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.” ^_^