60 years ago, a young woman was left to die in the abandoned school building behind the exclusive Seikyou Academy. No one knows why. No one knows how. But the horrifying tale and the legends of the ghostly haunting that followed live on to this day. Perhaps it's not so surprising then, that among Seikyou's many school clubs is one for students interested in "paranormal investigations." What might raise more than a few hairs, however, is that the founder of the club is the ghost herself. Unable to remember how she died and trapped in the grey land between life and death, Yuko latches onto Teiichi Niiya, a freshman who can inexplicably see her. Together they and the other unsuspecting members of the club begin to unravel the many dark mysteries that surround Seikyou. Will unlocking the secret of Yuko's gruesome death finally free her? Or will her sudden close association with a mortal have even stranger repercussions on both of their existences? In a tomb of silent classrooms, the answers await in Dusk maiden of Amnesia.
Based on a manga by the artist known as "Maybe," the broadcast series Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
(2012) blends elements from several genres, including ghost stories, romance, and harem comedy. Eerie tales circulate at Seikyou Academy about the ghost of a girl named Yuuko who haunts the school. The stories excite ditsy Momoe, who organizes the Paranormal Investigation Club and recruits her friends Teiichi and Kirie. They can see the ghost of Yuuko, although Momoe can't. Kirie and Momoe both like Teiichi, but he and Yuuko fall for each other and begin a romance that crosses the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead. Although she's a ghost, Yuuko is haunted by a shadow version of her self, the distillation of the anger, loneliness, and sorrow she experienced while alive: she became a human sacrifice 60 years ago in an effort to appease the gods and end a mysterious epidemic. This time frame is too compressed to work: even in a small rural village, no one offered human sacrifices in the early 1950s. The filmmakers can't seem to decide what mood or genre they're working in. At times, Dusk Maiden
plays like a truncated harem comedy, with only one girl connecting with good-natured Teiichi; other episodes are very dark, with disturbing scenes of violence. The ending shifts jarringly from three-hanky weeper to high school comedy. The OAV that forms the 13th episode ranks as the silliest of the lot, with lots of fan service nudity. Some of the individual moments in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
are genuinely touching, imaginative, or unsettling, but they fail to form a coherent story. (Rated TV 14VD: nudity, risqué humor, grotesque imagery, violence against women) --Charles Solomon
(1. Ghost Maiden, 2. Encounter with the Maiden, 3. Black Sunset Maiden, 4. Daybreak Maiden, 5. Aspiration Maiden, 6. Revenge Maiden, 7. Memory Lapse Maiden, 8. Reminiscence Maiden, 9. Malice Maiden, 10. Loss Maiden, 11. Bitter Tears Maiden, 12. Dusk Maiden, 13. Exorcist Maiden)