Tasogare Otome x Amnesia – 03

[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.44_[2012.04.23_20.06.40] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.45_[2012.04.23_20.12.11] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.49_[2012.04.23_20.18.15]

If there’s a curse at play here, it’s that I was just about ready to drop this series and dammit, now I can’t – this episode got me interested again.

I’m not going to pretend everything is perfect between me and Tasogare Otome x Amnesia.  We’re still eyeing each other suspiciously, not letting our guard down, not quite sure if we’re ready to enter into a blogger/anime relationship.  There’s still an affected quality to the dialogue that sometimes puts me off in a Nisio-like way.  The jarring tonal shifts, while striking, come off as a little too sudden and extreme to be believable.  But there’s absolutely no question that this was the strongest episode of the first three for my tastes.  For the first time Oonuma Shin’s SHAFT techniques really seemed to suit the material, and the internal structure of the episode held up much better than it did in the first two eps.

There’s no question in my mind that Dusk Maiden works better as a suspense thriller with hints of ecchi and humor than the all-out sex farce it seemed determined to be for the first two episodes.  Of course Silver Link is adapting this out of order, but I’m glad I didn’t drop this after the premiere (which I rarely do unless I truly hate a show, truth be told) because I don’t think I would have wanted to watch that show for 12 episodes.  There were funny moments and it looked pretty, but it was trying too hard – the humor was too insistent and the dialogue too contrived.  The addition of Kirie – or re-addition, as she was present in the premiere – brought a welcome contrast to to the three characters at the center of the show, and signaled a transition to something darker and edgier.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that she’s played by the great Kitamura Eri, the best actor in this cast and a marvel as long as she’s not playing a boy.

It must be said that Silver Link, in truth, uses all of their trademark visual tics, oddly lighted still-shots, close-ups and facial distortions as a method of disguising the fact that their animation is actually of mediocre quality – as does SHAFT.  That’s fine, as not everybody can afford to produce and QC a product like KyoAni – but there are times when that style simply overwhelms the material.  With the disjointed, paranoid story being told this week that style was perfect.  And it was a good story too, with Kirie coming to warn Teiichi that the sexy ghost he was cavorting with was actually a vengeful spirit ready to drag him to the other side.  As a relative of Yuuko (that was obvious from the character names) there’s a special edge to her self-appointed role here, and though intellectually I knew she’d be proven wrong there was a good chunk of the episode that had me believing she just might be right about Yuuko.  The conceit that Yuuko appears as others expect to see her is a clever one, and allows for some interesting storytelling possibilities in the future.

Also an interesting conceit – and the source of the best comedy in the series – is Yuuko’s quite logical trait of being much more embarrassed at Teiichi seeing her bones than her spirit body.  The scene where she quivered in embarrassment not at being naked but at the notion that he was about to go look at her corpse was extremely clever and well-written.  The existence of that creepy shrine below the school changes the paradigm completely, and it seems clear that we’re looking at the very real possibility of legitimately scary events taking place at this weird old school.  I still don’t feel totally confident in what I’m going to get from Dusk Maiden, as one ep does not a series make.  Maybe it will shift wildly from week to week, who knows – but for me, I’d be much happier if the show stuck closer to the recipe they used this time, because that’s putting its best foot forward.

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  1. b

    You've been cursed Enzo! It's the pseudo-Shaft-goodness-and-Yuuko-is-sexy-moe-and-irresistable-and-belatkuro-approves-of-this-episode curse! There's only one way to remove it. Continue blogging it to the end. Or else… 😛

  2. d

    or else what? Call the police? not vote LiA for anitourney? Refer to Enzo as a lollicon who cannot look at high school nudity?

    Note: This does not constitute Necrophilia. Unless his plays with her bones. Dam, what did you guys make me think of.

  3. d

    Teiichi was talking and grabbing a naked ghost. Was it because she was naked or he imagined TOO HARD what she looks like. (He did not say anything about her clothes while imagining her.)

    As a reader of a manga, i will tell you that the series would follow a format i think you might not like. Though the final arc is really good. Jumping straight to the final arc is possible but as each episode brings contributes bits and pieces of plot relevant to the final arc… you decide.

    Even if you decide to drop this as the blogger/anime relationship, stay on the watcher/shower relationship.

  4. An interesting point. He is a pubescent male, so that he would imagine her that way makes a lot of sense.

    Speaking of which – Yuuko was a middle-schooler like Teiichi, right? She looks really mature for a middle schooler – in the form she and Teiichi see her, anyway.

    We'll see how it goes, blogger wise.

  5. S

    I believe the school itself is elementary to high school. Teiichi is apparently 12, Yuuko was 15 or 16 when she died and Kirie is 14? I think that's the ages I saw mentioned. That would explain Teiichi's height difference to Yuuko, but he still looks a tad older than that.

  6. Twelve? I seriously would never have guessed that – 14 or 15 for sure.

  7. I

    I was about to drop this show when I fell asleep halfway through it, but for better or worse it delivered at last. The 3-episode rule always prevails.

    I liked the flash back scene with a film sequence running next to it, an update to the one Shinbo Akiyuki usually uses.

    Sankarea is better but Tasome is starting lift its loins up too.

  8. F

    This series really does give you a mixed-bad at times. Just never know what will come out since they pull together comedy, mystery, horror, romance, ecchi, in various quantities.

    I did like what they did with this episode. Really did get a bit disturbed by the Yuuko that Kirie projected. It was pretty rough since you could imagine the usual Yuuko acting and saying those things, but had this horrifying visual to contend with. I could sympathize with Teiichi since he had what he knew of Yuuko, but also the doubts in his mind and the changed visual image right in front of him. I give him full credit for being able to dig back to what Yuuko is to him and calm things down.

    In the end all we know about Yuuko's true appearance is what Yuuko herself sees. Long as she says what Teiichi is seeing is really her, then I'll accept it. But we're bound to get a variety of Yuuko images as the series goes on.

    That shrine definitely gives a darker feel to things. That broken leg doesn't necessarily mean she tripped and fell. Was Yuuko pushed down the steps or even attacked and then left to die? Was this some accident or some weird kind of ritual? Teiichi brought up a good point that someone (maybe the person responsible) created the ghost stories to confuse the truth. Also that dark image behind Kirie at the end definitely hints that the Yuuko we know might not be the only supernatural existence at that school.

    But yeah as usual I got a real laugh at Yuuko's reaction to Teiichi going to see her bones. Utterly frazzled by that firm decision that he was going to examine them XD.

  9. A

    I think that the best thing about this was that it is a completely different experience compared to the manga. Somehow I handle mature/harem/ecchi better when it is in manga form…

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