorite, motivational music than I bet I would have rated the anime a little higher maybe up to a 7.5 if that option existed in MyAnimeList.net, I wish it did, it would make my reviews a lot more accurate.
My overall enjoyment to “Tasogare Otome x Amnesia” was definitely nothing special, I pretty much thought that it was boring. I didn't feel any type of suspense in this anime, no chair gripping, hair biting, mommy I’m scared moments. It was just me sitting there, staring at the computer pretty much bored out of my mind watching Yuuko and Teiichi have some fun. Some parts in the anime did make me awe in adoration or laugh out loud towards the characters or some moments happening in it. Though I mainly just felt bored throughout the whole thing. I did feel a bit of jealously watching this anime since Yuuko and Teiichi’s relationship together seem so perfect, they rarely have any arguments and such or some difficult obstacles they have to face in order for them to be together forever or something like that. I mean throughout the anime their always together, their love just seems perfect and all with no strings attached. God, you don’t know how much I want a relationship like theirs; just watching them all lovey dovey makes me feel like I’ll be forever alone.
The story is about Yuuko, a girl who died 60 years ago but whose ghost still haunts the hallways of Seikyou Academy. The only uncommon thing about this ghost is that it's not an ugly faceless bleeding monster, but a sexy and funny girl who takes mackery to a whole new level. Teiichi, Kirie and Momoe are the three members of the Paranormal Investigation Club who try to unravel the mystery of Yuuko. However, Teiichi is the only one capable of seeing Yuuko, which makes him, undoubtedly, fall in love with her. And so, the story goes on, with the 4 main characters trying to make Yuuko remember why she died and why she can't rest in peace.
Art & Sound: 10
Both art and sound are outstanding. The characters are well-drawn, with many distinctive features and so are the outside sceneries. The sound provides at the same time a friendly atmosphere and a totally freaking scary atmosphere when Dark Yuuko appears and supernatural occurs.
Yuuko, despite being a ghost, is one of those crafty, deceptive and attractive girls that makes any other female character envious of her beauty and sharpness. However, she shows a lot of emotions: from total carelessness to complete emotional attachement to Teiichi. She can be both a good and a bad ghost whenever she wants. Teiichi, on the other hand is one of those shy boys, always following the rules and trying not to upset anyone, but at the same time he can show a lot of courage, willing to die for the sake of others. This is a very interesting combination of characters. Due to the fact that Teiichi is the only guy who can see Yuuko, makes her fall in love with him and that goes for Teiichi, too. I mean, who could possibly resist such an attractive ghost?
Their relationship evolves so much during the series. They learn what love is and become more attached to each other. Even they belong to two different worlds, that doesn't seem to be a problem for them, showing us that love conquers everything.
I really really enjoyed watching this. While the beggining was funny with lots of jokes, the ending almost made me cry. I didn't even notice when the anime took this abrupt turn but I'm glad it did because I was able to experience a large variety of emotions watching only 12 episodes of the masterpiece.
Tasogare otome x amnesia is a good anime, but not one of the best. I still rated it 9 beacuse of the beautiful ending and great character development. I would gladly recommend it to everyone looking for a not-so-common ghost story with both happiness and sadness wrapped in a single package. read more
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (also known as Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) is about a boy named Niiya Teiichi who is part of the Paranormal Investigations club at his school, along with three other members, Kanoe Kirie, Okonogi Momoe, and the most famous ghost of the school, Yuuko. The thing is, only Teiichi and Kirie are able to see and touch Yuuko while the rest of the school's population cannot. This anime is mainly about this club investigating the paranormal rumours that haunt the school, as well as the mystery of what really happened to Yuuko in the past and why she cannot remember it.
The idea of the story is very interesting, though the comic relief ruins it for me. In my opinion, this anime gets really great towards its finale when things finally start to get more serious. The serious scenes in this anime were great, especially when they gave me that creepy feeling. If only the whole anime was like that it would've been perfect.
The animation in this anime was all right. The characters were given a more cute, young, child-like look to them, but I don't think they're something worth praising.
I really liked the soundtrack of this anime. The background music that played when it started to get creepier was great! I also really liked the opening and ending! They were really perfect!
The characters in this anime weren't really the best, in my opinion. There wasn't anything really special about them and some of them actually were pretty annoying (mainly Okonogi).
