Posts with the “ghost” tag

Chasing ghosts and fighting shadows

Common stories are when one plus one is two, a great story (as Ken Burns puts it) is when one plus one equals three. At its heart the quote implies that it's the absurd and the implausible that can change a decent story into a brilliant one. So too is it with Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) which, on paper, could have easily ended up as "My Girlfriend is a Ghost". Instead it's an impassioned love story between a dorky teenager and a ghost over half a century old.

a roller coaster of teen angst and emotions - deftly dealing with love, death and jealously
The series starts oddly enough by bifurcating the first episode: the same events but with a crucial shift in viewpoint between each telling. This is just the first in what becomes a host of extraordinarily brave moves in direction by Oonuma that temper his artisan abstractions of ef - a tale of memories, keeping the series visually arresting but less navel gazing.

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A Dusk Maiden's perception

The third episode of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (Tasogare Otome x Amnesia) has a fascinating hook: perception.

it is critical to the nature of Yuuko - she only exists because others can see her

In the context of the episode it arrives when Kirie challenges Teiichi's vision of Yuuko as a busty, alabaster skinned school-girl and instead claims she is "dripping with hatred" with filthy, cracked skin. From then on Teiichi can only see this ghoulish visage of Yuuko until he forcibly excises it from his mind. It's claimed in an earlier episode that Yuuko only exists in the form of the beholder, so if someone believes her to be a wandering spirit then that's what they'll see her as.

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Bakemonogatari (Ghost Story)

It is easy to fall in love with Bakemonogatari when looking at screenshots because for the most part, a collection of screenshots is all you receive with it - the most recent studio SHAFT / Akiyuki Shinbo series. If phrases were associated to anime, Bakemonogatari's would be "style over substance". So far does it take this maxim that it's difficult to describe any point where one feels connected or even mildly interested in the glossy puppets that fornicate with the bold colour palette.

from ice-queen cynicism to obnoxious trollop without missing a step

The story, as much as there is one, concerns Araragi who acts as a paranormal busy body for girls - ranging in age from barely legal to certainly illegal - suffering from a plethora of supernatural ailments. To aid him he regularly consults a destitute punk living in a derelict school with a outwardly pre-teen female vampire. The mythos and character back-stories are the sharpest part of the series and the afflictions suffered by the protagonists are certainly above the usual monster of the week fare, although this is perhaps thanks to the light novel source material than the anime adaptation. SHAFT and Shinbo plot their usual course and drench the series in faux abstract visuals - implying there is more meaning than is available and consequently presenting something vapid and soulless more than modern and engaging. Sudden cuts to single colour title cards start off as eccentric but quickly become a crutch to prop up the wildly varying production.

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