Mirai Nikki – 25

Yukiteru flees to the school with Minene and Past Yuno, but with her Yukkii diary it doesn’t take long for God Yuno and Murmur to find them. After warning Kurusu about his son’s heart condition, Minene duels with Murmur as Yuno chases Yukkii. Finally, she catches him in a Deus Fragment, an illusory world in which Yuno doesn’t exist and all of his dreams can come true; even his parents are alive and together. Yuno releases Murmur’s seal, making her infinitely more powerful, and Minene is killed. As Yukiteru loses himself in the fantasy world of the fragment, Yuno prepares to kill her defenseless past self…

Throughout this episode, God Yuno struggles with her feelings for the Yukiteru trying to save her from herself, but ultimately she fights them back. She reveals the truth that Yukiteru probably knows, but neither of them have brought up before: Yuno would have loved anyone if she became dependent on him – as she did Yukkii – just as Yukiteru would have loved anyone as long as she protected him. It’s harsh, but it’s true. Still, she doesn’t want to lose him, nor does she want to return to the second world, so locking him away is her answer.

In the fantasy world of the Deus fragment, she even dangles a pliable Wakana before him. Initially, he protests, but once she seals him in he seems to go along with things. After all the crap he’s been through, could he be ready to settle for the dream world Yuno’s given him? Is it better than death, or worse? At what point will he forget his world isn’t real? Minene is dead (again) thanks to a downright frightening Demon Murmur (after a stunningly-animated fight), so it would appear he’s fresh out of allies with godlike powers to free him. We’re very curious to see how this all comes to an end, and if the other diary holders – still alive in this world – still have a role to play beyond Yuno’s prey.

Rating: 3.5

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia – 01

Niiya Teiichi, Kanoe Kirie, and Okonogi Momoe are members of a Paranormal Investigation Club at their school, tasked with investigating their school’s many ghost stories. Their club president Yuuko is the ghost of a long-dead girl at the school, who only Teiichi and Kirie can see and hear. Momoe suspects a poltergeist when things start to move on their own, including Teiichi himself. They head to the alleged grave of Yuuko in the woods on a hill, a place she doesn’t seem to remember. Teiichi seems to have agreed to help her find out the mystery of what happened to her, perhaps so she can rest in peace.

While Sankarea is clearly the more horror-tinged of the two supernatural series we’ll be watching this Spring, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is bent more towards mystery and point-of-view. This first episode cleverly began from Momoe’s, in which neither she nor we could see or hear Yuuko, and then the act reset to where we could see and hear her, but Momoe still couldn’t. We’re not sure if Kirie can hear her, but it seems she can see her. We like how Momoe believed Teiichi could read her thoughts, even though he was only responding to Yuuko and just happened to match them.

As for Yuuko herself, she’s a mischievious flirt of a ghost, not above lightening the mood with antics, but also clearly in need of some answers, since she hasn’t moved on to the hereafter and all. This episode limits our exposure to just these four club members, and while the 3:1 girl-to-guy ratio portends a harem, but at least one of the girls in question is dead, which makes things more interesting. Technically speaking, the series impresses with a bold and atmospheric presentation. The old, sprawling school oozes with secrets waiting to be uncovered, and characters are brought to life with some intense close-ups, quick moments of action, and decent voice work. Most of all, we want to know more about who Yuuko, how she died, and why she chose to haunt Teiichi, so we’ll keep watching.

Rating: 6 (Good)