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Series / The Memorandum of Kyōko Okitegami

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For Kyōko, there is only today.

The Memorandum of Kyōko Okitegami (掟上今日子の備忘録)note  is a Japanese mystery TV series that aired in 2015, based on the light novel series The Forgetful Detective by NisiOisiN.

Yakusuke Kakushidate (Masaki Okada) is a man literally born into misfortune. At every job he has, he always falls into compromising situations that end with him being falsely accused and ultimately fired. When the private detective he usually employs decides to retire, during yet another predicament, he hires the beautiful and mysterious detective Kyōko Okitegami (Yui Aragaki). She is a talented investigator and always guarantees a quick resolution, but she can only take cases that can be solved in one day due to her unusual condition — whenever she falls asleep, she completely forgets everything about the previous day.

Yakusuke has gotten used to his bad luck and has learned not to expect too much out of his daily life. But after meeting Kyōko, his perspective slowly starts to change... even though Kyōko's memory doesn't.

The tropes continue...

  • Amnesia Loop: In the ninth episode, Kyōko is tasked to solve a case at an office in which a man was murdered and wrote a code in blood before dying. It's later revealed that Kyōko had already solved the case some time ago, but she has no memory of doing so. The man who hired her says she arrived at her conclusion in exactly the same way as well.
  • Amnesiac Heroine: Similar to the girl from 50 First Dates, Kyōko can only remember her past up to a certain point, and cannot remember anything beyond that, with her memory resetting after she sleeps. Unlike the aforementioned movie, though, the incident that caused Kyōko's amnesia remains a mystery.
  • And the Adventure Continues: After Yakusuke rescues Kyōko, she asks him to woo her again from the beginning. She resumes her life at Sandglass as well as her detective work, and Yakusuke tries to start a relationship with her all over again.
  • Art Shift: The series is fond of using photo-animation scenes for exposition, which keeps things interesting.
  • Badass Bookworm: Kyōko enjoys reading mystery novels, particularly those of her favorite author Hirube Sunaga.
  • Born Unlucky: Yakusuke. His name literally means "trouble."
  • Broken Ace: Kyōko is an undeniably talented detective, but not only can she not remember any day before the present, she doesn't even know why she's a detective, or what her birth name was.
  • Catchphrase: When Kyōko is about to solve her case, and Yakusuke asks her if she's come to a conclusion, she usually answers him with "Yes, although it's presumptuous."
  • Chekhov's Gun: The book Yakusuke started writing in the seventh episode. When Kyōko is kidnapped and loses all memory of being Kyōko Okitegami, she finds a printed copy after breaking into his house, which allows her to come back to herself after reading it.
  • Clear My Name: Yakusuke frequently winds up falsely accused, after which he has to hire Kyōko in order to vindicate himself.
  • Credits Gag: The episodes usually end a screen saying "To be continued..." after which more words appear, "...however, her memory doesn't." The last episode changes it up with the words, "It continues forever. However, her memory doesn't... ?"
  • Electrified Bathtub: The mystery in the second episode involves a man who died in this manner.
  • Evolving Credits: After the title screen, the next scene shows Kyōko and Yakusuke standing beside each other. The way they interact changes as they grow closer to each other throughout the series, from barely acknowledging the other person, to trying to catch looks, and eventually arm-in-arm. In the last episode, however, Yakusuke is alone due to Kyōko having gone missing in the previous episode.
  • The Exotic Detective: Kyōko Okitegami, the white-haired forgetful detective.
  • Funny Background Event: In several scenes throughout the series, there are several times where people are practicing martial arts in the background; usually Makuru and Nuru inside the Sandglass café.
  • Human Notepad: If Kyōko wants to recall something important for when she wakes up, she uses a marker to write on her arms or thighs.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: At the end of the seventh episode, inspired by the character that the mystery novel writer Hirube Sunaga wrote in his books, Yakusuke decides to write a book containing his memories with Kyōko, so that he can remember for her.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: During the tenth episode, Kyōko becomes "Satomi" after being kidnapped, and all traces of Kyōko Okitegami have been erased on her body. When Yakusuke meets the man who claims to be her former fiancé, and sees that Kyōko seems to be content in her new life, he simply wishes for her happiness before saying goodbye. Later, it turns out that Kyōko stopped sleeping after that in an effort to discover her former self, and particularly to be with Yakusuke again.
  • Identity Amnesia: Kyōko doesn't know what name she was born with.
  • Jack of All Trades: Yakusuke has become this due to his peculiar and diverse employment record. He has picked up several useful skills from his many jobs that come in handy at several points in the series.
