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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unique and memorable.
This video should come with a warning - those of you expecting to be able to watch this and not go away reflecting on the contents will be very surprised. Amnesia is a surprisingly thought-provoking exercise in "what if" -- what if man was stripped of all knowledge and preconceptions, and thrust back into his environment? While many anime are content to...
Published on August 9, 2000 by Cafe

versus
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only a director with talent got a hold of this plot
Don't you absolutely HATE it when you find a movie online with an absolutely irresistible plot that's almost too amazing to be bad, and then see it only to realize the person who made it had no artistic talent whatsoever? I don't know about you, but it happens to me a lot, and all I can think when finished is how much better I could have made it.

A Wind Named...
Published on August 17, 2008 by Jonathan "Jimmy Dean" ...


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unique and memorable., August 9, 2000
This video should come with a warning - those of you expecting to be able to watch this and not go away reflecting on the contents will be very surprised. Amnesia is a surprisingly thought-provoking exercise in "what if" -- what if man was stripped of all knowledge and preconceptions, and thrust back into his environment? While many anime are content to merely use the concept as a plot device, this movie uses the topic to explore and ponder some interesting aspects of human sociology and development. Material is very well considered, almost to a fault -- at times, you'll feel like you're in the middle of a textbook. That's not so much the fault of the writers, but more the direction. The story is presented in a very matter-of-fact, clinical manner. This is rather unfortunate, since the underlying story is quite well realized.
Animation is very well done, with some effort put into making the backgrounds part of the story telling device. Some will undoubtedly find part of the entertainment coming from figuring out the various landmarks depicted in the movie (I'd be willing to bet that the town in Montana is actually based on Banff, Alberta, a very popular destination for the Japanese.) Acting is something else. Like the directing itself, most of the vocals feel out of place and forced, lending an even more detached feel to the movie. While this may suit the Sophia character (played by Toda Keiko), it doesn't suit the rest of the players, with the possible exception of Johnny (played by Yamaguchi Kappei). One other aspect of this show bothers me: the subplot involving the out-of-control gaurdian chasing Wataru and Sophia across America. The writers have already crammed a lot of philosophy into this production, the addition of this sub-plot was extraneous and feels entirely out-of-place. While the message about technology is fairly clear, I can't shake the feeling the the only reason that this was included was to add some action to what is effectively a cerebral work.
The show is most effective when it sticks to its exploration of the nature of mankind, and the possibility that the various aspects of human nature are inescapable. Sometimes preachy and sometimes sublime, Kaze No Namae Wa Amnesia is a very thought-provoking film. This is one of those movies that you watch over biscotti and latté, not popcorn and Coke.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Credit where credit is due, July 19, 2003
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
You can not argue with an anime that has such beautiful imagination. It reads like an Arthur C. Clarke story, earth's first encounter with alien, and its impact economically, sociologically etc. Like his novels, its a subtle thriller, never revealing too much too soon and always leaving more questions than answers.

To complain about its animation is as shallow as complaining about 2001:space oddysey's special effects. This is an anime that will stimulate the introvert. Those with a vivid imagination will lose themselves in this fantasy. The imagery is is beautiful to me, the sunny blue-green landscapes, cold deserted cities, long stares into the night sky, and the soothing loneliness (an escape from modern chaos)

Although I wish they had made this into a series, and prevented the abrupt ending that inevitably occurred... squeezing the future of mankind in a 90min screening!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterful, Plot Driven Story, April 9, 2006
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
After reading some of the reviews, I noticed that a lot of those who watched this movie felt it was somewhat slow. But I don't think that is the case. It certainly isn't like a lot of other anime out there, where action is generally what moves it along. In this case, the plot is the focus, character development as a second, with action as a distant third. And because it is a plot driven story, I think a lot of people felt that A Wind Named Amnesia was just too different. Yes, it is different, and it's also a required taste, but it still, I think, is a masterpiece of anime. The story flows evenly from start to finish, allowing only a few flashbacks early on to interrupt it, and even then they are key moments in the story. By the end of the movie, while the ending was a bit bittersweet, it doesn't leave you with a feeling of being cheated.

