Also known as Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi (Daughters of Mnemosyne) and marketed in the United States as Rin -Daughters of Mnemosyne-, Mnemosyne is a six episode anime television series and light novel produced by Xebec that follows private investigator Rin Asougi, an immortal woman, as she takes odd jobs and tries to avoid the mysterious connections to her past.All in all, the series is a total seinen bait, featuring nigh everything older male audiences' hearts may desire: cute girls, respectable guys, Mind Screw of a plot, alcohol and blood in equal proportions, a considerable amount of Girls Love... and both types of sex, take your pick. And all of the above without ever going over the top with it. Be prepared to wince a couple of times, though.Often confused for an OVA, thanks to its risque content, monthly airing rate, and modest episode number, when, in fact, it airs on AT-X network, whose tenth anniversary it was to commemorate.
All Myths Are True: The story of Tajimamori, based on an actual Japanese legend (except that he searched for Mandarin oranges and not time spores) and considering the nature of the Guardian's castle, the story about the traveler, too.
Bad Santa: Though Laura doesn't plan on stealing Christmas, she doesblow up an apartment building and shoot Rin while wearing a Santa outfit, even shouting "Hohoho, Merry Christmas" while she's at it.
Bait-and-Switch Credits: The last portion of the opening credits shows Rin, alone and in the buff, leaning on a pillar in the middle of mossy ruins, with a swarm of angels descending on her in a buildup to a Bolivian Army Ending. This never happens, since the closest thing to that doesn't happen amidst ruins - the castle is still very intact - and Rin is screwing Tajimamori; therefore, she is neither alone nor standing.
Blind Without 'Em: Episode one hints that Rin had eye problems when she became immortal (and thus, can never be cured), so now she's forced to replace her Stoic Spectacles whenever they're destroyed. She seems to be able to see reasonably without them, but they're always the first things she goes for when retrieving her clothing.
Body Horror: The potent-and-bloody yet seamless blend of death and sexuality in Mnemosyne would make HR Giger himself proud.
Bound and Gagged: Episode 1, Rin is strapped down and tortured by Sayara. Episode 3, Rin is bound to the handrails of sinking ship. Episode 6, Rin is chained to a table and ball-gagged in front of a chained Angel by Laura. Then there is Apos' torture victim in various episodes.
And let's not forget Tajimamori himself, who gets stabbed by Apos while they're making out.
Chains Of Love: With the "love" being used in the most ironic sense possible.
Chekhov's Boomerang: A rather interesting case in episode three is that what the gun actually is isn't shown at all, and is only hinted at until The Reveal. Shuggo's Time Spore is kept in a jewelry case next to some pictures of him. After Maeno leaves to save Rin, all that's shown is the empty case, though from the shape of the cushion, it becomes evident that whatever was in there was small and round. It's eventually used again when Rin takes it from Mishio... and EATS IT.
Contrived Coincidence: As of episode five, Rin and Mimi have gotten involved with three generations of Maeno. Then again, it might not be coincidental, as Rin has been acting as Teruki's Mysterious Protector ever since his father died. A more proper example would be Rin finding Maeno's Time Spore after getting shredded by a jet engine and spending 25 years at the bottom of the sea.
Naturally, it's no coincidence, since all Maenos are direct descendants of Tajimamori, Rin's immortal secret benefactor and lover (let alone, the former Guardian of Yggdrassil).
Dressing as the Enemy: But not for the purpose of disguise; Rin's hospital gown gets completely destroyed when she's trapped in a facility in one episode, so she borrows the clothes of one of the two guards who she just killed. It fits surprisingly well.
The Faceless: Tajimamori, the as-of-episode-4 unnamed man with a beard shown in the opening and closing credits. Is also He Who Must Not Be Seen when it is revealed that he is the person that Rin is always talking to on the phone. We get a full view of his face in episode five.
Goo Goo God Like: Rin's son, who is a more subtle example. Instead of being all powerful, he is the first of a bloodline of humans who will be directly connected to Yggdrasil.
Gorn: The stuff that happens to Rin is at times quite gruesome.
Gory Discretion Shot: Which actually makes it worse in a few cases. Surprisingly used often considering how violent this show is overall.
Götterdämmerung: By episode five, Laura has hunted the immortals down to near extinction, Yggdrasil hasn't made an appearance in thirty years, and Apos even mocks Tajimamori in his own room, calling him a 'former god'.
Subverted when Mimi also pulls one of these, only to be saved by the person she was trying to save in the first place.
Hermaphrodite: Apos, as it's his way of being both an angel and an immortal so he can be a Guardian, and he quite clearly identifies as male. But despite popular Fanon, this isn't the case with Tajimamori, an angel, who eats empty time spores to stay immortal, or with Rin, an immortal, who can grow wings once she becomes a Guardian.
