Teiichi Niiya is a first year middle-school student at Seikyou Private Academy, an institution known for mysterious occurrences. The boy quickly finds these rumors to be true when he meets Yuuko Kanoe, a beautiful, mischievous girl who quickly takes a liking to him... and happens to be a ghost who seemingly no one else can see! Unable to remember anything about her past, Yuuko enlists Teiichi’s help to discover the truth, and together they join the school's Paranormal Investigation Club. With fellow memebers Momoe and Kirie, the pair will investigate the many strange happenings around campus, including the shadowy circumstances surrounding Yuuko’s death.
Excellent visual style with everything else pretty mediocre I enjoyed this series a little bit mostly for the artwork. Unfortunately the rest was average at best. It is an attempt at a hybrid romantic horror story. One that despite some initial promise fails to deliver. While there are horrific moments in the story they are somewhat fragmented preventing any build up in trepidation or fear throughout the series. The horror element dissipates long before the ending because it only effects the ghost in the story. There is no danger or sense of threat directed at the three living humans. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia therefore fails as a horror story. The romantic element never really takes off either because, besides the lead female Yuuko, the other characters have no depth and make no developments as people. Yuuko loves Niiya. The only explicable reason for this due to his unique ability amongst the stories males to be able to see her (not really, as he is the only male here which makes this seem too much like another harem). And he loves her because..........? Oh yeah, his character archetype: asexual beta super helpful nice good guy has to fall for friendly lonesome victimized ghost girl. Right that all adds up. Needless to say the romantic element also fails here unless you all you want is soppy mush. If you don't want this, make sure to avoid the last episode. This is a missed opportunity and a waste of some excellent artwork.
Especially after reading other reviews of this show, I am conflicted. I think my confusion reflects the conflict inherent in a show that is trying to bridge two very different genres of anime. Story: The first half of the show seemed to develop a normal atmosphere that pandered to low-level otaku: a club is created in the name of solving the mystery of the school ghost. The creators did a decent (yet somewhat obvious) job of sneaking in hints that something darker was going on. The second half saw the happy-go-lucky-boobie ghost girl lose her marbles, and then delved into her split personality and traumatic past. Threaded through this story was a love story. Ultimately, I think TOxA is a psychological anime disguised as an harem ecchi comedy. Psych fans seem to hate on the ecchi for being mindless and consider the psych elements fairly weak, while the ecchi fans are like, "Lol I liek boobs, why u make story thar?" Merging the two genres basically resulted in a loss of [what a fan considers] the best part of each genre. The ecchi wasn't really all that lewd or over the top and ended in a cute love story. On the other hand, the story was not creepy psych enough for psych fans. My two biggest issues with the story were a) the happy ending, which was not at all appropriate for the psych atmostphere, and b) the numerous coincidences of people being descendents of the original players in Yuuko's past, which I suppose you could also argue in favor of because karma, etc. Animation: Was pretty fab. The backgrounds were gorgeous, detailed, and perfectly fit the creepy atmosphere. The color choices were great, and I particularly enjoyed the point-of-view style in the part where Niiya ends up in Yuuko's body in her memories. Characters: Only the ghost's character is at all complex, which is only due to her traumatic past. The main male character is only unusual because he's so emotional, otherwise, he's pretty cookie-cutter plain. The two female side characters were pretty weakly developed, but their actions were consistent with their personalities. Overall: Not a bad anime, not a great anime, but an anime that disappoints because it fused two genres without adding the aspects most liked by the usual audiences of those genres.
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