All in all, if you're looking for a creepy horror anime that'll give you chills, don't watch this because you'll be disappointed like I was. Tasogare Otome x Amnesia was an all right anime for me, but I probably won't rewatch.
Thanks for reading my review! This is my first time writing one so please feel free to give me some feedback and criticism so that I can improve! :) read more
Throughout the story, you’ll experience a wide variety of emotions such as happiness, sadness, anxiousness, and eeriness. The story of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia takes place at Seikyou Private Academy. A school known to have paranormal activities about a young woman who was left to die in an old abandoned school building behind Seikyou Academy. Our main character, Teiichi Niiya, falls in love with the ghost of the young woman, Yuko, who lost her memories and investigates her death with the Paranormal Investigation Club. Despite the tone of this anime, I was honestly surprised how there were a lot of comedic scenes, even though it had a horror-esque vibe to it. Normally in a horror anime, you’d expect it to be really serious, but the comedic portion really lightens it up and eases the tension. The romance portion was well done. Be as it may, falling in love with a ghost sounds ridiculous and dumb, but Dusk Maiden of Amnesia pulls their own twist to it which will leave you in tears and shambles after finishing it. There is quite a bit of fanservice where you would see the typical cleavage window and boob grabbing, which was unexpected and felt unnecessary, but it would be best not to take that seriously. Also, there’s almost a harem-esque feel to it, but it doesn’t escalate or become anything serious. Believe it or not, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia has a very slow pace. Some episodes feel like a filler, but surprisingly, it’s essential to the storyline. Each episode keeps you feeling finished, but also provides a cliff-hangered feeling, leaving you to wonder what will happen next.
The artwork was fantastic, it really shined here. The setting of the environment really set the mood of the story. I could really feel the eeriness. The background of the old school building also provided an eerie feel towards the story and the main characters; it felt old and abandoned. The only problem I had were the characters eyes. At first, the character’s eyes looked weird because of how big they were, but you get used to it eventually.
The opening and ending theme songs fit with the atmosphere it gave off. The background music also fitted with the eeriness. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia’s English cast was superb, I didn’t have an issue with it, except for Momoe Okonogi. She was played by Brittney Karbowski who also played Yuri Nakamura from Angel Beats!, Wendy Marvell from Fairy Tail, Ikaros from Heaven’s Lost Property, and many more. Her voice didn’t seem to fit Momoe Okonogi at first, but after a few episodes, it doesn’t become a bother. The Japanese vocal cast was also superb, I didn’t have a problem with it.
The story of Dusk Maiden Amnesia couldn’t be done without the characters. Throughout the story, you’ll meet four main characters who are a part of the Paranormal Investigation Club. Our main protagonist is Teiichi Niiya, a first year middle school student that doesn’t hold that many essential qualities except that he’s determined and nice, and is in love with Yuko. Kirie Kanoe is this girl who helps Teiichi and appears to be the voice of reason and explanation when he needs it. Her attitude appears to be tough at times, but is actually soft on the inside. Momoe Okonogi is the dense comedic element of this anime, she doesn’t appear useful at all until later on in the series. Finally we have Yuko, the ghost from the abandoned building, who is in love with Teiichi Niiya and is the president of the Paranormal Investigation Club. Yuko is the dynamic character in all of this. Throughout the story, you’ll see her personality change from time to time.
Enjoyment & Overall: (9/10)
Overall, I didn’t have a high expectation of this anime at first, but I enjoyed it. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me hold my breath multiple times. I had mixed feelings throughout this anime, but in the end, it worked out pretty well. It appears to be scary by the way it looks, but it’s actually funny. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a sad romantic anime that shouldn’t be overlooked. I don’t regret watching this.
A few untied loose ends but not enough to hate the ending. Extreme sadness then overjoyed happiness flowed throughout the last few moments of the show, even a few tears swelled up in this 14 year old dork. Clint Bickham, Emily Neves, Brittney Karbowski and Jessica Boone did an outstanding job I highly recommend the English Dubbed version. The show overall was well worth my time, so what are you still doing here reading this review? read more
While the protagonist is the only male character and the show does lean on some one-note fanservice for his relationship with the girl’s ghost, the series also features two female club mates, although their presence is a lot less noticeable than that of the main couple. The aloof girl felt very one-dimensional since she was often being clumsy about everything, including trying to confess her love to the protagonist; however, the more serious girl felt like a more interesting character due to a very simple conflict of interest (wanting to see him happy with, or in spite of her). I also liked how the series managed to deliver its story with very few characters: Besides the four members of the paranormal research club, there’re four secondary characters that appear for an episode or two at most, allowing the plot to focus on the couple’s growing bond and their search of the girl’s mysterious past.
