"Imagine a world where man has lost all powers of speech, reason and memory. A world where all knowledge and understanding has been erased, leaving desperate individuals struggling to survive on basic instincts."
"When the Wind of Amnesia blew, the human race was reduced to this primitive state. Every day became a battle for the survival of the fittest, fighting over the bare necessities of food and shelter."
"Only the boy Wataru escaped the holocaust and now he must find a way to re-educate the human race and discover not only what happened but WHY it happened. If this sudden downfall was caused by man's actions, then how can Wataru prevent history from repeating itself?"
Original work: Hideyuki Kikuchi Director: Kazuo Yamazaki Copyright: Hideyuki Kikuchi/Asahi Sonorama/Right Stuff Office/ Japan Home Video Corporation VHS version: Language: English Label: Manga Video Running time: 90 mins Certificate: 15 Catalogue no: MANV 1042 Price: £12.99 Release Date: 9th May 1994
Also known more literally (and poetically) as 'A Wind Called Amnesia', this movie is adapted from a SF novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi. A sudden disaster strips mankind of all memory, speech and reason and thus brings about the abrupt extinction of civilisation. The hero, Wataru, survives with the help of a boy, Johnny, who had a cyborg memory, and later teams up with a strange young woman, Sophia. They embark on a journey together, during which Wataru's attitudes are examined and Sophia's true role becomes clear.
During the journey they are pursued by a law enforcement robot and come across survivors and, in one of the most fascinating sections, the two stumble on an ideal town, apparently still inhabited, and animated by a master computer.
Quite uniquely in a dubbed anime, the movie is carried by the voice of Sophia, (Denice Fairman) aided by the other voice actors, whose voice acting closely mimics the tone of the original Japanese while injecting just the right level of irony demanded by the script. They are aided by some well scripted dialogue which seems fairly faithful to the original Japanese, and it merits more than one hearing. A strong script and good dubbing that recaptures the tone of the original dialogue make for compelling viewing. Surprisingly, the Manga version seems much more powerful than the original, even though I'd read a script for the latter. The compelling impact of this dubbed version may surprise fans who have seen it in Japanese.
The animation is sometimes rather static but the background visuals are good and the paintings of nature are superb. On the minus side, there are one or two scenes which seem out of place or have unconvincing details, and the overall premise isn't, on reflection, original. The use of voice-over (not added by the translators!) and unconnected voices also seems excessive at times. Despite the reservations, a serious-minded SF movie, and surely one of the best things Manga Video have done so far. [Geoff Cowie]
Brian E. Angliss: I must say I thought it was quite good. An interesting tale of two travellers through a "civilized" world after everyone in it has lost thier memory. Part of the ending was a bit predictable, and I have yet to figure out why the Guardian was so bloody obsessed with Wataru, but I have to say that it's up there on my list of good anime to recommend. Luckily, the ending isn't all sweetness and light - that would have totally ruined the whole movie. Ru Igarashi: I agree. A good film. I really really enjoyed the first half where Wataru is recounting the days of the wind and after. It could have done without the Guardian scenes, but on the other hand it made for some comic relief. The second half where we see some of the results worked for me, too, sort of episodic. I like that it had a "Twilight Zone"-like premise, too. Sarah Davis: Beautiful visuals, intriguing story, superb premise, great characters. The film didn't dwell on preaching or social commentary. It played its characters like human beings. Deprived, downtrodden humans, but still humans. I thought it was a wonderful film. The only reason I deducted a point was because of the lack of closure. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. I just *really* want to know if the humans get their memories back. Then again, maybe that's the point.