Mnemosyne

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Rin, Mimi and Russian water.

Also known as Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi (Daughters of Mnemosyne) and marketed in the United States as Rin -Daughters of Mnemosyne-, Mnemosyne is a six episode anime television series and light novel produced by Xebec that follows private investigator Rin Asougi, an immortal woman, as she takes odd jobs and tries to avoid the mysterious connections to her past.

All in all, the series is a total Seinen bait, featuring nigh everything older male audiences' hearts may desire: cute girls, respectable guys, Mind Screw of a plot, alcohol and blood in equal proportions, a considerable amount of Girls Love... and both types of sex, take your pick. And all of the above without ever going over the top with it. Be prepared to wince a couple of times, though.

Often confused for an OVA, thanks to its risque content, monthly airing rate, and modest episode number, when, in fact, it airs on AT-X network, whose tenth anniversary it was to commemorate.

Tropes used in Mnemosyne include:
  • Air Vent Passageway: Subverted by Rin's tush, which is too big to fit under the lasers.
  • All Myths Are True: The story of Tajimamori, based on an actual Japanese legend (except that he searched for Mandarin oranges and not time spores) and considering the nature of the Guardian's castle, the story about the traveler, too.
  • Almost-Dead Guy: Kamiyama and Yanagihara in episode 4.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Mishio Maeno talks to herself and in the process does a lot of Shout Outs to Sherlock Holmes as she investigates Rin. At best, though, she only tries to be this.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Apos. Which kind of makes sense, considering his true nature.
  • Anyone Can Die: Starting with The Reveal for episode two, it has been established that not even Immortals are safe. Maeno, Yanigahara, and Mimi's Dog, which is immortal.
  • Babies Ever After
  • Badass: Rin, by far - although she cheats a bit by being nearly invulnerable.
  • Badass Bookworm - Mimi, especially in Episode 6.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Rin's preferred attire is a business suit, giving her something of a Bifauxnen-like appearance.
  • Bad Santa: Though Laura doesn't plan on stealing Christmas, she does blow up an apartment building and shoot Rin while wearing a Santa outfit, even shouting "Hohoho, Merry Christmas" while she's at it.
  • Bait and Switch Credits: The last portion of the opening credits shows Rin, alone and in the buff, leaning on a pillar in the middle of mossy ruins, with a swarm of angels descending on her in a buildup to a Bolivian Army Ending. This never happens, since the closest thing to that doesn't happen amidst ruins - the castle is still very intact - and Rin is screwing Tajimamori; therefore, she is neither alone nor standing.
  • Bait and Switch Lesbians: Despite a ton of implications about Rin's sexuality, the writers just had to go and pair her with Tajimamori, giving him the only explicit scene with Rin in the entire series (if you don't count Ihika's... which doesn't help any) and making her pregnant in the end. Of course, true fans still hope for a happy Rin/Mimi (or even Rin/Mimi/Mishio) ending but sadly, that would have to happen only in Continuation slashfics...
    • Given this reaction, it seems that this is a Real Life example of No Bisexuals...
    • It could be interpreted as Rin is bisexual with Tajimamori being her first lover, as she wasn't exactly averse to romping with women and other men. Don't forget, she's also slept with Yanagihara, Mimi, Ihika and all those informants.
      • It is unknown whether Rin ever slept with Ihika prior to the events of episode 5 but the two are never seen to have sex in the series (though Rin was certainly not opposed). It is also very questionable whether Rin and Yanagihara ever slept together either. (See: Cartwright Curse)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Because Apos got exactly what he wanted, hysterical screams of terror notwithstanding.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted. Rin arrives in time to save Mimi, only to get herself casually killed by Apos.
