DVD Review: Dusk Maiden of Amnesia – The Complete Series

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How far would you go to uncover the truth of the past? Well that’s what we’ll find out in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, but what exactly did we think of this DVD Offering by MVM Entertainment? Find out in our DVD Review of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia- The Complete Series.

Synopsis:

Sixty 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?

Our View:

Witness the paranormal and the supernatural in this ghost filled harem that sees student Teiichi Niiya form a spiritual bond with a ghost as they unravel the mysteries surrounding the school and more importantly uncover the truth surrounding Yuko’s death. This is pretty much Dusk Maiden of Amnesia in a nutshell but along the way it provides some laughs, some shocks and plenty of ecchi filled harem goodness in all of the right amounts. For once this is “paranormal” based series that’s worth watching, mainly because its good from start to finish.

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The story mostly revolves around Teiichi Niiya, an average student who tends not to stick out too much, that is until he stumbles into the old part of the school and finds a mirror that allows him to communicate with the dead, in this case the schools infamous ghost, Yuko Kanoe.  It’s soon revealed that Yuko died at the school several decades ago, but with no memories of her former life she wanders aimlessly around the school grounds keeping herself amused by any way she sees fit. In an attempt to uncover her past Yuko, along with her new friend Teiichi, form the Paranormal Investigation Club, and this is where the fun begins.

The Paranormal Investigation Club is basically an excuse for the main characters to “poke around” in the supernatural, but it’s not long before new members are recruited, namely Momoe Okonogi  – who is comically saved by Teiichi after she believed she was being haunted by Yuko, and Kirie Kanoe, a descendant of Yuko. Interestingly only Kirie and Teiichi are the only people who can see Yuko, which creates some amusing problems during the day when the characters get into fights, most of which involve their obsession with Teiichi.

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As a whole the series can be split into two halves, with the first half providing the most fun in form of light-hearted ecchi moments and classic harem comedy mixed with the occasional supernatural story. Each supernatural mystery is rounded out by the end of the episode but they its origins do continue throughout the rest of the series, such as the stone of curses. The second half of the series has a more darker tone, whereby Yuko’s alter ego makes an appearance and causes disruption among the group. Tough decisions lie ahead and unfortunately its Teiichi that must deal with them.

Extras:

The extra features for Dusk Maiden of Amnesia are spread out over the entire two disc collection, but the bulk of the extra features (as usual) are located on the second DVD disc. Familiar extras, such as text less opening and closing songs, are included as well as a whole host of trailers for other DVDs being released by MVM Entertainment.

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Depsite being classed as “trailers” all of them are infact the text less opening songs, except for Kids on the Slope and Another, but even then Another features the song from the opening as part of its background music. It’s not usual for distributors to do this (some enjoy it) but I’d prefer to have a closer look at the series (like FUNimation trailers do) rather than a video of the opening songs.

Interestingly these trailers (and textless videos) are not the only additional content included in this DVD release, as located under the “Episodes Selection” is the OVA episode, which sees Kirie and Yuko engage in various games with each other, and an extended version of the final episode.

That’s not all as for every episode (excluding the two bonus episodes) there is a Japanese Cast Commentary, whereby people involved with the series share their thoughts and opinions. The inclusion of Japanese Cast Commentary isn’t something you see on a TV Series release (except for Bakemonogatari) so it is nice to see it included on this release, as it does provide some insight into the production of the series as well as some replay value to the DVD.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time:  2:49:05 (Disc 1), 2:50:18 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia may seem like a “supernatural” filled anime series but it is more of a harem with plenty of comedy to go around. For instance each of the supernatural occurrences that happen around the school end up being a misinterpretation of Yuko’s presence, a fact that the Paranormal Investigation Club keeps secret. Of course while the series has plenty of laughs (and the traditional bikini styled episode) the series does have a darker, more realistic, side whereby Yuko’s alter ego appears and brings the harsh realities of Yuko’s past with her.

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Everything this series had to offer I enjoyed with the only exception of the Sentai Filmworks Produced English Dub, which yet again fails miserably when needed.  Emotion, such as distress, enjoyment and anger, is what is needed in this series and unfortunately none of the English voice actors provided it. Switching to the Japanese audio provided the better experience and it’s something I recommend viewers doing. The series doesn’t have ‘much’ action either, so you can read the subtitles at your leisure without feeling pressurised at what you are missing on screen.

Speaking of audio languages both audio tracks are provided in 2.0 Stereo, with the subtitles being presented clearly in yellow text. Disapprovingly the subtitles have a flaw as well, as in one particular episode the subtitles for the dialogue overlap subtitles for a song that’s playing in the background which ultimately makes the whole thing unreadable. A third audio option is included and this is the Japanese cast commentary, whereby people involved with the show share their opinions and feelings about the show, it’s an interesting thing to included especially since its not something you find on UK released DVDs.

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So what exactly do you get with this DVD release of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia? well it’s a love story that transcends the supernatural and provides plenty of comical entertainment mixed with on the seat styled horror action. It’s not just the series that receives high marks from me, but the presentation of this DVD release, as except for the English Dub and subtitle error the presentation is perfect and the picture quality outstanding. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a series worth owning, but its best watching it at night for the optimal effect.

Score: review-stars-4

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia – The Complete Series will be available on DVD from the 10th February 2014.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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