New Anime Season Winter 2008: Mnemosyne

February 5th, 2008

This is me, prostrate before the gods of anime that at *last* there’s something on worth watching!

I didn’t actually have any expectations for Mnemosyne – Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi, (Daughters of Mnemosyne.) I like Noto Mamiko plenty, but her presence in a series is not, for me, a guarantee of future results. But about 20 seconds into the opening sequence for Mnemosyne I knew we had a winner. ^_^

Mnemosyne, named after the Greek deity associated with memory, is a horror-thriller about an undead detective named Asougi Rin. The anime opens with her death, although there’s no way to know if it’s her first or just another one along the way. It’s a pretty harsh death. After that, with no explanation, we see her casually avoiding work as a third-rate private detective. While out looking for a lost cat, Rin finds a lost human. Among other things, he’s suffering an identity crisis, so he and Rin set off to find his self. Which brings her into close encounter with a sadistic torturer and zombies.

There is a lot of blood and violence in Mnemosyne and the torture – while not explicitly shown – is still graphic enough that the squeamish need not apply.

But. Rin. Let’s add all her good qualities up: 1) she is an adult female, bucking the recent trend; 2) wears a suit (and glasses which, yes, I also find attractive); 3) is more than competent at hand to hand combat; 4) Not above a spot of really nasty violence and; 5) Is completely nuts because she can’t be killed.

Bing! Bing! Bing! We have a winnah!

I also strongly approve of the fact that Noto Mamiko uses a much more normal range of her voice than her usual breathless bishoujo version. This sounds more like the way she actually talks than anything else I’ve heard her do. (Marimite fans will might also be pleased that she’s joined by the voice actors for Touko, as her assistant and Kashiwagi, as the folorn lost human. Or they might be traumatized.)

Yuri is presented as service. It will likely remain service throughout. There’s really no reason to expect it to be anything *other* than service. Not that that’s ever stopped Yuri fans before…. Rin is tortured sexually, with some groping and piercing (I know it’s very, very wrong, but I thought Rin with all the piercings was kinda hot – but then, I like my women pierced…) and there was a little service-y play between Rin and her assistant Mimi. I hope Laura will turn out to be an EPL – she’s already evil and psychotic, so she just has one quality to go.

This is not a nice anime. It’s nasty, full of violence, torture, blood, death, and other grim. It’s also full of the most competent adult females in anime for about 4 years. I accept your gift, gods of anime! On behalf of all of us real women who like our women animated, I accept!


Art – 7 A little artsy at times, but otherwise good
Story – 7 Sufficiently grim
Characters – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 108

Overall – 8

I mentioned that Mnemosyne was out and Sean Gaffney asked if this was the Yuri series to end all Yuri series this season. I said no, there was just some breast groping service. And the lead female wore a suit. And it had an EPL. Then I re-read what I had written and said, “Yes. Yes it is.” ^_^

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13 Responses

  1. hafl says:

    This post really expresses my own sentiments about Mnemosyne, though I would be a lot more fanboyish and a lot less coherent.

  2. hafl – this was about the third version of this post. lol It originally started with something like, “omigodomigodomigod! teh sexy hawt Rin is sexy!”

  3. Fuyumi says:

    A kick-ass, competent adult female character?! Le gasp, and she actually looks her age! The only adult female characters I can call to mind who both looked their age and were kick ass from recent series are Misaki Kirihara, the lady police chief from Darker Than Black, and Haruka Hasegawa from Moyashimon. Actually, Rin sort of reminds me very vaguely of Kirihara, now that I think of it…

  4. Monikku says:

    Oh, I’m so happy this turned out to be good! It has all of the elements I love; hot women with suits and glasses inflicting pain upon others!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I quite liked Mnemosyne myself. Although I am unclear as to one thing: what exactly does EPL mean?

  6. AnimeJock says:

    I read the post and the series definitely has my intrigued. I looked up a trailer online and I must say it looks like it will make me cringe. They pointed a lot of sharp objects at some all to sensitive areas. >_
    The animation does look great and I have to agree, I would love to watch an anime where a woman looks like a woman. I must admit, a woman in a suit does make me swoon. :)

  7. anonymous – Evil Psychotic Lesbian.

    animejock -I did say it was nasty and violent…

  8. Tsuyo_Puyo says:

    the trailer got me so intrigued and went and downloaded the raw version to skim through, its violent, but not like hokuto no ken violent. since there were no subtitles i was really curious what rin was going to do at the hotel with that old fart?! she was planning to kill him or something right?? and NOT sex him up…?

  9. tsuyo_puyo – she was stealing information from his laptop. Did you miss that bit?

    But it’s pretty apparent that Rin is not gay. So don’t be surprised when her love interest is a guy. Because it is.

  10. Yuricon_PR says:

    Mnemosyne is also the mother of the Muses! And, after seven years, I have finally used my Classics degree. *weeps*


  11. Anonymous says:

    Was I the only one getting Simoun flashback during that Yuri service-y scene? Older green haired (hot!) lady and younger junk food eating loli…regardless, this anime is made of so much win. Who needs to work on their thesis when they have awesome shows like this??

  12. Anonymous says:

    So, there is actually no real Yuri in this it’s just a bit adultish is that it?
    Otherwise, I’m loving this series.

  13. anon – at this poitn I can say that there definitely *is* Yuri in Mnemosyne.

    When I wrote this review, I wasn’t sure what we’d be getting. We got Yuri. :)

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