  • Left Hanging: We never find out who wrote the message on Kyōko's ceiling, nor the incident that caused her amnesia in the first place.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: In a certain sense, Kyōko can be considered this to Yakusuke. Particularly, Kyōko's bittersweet life as a forgetful detective helps Yakusuke gain a new perspective on his supposedly bad luck, and Kyōko's somewhat cynical outlook contrasts with his more idealistic side.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In the ninth episode, a man claiming to be Kyōko's former fiancé has her solve a mystery for him, which turns out to be an old case that she already solved once before. It's later revealed that he was the culprit from back then, and he then kidnaps Kyōko as part of a shady business deal.
  • Meaningful Name: Both leads have particularly appropriate names.
    • Kyōko's name is written in Japanese as 今日子. The word 今日 means "today," and 子 can be translated as "child," so her name means "child of today," which befits someone who can only remember one day at a time, or in other words, is reborn with every new day. After the seventh episode, even her family name Okitegami also takes on a new meaning: 掟上 can be translated as "an agreement from above." As it turns out, Kyōko's identity is established through a message painted on her ceiling, the very first thing she sees when she wakes up.
    • Yakusuke's name (厄介) is actually the Japanese word for "trouble" or "nuisance" (yakkai) read differently. The first character in particular (厄) means "misfortune," and it's repeatedly brought up as a reminder of why Yakusuke can't catch a break throughout his life.
  • Mysterious Note: It's revealed at the end of the seventh episode that a message painted on Kyōko's ceiling is how her identity is established every time she wakes up: "From today onward you will live as private detective Kyōko Okitegami." Nobody knows who wrote it on her ceiling, and it was not done in Kyōko's handwriting.
  • Mystery Magnet: Yakusuke.
  • Mystical White Hair: Kyōko has naturally white hair.
  • New Old Flame: At the end of the eighth episode, a man appears in front of Kyōko claiming to be her former fiancé. It's later revealed to be an elaborate hoax based on the possibility of Kyōko being a long-lost heiress.
  • Private Detective: One of Sandglass's many different functions is as a private detective brokerage, and Kyōko is a detective employed (and residing) therein.
  • Quest for Identity: At one point, Kyōko says that perhaps she became a detective to find out why she is one in the first place. Her true identity remains a mystery by the end of the series.
  • Sailor Fuku: In the sixth episode, while investigating a case in a private girls' school, Kyōko is swarmed by students and dressed up in the school uniform, much to her embarrassment. She later asks Yakusuke to buy her new clothes.
  • Scavenger Hunt: The mystery author Hirube Sunaga occasionally hosts "Sunaga Festa", where he invites several people on a search for the manuscript of his latest novel. The fifth episode has Kyōko, Yakusuke, and the rest of the Sandglass crew going to one such event in search of Sunaga's last novel.
  • Secretly Wealthy: It's revealed in the ninth episode that the continued existence of Sandglass is due to one of its residents being supported by a mysterious benefactor. Given all the mysteries surrounding her, most of the characters believe Kyōko to be the intended beneficiary. It's revealed at the end of the last episode to be Makuru.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: During Kyōko's investigation into Hirube Sunaga's sudden death under suspicion of being a suicide, she discovers a recurrent character within his apparently standalone novels. It turns out to be based on a former girlfriend of his who died during their teens. Hidden within his novels, he wrote a story of her living an ordinary but satisfied life, all the way to her sixties. And he would have continued to do so had he not died of sudden heart failure. This later serves as an inspiration for Yakusuke to make a record of his memories with Kyōko.
  • The Smart Girl: Kyōko, of course.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Though Yakusuke is the narrator, the series is mainly about the peculiar life of Kyōko Okitegami and her work as a detective. Still, his growing relationship with her also makes a difference in her life despite her fleeting memory.
  • Tagline: "For Kyōko, there is only today."
  • Taking You with Me: The sixth episode turns out to be a troubled schoolgirl's attempt to do this to Yakusuke. As a complete loner determined to remain aloof and indecipherable, she grew to hate Yakusuke as she thought he had figured her out and followed her to the school on purpose. What she didn't count on, however, was Yakusuke's knowledge of survival techniques, which allowed him to save the both of them.
  • Those Two Guys: Nuru and Makuru, the other Sandglass staff members. Nuru helps with Kyōko's investigations in various ways, while Makuru is a waitress in the café with an apparent fondness for martial arts.
  • Took a Level in Badass: By the eighth episode, Yakusuke appears to be getting better at making deductions, so much that Kyōko chooses to stand aside at several points to encourage him towards making the right conclusion. By the end, though, her expertise is still needed to solve the case.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: If Kyōko wakes up asking this of herself, all she has to do usually is look at whatever she's written on her body beforehand.

...however, her memory doesn't.