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Unnamed Memory
Episode 12

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Unnamed Memory ?
Community score: 3.1


For those of you who were wondering how this series was going to end after wrapping everything up last week, now you have your answer: badly. I'm not talking about the quality of the storytelling, because honestly this is the closest we've gotten to the level of the first episode in a long time. But the decision to shit all over the happy ending Oscar and Tinasha achieved in the previous eleven weeks is something I can't agree with. It's not even my general distaste for sad endings, it's more that we suffered through mediocre storytelling, lackluster animation, and truncated plotlines for eleven weeks only to have it all brushed aside. That is a choice right there, and I am, in the words of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, most seriously displeased.

The intention does seem fairly obvious. Tinasha suffered horribly when she was a child, something driven home by the way she breaks down in tears this week when she thinks about how she never got to just be a normal kid with her parents. She was murdered by her fiancé, the one person she thought of as family. Then, after destroying her kingdom, she lived on for four hundred years before meeting Oscar, and even that was hardly a happy occasion for her right off the bat. There's an argument to be made that Oscar fared much better from their meeting than she did, and that his decision to save her and vanish is meant to show us that he's grown as a person and learned to be selfless. He sacrifices himself and his happiness so that Tinasha can be queen of Tuldarr and live the life she was always meant to.

Unfortunately for Unnamed Memory, that's not a choice Oscar makes consciously. Instead, he accidentally activates the orb at Tinasha's tower, hurtling himself back through time, and it isn't until he realizes that he can't use its counterpart to go home again that he steps up and saves his purported beloved from her murderer. That takes a lot of what we're supposed to assume about the power of Oscar's love for Tinasha and smashes it to bits. Yes, he steps in and protects her from Lanak's blade, but only after he's realized that he's going to vanish anyway, so his only real option is to save Tinasha's life and prevent her from becoming a witch and living on in a world where he's no longer around. There's still an element of love in that choice, but it sure isn't selfless. Neither is the fact that he gives his currently-thirteen-year-old love a kiss on the lips, but at this point that feels like the least problematic of this episode's issues.

And so it was all for naught. We don't get a happy ending and Oscar vanishes into the ether, completely erasing the whole series we suffered through. That's almost more upsetting than the rest of it; Tinasha will probably be just fine and quite happy as the queen of Tuldarr, but if that's the case, then why did we have to sit here for three months following what amounts to a hill of beans? Had the story been told well, this would have been an emotionally devastating finale, but as it stands, it's just more of the same – a tale told that hasn't earned our emotional investment.

Maybe the real tragedy of Unnamed Memory is that we watched it at all.


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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