He Who Must Not Be Seen: The person Rin talks to on the phone in every episode. Eventually revealed to be Tajimamori, The Faceless man with a beard from the credits. He was the Guardian of Yggdrasil, at least until Apos replaced him.
Immortality Hurts: Seriously. The tagline for the English release of Mnemosyne even said, "It only hurts forever."
Immortality Inducer: Any female who happens to get in contact with a Time Spore becomes immortal. This also applies to dogs, apparently. Furthermore, a recurring theme throughout the series is how humanity in general craves it.
Inside a Computer System: Deconstructed. '2.0' is highly addictive, and when it's introduced in episode 4, people can be seen lying around on sidewalks like a bunch of hobos while plugged into the network.
Mayfly-December Romance: Present (or at least Mayfly December UST), but it doesn't really come up. Thanks to the time scale of the series, mortals age and die, but nobody ever dwells on it.
Meaningful Name: With a little knowledge of japanese, the Maeno (前, "in front of", 埜, "field, wilderness") family names suddenly start to make sense in context:
Maeno Kouki (前埜光輝): "Brightness of the Field Before You"
Maeno Yuki (前埜有紀): "Chronicle of the Existence of the Field Before You"
Maeno Teruki (前埜輝紀): "Chronicle of the Radiance/Shine of the Field Before You"
Maeno Mishio (前埜美汐): "Beauty of the Tide of the Field Before You"
Considering how closely tied to Rin's character and destiny the Maeno family ends up being, it's interesting to notice their names all correlate the owners to some important event or situation in Rin's life similar to what their name implies (Kouki showing Rin the bright side of life, Yuki raising Teruki alone, with Teruki later proving to be the initial trigger to Rin recovering her memories, and Mishio awakening Rin to the new and beautiful experience of parenthood). It's also interesting to note how the first kanji in their family name is precisely the kanji to indicate something in front of something else, alluding to the fact that they were always beside Rin, partly because of their destiny as descendants of Tajimamori.
Meganekko: Rin. Even though she very much subverts the "timid" meganekko stereotype, when she is nice she can also be a genuinely sweet, if not downright cute person.
Apos is maleandfemale, thus making him/her/it both an Angel and an Immortal.
No Name Given: Though a university lecture in episode five hints on the identity and name of the bearded man who Rin talks to on the phone Once an Episode, it's only revealed in episode six.
Also, Apos' immortal 'opponent' whenever he's playing chess. In episode five, it's hinted that she is actually Laura, and that the Laura that tries to kill Rin Once an Episode is in fact, an android being remote-controlled by her.
The show loves toying with this: none of the informants were ever named on-screen, and Laura's name is only given in episode six (unless you watched the trailer or the credits).
Not Quite Dead: Presumably, unless their Time Spores are eaten/stepped on/whatever, immortals can regenerate entirely from just them. This probably explains how Rin survived after what happened in Episode five. Angels aren't so lucky, though.
The immortal who survives a nuclear explosion at ground zero in episode six.
Number One Dime: Yuki's Brother's Time Spore, which eventually becomes Maeno's Time Spore, which is eventually lost, and then later found by Rin when she washes up on the beach. Subverted in that even if she didn't forget everything, she probably wouldn't even know that the two of them were connected. Then again, it could probably be just some Angel Time Spore that fell into the water.
When Rin eats the time spore in episode 6, it's revealed that the spore was indeed Maeno's Time Spore and not just some random spore.
Oh Crap: Sayara gets three in a row. The first when Rin appears, unharmed, in Sayara's office after being tortured to death, the second when Rin gets up again after being shot to death, and the third when she hears a knock at the door and runs out of the room...into a mob of the zombies she created.
Ominous Latin Chanting: It's only soft, but since it was combined with the Ominous Pipe Organ, the Ominous Latin Chanting pretty much punctuates and intensifies the disturbing atmosphere of Apos raping Mimi while she is chained and nailed to a stone lamp post, revealing himself to be a hermaphrodite, and using Rin's own hand to dig her Time Spore out of her,all in the span of three minutes.
Once an Episode: Rin, Mimi, and vodka threesome. This is not the case in episode five and seems, um, unlikely to be thus in episode six...
Not to mention Rin getting maimed/killed, which is actually closer to thrice an episode on average. Also, Rin talking to He Who Must Not Be Seen on the phone even after she gets amnesia. Though in that case, it was more of the phone line opening up so that He Who Must Not Be Seen can listen to her voice like some stalker.
Yggdrasil showing up and shedding some Time Spores, with Rin and/or Mimi staring at the event for a couple of seconds. Averted in episode five, where the tree is only mentioned as a rumor/seen in the credits, and the only time spores shown are either from immortals, or already in the hands of Apos. Episode six makes this a borderline case. Five out of six ain't so bad, is it?
