Hello there. This is review number thirty three. Yes, it’s part of the Spring anime line up. There was actually huge hype when this anime was released so I had to bite my hand several times to stop myself from watching it while it was on going. I’m talking about Tasogare Otome x Amnesia or Dusk Maiden of Amnesia.
Judging by the gloomy picture it had on MAL, I thought the anime would be like XXXholic or something. I imagine it to be something scary yet exciting. The long haired chick does look cute. That’s enough to pick an anime up, right? Haha. Anyways, its twelve episodes long. Let’s read on.
There’s a popular story at Seikyou Academy about a girl named Yuuko.
Yuuko is a ghost with amnesia. She’s also the president of the detective club.
Before I knew it, I was stuck with her. Literally, as I later realize.
Taking the Pants Off
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is intriguing at first. In Sankarea, there is a boy who loved a zombie. Here in this anime, there is a boy that loves a ghost. I loved that premise because I can’t imagine doing something fulfilling with such a concept. Sankarea didn’t struggle with its concept so I placed the same faith for this anime. Well the Dusk Maiden of Amnesia was certainly unique and it had potential but sadly, it was poorly conceived.
The anime had a nice theme of horror and the supernatural at its disposal. The setting was perfect as it had an air of eeriness in it. The mood was really scary and the music was alive when something scary was about to pop out. The anime should’ve taken that route but they took an ecchi route. I can’t believe it because I was sold on its horror elements. The first half of the anime though was all about ecchi. We have the two main characters do nothing but flirt. There is the ghost named Yuuko Kanoe, who looks a hell of a lot like Senjougahara of Bakemonogatari, which does nothing but happily cling to the one boy who can see her and can understand her pain. Then there is our lead, Teiichi Niiya, who enjoys being flirted with and also enjoys grabbing our heroine’s boobs. During some of the creepy and intense moments, the two of them would suddenly flirt and so the scary atmosphere would lighten up to give the couple some alone time.
That ecchi aspect, that reminds me of Kanokon, was a bit out of place. The anime had a nice story going about the mysteries and legends surrounding the school that the paranormal club investigates. The best part is that they weren’t just random scary stories to spook people out, the mysteries tie in with the main plot and so the story slowly snowballs. It became so interesting and each mystery helps develop it. That’s why I didn’t appreciate the ecchi elements. What do you want more a scary story or an ecchi story? I prefer a scary story as the industry rarely gives us a scary anime.
The anime has this nice message of not believing legends and rumors that has no foundation. It speaks of how some stories can be twisted and some of its facts dismissed. So a story a cursed rock can just be a huge ass rock commemorating an important event. The anime try to kill its horror aspect that way. It’s as if it’s telling the audience to stop believing in ghost stories and think. It’s a bit insulting but a nice message either way.
The anime did get better on the second half when the ecchi was toned down a bit and the anime decided to get serious. It tackled the mystery surrounding the anime and we slowly discover the reason why Yuuko has amnesia and how she ended up dead in the school. It’s a great mystery too. That part of the plot was enough to make me forget the rather boring first half of the anime.
There are only four characters in the anime. The rest are one shot and the scenes are often empty places in the school so there is barely anyone else in the anime. At first I loved how there is such a small cast and so we have more time to focus on the plot. The problem is that the characters are boring. They fall on the same archetype we have seen over and over again. Niiya isn’t really that impressive of a lead and Yuuko isn’t that interesting. If Yuuko had a smidge of refinement like Rea from Sankarea then she would’ve been so much better. The only reason the characters shine is because of their role in the plot and the mystery looming over the anime. The other isn’t all that great too but was honestly much better than the leads. It’s pretty shitty how the supporting characters are more memorable than the main characters.
It’s rare for the story to be good and the characters to be boring. The anime lacked a bit of focus it ultimately plays out well. It had a nice theme of love. It’s a love that overcomes all restrictions and all challenges. It’s a love that breaks all the rules. It’s a love that was buried over all the ecchi stuff but slowly unravels itself.
Sight and Sound
The anime had a nice air of horror in it. The school is creepy and there seems to be no sign of life in it. The windows are dilapidated and the floors are making noises. Some of the classrooms are abandoned and turned into storages closets. Theirs is barely any sign of a busy school that sets up a pretty nice atmosphere for ghosts and other supernatural creatures to roam about.
The scenes during night time are even better. The clear sky and the beautiful horizon were captivating. It gives you an idea of how the evening can be scary yet beautiful at the same time. I do find the moon a bit odd. It’s flat but its only scenery, it doesn’t ruin the plot.
The anime also presents the mysteries pretty neatly with an effective visual. You are meant to be scared and had the anime not been ecchi, you will be scared. Especially when the music picks up pace and makes your heart beat fast.
The background music is indeed impressive. I can’t say the same for the opening. I find it weird and when the singer hits a high note with the words “choir jail”, it throws me off. What the hell is a choir jail? It did make you feel the horror element much better though. The ending song was more solemn and melancholic. I also love how they made Yuuko lip sync some of the parts.
The best music in the anime is this little insert song during the latter half of the anime. It was sad but it truly fits the anime to a tee. It captured the mood so perfectly that I can’t believe the anime didn’t use it as their opening/ ending song instead.
7/10 “An anime with potential ruined by an unwanted element.”
I hate ecchi and fan service when it’s presented in something that doesn’t need it. I hate the beach episode in Another so you can imagine how a constant ecchi theme ruins the supposed scary potential the anime have. The story is great and the mystery is paced properly. The anime isn’t perfect but it is worth the watch.