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Based on a visual novel for the PSP game, the anime Amnesia series is like its protagonist, pretty to look at but has nothing of merit below the surface.
Amnesia follows a young woman who awakes on August 1st with no memory. A spirit called Orion is tied to mind and body but cannot physically interact with the world. As the pair try to piece together the woman’s past they find out that she constantly dies on August 4th and returns on August 1st in an alternative reality. As the women try to figure out the mystery, the central woman discovrs she’s been watched by a strange green haired man.
Amnesia‘s best feature is its animation: it is beautiful to look at. It is incredibly detailed with its backgrounds and scener,y and there was clearly a lot of expense and effort put into the show. The CGI used in the series did not mesh so well, but these moments are incredibly brief, like showing doors being opened. The worst part of the animation comes from the character design: everyone is wearing impractically tight clothing with buckles all around them, so that it looks like we’re going to the worst S&M club in Tokyo. Only the main character dresses anything like a normal human being.
Due to the main character having no memory she’s a blank stale. This is fine for a video game because the player is able to project themselves onto the character. But the character in the anime has no personality whatsoever – her only character trait is she’s kind, yet she is so meek that she comes off as a wallflower. Her kindness even makes her look incredibly stupid – the worst example is her being drugged by one of her boyfriends and locked in a cage. She comes at this situation with fresh eyes and knows how strange this behavior is. And she still forgives him! If she had been conditioned through an abusive relationship or simply scared her reaction would be justified – but the anime comes across as condoning abusive relationships and with the perspective that if a man is possessive and creepy, it’s because he really loves someone.
Amnesia is also an incredibly dull anime series, having little excuse of a plot and takes itself way too seriously. It is just a girl meeting of a load of angsty young men as they talk about their problems, ranging from simple guilt to being over-adored by the local women. It is so po-faced that it was a slog to sit through. There was a little humor in episode seven because of the girl’s boyfriend in that universe, Kent, was intelligently smart but emotionally dimwitted. The series does pick up in the final few episodes, being more dramatic and intense, because of the boyfriends being more unhinged. The green haired fella becomes more psychotic during the series, showing he has a split personality.
Amnesia is an anime that’s trying to appeal to an emo audience, having lots of teen angst, dressing in emo style clothing and an opening theme song that sounds like a band trying to be a Japanese Evanescence. The animation is terrific and there is some decent music in the show, particularly near the end during the climax where a church organ is used. But that’s not enough to save a boring series.