Blu-ray Review: DUSK MAIDEN OF AMNESIA Entertainingly Blends Horror, Comedy and Romance
Horror is one of the most popular genres in Japanese cinema, manga and anime. Images of Sadako from The Ring should still be vivid in many people's minds.
While not particularly scary, the high school horror anime series Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia introduces and explores some interesting concepts related to the genre, such as the idea that how the living experiences a ghostly spirit is driven by one's own impressions of it. In addition, this anime also has other elements of comedy and romance that together offer an enjoyable viewing experience.
Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia is not for children. Besides the horror element, its main character Yuuko is a sexy ghost who likes undressing and being touched. Her romantic interest, Niiya, is a timid first year student at the haunted Seikyou Academy, a maze-like old school made up of a number of interconnected buildings.
Together, the pair forms the 'Paranormal Investigation Club' and is joined by the excitable Momoe, a clueless girl who loves the supernatural, and the cool Kirie, who turns out to be a relative of Yuuko. The four form the members of the club and pretty much the entire cast of the series. It is actually very much a harem series, with the three female characters all romantically interested in Niiya.
The main plot involves the discovery of Yuuko's past, in particular how she ended up dying in the basement of one of the school buildings, as she does not have any recollection of her past life. Through learning about her and seeing the developing romance between her and Niiya, intensity builds and viewers may feel some strong emotions as they move closer and closer to witnessing Yuuko's death.
One particularly impressive thing about this anime is how it looks. The visuals are vibrant, especially the red, orange and yellow colors used to depict dusk, sunset and autumn. The three female characters are all attractively drawn: Yuuko is voluptuous, Momoe is cute, and Kirie is slender. The voice acting in Japanese, which I listened to throughout the show, sounds solid and seems equally competent in English, which I briefly checked out. The video and audio are both fantastic on Blu-ray, and as a bonus, two CDs of the wonderful soundtrack are included in the Australian release (which I have reviewed here) for free.
Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia is a fun anime. As a horror series, it may not impress a lot because it is more suspenseful than spooky. But the show as a whole has a lot to offer: It is funny, touching, sexy and at times intense. The narrative structure certainly keeps viewers engaged from beginning to end, and the small cast of characters is really entertaining to watch.
Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia is distributed in Australia by Hanabee Entertainment.