Review of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

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Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a twelve episode anime series, currently available to buy in the UK from MVM Entertainment. The series takes place at Seikyou Private Academy, a school that has a prolific history of ghost sightings. Most of the institution’s spooky myths revolve around Yuko Kanoe, a teenage girl who is said to have perished years ago prior to the school’s renovation. As it turns out the spirit of Yuko is indeed haunting the halls of Seikyou Academy, but only a few select people are able to see her. Freshman Teiichi Niiya happens to be one of the chosen few, which he discovers after spotting the busty poltergeist roaming around a dilapidated wing of the school building.

Thrilled at finding someone who can see her, the lonely Yuko strikes up a friendship with Teiichi. The pair decide to form an after school Paranormal Investigation Club to research the school’s many ghost stories. Yuko hopes that doing so may shed some light on her past, as all memories of her death have been exorcised from her mind. The club’s investigations would probably go more smoothly if Yuko could keep her hands off Teiichi. Given that Teiichi is the only one able to touch her normally incorporeal body I guess you cannot blame her for engaging in some playful flirting. Good thing then that, as far as apparitions go, Yuko is easier on the eyes than Slimer from the Ghostbusters films.

In terms of tone, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia skirts through various genres over the course of its twelve-episode run. The early adventures of the Paranormal Investigation Club are comedic capers were viewers see the group tackle occult cases whilst the bashful Teiichi gets embarrassed by Yuko’s tendency to shed clothing. Given that she is invisible, to most people, she doesn’t see the harm of scampering about nude, although she does blush on one occasion when Teiichi stumbles upon her decomposed body. Apparently spying someone’s skeletal remains is paramount to be ogling a person at their most naked.

Things start to get more serious around the show’s midway point once the chilling manner in which Yuko met her demise is uncovered. Adding to the darker narrative is the revelation that, in addition to Yuko, there may be other more sinister entities patrolling Seikyou Academy. Yuko herself may not be as innocent as she first seems either, as she gets increasingly possessive of Teiichi as the plot advances forward. In addition to humour, mystery and horror Dusk Maiden of Amnesia also dabbles with romance during its finale that seeks to explore if love can blossom between a human and a ghost. I don’t see why not. If dorks can marry pony plushies then surely dating the undead is acceptable.

As far as the cast goes Yuko is the clear star of the show. At first glance she comes across as a stereotypical anime chick whose sole role is to aggressively pursue the show’s male lead. The episodes focusing on her backstory however prove that there is more depth to the character than your average harem lass. Sadly the same cannot be said of Teiichi. He’s a dull do-gooder, lacking any real personality other than having a phobia of cute girls throwing themselves at him. Thankfully the other two members of the Paranormal Investigation club are more interesting.

Momoe Okonogi is the hyperactive comic relief that often falls prey to Yuko’s pranks. She joined the Paranormal Investigators after the club saved her from a curse involving a stabbed toy bunny and a bizarre game of hide & seek. Although Momoe cannot see Yuko, her fellow club mate Kirie Kanoe can. I would best describe Kirie as the show’s voice of reason. Despite being the serious type she does have some amusing quirks. The main one is an insecurity over her lack of cleavage and she is also prone to bursting out into tears during scary situations.

Four stars is what I am awarding Dusk Maiden of Amensia. I enjoyed it from start to finish and was impressed by how the story successfully incorporated elements of comedy, mystery and romance. My only beef with the series would have to be its length. I would have happily watched more episodes so it is a shame that they didn’t adapt more stories from the manga the series is based off. One thing that may infuriate viewers is how the series ends. I was okay with it, but it is clear to see that the creators were uncertain on whether to settle for a happily ever after finale or a bittersweet resolution. Depending on your taste you may or may not approve of the outcome they settled on. Either way I still recommend giving the show a (ghost of a) chance.

12 thoughts on “Review of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

  1. I will show you my skeleton if you show me yours! Great post 🙂 might have to watch this one before I go to Kitacon at the end of the month since it is such a short series!

  2. I guess the indecision between happy/sad ending is more annoying when a show takes a serious turn… then decides to try and make everything ok at the end. I feel like shows, or at least their fans, could really benefit from sadder but more realistic endings as opposed to “happily ever after.” I think more people need faith that when one relationship doesn’t work out, it’s not the end.

    • I finished reading the manga last night. It has a different finale, but is also guilty of trying to have its cake and eat it too. If I like a show’s characters it is good to see them get a happy ending. Then again some of the best animes I have seen are all the more powerful thanks to a bittersweet finale. I don’t mind what route creators go for, as long as they pick one and don’t try to fudge both.

  3. I found this show really immersive and tense, quite the roller coaster. I have to get round to watching the dub.

    It reminded me of Hell Girl too so I agree could have done with more episodes.

  4. I quite enjoyed watching Dusk Maiden of Amnesia back when it was airing in 2012, I actually purchased the DVD set but I still have yet to rewatch it. One of these days I wanna revisit that and try the manga as well. Anywho, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia had quite an interesting premise and a pretty likable cast, Yuuko in particular was a pretty nice character in my opinion. The series was an entertaining watch and I definitely liked how it mixed the light-hearted silly school moments in with a darker and more horrifying style of storytelling with the latter half of the anime. And I can’t say I’m too pleased with the ending’s execution, though it could be worse. It’s one of those things where I hesitate to call it outright bad, but it DOES feel pointless. But perhaps it would feel less pointless if the anime got a season 2, though I’m iffy on whether or not that will really happen.

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  6. I’ve got to say I was actually disappointed by this anime, I felt as if it had all the makings to be something top notch. The animation was gorgeous and it had a romance yet dark mystery surrounding it as well, I just couldn’t stand at how plain Teiichi was. I felt as if Momoe and Kiirie outshone Yuko and Teiichi. I really wanted to love this show but aghhhhh… so much could have been better,

  7. Pingback: Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia | Anime Gauge

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