Anime Spotlight: Amnesia

Amnesia is an anime based on a visual novel by Idea Factory. The anime was produced by Brains Base and aired on Japanese television from January 7-March 25, 2013. The series is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

The main character of the series is a female who has lost her memories prior to August 1; this includes forgetting what her own name is. In the series, the main protagonist is never referred to by name, not even by her co-workers.

A spirit named Orion follows her around, and it is revealed that the main character lost her memories because Orion’s spirit bumped into hers. Orion tells her that to regain her memories, she must interact with the other people who are important in her life.

There are four male characters who become a central focus in the story. Each of the males is based on the symbolic suits from a playing card deck: Heart, Spade, Diamond, and Club. Shin is the Heart, Ikki is the Spade, Toma is the Diamond, and Kent is the Clover. The characters all work at the same café.

Shin is friends with both the main character and with Toma, and he is a third-year high school student studying to get into a university; he also comes across as being the “cool” character. Toma, meanwhile, is a second-year university student, and he tends to treat the main character a bit more like a child.

Ikki is a fourth-year university student, and he has a lot of women fawning over him. Kent wears glasses and is the “smart” one; he is also best friends with Ikki.

But when the main character (who will henceforth be referred to as “Heroine”), has an accident and falls off a cliff, something strange happens. When she wakes up in the hospital and starts interacting with others, she discovers that things are a little different. She also discovers that she has returned to August 1 and has no memories prior to that date. It turns out that she has appeared in a parallel world. The rest of the series sees Heroine interacting with the four main potential love interests in various parallel worlds. Near the end of the series, a background character becomes a more central character. He holds the answer as to why Heroine is moving between these parallel worlds.

When I started watching Amnesia, I thought the idea of a main character being an amnesiac was kind of interesting. And as Heroine traveled between parallel worlds, I found myself wondering how things would change from world to world. However, it did become rather predictable that Heroine would have a tragic accident, and then wake up in another world on August 1.

Unfortunately, since Amnesia is based on a visual novel, there was no definitive ending for the series. Right at the end, it’s mentioned that Heroine will return to her real world and have her memories restored, but the viewer never gets to see what her real world is like. This is probably not an issue for viewers who are fans of or are familiar with the original visual novel, but for viewers who have never seen the visual novel (like me), the non-ending can be a little frustrating. For me, I felt a little cheated. I followed Heroine through her journey, but never got a true payoff for my dedication to her story. I’ve seen the parallel world/parallel dimension concept in Noein: To Your Other Self, and I think that Noein utilized this concept with a stronger story.

Amnesia isn’t necessarily bad, but it does kind of feel like you’re watching someone else playing the game. And now that I’ve seen this series in its entirety, I feel no real compulsion to watch it again. The various twists and changes are what keep the viewer hooked and interested; but now that I know what these twists and changes are, it would weaken a re-watch of the series.

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