As a closing remark, my only gripe with the show is the ending (spoilers ahead): After helping the ghost accept her negative emotions and giving her corpse a proper burial, the girl finally passes on to the afterlife with the protagonist promising her that he’ll forget her eventually so that he can move on... Then, a final scene reveals that she couldn’t pass on due to her love for him, which undermined the concept I thought the series was about: coming to terms with things though the help and support of others. read more
For me, this show is analagous to SAO (hear me out first...) in that I came in with certain expectations of what the show was about (SAO: action, world exploration, Tasagore: mystery/horror) and the first episode confirmed my expectations. But as the show progressed it became very apparent that this was really an anime centered around romance with harem vibes. I guess this divergence from my expectations was a huge reason why I could't enjoy the show.
~~As a romance anime...~~
Mindsets should first be adjusted as this show is really a romance anime with a supernatural setting. But as a romance anime it just didn't resonate with me. Maybe I was turned off by the many unnecessary fan service so I couldn't view the characters relationship seriously? Maybe because the characters just sort of fell in love with each other with no strong reasons? Was it because of weak characterization? But I feel its mostly because there wasn't anything fresh/refreshing brought to the table.
Lastly, I really object to how the show ended. **SPOILER skip to next section!!** Necromancy cheapens the feels.
~~As a horror/mystery anime...~~
The focus of the show being romance aside, there wasn't much of a payoff to the mystery's resolution.
1. It was casually revealed early in the story, so the tension is lost. It feels like collecting your exam script after you have already been informed of your grades.
2. It was cliche.
The anime didn't give me the sense of cold creeping dread or horror, and mind you, I'm the sort of person who's too scared to watch any horror movies plus I was watching this anime alone in my room on a dark and stormy (slightly...) day.
Lastly, while sexuality and horror does blend well together, the anime's particular brand of blatant, targeted at pubescent boys, "you like this?" fan service is very jarring in a horror setting. Personally, I feel it destroys the gravity of the atmosphere.
There was really nothing special or memorable about the characters.
Yuuko could be interesting, but her personality for the early half of the anime was defined by fan service and jealousy. Though showing a more layered personality in the later episodes, Yuuko is not a character that could stand alone as her own, her being and purpose revolves inescapably as a love interest for our main lead Niiya. This is likewise for Niiya
The 2 side characters were underdeveloped and their sole purpose was to be fodder to develop the main leads' relationship.
~~Art and Sound~~
For me this was the standard expected of anime nowadays, good stuff but nothing mind blowing.
This is a rather one sided review, but there are more than enough better worded reviews espousing the goodness of the anime.
Based on probability alone, I expect that you would end up enjoying the anime, but for me, it just wasn't what I wanted to see. read more
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is basically a love story of a ghost and a middle school student. It revolves around Yuuko Kanoe, the ghost of a 15 year old girl who died in Seikyou Academy and Teiichi Niiya, the student who begins to see her after he wanders into the basement of the old school building. From there, they form the Paranormal Investigation Club and are joined by the other two characters Momoe Okonoge and Kirie Kanoe. Yuuko has forgotten about her past and hence, Teiichi promises her that he will help her remember about herself, which is the reason the Paranormal Club is formed.
The story of this anime is episodic for the most part, where the Paranormal Investigation Club deals with some ghostly activities occuring in the school as well as trying to deal with Yuuko's problems, her memories and of course, there is also quite a bit of romance. So, expect some fanservice.
The art is really good and the character designs are distinctive. The animation is fluid and is hardly rough throughout the run of the anime. The voice acting is good too and there are some good soundtracks. There is this one soundtrack which can get really scary and I am sure you will find your heart racing when you hear it while watching the ghost under the dark night sky. I warn you though, do not watch this dubbed. I generally prefer dubbed anime but the "kuns" and "sans" after the name even in English dub made it really annoying for me. I quickly switched to sub after the first episode itself.
