“Memories are nice, but that’s all they are…”
What would you do if you woke up one morning and found everything you ever knew to be gone? Your memories, your friends, your relationships and even who you are, all a mystery. The scenery is familiar, your apartment the same and even work; yet everything that has ever occurred up until this day is completely unknown.
The anime Amnesia, adapted from its visual novel form, takes you through a mysterious journey of a girl with no memories trying to understand who she is and everything that is around her. However, many challenges await as she attempts to let on to others around her that nothing is amiss while everything is actually completely new. To makes things more difficult, every time she begins to grasp the entire picture, it is ripped out from under her feet and she is thrust into another realm where things are almost the same, yet not at all.
Throughout the chaos there are certain factors that always remain the constant, if not entirely in the same circumstances. Her childhood friends, Shin (the angst-ridden loner suit of hearts) and Toma (the outgoing suit of diamonds) each have their own arcs as well as fellow friends and co-workers, Ikki (the ever popular ladies man suit of spades) and Kent (the rational mathematician suit of clubs). In addition to these four, one other mysterious long haired stranger often seems to catch her eye at least in passing throughout the series; he represents the joker and his intentions are kept secret until nearly the very end.
“It’s nice to see you again, or should I say, it’s nice to meet you?”
Each section of this 12 episode anime begins with the heroine always waking up in bed on August 1st, attempting to understand which of her friends she is with and what is happening in her life and finally ending in some untimely accident. Then it all begins anew.
The story of this anime is much like watching someone else play the visual novel. It is a basic reverse harem setting that dabbles in wish fulfillment and dedicates a couple episodes to each of the male character arcs and then moves on. Unfortunately not much is explained until the very end which leaves audiences confused as to what is going on and why. Although the premise is slow, it does give the impression of what is going on and what the overall outcome may be leading up to.
The art style used is one area that this anime does truly excel in – especially in the character design. From each characters unique appearance, colors and multi-faceted eyes, it is truly entrancing to watch. The male characters themselves, while fairly set into cliche categories, have an interesting depth at times and quite an air of attraction to each of them. Unfortunately, in regard to the heroine, she is quite possibly the most difficult part to deal with in the series. With mundane looks and the personality of a wooden plank, her minor one word answers and expressions of confusion and doubt get tiring pretty fast; as far as most people are concerned, having amnesia does not make for a lack of personality.
Overall, Amnesia is a series that certainly is not all bad but definitely is slow to get into. It probably took until halfway through the show to really catch my attention and make me want to finish it out; and even then it was mostly to see if my own prediction was correct. By the end everything does get explained, but it all happens during the final episodes rather than giving any kind of build up. Although the artwork is probably its best redeeming quality, it is hard to deny that there weren’t a few truly captivating moments between the characters that, in the end, almost make it all worth it even despite its flaws.
“I have lost count of the number of times I’ve met you and lost you. But even now…I still love you.”