This is review number one hundred and eighty five. This anime is part of the Winter 2013 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Amnesia. It’s a twelve episode reverse harem with a bland main character…and f*ck, it’s an otome anime. If you’ve seen my other reviews of the genre then you know what to expect from this one. Let’s read on and end this already.
The anime is about a girl that lost her memories. An important incident happened beforehand as she wakes up in her room completely unable to remember how she got there. She isn’t alone though. A fairy named Orion explained to her that she has amnesia and she must regain her memories soon. She can only do so by being with people she is close with and hopefully recover her missing memories. She is the only one who can see Orion and she decided to follow his advice. She decided to talk to people she is close with. Her two childhood friends and her two co-workers seem to know her best. She will now try to reconnect with them. She is unaware though that her missing memory contain something sinister. That certain important event seems to be connected with the month of August….across different worlds.
Taking the Pants Off
Otome anime. That’s really all you need to know about this show. It’s an anime adapted from an otome game. They are games where the main character is a girl and try to date a guy among a group of hot guys. You can play it multiple times because one hot guy has a different story to offer. You basically choose a route to follow for the game to progress. My track record with anime adapted from such complex games has been a displeasure for me. These games are so complex that it’s basically impossible to give it a decent adaptation. After all, if you have five hot guys then you need to find a way to fit all of their story route to make a decent adaptation. Most otome anime doesn’t even try. This one had a ton of potential and I’ll make this review short: just play the game. This anime is really subpar.
The anime is about a girl who lost her memories trying to recover them. She is also trying to understand why she lost it in the first place and who is behind the whole ordeal. It’s a very straight forward story but the show slowly plunged into chaos afterwards. As the anime progresses, the main character (she has no name) would find herself stuck on the month August and every time the world rewinds, she is in a relationship with the various male characters of in the anime. So while she is trying to reclaim her memories and make sense of time rewinding, she is also enjoying some time with her boyfriends across the different timelines. We are basically seeing the various routes available in the game while the mystery surrounding her amnesia is being revealed. There is massive potential in the anime. I was seriously intrigued by the setup because it is smart and it can deliver some smart twists if it was handled well. Otome anime are never handled well though and any other genre would’ve profited from this story.
The problem, story-wise, is the pacing. It is so dreadfully slow especially in the first half. You are slowly trying to figure out the story of the anime yet it seems to point you towards something else: the otome elements. The show was more concerned of presenting something and just teases the mystery as it progresses. The mystery was the thing that made me watch it but it was moving at a snail pace. I’ll tell you right now that it was only focused seriously at the second half. The first half was riddled with bits and pieces that made absolutely no sense that it will irritate you. What exactly was the anime preoccupied with that it sacrificed the story over it? Three words: THE F*CKING HOT GUYS. Wait, that’s four words. Wait, they aren’t f*cking each…other. Eh, who the hell cares at this point?
The first half of the anime was focused on the main character and her relationship with the various guys in the anime. The main character would always seem to end up waking up in her room or at a hospital bed and every time she does, she is greeted by a different face. They are the guys in the anime and they are dating the girl in that certain situation. The clues in the mystery was presented though but you have to sit through really boring episodes of the girl being swoon by the hot guys or slowly becoming close to them through various soul baring moments. It was basically a rundown of the various routes found in the game. I was not amused by this part of the anime because it could’ve blended the mystery and the hot guy moments together. Instead, it showed the hot guys first and then the story at a later time. I honestly found my mind wandering countless times as I anime watch because there was nothing meaningful in most episodes. It’s the same old “hot guy being hot while the girl is slowly melting like butter in their hands” kind of moments that doesn’t really interest me. I guess some bishie fan can appreciate it but if you have an interesting mystery to present, why waste time on a story that doesn’t relate to it?
There is some value in these scenes of the anime though. There are only five guys in the anime and they do have some interesting backstory to them. The first episode nicely gave us a look at the characters and then the episodes after it feature an in depth look at them. They are also interesting in their own right. The dependable childhood friend, the expressionless callous dude, the seductive girls-can’t resist-me guy, the mysterious guy and the caring childhood friend are the type of guys that surround the main character. I did appreciate it when they revealed a different side of themselves to the lead. The callous guy actually trying to care about the girl, the seductive guy unable to seduce the main character and the caring guy smothering the main character was an interesting thing that did made me watch. Once I got used to the rhythm and slow pace of the anime, I was able to appreciate these worthless fluff episodes for what they’re worth. I don’t expect others to see it that way though and these scenes will really test your patience. They offer nothing to the overall story of the anime and they might as well be fillers for the show. Can you imagine watching nothing but filler on the first half? Good luck with that.
The second half took a major hit because the first half basically did nothing. Once the guys are featured, the mystery was finally revealed and it was horrible. The revelation was pretty exciting but it lacked build up and a stable backstory behind it. The mystery wasn’t able to develop. Once it was revealed, there was no reaction from the viewers. It was all basically “blah” as it was slowly unfolding. The show can throw anything at that point because it was so late in the anime, I really didn’t care anymore. Keep your mystery. I don’t care why the girl kept going back to August 1st. I don’t care anymore why she has a fairy she can only see. I no longer care about the potential of different worlds concerning her time rewinds. The show wasn’t able to make me care about it. Naturally, I won’t care about it. It wasted six episodes (and more afterwards) on fluff filler so anything after it is really just worthless to me. Why couldn’t you feed the audience the mystery while the character was dating a guy and slowly learning new things about him? Why didn’t you even have the decency to at least provide enough intrigue in the filler episodes to keep people watching? Why create an anime that gives the viewers an unpleasant vapid experience?
