Now this movie has been on my radar for some time, having seen clips of this but not the full movie I’ve had a chance to see it from beginning to end…it’s something that has one or maybe two problems but that’s nothing that stops this from being what it is, a good (but confusing) movie that manages to somehow bring something good into what it was trying to do.
A Wind Named Amnesia is based off the novel written by Hideyuki Kikuchi (Vampire Hunter D) In which the plot of this revolves around the idea that the world has been pretty much reduced to a wasteland, caused by an oncoming wind that has given every human being on the planet Amnesia (hence the title) and now everyone’s mental state has been reduced to infancy and now struggle to survive, Essentially your typical Post-Apocalyptic setting.
In a lot of ways this movie is sort of mixed bag, the good side of things about this is the thought-provoking themes and how each of the plot twists thrown out there manage to make this movie’s story more complex as well as how the entirety of civilization collapsed so unusually. The negative side of things is how in each moment of this movie the philosophy that is explained feels somewhat vague in places
In regards to the movie itself, Kazuo Yamazaki (Urusei Yatsura, The Five Star Stories, Please Save My Earth) managed to tell this story rather well through its imagery and its reliance on interludes of character self-reflection to see how far this story will go for our core cast. The backgrounds look gritty and capture the feel of a society that has been broken down and destroyed and how humanity has now fallen due to this unusual wind. Seeing as how Wataru & Sophia are on the move constantly in a way this is a “road movie” and seeing them both explore the land through the water-color painted backgrounds brings out this movies strong budget. The character designs by Satoru Nakamura of an example of the sort of style and design in anime characters you don’t see much anymore, they each of a realistic proportion to them and whilst they are good to look at some of the animation movement for a few of the characters does seem a bit stiff and lumpy from time to time, So with Madhouse who were at the helm of this movie it’s good for what it is.
From an audio viewpoint probably not much to say about the soundtrack done by Kazuhiko Toyama has that almost typical soundtrack a few anime from that era had with the use of its slow tones accompanied by the heavy-synth beats from the action scenes, so it’s not bad although it sounds generic in a few places.
In regards to the English dub done by Manga UK it’s surprisingly not bad, it’s not great and not awful when they are not at their best but the dub as it stands is one of their more acceptable. Adam Henderson as Wataru does a good job with what he is given despite whenever you hear him talk (even when there is a scene in which the character is supposed to look sad and the scene itself is rather somber) he sounds unusually optimistic when delivering his lines which seem really inappropriate. Denica Fairman plays Sophia with a calm and rather nurturing demeanor which makes the character mysterious, even Manga UK veteran Peter Marinker has bit part in this which plays a huge importance in Wataru’s encounter with a few of the characters which is an interesting development not just for the character but in how Peter portrays him.
So overall A Wind Named Amnesia is something that really feels like a mixed bag for what it offers, a post-apocalyptic tale centered around one man’s journey to help bring humanity back on track whilst having philosophy thrown at you trying to make sense of it. It’s one of those films that rely on your thought process to decide where this goes and how it ends and by the end of it what is left open for you to connect the dots without making it sound complicated.
It’s a good movie that feels somewhat mixed.