Visual Novel: True Remembrance
This is a story about little occurences in a little town. When they met in 8th Street, a story had already begun.
A humble Visual Novel
first released in 2003 by Satomi Shiba. It was subsequently given an Updated Re-release
, and the online visual novel localization group Insani created an English version in 2008. This adaptation was done with continuous help and input from the creator, making it unusual even by Insani's standards of creator-sanctioned works. The Insani adaptation can be found here
, and is very highly recommended.
The story of True Remembrance
is deceptively simple: Twenty Minutes into the Future
, the world has fallen to a pandemic of super-depression known as the Dolor, which eats away the affected's mind in a process called Psyche Corrosion, eventually leading to suicide. The only known cure is difficult and scarce; the only way to cure situational depression, after all, is to help those who suffer it past the memories causing it, or to destroy those memories completely
. The government has decided that the latter option is faster, and cultivated a group of people called Mnemonicides ("memory killers") who can induce amnesia in their patients through a long treatment process, thus removing the Dolor and ending the Psyche Corrosion.
Mnemonicides are scarce, and they work in one sleepy, snowy town, where their patients ("Guests") are sent. The waiting list to get into this town is long, but the town itself is so cut off from the outside world that all that seems to matter is what happens inside it.True Remembrance
is the everyday yet remarkable story of a Mnemonicide named Blackiris and his Guest, an extraordinary young girl named La.
It also has an eShop release
for the Nintendo 3DS
, but currently only in Japan
True Remembrance provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Most characters have unusual names, however ordinary ones pop up like Irina, Dexter and Marcello. The unusual ones are La, Blackiris, Rook, Lips and Analye.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted: illustrated characters only ever face one way, leading to confusion when they're talking to each other while looking in different directions.
- Amnesiac Lover: Maria.
- A Day in the Limelight: La and Rook both get chapters from their point of view.
- Artistic License – Medicine: La is diagnosed has having a cold and prescribed antibiotics.
- This is actually a little case of Truth in Television especially in the upper rungs of the developing countries, where physicians often do this for profit (antibiotics, even generic ones, are more expensive compared to analgesics). Though cold (or influenza-like symptoms) can be caused by bacteria, it is generally bad practice to sic antibiotics on anything resembling it until a cause can be pinpointed. Even then, if the symptoms doesn't worsen over a period of time, it's still better to let the body recover on its own, with the help of analgesics and antipyretics if necessary.
- Beta Couple: Rook and Lips.
- Blank Slate: The Omega Mnemonicide children.
- Chekhov's Gun: Oh so many. Almost every single line of dialogue or description, especially the ones that seem little more than offhand, references some part of a character's history.
- The "kitten" that Blackiris once took care of and mentions throughout the story turns out to be La all along, who Blackiris compared to and remembered as a cat in his past years as a Mnemonicide.
- There are also a few actual guns.
- Crapsack World: Implied; the world outside of the town isn't shown much, but when suicide is the leading cause of death there's not many other conclusions to be drawn...
- Crapsaccharine World: The crapsack outside is literally meant to be forgotten inside the snowy little town, and to be fair it's easy to overlook the bleakness of the backstory as the overwhelming cuteness of Blackiris and La's relationship takes the spotlight, but there's clearly some nasty stuff bubbling beneath the surface, even in this supposed place of healing. Naturally, it boils over.
- Cutesy Dwarf: La is really tiny. The manual says she's 17, but you wouldn't know that from looking.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Most of the characters have one as a reason for their Dolor.
- Deadpan Snarker: Blackiris somehow manages to skate the line between this and The Comically Serious; he makes humorous asides while narrating, but (mostly) manages to stay completely serious in his actions.
- Death by Despair: Analye
- Does Not Like Spam: La, for no apparent reason at all, dislikes carrots.
- Carrots are to Japanese children as spinach is to European kids. See the Picky Eater page for more details on that.
- Driven to Suicide: Often, the end result of the Dolor.
- Fish out of Water: La is completely unfamiliar with many basic aspects of modern life. Blackiris tacks it down to her being from a rich family; the truth is far more complex.
- Hair Decorations: Used for two Heartwarming Moments.
- Heartbroken Badass: Blackiris. While in Mnemonicide training, Dexter removed all of his girlfriend's memories of him.
- The Illegal: Irina. Also La, in the flashback.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: A very important plot point.
- Local Hangout: Cafe AROMA.
- Locked into Strangeness: La's hair used to be black. It turned white after she absorbed Analye's memories upon his death.
- Meaningful Name: All Mnemonicides go by a name that has some indication of their powers. This is a very, very important plot point. Though Blackiris' power wasn't proved to be truly from eye contact, La's is definitely from her singing.
- Mind Screw
- Naïve Newcomer: La.
- No Name Given: La, initially.
- Every character is only called by one name, and it's unclear whether it's this or Only One Name.
- Older Than They Look: La is seventeen, although she looks all of twelve years old. Her complete lack of knowledge about the outside world doesn't help.
- Only One Name: La, possibly all the mnemonicides.
- Perpetual Frowner: Blackiris.
- Rank Inflation: Mnemonicides are ranked from Class Epsilon (lowest) to Class Alpha (highest). Blackiris is an Alpha. Then there's Class Omega, which is even higher than Alpha, but they're said to be so rare as to be practically nonexistent.
- Required Secondary Powers: Actually a later plot point. To erase somebody's memories, Mnemonicides have to see them first. In this way, memories aren't really destroyed so much as transferred.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Marcello. A fifteen year old rich kid wanting all of his memories erased? Okaaaaay...
- Shout-Out: One part of town is likened to a maze of twisty passages, all alike.
- Snow Means Love: Blackiris meets La in the snow. As the two main heroes of the story, the implications are obvious.
- Take That: While rare, there are a few throwaway jokes that can't be anything else but this:
- I turned around and... well, you know the face a normal person makes when confronted with that awful tangle of noise and assorted animal entrails called Christian Death Metal? That was the exact expression she had plastered to her face.
- Terse Talker: La, which only makes her seem more like a fish out of water. And then when Analye is introduced in flashbacks, he speaks in a similar manner...
- The Plague: The Dolor is a rare purely psychological variety. Not much is explained about it, however.
- The Reveal
- There Is Only One Bed: This catches La offguard as early as the first chapter. Blackiris didn't anticipate this problem, as normally Guests are assigned to Guides of the same gender. Blackiris's Deadpan Snarker tendencies lead to a highly amusing exchange before he finally insists on sleeping on the sofa. As it turns out, La was never "assigned" to Blackiris in the first place.note
- Title Drop: "This is my true remembrance." Or, alternatively, the title of the last chapter is true remembrance.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future
- Uncanny Village: The town is basically one big psychiatric ward.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Blackiris and Rook.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: This game really rides on the characters' relationships and histories with each other. If you have any questions about the setting or people who aren't strongly tied into the main plot, those questions will remain forever unanswered.