Yuri Anime: Mnemosyne 3

May 2nd, 2008

Just got back from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where I spent some time in the Utagawa prints and the Murakami art exhibits and honestly – they were both fabulous. I got a load of good notes for my Ghost in the Shell: Innocence lecture on June 14th there, which I am now calling “Surrealism, Sexaroids and Innocence: Art Influencing Anime, Anime Influencing Art.” If you can get to the museum and see the art exhibits, do. They are really wonderful. And I hope to see you on the 14th – the lecture and movie are free with a museum entry (suggested donation, so it’s up to you, but the Murakami is a ticketed exhibit, which costs $10. Totally worth it too.)

One thing I found fascinating was that in the Murakami exhibit, other than mentioning briefly that manga is comics and anime is animation, and despite repeated references to both manga and anime, if you do not know what either of these are, there was basically no attempt at explaining it to you. They tell you that Murakami’s Superflat style is strongly anime and manga influenced and that’s about it. Which I really liked.

Since we *do* know what anime is here, I thought I’d take a moment to catch up today on what is still the contender for “best anime of 2008′ in my opinion, Mnemosyne OAV Episode 3 .

This episode brought us – and Rin – closer to dealing with Apos, reanimated a previous enemy we thought was dead (but never saw the body, so…duh on us) and we got to spend a little more time in the heads of Mimi and Kouki.

The episode starts well into the future; Kouki has married Yuuko from the previous episode and they have a child who looks just like his dad. Mimi and Rin have not changed, as usual. But when Rin is called away on a dangerous mission, this time it’s Mimi who lays it out on the line to gain information that allows Kouki to find, and ultimately save her. Not one to allow others to pay his debts, Kouki steps up and makes the ultimate sacrifice for Rin’s safety, by using the Time Spore left by Yuuko’s brother, to become an angel and save Rin from destruction.

It was a very complex episode, with ties to experimentation during and after the war (“the war,” i.e., WWII) and the death of many people under cover of testing. And it was poignant, as both Mimi and Kouki find themseleves in bad situations because of their love for Rin.

It was also the extra super violent we’ve come to expect and love in Mnemosyne. BDSM fans must adore Apos as their god.

Which brings me to Apos. Not only is he an obviously evil bastard, (with Nagi from Mai HiME‘s voice) he’s also obviously the crux of the story. I expect we’ll get one more tease episode, then the last two will be the fight with him. Do I expect us all to live happily ever after? Uh, no. No I don’t.

Yuri is the usual. Mimi trying to feed vodka to Rin from her mouth – and winning at least a little this time, and later, Mimi using her body to pay for information that they need, in a way that is pretty skanky, but the informant sort of seems okay at the end so we can tell ourselves that it’s not a problem. Really.

In the meantime, Mnemosyne is fabulous, there’s plenty of explotative Yuri for the Ls out there and some genuine love between Rin and Mimi for the rest of us.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 8
Service – 7

Overall – 9

Despite your belief that watching Mimi have lesbian sex doesn’t count as loli because she’s really older than she looks, I know that in reality, you’re all getting off on the fact that she *looks* younger than she is. Please feel free to sew this Red “L” on your clothes. :-)

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6 Responses

  1. Jo says:

    Is there any chance for someone to publish the light novel in English?

  2. No idea. At the moment, I haven’t even seen it for sale in Japanese.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This was the last of the actually watchable Mnemosyne OVAs, imo. The series was quite entertaining up to and including OVA 3. OVAs 4 to 6 … ugh. A misogynist’s wet-dream. I watched the series because I vaguely recalled a positive review of it here. After finishing it, I was somehow not surprised to come back here and discover it no longer had its own category :).

  4. Don’t misunderstand the lack of reviews for the rest of the series – I just got sidetracked by other things. :)

    I quite liked Mnemosyne all the way through. I’m not sure what everyone else was watching, being all disssapointed that it wasn’t the Yuri ending they wanted.

    Expect to see this on *my* Top Ten for the year.

  5. Anonymous says:

    LOL. I was watching the series where, after OVA 3, nearly every female of “consequence” rolled over for the angels, panting to be used and abused and moaning piteously for more even as they were being eviscerated. Even Rin, who fared marginally better, would’ve sold the fate of humanity down the river if her own angel had been slightly more inclined to eat her than to breed her. In the end, she prevailed largely because she had been impregnated with “the son of god”.

    I could’ve lived with the Yuri degenerating to nothing more than business deals between a near prepubescent girl and her informants. It wouldn’t have been enough to make me watch it, but I could’ve probably watched around it. It’s all the rest of it that makes me quite certain this is one series I will never, ever, revisit.

    Oh well. Each to his own, I guess :).

  6. Oh. don’t get me wrong – the ending was muddled and ridiculous. lol

    But the reactions to the Angels had been establisehd right at the beginning, so it’s not like that was suddenly dumped on us.

    Look, it was what it was – it was never meant to be a Yuri romance. it was a multi-sexual/multi-gender BDSM scifi horror thing. If you were looking for flowers and happy lesbians, then you would have had to kick a lot of bound, gagged and tortured women out of the way to try and find it. :-)

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