Amnesia 6, Bread 5

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia 6 gets no closer to its story arc, whichever one it is (the mystery of Yuuko’s death, or that nasty-looking black thing Kirie encounters at the end), but we get a very good tale in the meantime.

It’s day two of the school festival. A blonde woman named … Yuuko … comes to see the ghost but sees nothing. Meanwhile rumors are spreading about a “Woman in Red,” who apparently wants a sacrificial victim. At this point we’re not sure what’s going on. Yuuko isn’t aware of a WiR. But we’ve never seen this blonde girl before, either. It’s pretty clear that she is either that woman or at least someone up to something. On the other hand, she cannot see Yuuko. She doesn’t believe. It’s here where things get messy, not with blood. Indeed, for all the scary images this episode throws at us (and this is a series loaded with vivid imagery), no one dies or is even injured. Just one sliced-open schoolgirl top, I suppose to appease the gods of fanservice.

Through this barrage of disturbing images we finally make out the story, and we get a demonstration of group hysteria and base fear at its ugliest. Blonde Yuuko isn’t quite right in the head, partly because of the unreasonable fear that her name invokes at the school. Her answer, to destroy the ghost, or the legend, anyway. This backfires badly, the students (and why are so many high school students in these shows so damn hysterical over the supernatural?) have been taken over by their fears. They are afraid of the WiR, therefore she exists! By using their fears to destroy a ghost story, she has made them worse. Disturbing irony there. Also ironic is the fact that our Yuuko, a genuine ghost, couldn’t care less if there are stories about her. This was the strongest episode yet, and it makes me curious as to how they’ll approach the actual story arcs when they get to it.

I don’t know how appropriate it is for Shining Hearts – Shiawase no Pan to have a filler episode when the main story is nothing but unconnected bits here and there–people washed ashore, dolls with powers, the government that isn’t explaining anything. But we get one. It’s right out of Yumeiro Patissiere with its cold-hearted guest character, Melty, being heart-warmed by delicious sweet breads. It’s livened a bit by making Melty a standard-issue goth-loli tsundere–and getting Kugumiya Rie to play her. Otherwise there’s nothing to the episode at all. Next week looks to get back to the real action, if that’s the word.

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