Anime Meta-Review


Wind named Amnesia, A


By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: flawed
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This is either a deep exploration on the nature of man, or a disjointed attempt to capitalise on an original premise. Since i'm not sure I decided to go for the simpler answer, and thus it's in the flawed category. The story is pretty simple. Unlike other movies, where the hero must rush to avert worldwide catastrophe, this film begins immediately after one of the most terrible disasters possible. In a single moment all of mankind loses all memory and knowledge. This has immediate bad effects for those in the middle of doing something (like driving) but more or less drops the entirety of humanity below the level of beasts with the expected results (see the nfts rating). We get to follow one man who retains his memories, perhaps the only man on a much emptier planet, as he seeks a reason for the past, the harsh truth of the present and the possibility of a future.

The actual structure of the film is pretty weird. Set in America a lot of it is basically sight seeing, although of course everything is ruined and deserted now. Along the way our hero gets to meet a small number of people who play out various stories of this modern world. While I don't want to spoil it he does meet another person who retains language, because otherwise this would be a really pointless movie. The conversation between them, and trying to guess her past and motives are a focus of the movie. In addition there is occassional interference from a law-keeping mecha in order to add some action into this otherwise quite slow moving movie. The real problem is that the movie pretty quickly proves that if all of humanity lost all of its knowledge humanity would be well and truly stuffed, and sadly not very interesting. Attempting to look for philosophical meaning in the last surviving fragments of a mankind sunk beneath the level of apes simply isn't very worthwhile. Some will disagree, and you certainly could read a lot into the situations presented, but I have to say you'll be doing most of the work...especially given the confusing, unclear and unsatisfying conclusion.

As mentioned this is a pretty slow moving film. The mecha, and the fights involving it, are pretty cool. However they are so few, and so divorced from the plot, that they feel pretty forced and without meaning. The representation of the disaster is sufficiently skilled as to be memorable, but is neither impressive nor pleasant. The character animation is fine, not particularly fancy but quite capable. The backdrops of a ruined america are quite good, moody and atmospheric, as are quite a lot of the discussion scenes. However, in both cases, this mood doesn't particularly go anywhere. The voices seemed fine, while the music was unremarkable.

I'm willing to accept that THEM are much deeper than me, because they call it "one of the great sleeper classics of anime." in this review and give it five stars. By all means take their word for it. Akemi's AnimeWorld leaves things a bit more open in this review but still considers it classic sci-fi with some flaws, especially in its balance of elements. The only (mildly) negative review comes from the Anime Critic who rates it poor in this review but mostly on the basis of poor pacing and the conclusion not equalling the start. As you can see i'm pretty much out-gunned on this one, so why not give it a try...but perhaps rental is better than purchase.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:27 WST 2009