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Unnamed Memory
Episode 11

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Unnamed Memory ?
Community score: 3.2


There are glimpses of a better story in every episode of Unnamed Memory. This one teases us with the differences between witches – Tinasha is more human than Lucrezia, who is less destructive than Leonora, and all of them are easier to understand than The Witch of Silence, who makes a brief appearance at the end. We don't know much about what drives any of the witches, although by this point in the show, Tinasha is clearly motivated by her love for Oscar, which gives her the strength to set aside her life as a witch. Perhaps part of the point is that Leonora doesn't have a motivation besides blanket hatred, and therefore, she can't possibly win against Tinasha, even as she and Oscar are blithely raising the greatest of all death flags. ("Let's get married when this is over!") I suspect that may be the intended point of the abrupt Leonora arc. But the problem is once again that the writing feels like it's only adapting every tenth page of the source material, leaving far too many gaps for the plot to have an impact. It makes sense (barely), but that's simply not enough.

A large part of this week's problem is that Leonora doesn't seem to serve much purpose. If you sort of turn your head and squint, she could be a foil to Tinasha; in a flashback, we see that she was nasty to Tinasha in the past, deriding her for her witchy choices, and now she feels superior to Tinasha because she hasn't done anything so crass as to get a human man. Is she then supposed to represent witches who feel superior to humans? Tinasha remarks at the end of the episode that she's ready to give up her witch life, grow old, and die alongside Oscar. In contrast, Leonora is killed on a field of battle she never believed would be her grave, fighting to (possibly) prove her superior witchhood. On the other hand, Lucrezia is content with her life the way it is, neither seeing herself as better than others nor wishing for a way out of her endless existence, thereby filling the role of middle ground. Done right, this could have been a really interesting discussion of immortality, morality, and personal choice. Instead, like so much of this show, it's just sort of…there.

That makes me sad. There's so much potential here, and seeing Oscar and Tinasha marry really should be a fulfillment of the entire series. Sure, apparently the Farsas marriage ceremony involves the groom holding the bride at knifepoint, which is one of the least romantic things I've seen, but it's ostensibly the triumph of true love over all. It may even be the culmination of what Sybil, the Witch of Silence, wanted for Oscar: a strong wife who can stand beside him in all things. Heck, this show has more consensual sex between two adults than most other series I can think of, which in itself should be something of a triumph, although it doesn't prevent one of the worst cases of glowing censorship fog anime has to offer this week. Between the declarations of love, the wedding, the death of Leonora as a triumph for Oscar and Tinasha, and the appearance of Sybil, this should have been amazing.

Sadly, "mediocrity for all" seems to be the unofficial slogan of this adaptation. I want to say that I'm hopeful that the final episode next week will pull off something amazing now that all of the plot threads are gathered up, treating us to a beautiful story of Oscar and Tinasha's life together. But mostly I can't wait for next week because that will mean that this series is over.


Unnamed Memory is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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