The characters are pretty good. Yuuko is definitely the most interesting and entertaining character. She is madly in love with Teiichi and sticks to him like a magnet and seduces him all the time. As people cant see her, Teiichi goes through some funny moments. Teiichi is nothing special though but he does his job pretty well. Kirie is another one who can see Yuuko while Okonogi is just there as a comic relief. Overall, they form an entertaining cast. As far as development goes, I think there was just about enough character development to not make the anime redundant in that aspect.
The anime can get you confused in a couple of episodes but other than that, I think it's worthwhile. Of course, the ending really upset me but overall, I would say that Dusk Maiden of Amnesia wasn't too disappointing. read more
The first episode was very interesting, it explained the context of the anime visually really well. The overall idea of mystery was not amazing; but the execution of the explanation was. I just wish they involved more side characters like they did in the manga, but I'm guessing budget and reception affected the anime in that aspect.
Nevertheless its an amazing anime for RomCom lovers with a side for the Thrill seekers.
8/10 Great Watch!!
Note: Only Watch the end of episode 12 if you really want a positively emotional ending. That said i recommend reading the manga before you watch the ending of ep 12 and ep 13 read more
The story is great I loved this part all school-related mysteries, as well as the female lead Yuuko is to recall their memories through the help of Teiichi the male lead, plus other aspect is that in addition to these two protagonist just need the other characters who appear there is no need of more characters. The tine anime fan service that is not an exaggeration but it is very good which is appreciated, plus the way death is linked with Teiichi Yuuko is all a surprise, and good final is beautiful but also sad for the few you reach the deeper the viewer the way they have to say goodbye to this impossible love I loved the relationship that carry the protagonists with the emotional and sad farewell but their reunion is beautiful, is that there is something other than the manga I've started reading'll see as the end of the manga and anime withthe liken, good story deserves a ten.
A great animation excellent despite the study landscapes that encourage this rising animation is acceptable.
As the story love this soundtrack excellent opening the combination of rock with opera is good, the Ending is wonderful is beautiful very nostalgic and emotional tells us all that suffering Yuuko charging, and the song Requiem is good the way and that combian
The protagonist Yuuko all the episodes that changes his personality so that advance the chapters initially affectionate and playful with a little jealous and controlling with Teiichi, his struggle with his side containing that hatred, anger and sadness that is stolen remember that it is very good memories I'll remember a character, hence the other protagonist Teiichi is different from others trying to accept that this love of Yuuko the way that protects and the other secondary characters coplementan the series.
Love from start to finish this anime has said that as things distitas the sleeves but no problem with that, also leaves you with a possible second season that I doubt it done but good anime that deserves 10.
Gothicism rode on that. You had people writing stories of Vampires, as paragons of unbridled and destructively rapturous desire. You had people writing about the abject failures of Science, and the creation of otherworldly monstrosities, like Jekyll & Hyde, or Frankenstein, and yet, the notion that all these abject failures were born solely and surely from the human self. Poets wrote about Damnation, Spooky Moon-lit Nights, and (for the French side) fucking a lot of whores.
Yet, this was the Western side of the equation. On the other hand, in the Eastern side, there was already an enamored interest in the otherworldly, ghosts and their ilk. Perhaps it was because the Eastern culture was more accepting of contradictions, or that the Buddhist mindset had conveyed to them the sense that everything was a dream, and thus they were closer to dreams than their Puritan counterparts (then again, this is a kind of stereotyping. Especially given that Germanic cultures, with their strange fairy tales and magic spells, was such a huge influence on the poet Goethe. I'm less acquainted with that aspect, so let's just take it as the West were pretty damn 'kvlt' in certain areas beforehand as well". Pu Songling's famous Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio depicted a host of spirits intermingling, and, even, fornicating with humans. Japan had their Youkai, and the animism of Shinto. Our current trends of harem & romance genres consisting of human protagonists chasing after strange and otherworldly females, gods, aliens, and all that, is merely a form of Pop-Romanticism. An extension of the tendencies that existed in the long past.