    • Played semi-straight in episode 6.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Mimi and Rin's dog Genta. Big friendly immortal dog.
  • Blind Without'Em: Episode one hints that Rin had eye problems when she became immortal (and thus, can never be cured), so now she's forced to replace her Stoic Spectacles whenever they're destroyed. She seems to be able to see reasonably without them, but they're always the first things she goes for when retrieving her clothing.
  • Body Horror: The potent-and-bloody yet seamless blend of death and sexuality in Mnemosyne would make HR Giger himself proud.
  • Bottle Fairy: Rin and Mimi seem to spend much of their time drinking.
  • Bound and Gagged: Episode 1, Rin is strapped down and tortured by Sayara. Episode 3, Rin is bound to the handrails of sinking ship. Episode 6, Rin is chained to a table and ball-gagged in front of a chained Angel by Laura. Then there is Apos' torture victim in various episodes.
  • Brain Uploading: Ruon
  • Brand X: Back in the 90's era, Rin and co. used pagers branded as 'Rocket Bell'.
    • The anime doesn't seem too shy about using things that are copyrighted almost to the letter.
  • Camera Abuse: The camera gets splattered with falling blood in the very first scene. It has also gotten wet during Shower Scenes.
  • Career Killers: Laura, and the stamp assassin or whatever the hell he's called, from episode two.
  • Cartwright Curse: Rin arguably qualifies for this. Yanigahara, who apparently bedded her before, and Ihika, her boyfriend in episode five.
    • It turns out Ihika is Not Quite Dead and Apos even gets Rin to kill him, by turning the guy into an angel and literally locking them in a room together.
    • And let's not forget Tajimamori himself, who gets stabbed by Apos while they're making out.
  • Chains of Love: With the "love" being used in the most ironic sense possible.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: A rather interesting case in episode three is that what the gun actually is isn't shown at all, and is only hinted at until The Reveal. Shuggo's Time Spore is kept in a jewelry case next to some pictures of him. After Maeno leaves to save Rin, all that's shown is the empty case, though from the shape of the cushion, it becomes evident that whatever was in there was small and round. It's eventually used again when Rin takes it from Mishio... and EATS IT.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ivan
  • The Chessmaster: It's hard to tell if Apos is one of these, or if he just plays chess to kill time.
  • Church Militant: Mimi's temple comes complete with a laser cage, pressure sensors, and nuns that use both guns and katanas.
  • Cloning Blues: Maeno
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Time Spores from Immortals are blue, while Time Spores from Angels are red.
    • Furthermore, Yggdrasil's regular spores are dull and don't glow, while time spores that haven't touched mortals yet are yellow.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Last episode, After Rin enters Yggdrasil's roots.
  • Contrived Coincidence: As of episode five, Rin and Mimi have gotten involved with three generations of Maeno. Then again, it might not be coincidental, as Rin has been acting as Teruki's Mysterious Protector ever since his father died. A more proper example would be Rin finding Maeno's Time Spore after getting shredded by a jet engine and spending 25 years at the bottom of the sea.
    • Naturally, it's no coincidence, since all Maenos are direct descendants of Tajimamori, Rin's immortal secret benefactor and lover (let alone, the former Guardian of Yggdrassil).
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Mimi wears a Meido outfit in the early 1990s, and in episode 4, after losing her clothes to an explosion, she wears a ridiculous Stripperiffic costume much longer than necessary.
  • Cry Cute: Rin.
  • Dashed Plotline: 1/20/14/30 year skips between the first five episodes (the sixth follows the fifth immediately).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rin in the first episode...

Mimi: "Rin! You were supppose to find our client's lost cat!"
Rin: "So instead of a lost cat, I found a lost man."

