Be prepared for my bitterness is incoming! So here we have an anime that’s supposed to be horror/thriller/romance, I went into this thinking this is gonna be great! It’s got ghosts, bit of lovin’ and even the name Dusk Maiden sounds all creepy and cool, although sometimes I read it as dust maiden and think of Cinderella…. Anyway, where could it go wrong? Well settle your butts and I will tell you. Dusk Maiden is about a group of high school students dicking around for 13 episodes with minimal creepy horror action 😡 Also spoilers!!!
The main plot is about a high school boy named Teiichi finding, while wandering through his creepy old school, a ghost girl named Yuuko. This girl has no recollection of her previous life and death and basically asks him to help run a paranormal investigation club to help her find out the truth. Along the way two other characters are introduced, a girl named Momoe who joins the investigation club, with no awareness of any ghosts and develops a crush on Teiichi and Kirie who is Yuuko’s grand-niece, who also has a crush on Teiichi… Is anyone sensing a pattern here?! *grumble grumble*
Now after researching this more, I did find out that it is categorised as a Shonen so I am going to forgive the really out of place boobage gropes and more ecchi parts as it’s kinda to be expected. I’m also not prudish when it comes to ecchi but although Yuuko is quite flirty it just seems really forced and pandering rather than flowing naturally with the sweet romance this is pretending to be, I see what you’re doing Dusk Maiden! You can’t fool me!
Jeez what can I say about Teiichi? He’s the average nice guy who just goes along with what anyone says for fear of actually having to make a decision in his life. Along the way he falls in love with Yuuko for some reason, I mean she is a sparkly hot ghost girl so can’t really blame him but he’s just kinda there to be nice to all the girls and drive the plot.
Now at least Yuuko has a little more complexity, she’s full of life (despite being a ghosty), flirtatious, a prankster as well as a little childish and jealous. I liked her alive version more because she had some guts and stood up to people, during most of the series she just kinda tantrums around and teases Teiichi.
Momoe is so little of a character I barely remember her, shes happy go lucky and genuinely wants to help Teiichi find the mystery behind Yuuko, despite never seeing her and Yuuko hating her for any time she gets close to Teiichi.
Kirie had potential, she also is able to see Yuuko and at first sees her as definitely more hideous and evil looking, even convincing Teiichi to see her that way to protect him, but his blandness can’t tolerate such exciting views so poof she’s back to hot lady. I feel Kirie’s character was a little wasted, she came across as aloof and stoic but then rapidly fell into an inferiority complex from Yuuko’s hotness and that was that, she did occasionally slap sense back into Teiichi which I appreciated as I questioned my life choices.
What annoys me about this anime is well it’s just dull. Maybe it’s my fault as I kinda went into it expecting a different flavour of ghost each episode and in the end Yuuko is the only ghost and she’s just a hot chick. But all is not lost! Maybe the thriller/mystery part is good? Nope its kinda just your standard sacrificial douchery, she isn’t even that angry with the people who did it to her, and they broke her leg and literally left her to die in the dark of dehydration. Ok so the only thing that can save this is that juicy sweet romance that is the main driving force, and that falls flat too, it’s just kinda meh. Yeah he touched your boobs a few times but jeez he didn’t even see half of you till the end of the series girl!
I should probably elaborate, when Yuuko died she split herself into one side that had all the memories, sadness, anger and generally all the nasty things, then there is the Yuuko we see who gets to exist happily with no anger but no memories either. This is where I really started loathing this anime, so the ‘dark’ Yuuko decides as they get closer to the truth that she doesn’t want to carry this burden alone and wants to reconnect herself, yes this will be painful and involve moving on but it seems perfectly fair considering this part of herself has been living in agony this entire time. Now our Yuuko naturally doesn’t want to do this because it would be painful, ok still understandable but good lord do they treat dark Yuuko like she just wiped her butt on the carpet. Teiichi really took the cake actually trying to stop dark Yuuko like “no my yuuko is good leave her alone” or some such nonsense, and dark Yuuko points out the fact that if he loves Yuuko so much he should also love her as they are the same person. Well it sort of gets resolved but it still irks me as its was kinda like saying yeah but I like my Yuuko never feeling a full spectrum of emotion so can you just keep suffering, k thanks.
Even the ending kicked me right in the face, I saw it coming a mile off but it had to tease me by pretending to do the yep she’s a ghost has to move on thing before giggling and saying nah just kidding she can stay and you can also touch her isn’t that convenient!
The only good things I can say about this is the art and music were beautiful, they really wanted to sell Yuuko to you and she absolutely has the best design and most work put it, the song Requiem by Nao Hiiragi is also beautiful so at least I got something out of it. Also the one episode showing Yuuko’s past was pretty ok, and captured the atmosphere I thought the whole anime would have. My recommendation is to stick requiem on, get a picture of Yuuko and have a good time for like 4 minutes, then you can avoid all my anguish. Now I’m going to find more bizarre things to watch.