So when Gothicism came to the East, it flourished beyond measure. The most famous art-work, wrapped in this kind of mentality, would be the Muzan-e prints. Famous prints depicting violent scenes from various Kabuki plays and myths. Later you had writers like Edogawa Rampo and Yumeno Kyusaku seeing the Gothic Erotic sensibility in full bloom. They wrote darker and more twisted, visceral and surreal tales. Similarly, in the West, the Surrealists were attaining their bloom, with the most heinously abject of them being the French Writer George Bataille.
This was just a brief sketch, and the whole movement is probably too dense to go into in a brief review. It stretches into Manga Artists like Suehiro Maruo and Shintaro Kago, and, directors like Takashi Miike. And, Edogawa Rampo treaded the same path as his primary influence, Edgar Allen Poe, to mix the mystery genre in as well.
Infectiously, such manic sensibilities became intermixed into the culture as well. You have the famous urban myths of dead school-girls, and seven school mysteries, and other assorted charms and spells. We can see how such otherworldly taboo captures and tingles the deepest roots of our imagination, especially our adolescent fancy. Not too far back, the 'Charlie Charlie' fad was spreading on Youtube and in schools.
Tasogare Otome X Amnesia, is a celebration of all these things. It's a celebration of the reasons why paranormal clubs go to abandoned locations with cameras and other strange equipment in search of a dare or a fancy. It's a celebration, but it's also a warning. It's a warning about how such things, when taken too far, becomes, more than just a love, or an aesthetic, into a violent and virulent superstitious sensibility. It is quite telling that, in Amnesia, the scariest creatures are humans.
The main heroine of Amnesia is a benevolent ghost. This is not a new trope, of course, and, as I mentioned, it has its roots from Pu Songling, to, even Takahashi Rumiko, with some chapters of Urusei Yatsura. The most interesting thing about Yuuko though, is that she changes appearance depending on the perception of others. This is reminiscent of Kubrick's The Shining, where Jack makes out with a beautiful woman, only to find out he's been making out with a corpse. Yet, importantly, this is not done for horror reasons, but, rather, as an apt metaphor for how people in the world perceive such things. There are those who are enamored, and there are those who are freaked out, and there are those who are addicted solely to the thrill of being scared. The moral, though, is Gothicism in its truest sense. If you learn to love the night, and if you find the night beautiful, and if you go beyond the mere primal instincts and cheap thrills wrapped up in the whole deal, you will gain the treasures of the night.
Being directed by Shaft-influenced Director Oonuma Shin, Amnesia takes another great cue from Bakemonogatari, which is the whittling down of everything other than the main characters. This is done to great benefit, and, although there are some others that come into play, for the most part everything is focused on the 4 members of the mystery club, and, even more, on the protagonist and the heroine. The result is a poetic and hallucinogenic quality for the most part, almost akin to the first half of Hitchcock's Vertigo. A boy and a beautiful ghost walk throughout the dusk-tinged old quarters of a school, and talk about mysteries, and she speaks poetically about things like Amnesia and the nature of Superstitions.
Yet, when other characters come in, and, at an especially climactic point in the series, the warning is raised. You've been given the Night, and you've been captured into its spell, but less you think that the Night is your friend, watch closely at how the Night emerges within other Men. When the thrill of fear is intermixed with Gothic enamor, you have mysteries going haywire, and people driven by a desperate sense of curiosity. These are the condemned. In the end, the Night is for the lonely, and the Night is for those who need to be understood, and the Night is not your whimsical domain.
Finally, in contrast with the Night, we come to the concept of Life. Unlike your by-the-numbers harem, flesh plays a very important role in Amnesia. Besides fanservice (I admit it has that sensibility), the idea of touch is very important. Yuuko's reaction to being touched by Niiya, or not being touched, feels more important when it stands on the borderline of decay. The fruits of her flesh are suspect when other people see her as a rotten corpse, and yet, this is not the Shining, so which is the real flesh? For that reason, when fanservice occurs in the closed quarters of the abandoned and otherworldly poetic Gothic universe of Amnesia, the juxtaposition becomes all the more essential. It plays in with that very Freudian idea that Sex and Death are two sides of the same coin, and much of Gothic Romanticism focuses on this aspect as well.
Still, there is a narrative to be unwrapped, and things need to be solved. In the end, when everything falls away, and returns back to the daylight, and simple loves, and rational answers, and Hollywood marriages, then, it all plays out like a quite long, and quite unforgotten, lingering dream. read more