In more conventional and traditional societies, anime is treated as cartoons and regarded with suspicion as there are also a lot of taboos surrounding it. One particular taboo that people use to confront me is how perverted anime is becoming. As an anime fan, I find myself agreeing to this statement even though my credibility as a human being will plummet down to the depths of Hell. I can’t blame people though. It’s becoming more and more common to see that occasional series where the girls are hyper-sexualized and do all sorts of perverted stuff. There is also the ‘ecchi’/’hentai’ genre which can be regarded as borderline animated pornography, some going all the way. This causes people to think there are only two kinds of anime, which is:
1. Anime for kids e.g. Avatar: The Last Airbender (P.S. Avatar is not regarded by some anime fans as non-anime) and Pokemon/Digimon.
2. Anime for people with weird fetishes, like cat girls, lolitas (aka girls that are petite in size or are still children) and even little sisters, or people who are lustful/perverts.
Debunking stereotyping like that is really difficult and takes up a lot of time explaining the basis, history and stating examples from anime so I’m going to save that for some other time. Instead, I’m going to review an anime named after the Greek God of memory. I present to you:
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne.
If you haven’t heard of this show, no worries. I’d say, 65% of the anime fandom have not heard of this show either. But if you did, chances are, you probably know it as torture porn where there are scenes where characters get impaled, tortured, or even blown to pieces, all while naked and screaming like they’re on drugs and in some sort of high.
In case you’re about to turn tail and run, screaming: ‘DANIEL IS A F***ING PERVERT!!! I WON’T EVER VISIT HIS SITE!!!!’, don’t worry, I’m totally fine. But don’t you run away yet.
Mnemosyne revolves around women who unwittingly absorbed a Fruit of Time from the Tree of Yggdrasil that causes them to become immortal. One such woman is Rin and alongside her trusty companion, Mimi, who is also immortal, works as a private investigator. Of course, Rin being immortal doesn’t mean that she is like Superman, she is not immune to injury, or otherwise there would basically be no plot left. But being immortal has its pros. Being a private investigator AND immortal means she can just throw herself into various dangerous situations without any hesitation just because she can respawn after dying, rendering Death incapable of keeping her dead for long.
As people say, “There are always two sides to the same coin,” and likewise, being immortal has its cons too. Rin, aside from being immortal, is a normal human being with no superhuman capabilities to speak of. From time to time though, she would find herself trying to escape pain, suffering and even permanent death from the hands of evil scientists, hunters of the immortal and the evil, mysterious being, Apos.
If I’m going to say this, I best be saying this now:
This anime is by no means, an anime suitable for children and the adult themes of homosexuality, sex and extreme violence are very much the norm in the world that is Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne
In other words, this anime is definitely not for kids and can be likened to late night TV shows that heavily feature dark and grim themes. Except take these dark themes, multiply it by ten, add near-nude and sex scenes that would make any censorship board go into overload and in the end, put your character through so much physical and mental torture that normal people would go crazy at the sight of it.
AND THAT’S WHY I LOVE ANIME!
No, I don’t have a fetish towards sadomasochism. No to Vancouver and fifty shades of blue, black and green!!
I meant I love how anime has so much potential to be able to present us a story that normally wouldn’t sell on mainstream TV. I mean how can you possibly make a live action show about people playing basketball? Sure, you can make a documentary but can live action recreate the superhuman feats of strength displayed in sports anime? Can it give us epic fight scenes like Dragon Ball Z or Hunter X Hunter? In reference to this, Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is a perfect example.
During the course of the series which is 6 episodes of approximately 45 minutes each, the series stretches 65 years from the late 20th century to the near dystopian future. What live action show can do that? Not to mention the gruelling fight scenes and sexual themes, this show is definitely impossible to be remade into a live-action movie and thus potentially great shows like this one are lost.
Not wanting to spoil anymore of the plot, I shall commend the writers for confronting such dark themes without making it feel as if it was there just to be there. Unlike ‘ecchi’ series with their loads of fan service and erotic acts, the torture scenes, the sex scenes and the violence are served to us in adequate proportions. It keeps the fine balance between pleasing people with certain tendencies (you know who you are, *snicker* *wink*) and not making the rest of us feel like we’ve just watched outright, blatant torture porn.
In short, for making lewd plays and outright violence feel like a justified, legit plot, I clap for you.
Jokes aside, the show very cleverly slit these erotic stuff in between events, making it somewhat acceptable for people like me, who are not particular fond of lewd anime while pleasing fans who…well, you know what you like. Prior to watching these, I was having one of these cravings for dark and morally grey series like Death Note, and it is noteworthy that this show scratched this itch very wonderfully.
For the characters, they are written well enough though they aren’t exactly very distinguishable or memorable but I guess I have no qualms over it. It is after all only 6 episodes long and the story doesn’t call for elaborate development of the characters, so I’m fine with the development they give their characters.
As for the technical side of things, the animation was well, rather average. I’m not sure about you but watching this show on 720p, I find the playback somewhat grainy. It’s the same problem I faced with other shows produced by Xebec, the producer of Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne. The music is also somewhat average and serves to complement the tense and gritty scenes but no tracks are worth noting in particular.
To conclude, this show is a blatant, morally grey show that takes themes people shy away from and unashamed-ly serves it with doses of sexual and graphic scenes. Though the execution of the show are sometimes unclear and the writers may not explain enough for everyone to know everything clearly, if you, like me, have a craving for dark, gritty shows, this one is definitely going to fulfill it very nicely.
And so, after meticulously calculating my ratings for the plot, characters, animation and technical aspects, and lastly, my personal enjoyment, I decided to give this show a rating of:
7.72 (AVERAGELY GOOD)
If you liked this show, chances are you would also like the ever popular Death Note, another morally grey series that is sure to turn your ideals on its heads. You may also find Monster, an anime based on the apocalyptic story of the Anti-Christ, to your liking.
There’s that. If you like this review, feel free to click on the ‘Like’ button, leave a comment below and if you haven’t already done it, like my Facebook page too. I appreciate your thoughts and views and will strive to work towards a better reviewing experiencing.
With that, I leave you. This is Daniel See, signing off. Cheerio.