Yes, let’s have a leisurely conversation in the middle of a burning building.
|Ah Amnesia, you were… not so good while you lasted, and now that you’re ending I am… not too sad about it. /shot|
|The final episode! Now I unleash all of my complaints about the series into one convenient post! …And then try to reason out why they did certain things. OTL|
It sure is convenient that this fire doesn’t seem to produce smoke that could hinder this conversation.
Miyu || The first part of the episode was pretty good, in my opinion. In the end, the real truth of the entire story wasn’t mindblowing on a Madoka/Pingudrum level, but it was meaningful and appropriate considering all the purposeful confusion and build-up from the previous episodes with Ukyou. Ukyou is really the sweetest guy in the entire series, and we needn’t even talk about his undying (…literally) dedication towards the heroine such that he would be willing to die over and over again just for a chance to see her, and possibly save her from any harm. And when he said that he actually suffered all the things he had helped her to avoid, I had images of the construction-pole crashing onto him, 1239812 vehicles crashing into him, him falling into the well and slowly drowning… :c Ukyou you are so noble ;w;
Kara || So. The truth comes out (all of it). Yep, Ukyou is the best guy in the game. It’s just a shame that we never hear from him again after he disappears. His story here seems less dark and dramatic than it was in the game since they took a bunch of events out and lightened a few things. I guess here his sorrow itself would cause the world transfer as opposed to him committing suicide every time she died (which I guess is still his sorrow, but really). Overall though, the message got across well enough. He was an outsider the entire time (as unlikely as it is that only one world has him naturally in it, but whatever) and either he would die, or the heroine would die and Ukyou (the non psycho one) would follow out of grief (not that the anime really explained this). This was his story just as much as it was the heroine’s in a sense, it’s just too bad that the anime doesn’t make it seem that way.
Miyu || Actually, after the heroine successfully survived until the next day, I hadn’t expected so much of the episode to be left. I thought they’d covered the most important bases already, so I was wondering what they had left to show us… I was kind of bewildered with the sudden introduction of Neil (the, um, fairy god…?) and how he was the one who actually enabled the parallel worlds thing to happen. It felt more like a convenient excuse (okay, maybe it was better than “he did it with sheer willpower and magical feelings of love”) but it was all explained in a rather pedantic way… :\ And the part that bothers me the most is that a good part of the second half was spent covering the sappy parting between the heroine and Orion. All the while I was mentally screaming at the screen “NO ONE CARES”, and I literally just fast forwarded the entire part when they were flashing back to the “fun times” they had together =w= Seriously, Amnesia?
Kara || Well Neil’s part in this whole thing was certainly shafted. Like Miyu says, it seems like he was a last minute addition to explain why things happened, but really, his part in the whole storyline was so much bigger than what they made it out to be here. For one thing, the heroine’s survival where there had been so many failures previously is because of the amnesia (since she wasn’t herself and the world couldn’t properly identify her or something) and the world didn’t ‘attack’ as hard as usual. Orion also actually mentions in the game earlier on in Ukyou’s route that Neil is missing and that deities are the only things that can defy fate. The heroine surviving until the end wasn’t only just out of sheer luck and effort on Ukyou and the heroine’s part. If fate was that easy to defy, Ukyou wouldn’t have had to suffer so much off screen. Neil and sending Orion had a bigger part than that. It’s also because Neil was present that the world didn’t just reattempt to kill the heroine after she survived past her date of death (since technically, she’s still a ‘foreign body’ in Ukyou’s world). I guess that still counts as being ‘the reason things happened’, but it’s more than just him being the thing that transferred Ukyou and the heroine between worlds. As for the explanation of the world transferring… I guess I’ll take it. I’m not entirely sure why the heroine got back those memories at the start and never again, but Neil’s powers running out is a convenient excuse for everything I guess.
Miyu || That screen time could’ve been put into showing us a glimpse of her original life. I don’t get why in the end she still had 5 routes to choose from because isn’t the one she was originally from the one where she fell in love with Ukyou? They didn’t even let us have proper closure and actually see her full memories, let alone give us a little glimpse of her life back with Ukyou and maybe a sweet little scene or to to make up for all the pain and agony he’s been through… BUT NO, waste all that time on Orion. /facepalm. If they were aiming for that vague it is up to you, the almighty viewer to imagine and think up of your own story bullshit, they didn’t do it in a satisfying way. Now I just feel kind of cheated, because I had at least wanted to know more about how the heroine and lovely Ukyou were like before this hell of a mess, and how the other 4 guys as well as the side characters at Meido no Hitsuji fit into her lifestyle. Was it that hard to construct a dramatic flashback of her life story?