Now to the story: Earth has just had an apocalypse of a different sort, one that instead of destroying lives destroyed memories, and this apocalypse came on the wind. But two years later, there are still some left who know what has happened and what needs to be done in order to fix, or at least try to fix, what has happened to the Earth's inhabitants. Wataru journeys from city to city all across North America in order to find those he thinks he can help. But he faces many dangers, including barbaric savages--all that's left of humanity and what Wataru learned not to be--and a mechanized creature capable of regenerating itself. In many ways, it's a journey of lessons for Wataru, and he meets many interesting people who teach him things along the way. Traveling with him is the beautiful and mysterious Sophia, who seems to have some knowledge of what has happened to humanity, but chooses to let Wataru learn that for himself.

When compared to more modern anime, or even literature, I think the story in A Wind holds up pretty well, and surpasses a lot. It's deep, filled with a lot of themes, and has a lot of heart to go along with it. There are few anime that I can compare this movie to, especially ones that came out around the same time A Wind Named Amnesia did. But the two Makoto Shinkai films, Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, have a lot in common with A Wind; that is an intelligent story, lovable characters, and a slower, more thoughtful pace. So, if you enjoyed those two movies or like intelligence in your entertainment, then I'd highly recommend A Wind Named Amnesia to you.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only a director with talent got a hold of this plot, August 17, 2008
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
Don't you absolutely HATE it when you find a movie online with an absolutely irresistible plot that's almost too amazing to be bad, and then see it only to realize the person who made it had no artistic talent whatsoever? I don't know about you, but it happens to me a lot, and all I can think when finished is how much better I could have made it.

A Wind Named Amnesia is one of those kinds of movies. Set in 1999, six years after the movies original release, humanity has been completely devastated by a mysterious wind which blows across the world, wiping clean the memories of every person on the planet. In an instant every bit of knowledge we as a species have gained over the course of millions of years is gone, even our language and family ties are severed in the chaos that follows. Planes fall from the sky as pilots forget how to operate their aircraft, cars crash, the world burns. In an instant the thriving civilization we've created is reduced to rubble and its creators to bloody savages who poses nothing but their most basic and unexplainable instincts.

Wataru is just another helpless victim to this terrifying disaster; alone and starving he stumbles upon an old military facility where he meets the one person left alive that retains some memories. His name is Johnny, a genetically enhanced boy whose brain acts as a super computer which allows him to function like a normal human. Johnny teaches Wataru as much as he can and sends him on a journey across a deserted world to observe the human being in its most basic state and find what it is that drives us. Is it pleasure? Life? Power? With the protection of civilization stripped from us what is it that will motivate us to act?

A Wind Named Amnesia is has a lot in common with Kino's Journey - The Complete Collection. The main character, Wataru, travels across America in a jeep with a strange women he meets in Los Angles. There are about three different mini stories within the film giving it the feel of a much longer show. It was have been a lot more interesting had it been an actual show, or at least an OVA. There is simply too much potential for this story to be packed into a two hour movie and it often felt rushed and jumped around far too much. One second their sitting at the Lincoln Memorial discussing life the next their in New Your City running from a killer robot. It was just too fast and way too ill conceived to make a satisfying film. The entire journey through the Midwest and from Washington to NYC is skipped completely leaving the viewer wondering just what happened. Weren't they just in Las Vegas? What are they doing in DC? Very, very annoying.

When I first saw this plot line my first thought was "I have GOT to see this movie" and can you blame me? I mean really, is this not one of the best ideas for a sci fi film ever? If this film had been made by someone with even an ounce of creativity then it would have been great, but NOOOO! Whoever did this film is, quite frankly, a moron and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word.

The beginning of the film was pretty good when the Amnesia Wind blew in and the world collapsed in chaos and confusion. I'll admit it was more then a little bit bone chilling, but that's about the only good thing I can say about the film. So for pros we have amazing idea, and a good beginning. So now lets get to the cons.

First off, the main characters. I've seen my share of bad anime characters, and while this lifeless bunch may not be the worst I've ever seen, their far worst then average. If the film had been plot driven I may have been able to forgive this flaw to an extent, but as good as the plot is they decided instead to make the film character driven. Wataru himself is your stereotypical male lead from any old anime film. I you've been watching anime for a while you'll know his type; young, handsome, impulsive, moralistic, and extremely stupid. In his defense he's still smarter then the mindless cannibals running around, but by our standards he's dumb as a brick. Oh I'm not talking about his lack of knowledge, I can certainly understand why he doesn't know a lot of things, I'm talking about his lack of common sense. Really, who gives a gun to a cannibalistic savage? You guessed it, Wataru does. Yeah stupid, nets just wait until he decides to turn it on his little tribe.

