Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 04 – The fear of losing those closest to you
May 5, 2012 Leave a comment
The world of Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is a curious one, a place where worlds collide, one that is both frightening, but also eerily beautiful and captivating. It is a strange place that is a normal school for Niiya, Okonogi and Kirie inhabit as students, a place where normal, everyday school things take place. However, it also has another side, one of stories, myths and curses, an ethereal place that is beautiful and full of mysteries. It is also in a sense Yuuko’s prison, and her inability to leave this academy upsets her and makes her afraid for the future.
Seikyou Academy has a strange otherworldly quality to it, being almost too big to be a true academy, and with so many areas simply left alone has the feeling of being half alive. And yet, there is also an eerie quality to Seikyou Academy, it is almost an organic being, expanding, contracting and changing over time, almost as if it is organically evolving. Yuuko helps to give this campus an ethereal, magical quality, showing Niiya all the little nooks and crannies, exploring the rooftops and finding all manner of strange little areas whose presence is perhaps ignored, if known at all.
There is almost an element of Alice in Wonderland to Yuuko and Niiya’s rooftop and school wide adventure, along with the knowledge that they may be exploring areas that have not seen anyone for years if not decades. To Niiya this may be a surreal, but also magical experience, seeing the school in the moonlight and accompanied by a beautiful ghost. He is exploring areas that he did not even know existed, seeing strange new sights, as if he is exploring some unknown land for the first time.
For Yuuko it is a chance to show Niiya the academy, which she calls home (or perhaps prison), and perhaps this is the first time that she has ever truly shown anyone any of these sights. In this her mischievous side comes through, making up stories and curses in order to get Niiya to follow her, jumping off of rooftops knowing full well that Niiya does not know what is underneath. Perhaps it is a way of testing Niiya to see if he truly cares for her, and at the same testing herself, to see if what she feels for him is real or not.
This scene in particular contrasts beautifully with the idea that Yuuko, up until this point, had been knocking on doors in order to be let into the warmth of the night shift room. In order to have any warmth, any human contact, Yuuko had to rely on tricks to get things done, only to find out later that parts of this academy that she may have seen as warm and welcoming have been abandoned like so many other areas. But, by showing Niiya around Seikyou Academy and watching the sunrise, it can perhaps be seen as Yuuko attempting to bring some life back into the old, abandoned areas of Seikyou Academy, while at the same time perhaps bringing a certain part of her (after)life to a close.
It is also a wonderful calm and romantic moment between Yuuko and Niiya, a moment when they are together, away from everyone else. Their relationship is such a strange and problematic one, especially for Yuuko due to her being a ghost, making her antics often appear that much sillier due to no one, other than Kirie and Niiya seeing her. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why Yuuko is so uneasy and so quick to become jealous or petty. She cannot tell Okonogi to leave Niiya alone because she is with him because neither Okonogi, nor anyone else can see her.
It is quite clear that Yuuko sees Niiya in a romantic way, but more than that she sees him as the most important person to her, the only one with which she can truly interact as if she were a normal human being. That Kirie decides to organise a summer camp for the paranormal research club upsets her largely because at first the club was just for her and Niiya. The introduction of new people to this club is both wonderful, but also horrible for Yuuko, who views them as distractions perhaps, taking Niiya’s attention away from her. Her childish behaviour can therefore be viewed as some sort of cry for attention, forcing Niiya to pay attention to her, stay with her and perhaps even love her.
We can perhaps see that for Yuuko, her one place where she truly felt that she belonged has been taken away from her, with Kirie organising events that she is incapable of. If Niiya is one way with which Yuuko has perhaps come to terms with her own existence, then the absences of Niiya could be terrible. Rather, Yuuko is annoyed and frustrated by the lack of attention that Niiya has been showing her. While Yuuko is a ghost, she is still, in essence, a normal high school girl who gets jealous at other girls involving themselves with the object of her affection. This is one facet of Yuuko’s character that is fascinating, showing that in a sense she is more human than people may assume, and that she is a teenage girl in almost every way. It is her humanity that makes her character quirks enjoyable to watch, along with making the knowledge that she is dead with no knowledge of the circumstance surrounding her death that much more tragic.
Yuuko is forever afraid that Niiya will someday forget about her, moving away from the academy and doing something else with his life, all the while, leaving her behind in the dark. Furthermore, Niiya is the only one who touches Yuuko and treats her like a normal girl, something that she is clearly grateful for. There is a wish to monopolise Niiya to some degree, having him only look at her, only touch her, only notice her, regardless of whoever else is around him. However, Kirie is also beginning to treat Yuuko as a normal girl and not a ghost, including her in games and club activities, treating her like a true member of the club.
Also, as we progress through the series, we are beginning to find out more and more about the ghost stories and mysteries involving Yuuko throughout the academy campus. They all have a certain eerie, ethereal quality about them at first, involving things such as random knocking on doors, and yet they are also tragic. The idea that a story involving a ghost constantly knocking on the night shift door involves Yuuko becomes normal, but also a sad story when you find out the truth. It has become clear that Yuuko is not the evil spirit that keeps appearing in Seikyou Academy ghost stories, and is more akin to a mischievous spirit. However, the big questions surrounding her death, along with the supernatural and eerie quality to the academy itself have yet to be revealed and only further to deepen the mysteries surrounding Seikyou Academy itself, along with Yuuko and the odd circumstance surrounding her demise.