Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 2 ~ I harbor no regrets or grudges

April 18, 2012

Another visually compelling episode.

I hadn’t intended to blog Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia), but last week’s episode was so interesting that I just had to do so. Still, I intended to let it be, but this episode was packed with interesting visual ideas, so I can’t help but comment.

Great use of primary colors and simulating a fisheye lens on the "camera".

Yuuko Kanoe X Teiichi Niiya.

The shot of the couple on the roof is amazing for several reasons. First, it has some very bold color choices (apparently scenes with our ghost maiden at dusk are going to be a recurring subject for this series). But the most extraordinary thing about it is the unconventional approach to composition. This sort of composition, with the two characters bunched right in the center, and practically nothing around them, shouldn’t really work, but it does. This composition is almost entirely dead space, but through the use of shadows, and the columns, and the fencing, and especially that crazy sky, it looks dynamic and really holds one’s attention. Brilliant.

This scene used framing devices as well as illogically breaking up pieces of the character and incorporating calligraphy.

Momoe Okonogi. Here thick, black borders frame the subject who is set against a cheery floral background for comedic effect (and to indicate the cluelessness of the character depicted).

This is a fascinating shot that would be at home in a Shaft/Shinbo production. It appears to be a shard of the mirror that is broken in this episode. Because it reflects the tops of people's heads, and the dark lines running across it seem to be wire or string, it appears someone has tied this so that it is suspended from the ceiling.

A lot of scenes used framing devices in some way. A few are depicted above, including the unusual triangular frame caused by the mirror shard. An extreme version of this framing motif was played out with Momoe’s story.

Picture Play 1: A wooden panel opens in three directions.

Picture Play 2: This reveals an image set into a literal frame, that acts as a stage for the story.

Picture Play 3. The images in the frame are shown in a different style, with heavier lines to give it a more graphic feel.

Picture Play 4: As the drama unfolds, the images are slid out from the side, to reveal the next image in the story.

The visual ideas used in this episode were not only bold, they were very well executed. There were also other parts that used painted scrolls, and a whole sequence of very quick jump cuts that moved backwards through the events in the episode. Visually I find this episode even more interesting than I did the first episode. The storytelling was assisted by the interesting visual ideas.

Yuuko Kanoe. One sexy ghost.

Of course none of this addresses my central concern as expressed in my review of the first episode. The underlying subject matter is still an ecchi Harem Rom-Com. Can Amnesia rise above the genre on the basis of its obvious quality production?

6 Responses to “Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 2 ~ I harbor no regrets or grudges”

  1. David A. Young Says:

    Since I don’t mind the genre if it’s done well, the visual presentation ensures this will stay on my watch list unless they do something to jump the ghost-shark. Hopefully they’ll keep the comedic aspects while getting into some actual mystery-solving. That would make this a definite winner in my book.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      It really is quite striking, visually. Hopefully this will turn out to be a show I’m glad I kept watching. Some of the other shows that I thought would turn out to be bad, but checked anyway, have already shown themselves to be not worth watching, but Amnesia has had a strong start.

      • David A. Young Says:

        I’d be interested to hear what shows you’ve checked and dropped. I’m still watching a couple of shows that I probably WILL drop, but right now they hold a certain perverse fascination for me. One is the “Crawling Horror Nyarlothotep” thing. It’s pretty bad, but for an old Lovecraft fan such as myself just seeing the bizarre twist on the mythos is fun, for the moment. The other is the “Mysterious Girlfriend X” show. It’s so strange and gross that I find it disgustingly interesting. Plus I like the “Old School” look of it. I can’t imagine I’ll KEEP watching these. God, I hope not. On the good side, my medical insurance does cover mental health problems.

      • Joojoobees Says:

        I tend to not make a big deal about shows that I drop, unless I was blogging them.

        One show I watched the second episode of last night and can’t imagine wasting any more time on is Medaka Box. Honestly I find the whole concept stupid, and the actual execution underwhelms me.

        Others I have looked at and am sure I won’t bother with anymore include:

        • the Chthulu one you mentioned, which does have a strange idea, but I really don’t care for it.
        • the one where the schoolgirl is a dog (shimak-inu-san?)
        • the bread baking harem
        • the one where the female tsundere is incredibly short and has blue hair (rynocchi???)

        Sorry, I am at work so I don’t have the names in front of me.

  2. Sarra Says:

    I have to agree with you – I loved the visual style in this episode. The animators really showed off their creativity this time around.

    Having read the manga, I don’t think Amnesia is really a harem romcom…Though it is both ecchi and romance…It’s also mystery…supernatural…tragedy…horror…Erm, all six genres combined? It’s hard to classify, but it doesn’t feel like it’s just grabbed way too many genres like Inu x Boku did.

    Well, it is true all 3 girls end up in love with Teiichi, but he hardly has moments with any of them but Yuuko. So I guess you could count it as harem too?

    …I think I’m being overly unclear here. ^_^”

    • Joojoobees Says:

      I think I know what you mean, though. It is one thing to have competing love interests, and another to have another member of the harem added week after week after week. If they keep it to three girls I probably can handle it. Some shows, like Negima-sensei (I forget the exact name) have dozens of girls actively fighting over the protagonist, so there is no time for plot beyond harem hijinx. In fact the whole plot boils down to week after week of “another girl shows up and falls in love with the lead”.

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