Kara || So that parting with Orion. Funny how something that made me cry EVERY SINGLE TIME in the game left me with no reaction whatsoever here. Of course, a lot of that comes from the fact that anime Orion isn’t as funny, sarcastic or helpful as his game counterpart, but still. He did a pretty good explanation of why everything happened, but still, there was a distinct lack of emotions here compared to that final part with Ukyou earlier. I’ve already complained about Neil’s downsized part, but this ending just felt… incomplete. What made me angry at the end though was the part with the doors. Screw the fact that the heroine only really had meaningful interaction with Ukyou. Also, screw the fact the he just kind of disappears into sparkling lights and was never heard from again. They basically just said “make up your own damn ending” and left it at that. Of course, this is bringing back that “Ukyou is dead if you take any other route” thing that makes me feel bad about the whole storyline, but still. The guy kind of got screwed over there. Plus other then saying that she forgives him, the heroine didn’t seem any more attached to him then she is with the other guys. They really just left it open ended.
Miyu || What this show failed to do, I should think, is make its viewers feel. Although I won’t say that I didn’t feel anything at all throughout these 12 episodes, I didn’t feel enough to make me really care about the characters and empathize with them – and that is the key to keeping your viewers interested, building up characters that resonate with your targeted audience and getting them involved in their predicament. While watching Amnesia I always felt like a faraway bystander. A good series (and I should think, a good otome game for that matter) would be one that allows you to put yourselves in the shoes of the main character, but in this case I was always clearly a 3rd party in this whole affair. That’s what I think is lacking for all otome game adaptions to date, and that’s why they usually fail to capture a wide audience after the first 3 episodes or so.
Kara || Funny that you mention the 3rd party thing, Miyu. Otome games tend do this to some extent, but in Amnesia especially, the heroine was purposely made blank in order for the player to insert themselves more easily into the heroine’s character. Amnesia wasn’t made for a person who wants to watch the heroine fall in love with various guys so much as actually feel like they themselves are in the situation since they control pretty much everything the heroine says and fill in the blanks as to what her personality is like. While it was still a bit weird in the game since the characters basically talked to themselves (though it was perfect to play while doing homework since Orion voiced over everything until the very end and I didn’t have to read), obviously such a blank heroine with no lines doesn’t work as well in an anime. If they were still going for the ‘insert personality here’ formula, obviously it’s harder to do that since the viewers have absolutely no control over the direction the anime takes. …So in the end, of course the heroine is really, really hard to relate to.
All in all, I still think that Amnesia started out with an extremely promising premise (as all otome game adaptations do), but ended up falling flat on execution, with more telling, and less showing and really feeling :c It’s a shame because so many aspects could’ve been handled so much better, and with a setting like that the series could’ve been amazing. With regards to character development on the heroine’s part, I was glad that at the ending she was actually able to run away from danger (gold star! ~you tried~) and show some despair at Ukyou dying. The last episode was pretty good if we’re just talking about the heroine because she actually acted like a normal female lead – feeling and thinking. Thank you for not keeping her as a statue to the very end.
But was all the boredom, awkward silence, stuttering, nearly-dying, nearly non-existent character development at the start worth the reveal of the truth behind the parallel worlds and Ukyou at the end? For me, the ending wasn’t all that I could’ve hoped for, but it was good enough to justify all those hours spent agonizing over its original blandness, if only for lovely Ukyou. However, I wouldn’t recommend anyone in their right minds to start watching Amnesia. The ending was only okay for me because I had already sat through all the initial hours of boredom and there was nothing I could do about it (;w;) and I wouldn’t make anyone have to go through that. It was a good experience blogging an otome game adaptation (although I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be trying this anytime again soon in the future), and even better blogging it with Kara the otome game veteran! So many thanks to Kara for letting me blog this with her (whatnot with my frustrated cries and complaints), and many thanks to you too, for sticking by the entire of Amnesia with Kara and I! Hope you enjoyed this journey (actually, yay for you if you survived through it), and see you guys again soon! ^w^~
…What can I say? I much prefer the game’s ending to Ukyou’s route (which explains what happened to Orion and Neil after all of Ukyou’s story was resolved). Everything here was just left feeling so… so… incomplete. One thing it did do though was the fact that it was fairly true to the game (which is a good and a bad thing), so I can’t really complain. On one hand, they didn’t mess around with the storyline much minus taking details and events out of it. On the other hand though, they kept the heroine as a blank character, only half explained things, and then left everything up to the viewer to conclude themselves last minute. Also, the heroine never got back memories, which would have been a good way to flesh out her character. Hell, they hardly ever included flash backs at all. Maybe they followed the game format a little too closely in this since the flashbacks only every really happened near the end of a route (which the anime rarely ever got to) and the anime also liked doing events in chronological order. I can see why they’d take them out too, since a lot of the flashbacks involve the heroine realizing that she was attached to whoever’s route she was in before she lost her memories and the anime seemed really reluctant to confirm her having romantic attraction to anyone. Other than the world jumping and that last scene with Orion, the anime didn’t add in anything that wasn’t already in the game. Thanks for listening to my pleas to stay with me, Miyu (though the ending wasn’t quite as epic as I had hoped). Also, thanks to those of you who actually stuck with this (or at least those who commented). I was afraid I’d be talking to myself this entire season since the opening episodes were so slow. (´；ω；`)
So yeah, I’m 95% done my review of the game (so you can compare how crappy the anime is to the game, and yet good compared to other otome game adaptations) and that should be coming out shortly…
Why Waka? Well, why not.