To be fair, the balance of the story, with the hot guy filler episodes and the mystery at the very end, was still workable. It can still be saved because if the story is weak then the characters carry the load. This was a problem for the anime though because the characters are so very pleasantly worthless. Let’s focus on the main character. She experienced a lot of things and she never once demanded answers. She cared for a while but she really just went with the flow. She doesn’t give a proper reaction over the events she experience. Oh, I travelled back in time? I’ll just give a worried reaction and then lie there like a helpless puppy. Oh, I’m in a relationship with this guy? I’ll just go along with it because I’m a helpless puppy. Oh, what’s that? One of them locked me in a cage and padlocked it? I’ll just go with the flow and let him keep me in it while he treats me like the helpless puppy that I am. That really happened. She was locked in a cage and the girl basically did nothing. She didn’t fight. She didn’t get angry or do anything to prevent time for rewinding. She was really just there and it was a major flaw in the story. With a character so one dimensional and so very submissive, the story had no chance to be interesting. Mind you, it had a chance to be good. I’ve seen anime with much less story to work with do wonders with an impressive cast. This anime had a helpless puppy doing absolutely nothing for a main character. The hot guys could’ve basically raped her and she would’ve just stared at the ceiling because she is just worthless. The show might as well have a sack of potato be the lead character.
The rest of the cast is just as bad. I’m personally irritated with the fairy that tag along with her. The girl has no brain of her own and she just follows this fairy’s advice. He would tell the girl not to trust a guy and she would follow his order. He would tell her to follow this suspicious guy and she would. As if he was her mind, this fairy was really a big nuisance. He does nothing in the anime but yell advice at the main character. His existence IS important to the mystery but it was never really explained that clearly. He was just annoying and he isn’t really needed. The hot guys are decent. They’re one dimensional and massively generic but they serve their purpose in the anime. The episodes were interesting just to see the guys get romantic with the helpless puppy. If they aren’t featured in an episode though, they are mostly wallpaper absolutely worthless like the main character. There are also side characters that function merely as plot devices and nothing more.
This anime had a lot of potential that it really just squandered. At the end of the day, the anime’s main goal was to tease you enough to make you play the otome game but it’s so dreadful that it doesn’t even do that one point very clearly. This anime has its moments of intrigue but the overall experience is just sour. It’s so sour that I want to stab myself. It has so many flaws that any slither of positive aspect is nonexistent in this anime. It’s really not a fun thing to watch.
Sight and Sound
Character design is decent. It’s the typical bishies with the tall, dark and handsome appeal you’d expect from otome anime. The guys are indeed hot. It’s the one positive aspect in any otome anime that you can count on. The guys have enough unique details to themselves to make them standout. They have handsome features and they have really cool outfits. They seem to be Jrock inspired with some characters clad in black and often long coats draping their entire body highlighting their sexiness. Some of them are even in full leather that clearly makes them sexy. The guys in the anime are sexy and I am not ashamed to admit it. The main character is pretty decent. I love her helpless face and those expressive eyes. Her style of clothing is also a nice touch. The nice flower on her clothes and the stockings with the high heels is a nice touch. Her look has the personality she is greatly missing. Judging from her clothes, she is the type of girl that is respectable but flirty enough to get guys to look at her direction. One thing I did not appreciate though is the fact that the characters do not change their clothes. They only have one outfit in the entire run of the anime. It’s a bit funny and stupid because they are clearly one dimensional if they can’t even think to change their clothes.
The animation is decent as well. It’s good enough to make the characters great eye candy and for the anime to move forward but it’s not enough to really stand out. Majority of the scenes, the characters do not blink and they mostly have one facial expression just so their pretty features are intact. The main character’s facial expressions are decent though. I love how her eyes widen when she is surprise and when something bad is about to happen. Other than that, the animation is pretty normal.
The anime’s OP is “Zoetrope” by Nagi Yanagi. It is a treat to her Nagi’s voice in an anime. She has a nice voice and the song is really good. It has a mysterious vibe to it yet it was also pretty lovely. It really captures the spirit of the anime. The instrumentals are also a nice touch. The pace gradually builds as it hits the chorus which is very lovely. The Op sequence pretty much sums up the event sin the anime. No spoiler and it’s actually intriguing enough to actually watch the anime. It has the hot guys and the girl looking all helpless. It’s pretty awesome.
The anime’s ED is “Recall” by Ray. It’s a nice song. It has a mysterious vibe to it that I really appreciate. The instrumentals and the added effects really made the song a bit chilly. It was pretty plain though and Ray’s voice was gunked up by the effects. The ED sequence featured all the characters being all otome and all. They were teasing the girls or just looking plain handsome.
4/10 “You might as well have amnesia yourself because this anime is forgettable.”
The anime had potential but it wasted it just so the hot guys can be hot guys. If you love hot guys in your anime then you’ll love this show. Don’t expect a deep story though or anything entertaining from this one. The hoy guys are basically the only good thing about this anime because the negatives really crush the positives. If you want a vain attempt at an anime then I think this one is good enough to torture yourself over. I do not recommend this.