Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 08 – running away from reality

As a series Tasogare Otome x Amnesia has demonstrated the importance of friendship, and how the ability to talk to, and interact with, particular people can become integral to maintaining a grip on reality. This series has also shown us how Yuuko is a significantly more complicated character than she first appeared, a character with different faces and certain aspects that are kept hidden, from others, as well as herself. Yuuko is a character that died for some unknown reason and has been alone ever since, slowly becoming sadder, drawing into herself with each passing day.

Her name is mentioned in numerous stories surrounding the Seikyou Academy, and while the truth may be completely different the story tells of a vicious, darker Yuuko than the character we see on screen. Her meeting with Niiya could be described as a mere passing moment in time, but something that has had a profound effect on Yuuko and Niiya alike. Finally there was someone who could see and touch Yuuko, and who Yuuko could truly interact with on a daily basis. The importance of this meeting on Yuuko is very hard to overstate, and in a sense, Niiya slowly became integral to her view of the world and her ability to interact with others. However, there has always been a darker side to Yuuko and Seikyou Academy itself, something that has yet to be truly resolved, and may yet remain a mystery.

Yuuko as a character is unnatural, not because she is a ghost, but because she never shows anger, jealousy or pain, instead we see a constantly smiling Yuuko, who is mischievous and wonderful to watch. Her death appears to have occurred around the time of a great plague on the Academy, and it is as if she were offered as a human sacrifice to appease the angered gods. Her immediate reaction is to suggest that she was, perhaps, a willing sacrifice, seeing this as a worthy cause, and choosing to die as a martyr, rather than against her will. Yuuko, however, appears to have forcefully pushed away all her feelings of pain, anger, resentment, jealousy, and envy, creating another being, one that embodies all the negative emotions, feelings and elements of Yuuko herself.

Effectively, the amnesia that Yuuko suffers from may be self-inflicted, with Yuuko attempting to runaway from everything she hates and despises, rather than standing and facing them. She does feel anger, jealousy and envy, but chooses to push them to one side, attempting to live her life in a self-imposed state of calm, although it is still artificial. Her meeting and subsequent feelings for Niiya are therefore new, and dangerous to Yuuko. She has never fallen in love before, and becomes increasingly jealous of Niiya, and especially of Okonogi, who is able to interact, not only with Niiya but also others around her.

At the same time, Yuuko is scared, scared of the power of her feelings towards Niiya, and what they make her do. Niiya as a character has become so integral to her daily life that the loss of him to another girl, one who can interact, and be with him no matter what time of day scares her. But, because she has already pushed all these negative feelings away into her other self, she in unused to, and afraid of what these feelings of love, which she seems incapable of fully understanding, might make her do. Yuuko therefore runs away from, not only Niiya, but also her own feelings and herself. She chooses to forcefully get rid of everything rather than come to terms with what such feelings might mean for her and Niiya’s place in life and the Academy.

Kirie suggests that Yuuko’s currently personality is merely a product of her attempting to get rid of all negative emotions and feelings by running away. So in a sense, the Yuuko that they knew never really existed, and was instead a mere shadow of the true Yuuko. In one respect this is completely true, the Yuuko that we see is not the true Yuuko, but at the same time, neither is it false. Yuuko’s personality is multi-faceted like everyone else’s, however, she has taken an extreme root by forcefully creating a second personality, one that takes all the darkness that she wishes to avoid.

Yuuko is therefore a real being, with real feelings, and she does feel jealousy and envy, but has avoided them by forcefully expelling them, pushing such feelings and ideas into her other self. By remembering Niiya and returning to the way she was, Yuuko has perhaps come to terms, at least in part, with what she has done. However, there is more to it than that, and the reasons for her death have yet to be truly uncovered, furthermore, the constant presence of ‘Dark Yuuko’ suggests that Yuuko is yet incapable of really understanding and acknowledging the darkness in her own past.

Niiya’s shock at seeing a Yuuko who does not know him, much less cling all over him shows how much she has come to mean to him as a character. But, he is lost, incapable of deciding what his best course of action would be, and in a sense, choosing to do the same as Yuuko, he runs away from reality and from the feelings and emotions that his current situation bring up. Yuuko is incapable of interacting with him, but unwilling to interact with him and chooses to force him away. But at the same time, her attitude and sudden change affects Niiya greatly, and he seems in capable of going near the Paranormal Investigation Club’s room, much less interacting and talking with Yuuko.

We even see Niiya physically runaway from Yuuko when he sees her in a corridor, as if he is incapable of even getting close to her at the moment. He makes excuses to himself and those around him as to why he doesn’t try to talk to, or interact with Yuuko, ignoring the question of his own feelings for her quite deliberately. As the time goes on, we see him slowly forgetting about Yuuko, living his life as a ‘normal’ high schooler, and seemingly getting very close to Okonogi. We then see Niiya seemingly incapable of seeing Yuuko, as if she never existed to begin with. As has been mentioned before, people can only see Yuuko if they truly want to, and not just her, if you believe in something strongly enough, your mind is capable of seeing it.

