What They Say:
Seikyou academy is an ever growing collection of buildings and structures. There are classrooms that became storage, stairs that no one climbs, and hallways that end abruptly. Teiichi is lost in one of the older sections alone…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When it comes to paranormal stories set in schools, there have been more than enough series over the years to tackle the subject. There is a certain creativity to it that can be done, but most tend to play with some of the familiar and tired mysteries themselves. Which isn’t necessarily bad since they’re popular and have lasted a long time for a reason. What a show needs to do to differentiate itself is in its execution and Dusk Maiden is attempting to do that, albeit a bit slowly. Making one of the leads a ghost herself, one with amnesia, is a nice take on things, especially as the show is played serious with some mild bits of humor along the way rather than a comedy. Seeing the first meeting of Teiichi and Yuurko is good to see here at the start since he’s one of the very few that can see it. It helps to establish their relationship rather well.
We also get a pretty good look at what makes her a ghost and some of the quirks of it, such as that she really can’t do anything that people that are alive can’t do. Which means no outlandish powers, no instant changing of clothes and other such usual gimmicks. It’s rather awkward at first when we go through a clothes changing sequence, but it highlights the difference from the usual ghost stories. And through this, Yuuko gets to explain a bit how things are with her and the relation to the world through the user of the mirror. Realistically, as she explains things to him it almost seems like she comes across as a bit vampiric, but that makes for a welcome mixing of the stories in a way so that she’s not just a one-note style of ghost.
The series does play to some obvious gags along the way here though with how Teiichi and Yuuko have grown over time, especially since she messes with him in the way some girls do with boys. To make it worse is when he’s the only one that can see her and it leads to some awkward situations. But these aren’t overplayed in a way to drag the series down, though they could be mildly problematic depending on how serious you want the show to be. While the episode focuses pretty heavily on the first meeting between the two leads, we also get the first time Momoe got involved with them and hired them to help out with her own issue. It’s cutely done and it lays the foundations for how they all interact together as we saw in the first episode.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia has me finding it to be a curious work but it’s not hooked me in a huge way. It has the right kind of atmosphere and mixes in some good humor – not comedy – to help soften some of the moments and just have fun with it. But for a Paranormal Investigations Club, I kind of expected a little more material about what the club itself does. That said, going back to the “beginning” of the story here with how Teiichi first met Yuuko and then Momoe got drawn into it is a welcome choice for a second episode rather than happening in another five or six as it sets the foundations a bit more firmly as it deals more with them in the present going forward. I definitely like the show with its sense of style and animation and the characters are interesting with a whole lot of potential, but it also feels like it’s just spinning its wheels a little bit at the moment rather than exploring anything or doing anything.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.