Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is an anime that was released during the spring 2012 anime season. What sets this anime apart from the others? Let me think about that. Hold on a minute. Wait, I got it! It’s that…oh no wait… It’s got… Alright, let me start over again. It’s a ghost story. I bet you’ve never heard or seen a ghost story in anime before. Wait, you have? You must be joking! Sigh. Well, if you say so. Ghost stories are something that will populate Asian stories for as long as mankind exists. Sometimes they are told well and other times, not so much. Like I said before, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a ghost story but not just a ghost story. It’s also a love story. I bet you never saw that comi… oh you did? Well, fine you block head! I can’t tell you anything without you interrupting me!
Teiichi is a middle school student who can see and talk to Yuuko, a ghost. He joins the Paranormal Investigation Club in order to learn more about her past. The other two members of the club; Okonogi, who is a ghost story fanatic (of course!) and helps Teiichi with Yuuko even though she can’t see her and Kirie who can also see Yuuko other than Teiichi and believes Yuuko is an evil spirit and has feelings for Teiichi (oh really?). Out of all of these characters, Okonogi is probably the only one I kind of cared for. She is the anime’s comic relief and she does have some funny lines throughout the show. When an episode doesn’t include her, the show is dark and gloomy. With her included, the episode is dark and gloomy with a sprinkle of chuckles (although the chuckles are slim).
For me, this anime feels disjointed and bipolar. I feel like it doesn’t know what it wants to be. There is some fan service that mostly feels out of place and while I do believe that Yuuko, who is a ghost who also happens to be lonely, uses her sexiness to lure Teiichi but sometimes it feels a bit much. This is anime so we shouldn’t be surprised by this development. Other times when the anime tries to convey that dark and gloomy mood, it turns 180 degrees and smacks you across the face. The school setting is used constantly. You never see these characters outside of the school. It would have been interesting to see how these characters reacted with each other outside of the school. Of course, Yuuko can’t go outside of school grounds so maybe that’s why you never see them outside of it but it would have given more depth to the other characters. Sometimes I wondered where the parents were. Aren’t Teiichi’s parents worried that he spends SO much time at school? I guess it would have been an awkward conversation to have. ‘Hey, mom and dad, I’m in love with a ghost!’ ‘WHAT!?!? My son is in love with a ghost? Unacceptable!’
Probably the most important thing about anything you watch is that you have to care for the characters and after a few episodes, I just didn’t care what happened to these people. What’s the story behind Yuuko? Quite honestly, I couldn’t care less. The show is only 12 episodes long but felt like 26. The show’s saving grace was the character of Momoe Okonogi. I wish they would make a show about her adventures checking out ghost stories. The Adventures of Momoe Okonogi has a nice ring to it. Some people will find this love story beautiful and heartfelt but I thought the love story dragged on and on. Even after the show was over, I didn’t feel any satisfaction knowing what happened to the characters. It would have been fun to see Kirie and Teiichi show emotion for each other and create a deeper love story because Yuuko would have to actually work for Teiichi’s love but it just felt like everyone read the script before hand and just left that piece of story on the table. The animation is nice to look at but like they say, looks can only go so far and the music isn’t special at all. While the music does an admirable job of trying to showcase the dark and gloomy atmosphere, it won’t freak you out at all.
If you are looking for a ghost story, this could be something you are looking for but don’t expect to be frightened at all. The show tries to be scary but doesn’t always accomplish this and when there is comedy it doesn’t always hit the right notes so in other words; this show has potential but doesn’t always land on its feet. If you are looking for a love story, you might be satisfied with this but for this viewer; I was just satisfied to see it end and get it over with. The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks so if you are interested, look out for it. For the rest of you, BOO! RUN AWAY!