So, by losing the ability to see Yuuko, it is not as if Niiya has lost that special sight that apparently allows him to see the paranormal in the everyday, but instead it is the physical indication of Niiya mentally and psychologically running away from the pain that Yuuko’s sudden change in personality has brought him. There is the implication that both Niiya and Yuuko are attempting to reset their lives, imposing their own versions of amnesia by selectively forgetting, or in fact running away from painful memories. But in both cases we see their lingering attachments constantly stopping them and making them think about what is happening.

On several occasions Yuuko appears to get involved with Niiya, possibly out of jealousy, but Niiya is still incapable of seeing her, and it is as if they are walking side-by-side, without getting involved with the other. The animation in this episode reflected the sudden and quite dramatic change in the behaviour and relationships of the series, moving from beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows, to a grey, overcast sky. The sky in a sense reflects what is going on between Yuuko and Niiya, with Yuuko as the dull, grey, and in a sense, lifeless character that is trying to run away from herself. Only when they remember each other does the colour scheme revert to something that in a sense resembles the kind of relationship that Niiya and Yuuko have, a playful relationship full of colour and life.

Niiya’s revelation, and ability to not only remember, but also see Yuuko is quite startling, but also helps to demonstrate quite clearly the importance that he placed on his relationship with Yuuko. Despite their troubles and issues, Niiya enjoyed his time with her, she may be mischievous, and very clingy, but it is perfectly apparent that Niiya loves Yuuko. His confession shows bravery that he has not really shown until this point, putting all his feelings and emotions into a single phrase, despite having no idea as to whether Yuuko will even remember him. The moment when Yuuko’s memories return does help to demonstrate the very playful nature of their relationship, and in a sense how physical it is.

Niiya’s confession itself, along with his ability to accept and show to Okonogi how much he loves Yuuko, despite Okonogi being incapable of seeing her further shows a certain element of maturity that Niiya now has. He can freely admit his feelings for someone who very few are truly capable of seeing, and while he may be a little embarrassed, he can still say it. Also, by admitting her love for Niiya, Yuuko has partly come to terms with her own feelings, and has learned, at least in part, to accept them. She is far from being able to accept the darker side of herself and her death, but it shows a certain progression in her character at this point.

This episode helped to demonstrate how these characters are never truly honest with their own feelings, and how their dishonesty will always cause problems in the future. Kirie is in a similar position, although she is at least honest with herself about her own feelings towards Niiya, although he has yet to notice. What it did show is how complicated, and dark Yuuko’s past truly is, and how the strength of her own feelings has such that it created a dark Yuuko, one who, while not malicious, is not entirely good either. This entire episode does, however, further suggest that Yuuko’s amnesia is a product of her own attempt to run away from the darkness of her past. In order to cure her amnesia, it is first necessary to explore her past, something that appears to involve the entire Academy, and even those on Yuuko’s family. In a way, rather than solve anything, this episode only further helped to complicated the matter of Yuuko and her amnesia.

About illogicalzen
An Illogical anime fan in a very Zen-like way.

2 Responses to Tasogare Otome x Amnesia 08 – running away from reality

  1. avvesione says:

    I think you nailed the theme of honesty/dishonesty and acceptance well in this post. Throughout the entire series it seemed that none of the characters were ready to disclose their thoughts and emotions, afraid of what would result, or that they weren’t completely certain what their feelings were and persisted in a state of internal conflict. After having Yuuko dump all her negative emotions on Dark Yuuko and ‘forgetting’ about Teiichi, it literally forced his character to change which set off a bit of a chain reaction. It seems you understand how this theme was used in the story as a catalyst and how it has had an impact on all the characters to date. What should be interesting is to see how this change affects everyone else in the series and if any of the characters revert back to their dishonest or ambivalent state before the finale.

    • illogicalzen says:

      I am curious to see this as well, partly because this episode marks the halfway point in the translated chapters of the manga. This makes the ending of this anime a bit complicated since the manga is currently at seven volumes and is ongoing in Japan, so the anime may need to stop halfway through. I do hope that we get a second season of this since there are numerous interesting and quite shocking events later on in the manga that I doubt we will see in this season.

      To me the entire series is about honest and dishonesty, and more specifically how this is all connected to the characters feelings. There are numerous mysteries still surrounding Yuuko and they all appear to be linked to her sister, that we have yet to hear anything about this suggests to me a certain dishonesty or inability to admit the truth. There are problems with the series itself, but it is an incredibly beautiful and atmospheric series to watch, with an aesthetic that is both creepy, while also being quite surreal and wonderful at the same time. I think this particularly helped with this episode, seeing the change in colours used as an indication of the relationship between Yuuko and Niiya. I do hope that this change affects the characters and we see less ambivalence in their relationship as the story continues forward to the finale.

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