First Impressions – Amnesia

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So far Winter 2013 is generating a lot of premières that leave me feeling genuinely undecided, and you can add Amnesia to the list.

OP: “Zoetrope” by Nagi Yanagi

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[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_01_[720p].mkv_snapshot_02.00_[2013.01.09_22.27.55]Generally speaking my track record liking anime adaptation of otome games hasn’t been a very good one.  But this is Brains Base, and if there’s one studio that currently earns a free pass for a minimum three-episode rule, they’re it.  Flat-out, they just don’t miss very often – and it’s not so much that the quality of their productions is so good (which it is, of course) but that the choices of material to adapt are equally impressive.  If Brains Base decided Amnesia had the potential to be an outstanding anime, I’m going to give it every effort to prove them right.  They’ve definitely earned it.

[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_01_[720p].mkv_snapshot_03.07_[2013.01.09_22.29.02]The fact is, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the first episode apart from a general lack of “grabbiness”.  It’s not as if you’d have expected differently but the animation and art are possibly the best of the season so far – it’s the usual Brains Base approach of winning visually with style and technique rather than flash.  The OP song by Nagi Yanagi is gorgeous and flawlessly delivered.  There’s a nice dark and slightly unsettled mood through the episode that matches the gothic look, too.  It’s just that nothing especially stands out as memorable yet – “interesting” is about the farthest I’d go in describing most of what happens.

[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_01_[720p].mkv_snapshot_03.44_[2013.01.09_22.29.39]The story seems pretty straightforward.  The lead, known only as “Heroine” (Nazuka Kaori) works at a Maid/Butler café along with a cast of bishounen who could only have come from an otome VN.  The twist is that she has no memories of who any of them are or indeed who she is herself, and no explanation as to why.  The only one who seems to have a clue is Orion (Igarashi Hiromi) a winged little puckish fellow who describes himself as a “spirit from another world”, and says he mistakenly bumped into Heroine as he was entering our world – and in the process wiped her memories and wound up sharing the same soul.  No better explanation for that yet, so you’ll just have to take his word for it.  He also tells her that the worst thing for her is to go to a hospital, since what she needs to regain her memories is human interaction with those she knows well.  And that would appear to be her co-workers, including the kindly and protective Touma (Hino Satoshi) and the tsundere Shin (Kakihara Tetsuya).  Interestingly Hino-san and Kakihara-san are also cast together in this season’s other anime aimed at the female demographic, Hakkenden.  Ishida Akira pops up as another potential route, the scholarly Kent, and the somewhat stern café manager is played by Takahashi Hidenori.

[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_01_[720p].mkv_snapshot_04.00_[2013.01.09_22.29.55]Based on the premiere, you’d say the guys in the cast – with the possible exception of Orion – could have been plucked from any similar source material and you’d hardly notice a difference.   But one episode is too soon to jump to that conclusion, and it certainly doesn’t hurt having Nazuka-san in the main role – she’s proving herself one of the most versatile actresses this side of Tomatsu Haruka, and she nails Heroine’s anxiety perfectly.  There are clearly a boatload of mysteries involved in the memories missing from Heroine’s mind – there’s this freaky guy, and three hard-looking women whose mere appearance causes Heroine to faint dead away.  Not to mention hints that each of the guys at the café has something odd about them that they’re hiding from Heroine.  Whether that will all up to a compelling story I have no idea, but there’s certainly enough in the premiere to give me hope that it will.

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ED: “Recall” by Ray

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  1. A

    I would say this is one of the better premiers released so far — it is the atmosphere that Brains Base can create in this first episode that makes me want to find out more.

    Having said that, I am anxiously waiting for Friday to come sooner…miss Chihayafuru…


  2. K

    It was a pretty (artistically) episode, though not really my thing. I think the single biggest draw for me here so far was that Nazuka is in the lead role. I'd like to see the characters better fleshed out from now on and hopefully hear her do some more emotional acting, I really love her work.

  3. M

    Are you guys covering this?

  4. I don't know who "you guys" is, but I might be – depends on the next couple of episodes!

  5. M

    Sorry, I meant you "Enzo" And please cover this show for me and my sis.
    We love it!

  6. We'll see if the next ep or two grabs me – no promises, of course.

  7. A

    Hell even Brains Base can't get away by this bishies harem monstrosity. My shojo tolerance limit has reached and destroyed a long ago before the end credit rolled. I don't understand how some of you can stomach this stuff. Dropped.

  8. A

    Some of us like to look at pretty boys.

    Gasp, shock, etc.

  9. A

    Well sometimes I get sick of moe harem as well. Bishie harem is just like 10% compared to the 90% mor harem/ all girls cast <_<

  10. A

    It's your decision and I understand why would you drop this, but monstrosity? There's been tons of harem anime with silly premises and fanservice and I can count the number of otome adaptations with my hands despite the majority of them have been poorly adapted with lack of animation quality.
    The only one which has been decent is Hiiro no Kakera, it was a big help that it got 2 cours because the 1st season was slow and generally boring.
    And don't get me started on Arcana Famiglia, what they did to Felicità IS a monstrosity. A strong main character who became a doormat in the anime.

    Regarding Amnesia, people who haven't played the game probably haven't taken this into account but the first episode started on August 8th. The game starts on August 1st-if you have read the summary which was taken from the game it did say August 1st. There's a route where Heroine loses her memories more than once, although they animated scenes from different routes and it's unclear what they'll do (the reason of her amnesia changes depending on the route).

  11. j

    It struck me that Orion might not actually be there.

  12. K

    I'm gonna watch a couple more weeks and see how this turns out. Brain's Base has a good track record.

    One thing I don't like is all the characters with creepy multicolored eyes. I get caught up in looking at them and lose track of the story.

  13. B

    Yeah.. I have watched a few new series' first ep and so far nothing has stood out. It is such a shame because I'm left feeling a little lost anime-wise after all my fave shows have finished :(. I have to admit, when the opening song came on and it showed like 4 guys and the one girl, I deffo rolled my eyes. I thought the premise sounded ok but I couldn't even finish the episode. urgh!! I'm hoping something good comes out ASAP!

  14. K

    What the F**k is the deal with all the 3-7 min anime series too? They aren't even worth watching when 1/2 the time is spent on an OP or ED (or both).

  15. B


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