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AKA: Kaze no Namae wa Amnesia
Genre: Science-fiction
Length: Movie, 90 minutes
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD from US Manga Corps out of print.
Content Rating: 13+ (violence, adult themes and situations, brief nudity)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended:
Notes: Based on a novel by Kikuchi Hideyuki.
Rating:
 

A Wind Named Amnesia

Synopsis

In the year 199X, a strange wind blows across the globe, and in its wake follows a total, complete amnesia where the everyone forgets who they are, how to speak...everything. The vast technological advances of modern society go to waste as humans are suddenly reduced to the level of animals, fighting their once-neighbors to survive.

Two years later, a young man named Wataru, who was miraculously re-educated from his amnesia, roams the countryside of America in search of survivors, evidence of developing civilization -- in short, the essence of what truly drives humanity. Accompanied by a mysterious woman who also somehow retains her memory, Wataru must find out the truth of who we really are...and what was behind the mysterious forgetting.

Review

Take away the trappings of technology, the scaffolding of society, and what is left of the peculiar animal called human? What difference is there from man and beast?

These questions are what A Wind Named Amnesia attempts to answer in about 80 contemplative, brooding minutes. While the movie leaves the answer open-ended in its conclusion, the getting there is certainly at least half the fun, and A Wind Named Amnesia may be one of the great sleeper classics of anime.

Each aspect of A Wind Named Amnesia helps contribute to the film's overall effect. The art and animation are done in a realistic, detailed style that adds to the title's credibility. Although the initial premise seems outlandish, the way this film portrays the aftermath of the bizarre amnesia wind will have you suspending your disbelief in no time. Nature scene, fight scene, action sequence -- every scene has its place, artfully executed and captivatingly done, accompanied by a rousing orchestral score on par with any western release on the silver screen.

The story itself is no exception. A Wind Named Amnesia is one of the few sci-fi anime titles I've seen that I can honestly classify as true science fiction (Gunbuster and the Patlabor movies are two other examples). The initial mystery of what has happened to Earth is quickly offset by a greater question: what are humans in general? The story is skillfully woven, employing characters that the viewer can really believe and relate to. And the ending, while open-ended, leaves plenty of room for extra thought and consideration on the part of the viewer even after the tape has been rewound and put back in its box.

If you are in the mood for a cerebral anime with a healthy dose of visual effects, this title is a sure bet. A Wind Named Amnesia is probably one of the best titles I've never heard of.

Raphael See

Recommended Audience: Graphic violence and a sex scene are present, although none of it could be considered gratuitous. The themes of this title would probably not be appreciated by a younger audience. Older audiences would probably really enjoy this title, though.



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
A Wind Named Amnesia © 1993 Kikuchi Hideyuki / Asahi Sonorama / Right Stuf Office / Japan Home Video