Title: Tasogara Otome x Amnesia
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Romance, Supernatural
Summary: At the Private Seikyō Academy, there is a legend that all students have heard. Sixty years ago, there was a girl who for some reason, was left behind in the old, abandoned school building to die. Teiichi Niiya one day meets a beautiful, mysterious girl named Yūko Kanoe at the old school building and gets a surprise—she’s the ghost of the girl who died 60 years ago, but does not remember her past or how she died. Teiichi becomes determined to help her remember, and together, they seek the truth behind the gruesome legend.
Review: I wanted to review this anime while it was still airing and give it the green light for everyone to watch. I absolutely fell in love with it and couldn’t get enough. However, I’m happy that I waited until the end because the ending (literally the last 2 minutes) made a huge difference about my opinion. It luckily didn’t completely destroy the anime for me and I don’t regret watching it in the least as you can probably tell with the score I’ve given it.
One of the things that can hook someone into watching an anime is the art style. I know there have been a few anime that I’ve turned away from because they didn’t look up to my expectations. Tasogare Otome x Amnesia was a great example of what makes an anime’s art hook the viewer. Some may see it to be rather average at first glance, but you soon realize that they thought quite far ahead for their story. Although the story consisted of a lot of humor and ecchi moments, the underlying story was very tragic. The story had created a very dark atmosphere that portrayed well in the art style. Even during comedic moments you can tell that things weren’t as bright and colorful as you may see in some other comedies such as Nichijou. To compensate for this the series decided to create more dynamic scenery and borders. While still maintaining the bleak atmosphere of a broken down school building or deep recesses of a boiler room the art managed to bring out some color in this dark world. I’m glad that they decided to stick with the central theme of horror but still manage to add in enough comedy to keep things from becoming overbearing.
If I had to pick what the best and worst part of Tasogare Otome x Amnesia was it would be the story. How can it be both? Well the story kept me watching this anime from beginning to end, always anxious to see what happened next. I slumped in my chair crying, sat at the edge of my seat in excitement, and fell to the floor in laughter. However, it was also the only thing I had a problem with right at the end. It wasn’t that something that caused me to hate the anime with a passion, but it did make me raise an eyebrow. The reason why I didn’t throw this anime under the bus is because I understood what the series was trying to do and what their end goal was. It’s unfortunate that many anime seem to go this route making it nearly predictable. Probably the only thing that kept this anime from falling in with the rest of them was the fact you had to wait till the very last second to see this cliché event unfold. I wont spoil anything so I’ll move back to the reason I was so hooked to this anime. As I mentioned earlier there were quite a bit of comedic elements and I actually thought that was going to be the original direction of the anime after the first couple episodes. Soon it turned into a thrilling story with heavy character development and some of the most twisted and scary things I’ve seen in an anime in quite some time. Probably the scariest was a sequence of episodes that was completely done in the first person. There have been many anime have tried this before but I feel Tasogare Otome x Amnesia really perfected it. These sequence of episodes weren’t just for pretty looks either; they added a lot to the storyline and basically brought everything together. I was also happy with the shroud of mystery that covered the anime from the beginning. More importantly I was happy how the mystery was unveiled later on. There wasn’t an extreme twist or unexpected reality. Instead the anime stuck to their guns and continued to bring in things bit-by-bit, to the point the audience could more or less grasp the situation of what happened. I also really enjoyed the dynamic between the four main characters. Everyone worked very well together and I couldn’t have asked for a better cast for a horror, mystery, thriller, romance, comedy anime.
The soundtrack for Tasogare Otome x Amnesia should be noted for its hauntingly beautiful tones. The opening had amazing lyrics that fit perfectly with the series. The powerful drums and guitar added to the atmosphere. Normally I don’t like when they add the opening as background music in an episode but Tasogare Otome x Amnesia pulled it off. The opening wasn’t the only thing that was good either. There were a lot of great background music that intensified the horror aspect of the anime. They also added the typical comedic sounds when things were a little more light hearted.
Final statements: I really enjoyed this series and it had a lot of great elements to it. The final episode, despite knowing what was coming I still cried the second time around when watching the directors cut.The characters were great and the story was captivating. However, the ending didn’t sit well with me and it is really hard to explain why without spoiling it (which would ruin the series for everyone). Nevertheless I still found it very entertaining and consider it a preferred watch.