Our Presidents Are Different: In this case, we have a President Buffoon, who allows Apos to manipulate him into starting some kind of war involving time spores. It was completely irrelevant to the plot, however, and it's only briefly mentioned in the epilogue that America has fallen into civil war.
Out-Gambitted: When Apos has Laura killed when she tries to mess up his plan by attempting to feed Rin's time spore to angels.
Playing with Syringes: Sayara's cloning and immortality project. When she's not just doing it for fun, that is.
Razor Floss: Yet another piece of Rin's arsenal of concealable weapons.
Really 700 Years Old: May be literally so with some of the girls. Rin at one time even says that it has been centuries since she had a lover (although it also raises the question what Mimi is to her then). In fact, Rin is at least, a thousand years old in episode six while Mimi can't be much older than one and a half centuries - at the time Rin met her, she was already wearing her trademark killer suit which only went into fashion in the 20th century. That, and Mimi didn't know the person Rin met back in WWII.
Running Gag: Every episode but 5 has Rin wake up with a splitting headache (Usually a hangover) and yelling at Mimi to get her some water. Mimi brings her a bottle of vodka instead.
Mimi:Come on, vodka means water in Russian, you know.
Save Point: Essentially how immortality works. Once a Time Spore enters your body, it records your physical condition at the time and then 'reloads' it whenever you're injured/killed/get a haircut/whatever.
A partial example would be Mimi using a Kill Sat. Guns don't really get much bigger than that...
Spoiler Opening: Subverted by the Root of Yggdrasil. Although in the opening credits, it appears with Rin, Mimi, and Laura at the top, it's Apos and Laura who end up topping it off. We also see all of the Maenos, as well as Sayara and both of the informants, however none of these really register until you've seen them in the episodes proper.
Laura's standard outfit is a black catsuit, but it's not particularly tight, so it's more badass than fanservicey. (Except for one brief, inexplicable shot where it was unzipped enough to show off her cleavage.)
Strapped to an Operating Table: Someone gets tied to something nearly Once an Episode. Most notably, Rin is strapped to a chair and tortured in episode 1, and vivisected on an operating table in episode 3, both times by Sayara.
Episode 4: Ruon straps Teruki to a table. Episode 5: Apos chains Mimi to a rock. Episode 6: the Yggdrasil roots try to do this to Rin inside the egg.
Subverted on one occasion. Rin runs away after seeing Laura's explosive vest, so Laura simply takes it off and throws it after her.
Technology Marches On: Played for laughs in Episode 2, where Mimi retorts Koki's remark about screwing up a computer job by saying "This is a top of the line 16-bit 40MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM with a 300MB hard drive with all the bells and whistles."
Techno Wizard: Mimi has claimed to be capable of hacking into the CIA, MI6, and Special Forces Section II. Furthermore, in episode six, she hacks into a Kill Sat belonging to Teruki's company and tries to stop Apos with it.
Time Skip: Happens Once an Episode. Considering Rin and Mimi are immortal, it's not surprising that the series took place over a period of 65 years, with the epilogue taking place at least nine months after the climax.
Turbine Blender: Rin lands inside a running airplane engine in episode four. Her last thoughts are "This may be too much even for me." Though, of course, she gets better... after 20 years of continuous regeneration.
Unknown Rival: While Laura goes Psycho Lesbian with her obsession with Rin and spends considerable amounts of time thinking about how to kill her, the latter considers her nothing more than a nuisance.
Wham Episode: 4 already had some serious wham moments, but they upped the ante in 5. A lot.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Amongst other catches, when you become immortal, your current physical state is sort of recorded, and you will forever return to it. Bad vision? You can't fix it with surgery. Virginity? You will be deflowered each time. Dying of grievous wounds in extreme pain? Yeah.
Though Rin and Mimi don't seem to mind and find odd jobs to do to pass the time.
Why Won't You Die?: Laura has done everything in her field of expertise to kill Rin, from blowing her to pieces with a shotgun, to doing a Taking You with Me with a claymore mine, to using high-tech large-bore bullets, to pouring acid on her. By the fifth episode, she even admits to have become obsessed with figuring out how to kill her.
A Wizard Did It (how did Rin regenerate from a single time spore within a few days? Yggdrasil did it!)
Might not count, since this was stated outright and was important for several other scenes.
The World Tree: Yggdrasil, source of Time Spores, is visible in the opening credits as an ominous background entity that easily dwarfs Tokyo skyscrapers.
Would Hit a Girl: Everyone, really. Of course, half of the hitters are women themselves.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Teruki's blonde hair is presumably a dye job, and Ruon's orange hair is justified since she exists in Cyberspace and uses a gynoid body in the real world, but there's no explanation for Rin or Mimi, whose hair is green and lavender respectively.