Sophie, his companion, isn't much better, and neither are any of the supporting casts, such as they were made up of mostly crazies. More stereotypes.

The biggest disappointment though was that the plot was barely fleshed out. The film got bogged down in these silly mini stories that it lost focus on the overall theme of the film. What is humanity? What drives us to do what we do? How would a world such as this look like? Wataru starts out on a journey to discover answers philosophers have been arguing about for centuries but gives up quickly saying "it's too complicated for me." You have got to be kidding me. A film with so much promise to dig deep into the human mind and really examine what it is to be human and they decide to make it about car chases and scantly clad women. Give. Me. A. Brake. Like I said, no imagination.

SPOILERS.
And don't even get me started on the end. It wasn't that big of a shocker to figure out aliens were responsible for the amnesia and that Sophie was one of them, but when she tells him (Wataru) that her people destroyed the world and might not give them back their memories he just sat there. Didn't get mad, didn't want to kill her or rip her head off, just asked why and when she told him they don't even know he just sat there. *sigh* how unrealistic. And then the, uhh, love scene at the end was completely unnecessary, not to mention random and unexpected. I'm telling you it came out of absolutely nowhere as if the creators just wanted to "spice it up" a little bit. It was stupid, didn't add anything at all to the film, and was out of place. Bad idea.

I'm a sucker for apocalyptic films such as this; unfortunately though most turn out to be pretty awful, this one included. Two stars for an interesting idea and a good beginning and nothing else. Beginning good, middle bad, ending HORRIBLE!

Replay value; VERY low.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And wherever you go you will teach men what they've forgotten.", October 26, 2007
By 
iansomniak (USA, Planet Earth) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
In the late 1990's, the Amnesia Wind swept over the entire Earth, and all at once nearly every man, woman and child on the planet forgot EVERYTHING. They forgot who they were and who their families were. They forgot how to speak their languages and operate their machines. They forgot their art and their music, their literature and their philosophy. In an instant, all of mankind's accumulated knowledge was quite literally gone with the wind; and they were reduced to primitive savages, governed only by instinct. The doctors and scientists at a military research facility in Montana were no exception. They, too, lost their minds and soon fell victim to the human weapons they had created. However, their most important experiment, Johnny the wheelchair-bound boy genius, was immune to the effects of the cruel autumn breeze thanks to the computer they had implanted in his fertile brain. Poor Johnny--possibly the only person in existence who was able to understand the horror of his plight--was on his own, with nothing but his trusty Magnum to protect him from the mindless, telekinetic bullies that roamed the grisly, corpse-strewn grounds of the abandoned base. Then, one fateful day, a cerebrally-challenged teenager with a penchant for eating white roses wandered into Johnny's life and helped him fend off a vicious psychic attack from a wire-laden, speedo-clad giant. Johnny thanked the stupefied young man by introducing him to the memory refilling helmet in the facility's still-functioning laboratory. After his first session beneath Johnny's magic helmet, the dark-haired flower-taster's previously vacuous cranium was replenished with just enough knowledge to allow Johnny to begin teaching him some of the things he knew before the malevolent zephyr stole his cognizance. The immobilized instructor named his student Wataru--which is a Japanese word meaning `to go from place to place'--and, after countless days of intensive training, sent him off on a mission to travel all over the world in a jeep and try to help humankind relearn what the wind had made them forget. "You alone can look back on history and show man where their empty ambitions led," Johnny told his eager pupil, "You alone must teach them new aims, new desires...to take them in a new direction, where they will achieve what they are capable of."

Eventually, Wataru's epic journey took him to San Francisco, where he witnessed an unfortunate group of feral citizens being mercilessly slaughtered by the blazing canons of a swift-footed mechanized beast with a lifeless skeleton locked in its olive-colored cockpit. An artificial vociferation of the words, "You're under arrest," emanated loudly from the metal fiend as it turned from the bloodbath to face Wataru, who stood watching with a single teardrop rolling down his youthful cheek. Suddenly, the dreadful thing opened fire and, almost simultaneously, the red-headbanded traveler jumped nimbly into his army jeep and backed out of the dark, smoky alleyway, tires squealing. The maniacal hunk of mecha pursued him, and as he clutched Johnny's pistol in his gloved hands, a feminine voice sounded from under a nearby `Thrifty' billboard, "Aim for the turret, that's the nerve center!" Wataru took the advice without questioning who was offering it, and the evil machine was soon enveloped in an explosive crash.

