Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 1 ~ everything about me lies beyond human awareness

April 13, 2012

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) seems to be a Supernatural Harem School-life Romantic Comedy with a touch of Mystery for good measure. The male lead’s harem is the school’s detective club, and the club’s president, Yuuko, is his “magical girlfriend” (in this case a ghost). I don’t do too well with these types of shows, so I watch an episode to know what I am avoiding then insta-drop it. There were three things that surprised me about Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, though:

  1. The OP (used in this first episode as an ED) was actually pretty good (something you can confirm for yourself, below the fold),
  2. This first episode made use of the non-linear storytelling technique, which I thought was interesting and amusing, and
  3. The art direction was occasionally quite bold.

OP: “Choir Jail” sung by┬áKonomi Suzuki

I like the chorus in this song. The keyboard, the interval skips, and the quick-paced section give it the sound of sort-of an Ali Project “light”. It certainly is more commercial and accessible than Ali Project, and even though the lyrics are a little bit dark, they are nothing like Ari Purojekuto. Still, I enjoyed listening to it. The video above is some sort of official PV, not the actual OP animation, which is a bit of a shame, because the OP animation is pretty. The PV animation is lifted mostly from the first episode, and somehow they manage to lift every fan-servicey shot there was, so I think that is a good indication of where the series is going. Still the quality of the OP surprised me, so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Momoe Okonogi: "It's not like I have an affinity for the supernatural."

The second thing that surprised me was the use of non-linear storytelling. Essentially the episode is divided into thirds, with the first third and the second third being the same exact sequence of events, but we are provided a fresh perspective on things the second time around. Momoe spends the first third mostly “alone”, while ghostly things occur all around her. Eventually she is joined by two other Detective club members, but that doesn’t stop the strange things from happening.

Well, of course there is a ghost, and I already told you that. Hell, it’s the whole point of the series. The double telling was used chiefly as a source of humor, but also I thought it was an interesting way of introducing the characters. In their own way every club member has to react to the odd situation in a different way, including the club president (and ghost) Yuuko.

"Passion isn't a sin, is it?"

And my final surprise: Dusk Maiden of Amnesia┬áhas some very bold art direction. I haven’t seen a series that the production company, Silver Link, had primary responsibility for before. I watched some of Baka to Test, but didn’t like it, and I insta-dropped C3. These guys obviously have some chops, though I have a feeling this series will abandon interesting camera angles and color choices for fan service.

In conclusion, I enjoyed watching Dusk Maiden of Amnesia much more than I expected. I will probably watch a few more episodes, and likely silently drop it, unless the story turns out to be much more important than boob jokes.

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8 Responses to “Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 1 ~ everything about me lies beyond human awareness”

  1. uldihaa Says:

    I was kind of surprised that Yuuko’s personality was so playful and silly. I was expecting her to be more dignified and collected, the way most characters of similiar design are. If the anime follows the manga, then you’ll get a mix of fanservice and pretty dark stuff. The manga gets steadily darker as they uncover more about Yuuko’s death.

    I’m am curious as to what episode you dropped C3, though. I was going to do the same until the last 5-8 minutes of episode two showed me what the series was really going to be about.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      You are right, the norm for that physical character type is to be cool and under control, so Yuuko does break some convention with the way she is presented.

      As to C3, I don’t quite remember, but I’m pretty sure I watched the second episode. I remember seeing a battle where the girls transform. IIRC, the first episode had none of that. Battle Harem still doesn’t work for me. It’s tough for me to get over my dislike of the Harem genre. .. Which was exactly my point above. If this show ends up feeling like a harem show with supernatural or mystery aspects, I will probably drop it.

      If they stick to just these three girls, maybe I can handle it. One of my biggest frustrations with Harem shows is that, instead of advancing a storyline, or developing the existing characters, they can always introduce a new character to be the latest addition to the harem. It leads to lazy writing, and episodic thinking.

      • uldihaa Says:

        Ah, yeah I get frustrated with harem anime as well. Though, in C3’s defense, it went quite a bit beyond Battle Harem. The way I describe it is, “It starts as a happy-harem punch, then someone comes along and generously spikes it with Higurashi absinthe.” That scary smile she gives at the end of episode 2? Only the vaguest hint of what’s to come. She’s called “Fear in Cube” for a very good reason. I’ve always pointed out that Fear’s
        character type is typically voiced by Rie Kugimia if it’s a romcom, but instead Fear is voiced by Yukari Tamura known for (points to avatar) Nanoha… and Rika Furude of Higurashi.

      • Joojoobees Says:

        Well, maybe I won’t have to drop Amnesia after all.

  2. Sarra Says:

    I was interested in how this episode was put together…Of course, the retelling with Yuuko shown was fun, but also…This episode was cobbled together from a couple different scenes from various manga chapters – presumably so that they could introduce all the main characters in the first episode. (In the manga, Okonogi isn’t introduced until the second chapter, and Kanoe isn’t introduced until the second volume.) From the look of things, they’re going to start with chapter 1 from the next episode onwards…

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Interesting. I personally think it was a good way to introduce the show. They made a veiled reference at the end to something that had happened to Teiichi, that he knows where Yuuko’s body is. Now that they have given us a flavor of the middle of the show, I would like to see them build the characters and story up incrementally.

  3. David A. Young Says:

    This show is definitely interesting enough for me to keep watching for at least a few episodes.

    I don’t mind shows with harem-esque elements so long as it’s believeable the main character would engender such interest, and so long as the romance element eventually resolves itself. I liked “Bridge to the Starry Skies” because it told a decent story while meeting both of those criteria. (Actually, I thought “Bridge” handled its romance EXCELLENTLY. The girls who “lost” did so with class.)

    “Anu Natsu de Matteru” suffered because its protagonist was so vanilla I didn’t see the attraction. It was the other characters that saved that show for me.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      I guess all tastes, being subjective, are in some part irrational, and mine is no different in that regard. I definitely developed a strong dislike for Harem Rom-Com starting with supposedly “classic” shows like Love Hina. The whole genre just bugs me. It might have some reason for existing if it were very rare, but it seems to be the easiest story to put together, so they get cranked out by the dozen each season.


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