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Unnamed Memory
Episode 8

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Unnamed Memory ?
Community score: 3.1


Welcome back to another episode of Wait, What? Did I Miss Something?! This week, we take an abrupt departure from the regularly confusing storyline to indulge in one with even more plot holes, strange romances that don't make sense, and awkward world-building. Yes, it's business as usual in Unnamed Memory, as it once again demonstrates that there was probably a better way to adapt this story.

As usual, part of the problem is that Tinasha and Oscar's relationship has been undersold. While the episode badly wants us to root for them and indulge in a big, soppy “aww” at the end when Oscar kisses her on the forehead, there isn't enough supporting material for their so-called romance. It's a shame because plenty of little moments here ought to be adorable, such as cat Tinasha riding on Oscar's shoulder or Oscar jumping into the void after her when she falls. That Tinasha thought she needed to transform into a cat since they'd be sharing a room and a bed still indicates that she thinks he's going to move faster than she's comfortable with, but I think we're supposed to be so taken with her feline cuteness that it doesn't matter. And let's face it; Oscar isn't great at doing things by degrees – look at the penultimate scene in this episode, where she asks him to make a small cut to retrieve the magic marble she swallowed, and instead, he runs her through. Moderation is key, Oscar.

But more troubling than Oscar's inability to listen to directions is the other “romance” rearing its head. Oscar and Tinasha are visiting an outpost on the border to check in on a village a nomadic group destroyed. One of the survivors, Elze, is the widow of the village leader, and she barely avoided being kidnapped during the raid. She even has nightmares that Tinasha can tap into, and those dreams indicate that Elze is terrified of her husband's killer. It's then baffling why she appears to end up with him at the end of the episode, sitting with him in the ruins of her village after she freaked out when Oscar cut the man's arm off, and Tinasha refused to reattach it. As far as we know, Elze never interacted with this man prior to his murder-and-attempted-kidnapping spree in her hometown, so why is she suddenly attached to him? Has she seen too much death and blood to want to witness anymore? Is there a backstory that we're missing? Or does this series not understand healthy romance plots?

In all truth, the answer is probably somewhere in the source material. Unlike many a series adapted from light novels, this one seems less to be an attempt to get more readers for the books and more something made for the readers already familiar with the details from reading. It has the feel of almost a greatest hits version of the novels, animated bits and pieces that people are fond of so that fans can see them move and hear the lines spoken aloud. Details can be skipped because the audience being courted already knows them. It could also just be a clumsy adaptation, but I'm in the mood to be optimistic.

And so we continue to slog ahead. There are elements of this that remain interesting, such as the barely explained mythology of the Ito people or how much being in a feline body affects Tinasha, which we get tantalizing glimpses of. But most of this episode felt like a lot of information was missing, and that's become a terrible reality of watching this show.


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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