Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Amnesia - 02

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I’m still not quite sure what we have with Amnesia, but it’s an intriguing mix of elements just the same.


[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_01.52_[2013.01.16_20.20.56]I don’t really think that Brains Base is capable of making an anime that isn’t pretty to look at, so it’s almost a given that Amnesia would be one of the most visually compelling series of the season.  I was a little put off by the multicolored jewel eyes for a while, but hey, at least they’re unusual – and the character designs are as bishie as it gets.  As is so often the case with this studio it doesn’t overwhelm the senses with lush detail like KyoAni, but rather with a distinct sense of style that means nothing that happens visually is ever boring.

[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_02.23_[2013.01.16_20.21.27]Where I’m taking things on faith, more or less, is with the content.  To be blunt Amnesia still hasn’t grabbed me after two episodes, but I’m certainly not bored – there are elements that are intriguing enough, and I haven’t plumbed all the mysteries of the premise yet.  Brains Base’s track record suggest that when they adapt, they choose challenging and intelligent material, so my hope is that Amnesia might just be a little slow in revealing its charms from a story standpoint.  Indeed, there’s a niggling sense in my mind that this could turn out to be another Zetsuen no Tempest – a show that I enjoyed purely for its sense of style before it grew it found its wings and turned out to be something really special.  But I can’t exactly point to any specific evidence to support that hunch, so for now it may as well be wishful thinking.

[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_04.48_[2013.01.16_20.23.52]In addition to the bushel o’ bishies we had last week, added to the mix are Ikki (the excellent Taniyama Kishou), another co-worker of Heroine’s who’s “good at anything he does with his hands”, and Ukyou (Miyata Kouki).  He’s the creepy fellow who popped up at the end of the premiere and now appears to be stalking Heroine and making insane-guy faces.  In the interest of equal opportunity we have two female co-workers too, Sawa (Moriya Satomi) and Mine (Akutsu Kana).  This time around the whole lot of them pile into the Shinkansen to head off for an island retreat, apparent a kind of employee-bonding exercise, as well as a chance to view a meteor shower (which was Heroine’s idea, though of course she doesn’t remember it).

[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_06.36_[2013.01.16_20.25.57]At this point it’s easy to see that this is based on an otome VN, because Heroine is very much filling the viewer avatar role we’ve seen countless males fill in these adaptations – to the point where she’s honoring the concept by being pretty much a cipher.  Part of that is her character’s situation, of course, but Heroine isn’t giving much at this point – it’s hard to muster much rooting interest in someone so entirely passive.  I have limitless faith in Nazuka Kaori and there’s still time to turn that around, but for now most of the interest is coming from the premise itself and the side characters.  I quite like Orion, who’s certainly not a new concept but whose bright and slightly daft personality makes him a refreshing change of pace from the Neo-Gothic emo vibe projected by the rest of the cast.

[HorribleSubs]_Amnesia_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_06.37_[2013.01.16_20.25.41]As to that premise, while I don’t know the source material this has the feeling of a route being played out, and judging by the events at the end of the episode it’s most likely Shin’s.  I’m assuming the anime will cover at least a few of them, presumably not in omnibus fashion, but for now Shin is clearly at center stage.  There’s a lingering memory in Heroine’s mind of his telling her he’s killed someone, but there’s also evidence that her memories may be faulty.  More telling, perhaps, is Shin’s somewhat unsettling behavior on the meteor shower trip, which ends with Heroine falling over a cliff while fleeing from him (to be fair, without a concrete reason to do so).  When she awakens, she’s in a hospital, she's gone back a week in time, and Shin is acting the role of her boyfriend.  And Orion is missing as well, though it’s clear that Heroine’s memories from before his arrival haven’t returned.  None of this is exactly gripping yet, but I’m interested enough to stay with it for at least a while, especially given how strong the production values are.  Here’s hoping Brains Base maintains their track record of picking winners – artistically at least, if not commercially.

