Final Review: Tasogare Otome x Amnesia


DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless other noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is based off an ongoing manga of the same name. The anime premiered during the Spring 2012 anime season and is directed by Shin Oonuma with Katsuhiko Takayama providing the script and Silver Link with the animation. In other words, the show is brought to you by the same staff as ef ~A Tale of Memories~ and ef ~A Tale of Melodies~ with the studio who made Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. Tasogare Otome x Amnesia was licensed for US distribution by Sentai Filmworks.

The story…Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (translated literally as Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) follows Teiichi Niiya who can see the mysterious ghost Yuuko Kanoe, who is restricted to the school grounds after dying many years ago. The story focuses on trying to recover Yuuko’s memories and why she lost them in the first place. While I haven’t read up the resolution of the arc, it had followed the manga pretty faithfully up to where I read and gives some good character development on Yuuko’s history as well as Kirie Kanoe’s family history. It’s not a horror or mystery show despite initially trying to pass off as one. So what’s wrong with this show? Well for one, the first episode was a double edged sword with it effectively only being the length of half a regular episode as the other half is retold from a different character’s perspective. Second, I hear the final episode was mostly filler though I can’t say if that is a reliable source or not. Filler or not, it’s one heck of a cliched way to end it. It would have been better to either not go down that path or simply have Yuuko disappear to leave at least a bit of a touching ending there, but of course, with an ongoing source, there was little chance of that happening.

Art is gorgeous for this show and something Silver Link upgraded significantly from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu as well as C3 from last fall. Scenes are beautifully drawn and objects as well as characters are nice and detailed. Moe designs didn’t quite fit well with the setting of the show (particularly Okonogi’s design). Animation was pretty stiff for the most part as this show is mostly composed of still frames and far away shots. However, it does do a very good job with fluidity when up close, such as Yuuko’s shadow.

OP theme was very solid especially coming from a debut singer. ED is okay but nowhere near as good as the OP theme. It’s nice to hear Aki Okui though after a long time. Last memorable song from her was Turn A Gundam’s ending themes. Background themes and sound effects, however, are generally forgettable but there was nothing that really made it terrible. Seiyuu lineup was okay for this show. No one particularly stood out and no one really was out of character. Okonogi’s seiyuu, Misato Fukuen, while annoying, was at least fitting for the character.

Enjoyment? Okay, now here’s the problem with this show. I found the first episode rather amusing for the most part. Furthermore, while the show does follow the manga relatively close, I never thought an interesting read could actually be boring when animated. Unfortunately, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia does fit this bill. The show is not really dialogue driven like ef and with many still images and scenes to complement, it only made it more difficult to watch.

Overall, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia isn’t a complete letdown as it does have a proper arc/plot resolution but it does lack much to keep a viewer engaged in the show. Some may also be turned off by the fanservice in this show and others may not like that it’s not a true mystery or horror title. Point is, the show is really only mystery to an extent and more of a harem romance show than anything. If you couldn’t figure that out five minutes into the first episode, you were watching the show from the wrong perspective.

 

That animation…


Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Ano Hana just did the whole ghost girl thing last year this time. Not a very interesting set up.
  • Character Personalities (0.5/1): Yuuko is a fun character, especially in the first episode. Okonogi is annoying.
  • Character Development (2/2): Solid on Kirie, Yuuko, and Niiya. We actually find out their relation to each other, which is coincidental but at least logical. Good back story.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1/2): Small cast but at the end of the day, Kirie and Momoe were filler characters.
  • Pacing: (1/1): It’s actually fine.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (2/2): Nothing really out of the ordinary but there’s not much explanation in this show either.
  • Conclusion (1/1): Cheesy and cliched as all heck but gets the job done in a fine and expected fashion.
  • Total: 7.5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (2/2): Nice and very detailed everywhere. Nice palette choice.
  • Character Designs (1.5/2): Moe designs are a bit out of place, otherwise good.
  • Fluidity (1/2): Lack of motion in this show but otherwise good. Quality did slip in the penultimate episode a little bit.
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (2/2): Beautiful
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (2/2): Improvement from C3 last fall.
  • Total: 8.5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (2.5/3): OP is very good. ED is okay
  • Background Music (1/2): fine but not very memorable.
  • Sound Effects (1/2): same as background music.
  • Seiyuu (2.5/3): Cast is fine with their roles.
  • Total: 7/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (2/2): First episode was very amusing. Yuuko’s playful character really kept this show going.
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (1/2): The show got boring really fast due to how slow the dialogue moves the show. Much more interesting titles to watch instead.
  • Presentation (1/2): Story builds nicely but too slow in general. Too much useless dialogue complemented with little motion/action to really keep viewer engaged.
  • Re-watchable (0/1): Not really.
  • Recommendation (0.5/2): Not really recommendable. Ano Hana is really a better show without all the mysteries. Natsu no Arashi! and ef, both of which are also done by Shin Oonuma does a much better job than what Tasogare attempts. I guess if you enjoyed those works you could watch this but the recommendation is really the other way around. I personally enjoyed Natsu no Arashi! and ef far more than this.
  • Value (0.5/1): It’s an underrated show but far from a gem.
  • Total: 5/10

Preliminary Score: 8/10

Final Score: 7/10

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