I’ve spent a lot time watching a lot of anime to known which sort of genres pique my interests. Frankly, I’ve found that I have a particular interest for when it comes to shojo anime. For those of you who aren’t familiar, shojo anime is usually marketed to a female audience that often focus’ on human and romantic relationships and emotions. In short, the shojo genre is for those who enjoy a good romance. Which is sort of strange for someone like me to be into that sort of thing since I don’t particularly care for romance at all. Give me horror any day!
I guess you can say that shojo anime is my guilty pleasure. So when I was browsing through my queue on Crunchyroll, I came across something called Amnesia. I had about this anime previously, and judging from the title card, it looked…promising.
Well, for awhile, it was.
If I were to describe the premise of Amnesia, I would probably say it’s a cross between Groundhog’s Day and Final Destination.
Wow…that was perhaps the weirdest comparison I have ever made. Please, just bare with me here.
The story surrounds a young girl who wakes up one day to discover that she, you guessed it, has amnesia. She has no memory of who she is, where she is or anything else about her life and the people in it. The cause seems to be due to the fact that a spirit going by the name of Orion has attached itself to her soul by mistake and cannot free himself. For the first part of the story, it focus’ on this girl’s journey to navigate through her memory-less life while trying to figure out who she was. Along the way, she picks up bits and pieces from flashbacks but is unable to make a connection on who she once was.
And then, she dies.
Yeah. She dies.
Only to wake up again as if from a dream on the exact same date as before. In fact, as the story progresses, Heroine (seriously, that’s her name) finds herself in strange loop every time she wakes up and ultimately meets her death again and again. The date, August 1st, seems to hold some kind of significance for her as it always the same date every time she wakes. To make matters all the more confusing, every time she wakes up, she finds the world slightly different from the last one. Meaning whenever she wakes up, she is in a relationship with at least one of her friends.
Every world has a slight difference from the last one Heroine visits, and each one seems to harder and harder to navigate through. There are times that Heroine will find herself mixed up in problems that she has no memory getting involving in the first place.
There is one constant factor in each world she visits though. A strange character name Ukyo that continuously appears and seems to know Heroine as well as the fact that she has lost her memory, why she must repeat the same day, the significance of the date August 1st, and why Heroine dies in every world she visits.
The visuals are absolutely just gorgeous to look at. The colors are soft yet bright and pretty that makes you feel that you’re looking at a painting, and the character designs are uniquely drawn to match their personalities. The characters themselves are very appealing. Each has their own charm and independent style that it’s near impossible to end up rooting for one whenever Heroine visits a different world.
In shojo anime where the main factor centers around reverse-harem (anime where the female character is the object of affection for a group of male characters), this is the basic formula. And as someone who loves this sort of thing, this is gooey fan-girl candy. Sure, the romance can be over-the-top and sometimes unrealistic, but that’s the whole point of romance after all.
This series is short.
Sadly, with only thirteen episodes, we are only given one episode for each different world and different hook up. Which is unfortunate because the time spent with each couple leaves you wanting to see how the relationship grows and evolves. But no; as soon as we’re getting comfortable with one relationship the world changes and we carry onto the next. This feels rushed and doesn’t gives enough time to really connect with our main character as well as her love interests. In fact, they become more like side characters that don’t really have a place.
Which in a shojo anime, that’s considered a big no-no.
Also, the mystery surrounding Heroine’s memory loss is built up to be rather well in the first few episodes. You’re curious as to know what it’ll led up to, but unfortunately fails to deliver when it matters the most: the ending.
The ending is not particularly bad. It’s just not good. As I said, the mystery of Heroine’s memory loss has you interest at the get-go, but with only so many episodes and not enough time to build on it, the ending suffers from the fatalist of moves. At the last possible moment, we are introduced to a character whom is supposed to have the answers to everything and who has all the power and can give you the life of your choosing.
The ending is just lazy, cheesy and downright confusing. It falls back on some of the oldest shoe-honed cliche of bad story-telling which is sad for a premise that had so much promise.
SPOILER ALERT HERE!!
Heroine is given the chance by the newest introduced ‘God’ character to return to her original world with her original memories by choosing a playing card. Each card represents her a love interest she had previously. Of course we never see what she chooses and instead we are given a slide show of all the different worlds and how she lives it with her chosen love interest.
Overall, Amnesia is…okay. It’s not great by any means. If more time was given to develop the different worlds and different potentials, it could’ve been very interesting to see what could have been. In shojo, I’ve learned that it’s important to devote a lot of time to the romance between characters. It has to be all about the hugs and kiss and as much lovey-dovey that you can squeeze in. This anime doesn’t have enough and it really hurts the story.
If you want to get a really quick shojo fix (and I do mean quick), then you might like this. Pick a love interest and when the show is over, head-canon the possibilities to your heart’s content.
Overall rating: 5/10