Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mnemosyne -- Sex, Violence, and a Great Cast

The science fiction thriller Mnemosyne begins airing this Sunday, 3 February. An interview with cast members is studded with words like "violent," "erotic," "mysterious," and "suspense." I may not be a big fan of violence, but when it is as stylish as it seems to be in the trailer, I'll be there for the first episode, at least.

And the cast list is to die for: the series stars (l-r) Ishida Akira, Tanaka Rie, Kugimiya Rie, Noto Mamiko, and Ohara Sayaka. It is directed by Ueda Shigeru (far right), who directed Tales of Eternia and has done episodes of such shows as Fullmetal Alchemist, Fafner, Simoun, Blood+, Seirei no Moribito, and Serial Experiments Lain. It was written by Ohnogi Hiroshi, who was lead writer on Noein and Aquarion and wrote many episodes of Eureka Seven, RahXephon, Toward the Terra, and Skull Man.

A piece published on Animate TV Web describes the show as a high-quality science fiction animation that is erotic and violent. Having seen the trailer, I'd say sadistic yuri might be another description to add.

The setting is Shinjuku in the 1990s, where there are serial killings, assassinations, terrorism with living weapons, illegal experimentation, immortals, angels and gods, woven together in an atmosphere of eros and violence.

In a departure that the article says is attracting attention in the industry, the show will be broadcast in six one-hour episodes, one a month. That will give it the same total running time as a normal 12-13 episode series.

In the Animate interview, Noto Mamiko says that the characters are full-scale humans. Kugimiya Rie says that episode one was difficult to do, that she and Noto-san spent the breaks in recording discussing how to play things. Tanaka Rie says that her character may be the most sadistic she has ever seen, and that she really got into playing her. Ohara Sayaka says the action scenes are amazing, with speed and moves she hadn't seen before. Ishida Akira says that the way people can die and then become immortal angels was one of the most striking things to him.

The entire cast said how much they admired the look of the show, which is animated by Xebec (Fafner, Busou Renkin) and Genco (Zero no Tsukaima, Ikkitousen).

Rin (Noto Mamiko) is a detective trying to solve the murders and strange events that have been occurring. Mimi (Kugimiya Rie) is her assistant. Laura (Ohara Sayaka) is a hunter out to get Rin. Sayara (Tanaka Rie) is a sadistic scientist doing illegal experiments at her drug lab.

In ancient Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was a titaness, the personification of memory. By the god Zeus, she became the mother of the muses, who inspired artists. And Mnemosyne was also the name of river in the underworld. Most people drank from the River Lethe, which enabled them to forget their past lives. Initiates of a mystery religion drank from Mnemosyne, to remember.

The show is the AT-X TV channel's tenth anniversary production.


totali said...

This fell under the radar for me before the season started, but the description of the show seems pretty interesting. My eyes are open after learning about the writers and cast anyways. I'm not sure if this will end of being a hit or not though....especially with the odd scheduling.

Owen S said...

"the characters are full-scale humans"

I'm curious about this line -- does it mean that the characters are real humans, or something else that got lost in translation?

I almost forgot about this, so thanks for the timely reminder. The one-hour episode for six months doesn't seem all that bad, but I bet there's going to be some epic cliffhangers as a result. I'm sold.

hashihime said...

@owen_s: It's probably my translation. I thought she meant they were not cardboard characters or children, but well-characterized full adults. Literally it was "life-size human beings." In fact, I'm not sure they are all actual humans. Some are called "angels."

Glad the reminder was timely. That's why I posted the piece. I had forgot about the show myself, until it was mentioned on Watch! Seiyuu-san.

Anonymous said...

This show definitely had the most titillating anime trailer of the past winter and I was wondering if it's going to actually end up any good. Nice little look at the background there, Hashihime. I was itching for one too.