Amnesia, the Gradient Goddess / by Marian Streeter

Harem anime get the heart racing. They do! That’s why they’re so exciting! For those who don’t know, the term “harem” refers to the character cast; it usually means either the show is about one main female character surrounded by a cast of hot guys characters or one main male character surrounded by a cast of hot girl characters. And those surrounding characters all tend to have affections towards the main man or girl. (Does Tenchi ring any bells?) winkwink Typically, if the main character is a guy, it’s a “harem” or “ hāremumono”. Oppositely, if the main character is a girl, it’s called a “reverse harem” or “gyakuhāremu”. This year offers up a handful of reverse harem anime, including one by the name of, “Amnesia”.

Admittedly, my girlfriends have been all over this show and I’m just now finding out about it, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and check it out. By episode 4, I find myself wondering, but in a good way, just what the heck is going? The cliffhangers at the end make it hard to stop watching. Plain and simply, this a romantic mystery that is able to surprise even the hopeless fangirl that has “seen it all”, it’s air of mystery making it less predictable than the average harem show.

Amnesia is mainly about a girl who ends up waking up on the couch at her work after an accident. She has no idea about anything, literally. Her memory of people, places, even her own name and personality are gone, which, as you can guess leaves her a bit dazed and confused. We are introduced to two bishounen, pretty boys Shin and Toma that escort her home and sensing her dazed confusion, eventually agree to help her get re-assimilated into the life she once knew. Oh and there happens to be a floating spirit named Orion that is trapped inside the main character’s soul and is invisible to everyone but her, following her around offering suggestions and help as well.

As the story progresses, the main character returns to her job at a lovely cafe and is exposed to more handsome and mysterious bishies. She finds herself questioning her relationship with each one as she goes through a series of flashbacks that appear before her eyes in sudden and unexpected instances. These flashing memories and the interactions she has with the others shed patches of light on the overall enigma that is Amnesia.  Having watched only a handful of episodes, I have a feeling something darker and more hidden is going on under the surface and I can’t wait to watch more.

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What attracts me the most about this show are the amounts of gradients, glowing exposures, and textures that are used in it. The different colors in the eyes and hair were what got me interested, in fact, I found myself admiring a screenshot from the show I found on the internet randomly long before finding out what show it was taken from. Also, the costume design for the show is quite fashionable. The Heroine’s outfit is one I adore the most. The guys have unique apparel as well.

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About a month ago, I picked up this artbook at my local anime convention called Translucent, which contained illustrations by Mai Hanamura.

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Beautiful textures, colors and details adorn the sheets of this book. (The cover image of this post is from this book actually.) I love every page of it and I know fans of Amnesia will love it too.

With all the new things anime artists can do nowadays with their art, I think anime is aiming to reach new levels to translate these visual techniques into animation as well. And I’m sure it will only get better and more perfected over time. Looking at the overall feel of this show, the distinctiveness of it all makes for an interesting anime-watching experience.

If once you finish all 12 episodes of this anime you’re still itching for more romance and reverse harem titles, I highly recommend Uta no Prince-sama season 1 & 2 and Maid Sama (Kaichō wa Maid-sama!).

See ya again soon!