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13 comments:

  1. It certainly is pretty to lol at. i don't know though. à part of me is thinking if i should give it à go as it might start to pick up as zetsuen did but it feels unlikely. Hmmmm. the first ep was crap for me though. maybe i'll just read à few more of your reviews on the show to decide.

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  2. *look (but it needs to be more than à pretty face to keep me interested)

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  3. There's definitely something worthwhile here despite the story premise. I could say the same thing about Love Live! School Idol Project (and I usually pan idol anime). "Multicolored jewel eyes", huh, I thought that their design looked like randomly-colored Poké Balls.

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    1. "randomly-colored Poké Balls." <- this randomly made me laugh uncontrollably so thank you :)

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  4. Man, I knew Enzo's tolerance towards girly anime was pretty high, but this surprised me. That he can sit through this voluntarily and actually like it. You're practically a Budda for tolerating this stuff; the faces, mood, plot, everything there is about this show all screams the ultra flat batman of girly stuff. In fact, this is THE most girly anime I've seen in a long, long time (BTW, I don't find anything pretty about the look, but that's just me).

    I, like most of men, have been conditioned to be repulsed from this extreme girly stuff and it's a good thing for me, too; I wouldn't like it if there is no difference in taste between two sexes. I don't consider this intolerance and why should it be when I ultimately don't care whether you fancy this stuff or not and I simply stating my position. And if you can see the light when I know for me is the utter dismal pitch darkness, all powers to you, Enzo. Enjoy~.

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    1. Excuse me, are you Kanji Tatsumi? Just curious.

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  5. Guardian Enzo, I may be confused. But I thought that the ending scene was strange because it appeared she had gone back in time? If I recall (and I could be recalling incorrectly), the anime started on august eighth? And she couldn't remember anything before August 1st. So at the end of this episode, it seems that she has traveled back in time or entered a different timeline? Which I'm unsure of what's its purpose. Am I being delusional here?

    I also believe that the different "memories" she is remembering, aren't actually "memories" in a past sense, but moments from the different bishies routes she has already experienced. So sadly she isn't regaining anything, but why this might be important I don't know.

    I haven't read or played anything, so this is all just speculation on my part. But hey I'm just putting in my two cents.

    -Llinos

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    1. Yes, the first episode started on August 8th which I found strange because the premise said that the story starts at August 1st.
      So either this is like Higurashi where the Heroine gets killed constantly during the first weeks of August (with Orion as her Hanyuu) and revives without her memories or some weird time-travel stuff.

      Like Enzo, I still can't connect with the Heroine because she is so passive but the end of the episode has made me intrigued with what is really happening.

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    2. Ah, indeed - I misremembered that.

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  6. Not delusional in the least. Weekend trip around August 8th, Kent has no memory of the festival, and it seems like Heroine stumbled upon a Bad End and reloaded back to August 1st. Ukyou seems like a Route slider. This is becoming even more interesting. Now if only they could buy some casual clothes for the guys.

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    1. Oh damn, let's not forget that festival memory with Kent and "I killed a man" conversation with Shin revolve around what I would guess to be the Bon Festival (Hachigatsu Bon). Not in the past, however, but in the present/future August to be played out. I might rewatch episode one to see if I didn't miss anything. It might be too early, but Brain's Base, I'm glad that I placed my faith in you.

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  7. This show really isn't grabbing me at all so far. I'm hoping that with the apparent time jump at the end of this episode maybe it will improve, but I need some exposition explaining what's going on pretty soon or I'm going to lose interest.

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  8. I'm not into this series either. The characters are ridiculous (who has card suits stuck to the side of their head or guys that wear gloves all the time not to mention the weird distracting eye colors and the heroine fleeing from Shin and running away in the dark).

    I'm starting to think these visions are things that are gonna come to pass and have not happened as of yet (the future), and perhaps Orion isn't even real? I will watch 1-2 more and see if this series finds its legs.

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