Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (Anime Review)
From the start of this 2012 series the dark horror stylings are clear. The title provides the viewer a clue with the titular character’s mental state. However, what the viewer may initially be unaware of, is how the singular word ‘Amnesia’ relates to a more collective idealism of amnesia, which occurs over time. Undocumented histories, passed down orally among those connected by blood or general location, become stories. These stories, passed among those with only a momentary connection to a specific location, often become legend. Legends, whether ill or of sound reasoning, often become, in time, distorted, bringing about a new narrative with miniscule elements of truth. Those most saddened by this line of weaved tales, would be those who originally experienced. Characters within these stories that are left still asking questions, or seeking answers, feel the most pain, and will remain, unnoticed by many onlookers, until their stories find a true end.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia focuses on the legend of a ghost who haunts an old unused school building. This building is only slightly detached from one which is modern, new, and vibrant with the lives of students. These students are aware of the old school building, primarily because of the stories about Yuuko-san, the ghost of the old building. Unfortunately, these stories are more rumors, incomplete with little commonality except that Yuuko is evil and should not be tempted. No one knows exactly how she died or why she is haunting the old school building, but to the students of this school, there is clear evidence of paranormal happenings. Unbeknownst to the modern students, is that Yuuko is not an evil being, but rather one who has forgotten her story. Yuuko is a being, like most high school students, that seeks acceptance and love.
Taiichi, is a student at this school who feels as if he is called to an old part of the institution. After becoming lost in the labyrinth Taiichi meets Yuuko Kanoe, who reveals her identity as the same Yuuko from the ghost stories. To Taiichi, Yuuko looks, feels, and seems like a normal person; until he accidently stumbles upon her bones in a part of the school that has been sealed for over sixty years. A promise is made by Taiichi to solve the mystery of Yuuko’s death, and the school’s paranormal stories, which are likely connected to Yuuko. What follows is a story of a youthful love between two beings, which transcends the concepts of time and place.
The anime version of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, has an impressive soundtrack, which balances between symphonic, rock, and standard anime fare, mainly for the more comedic scenes. This soundtrack assists in creating the overall ambience in conjunction with the story structure. Poignant scenes are further accentuated through visual artistic changes. While contextual, these artistic changes are sudden, often moving at a tempo different from the previous scene, to fully capture the action taking place within the characters. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia will be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of anime lovers, fans of paranormal romance stories will find a new love in this series.