When the smoke cleared, Wataru's battle-weary eyes beheld a vision of loveliness by the name of Sophia. Long white hair, highlighted with shades of lavender, flowed over her pale shoulders, which were exposed above an ankle-length black gown. Like Johnny, Sophia had not been effected by the Amnesia Wind, but Wataru did not know why, and Sophia did not volunteer an explanation. The alabaster-skinned beauty informed Wataru that the thing that had attacked him and the others was a Guardian--the relentless enforcer of an authority that had longed ceased to exist. The Guardian's creators had programmed it to continue to function even after its human controller had died of thirst and starvation in the wake of the wind's devastation. The ruthless robotic hunter had also been equipped with a computerized self-repair program, and its newly-formed objective to seek and destroy Wataru was likely to resume shortly...and continue, unstoppably, until it accomplished its terrible goal.....

`A Wind Named Amnesia' is a riveting anime masterpiece with a deep and powerful story, appealing character designs and animation, and a nice ending song. The DVD picture is a little soft, and the pan shots are noticeably jerky, but overall it looks okay. The only extras on the disc are two sets of film clips titled "Meet the Mecha" and "Meet the Cast," and the usual trailers for other shows. Don't be fooled by the misleading '13 and up' tag on the back of the case--one scene at the end of this movie definitely warrants an R rating.

"In our hands we now hold the key to the doorway leading to the future. Gotta turn yesterday's pain into strength to go on"
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, January 6, 2002
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
This is the most thought-provoking anime I've seen. It boldly goes where no anime has gone before. It goes beyond futuristic pinnochio themes, beyond emotional conflicts. The movie sets itself in a unique (and already thought-provoking) situation that allows it to examine some of the finer aspects of humanity.
Some anime are created because they're funny, action-packed, have a beautiful character, or because they're well drawn. Kazuo Yamazaki (the director) has created a thoughtful artistic masterpiece.
This movie is great for anyone in the mood to think.
Animation = C
Character design = B
Voices = B
Music = B-
Storyline = A+++
Overall = A
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly 'okay...', April 26, 2007
By 
Michael Gmirkin (Beaverton, Oregon, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
What can I say, it was 'okay.' I don't know that I'd describe it as the 'masterpiece' some have claimed it to be. But, on the other hand, it's better than some other anime schlock I've seen recently. Somehow, the end seemed anti-climactic and a bit 'odd' (aside from the nudity that didn't really appear to serve any purpose, which was also odd fan-service in my opinion).

The story itself was interesting enough, and the animation was alright. It was an overly-action oriented story (there was a little, but it was peripheral to the story). I guess it's one of those "classic" bits that's hard to categorize. I'd say it's worth getting and watching. Maybe a rental unless you find yourself really "into to." Of course, for the price (~$10), you might as well buy it (only a few bucks more than renting, and you can re-sell it if you want to).

So, kind of a mixed bag. I gave it 4 stars because it was interesting and 'above average' with decent animation. Can't give it 5 stars, however, on account of it was a bit odd and the ending didn't quite seem 'complete'. To each their own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It stays with you, October 27, 2007
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
This is one of those movies that you don't quite realize how good it is until it's over and you can't stop thinking about it. It really stays with you. What if everyone lost their memories? It captures a fragment in time very well. It's not meant go into details about every character or tell you the whole story. A lot is left to the imagination. I thought it ended how it should, I didn't feel cheated. You have to think. During the slow points in the film it can be amusing to think things like, gosh darn it, here we are in 2007 and we STILL don't have building wrecking machines that shoot laser beams! What's up with that?!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing tale of what would happen if......, January 12, 2000
By 
Jim Beam (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
What would happen if every single human being on this planet were to lose their memory? What would happen if that event took place all over the globe at the same time? Now, how would you like to be the only one with your memory still intact and explore the world that has gone back to intellectual stone-age?
This Anime is not perfect. However, the story itself presents so much possibility that one cannot expect a perfect translation of such theme. And in my opinion, this Anime does an admirable job dealing with such ambiguity, brining out one solid interpretation that we can experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it was a nice break from all the blood and gore., September 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Wind Named Amnesia (DVD)
after watching all the guts being ripped out or heads being cut off its nice to sit back and enjoy a movie that makes you think and has depth to it
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A Wind Named Amnesia
A Wind Named Amnesia by Kazuo Yamazaki (DVD - 1999)
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