A Wind Named Amnesia

A Wind Named Amnesia is an anime movie in the A Wind Named Amnesia Franchise
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Anime film based off the novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi.

In 1997, a mysterious wind wipes the minds of most of the human race. In a Montana research facility, crippled cyborg Johnny retains human memories; when he is saved from an attack by a bestial human, he names his rescuer Wataru ("drifter") and starts teaching him to talk. When Johnny dies, Wataru sets off to search for other survivors. In San Francisco he meets Sophia, who listens to his story and pointedly refuses to tell him hers. They wander across America until Sophia feels like telling Wataru the story behind the wind, 20 minutes before the end. Then there's a showdown with a law-enforcement robot that's been stalking Wataru since San Francisco, a perfunctory sex scene, and a finale that implies there's hope, even when the rest of the film has demonstrated that there isn't.

Wind of Amnesia has a fascinating "high concept," based on a novel by Darkside Blues-creator Hideyuki Kikuchi, but after the bold, broad strokes of the original idea (coincidentally similar to Thomas Calvert McClary's 1934 story Rebirth), it swiftly devolves into mundane cliché little better than Fist of the North Star. Transforming into an aimless road movie, it shifts gear into a quest to rescue a damsel in distress whose people still have the intelligence of chimps but have nonetheless managed to set up a society based around ritual human sacrifice. Wataru then teaches a former policeman how to be human again (by showing him how to use a shotgun), before making a brief stop at the obligatory "false paradise." In other words, despite being made for the movies as a stand-alone production, it still has the picaresque feel of a cut-up TV series, amateurishly crashing George R. Stewart's Earth Abides (1949) into Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog (1969). The script suggests early on that the "wind" could be a psionic experiment gone wrong, or perhaps even rather stupid aliens who prefer to wipe humanity's mind as part of a preemptive strike, but there's no mystery here. Despite having the answers to everything, Sophia refuses to tell Wataru (or us) for a full 60 minutes, preferring instead to play devil's advocate with mind-boggling inconsistency, railing against the civilized charade of a computer-controlled city in the Nevada desert but vigorously defending the rights of savages who want to sacrifice virgins. Quite possibly, she is simply too embarrassed to tell the truth about an alien intervention plot device whose incoherence would not be matched until Green Legend Ran. The rest of the script is similarly shoddy-no thought is given as to why people wear clothes, considering that they have forgotten what they were for, and an "Eternal City" is supposedly built "at the beginning of the 21st century" when we've already been told that the film is set in 1999. There is a brief treatment of the idea that humanity might be better off this way, but it was done far more convincingly in Grey: Digital Target. Artistically, this is a departure for the Madhouse studio, full of airy, wide-open spaces that are a far cry from the dark urban sprawls of Wicked City. NV

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Credits

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Kazuo Yamazaki Director
Hideyuki Kikuchi Original Concept Original Author
Yoshiaki Kawajiri Writer Director.
Rei Kawano Artist Background Art

Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name: A Wind Named Amnesia
Release Date: Jan. 1, 1990
Name:
Romaji: Kaze no Na wa Amnesia
Release Date: Dec. 22, 1990
Rating: R
Runtime: 80 (mins)
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Aliases The Wind's Name Was Amnesia Wind of Amnesia
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