Maeno Kouki (前埜光輝): "Brightness of the Field Before You"
Maeno Yuki (前埜有紀): "Chronicle of the Existence of the Field Before You"
Maeno Teruki (前埜輝紀): "Chronicle of the Radiance/Shine of the Field Before You"
Maeno Mishio (前埜美汐): "Beauty of the Tide of the Field Before You"

    • Considering how closely tied to Rin's character and destiny the Maeno family ends up being, it's interesting to notice their names all correlate the owners to some important event or situation in Rin's life similar to what their name implies (Kouki showing Rin the bright side of life, Yuki raising Teruki alone, with Teruki later proving to be the initial trigger to Rin recovering her memories, and Mishio awakening Rin to the new and beautiful experience of parenthood). It's also interesting to note how the first kanji in their family name is precisely the kanji to indicate something in front of something else, alluding to the fact that they were always beside Rin, partly because of their destiny as descendants of Tajimamori.
  • Meganekko: Rin. Even though she very much subverts the "timid" meganekko stereotype, when she is nice she can also be a genuinely sweet, if not downright cute person.
  • Mundane Utility:
  • My Grandson, Myself: Rin takes this route when visiting a person she met back in WWII.
    • Inverted in episode five, where Mishio considers the possibility of Rin being the daughter of the woman (also Rin) that she saw in a 30-year-old video.
  • Naughty Nuns: Mimi who actually looks like a real nun, until the point of the yuri orgy.
  • New Era Speech: Inverted, since it's Rin who does it in the end, and actually means what she says in a positive light.
  • The Nineties: The first two episodes.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Shotgun Gloves. And Rin herself. No, seriously.
    • Apos is male and female, thus making him/her/it both an Angel and an Immortal.
  • No Name Given: Though a university lecture in episode five hints on the identity and name of the bearded man who Rin talks to on the phone Once an Episode, it's only revealed in episode six.
    • Also, Apos' immortal 'opponent' whenever he's playing chess. In episode five, it's hinted that she is actually Laura, and that the Laura that tries to kill Rin Once an Episode is in fact, an android being remote-controlled by her.
    • The show loves toying with this: none of the informants were ever named on-screen, and Laura's name is only given in episode six (unless you watched the trailer or the credits).
  • Noodle Incident: Rin's "view" of Oda Nobunaga, which leaves Mishio's sense of history in tatters.
  • No One Could Survive That: Rin even survives falling into a running airplane jet engine, despite her doubts about her chances. It takes her decades though to get resurrected, with amnesia to boot.
    • She also survives getting her time spore pulled out, though it turns out that it's not-so-bad-as-it-apparently-seems.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: The way Rin turned the tables on Apos in the very end.
  • Not Quite Dead: Presumably, unless their Time Spores are eaten/stepped on/whatever, immortals can regenerate entirely from just them. This probably explains how Rin survived after what happened in Episode five. Angels aren't so lucky, though.
    • The immortal who survives a nuclear explosion at ground zero in episode six.
  • Number One Dime: Yuki's Brother's Time Spore, which eventually becomes Maeno's Time Spore, which is eventually lost, and then later found by Rin when she washes up on the beach. Subverted in that even if she didn't forget everything, she probably wouldn't even know that the two of them were connected. Then again, it could probably be just some Angel Time Spore that fell into the water.
    • When Rin eats the time spore in episode 6, it's revealed that the spore was indeed Maeno's Time Spore and not just some random spore.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Though she seems carefree and happy-go-lucky, Rin instantly reveals herself to be one hell of a Badass when the going gets tough.
  • Oedipus Rex: Apos and Tajimamori
  • Oh Crap: Sayara gets three in a row. The first when Rin appears, unharmed, in Sayara's office after being tortured to death, the second when Rin gets up again after being shot to death, and the third when she hears a knock at the door and runs out of the room...into a mob of the zombies she created.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: It's only soft, but since it was combined with the Ominous Pipe Organ, the Ominous Latin Chanting pretty much punctuates and intensifies the disturbing atmosphere of Apos raping Mimi while she is chained and nailed to a stone lamp post, revealing himself to be a hermaphrodite, and using Rin's own hand to dig her Time Spore out of her, all in the span of three minutes.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Whenever Apos and Rin are in proximity of each other in episode six.
  • Once an Episode: Rin, Mimi, and vodka threesome. This is not the case in episode five and seems, um, unlikely to be thus in episode six...
    • Not to mention Rin getting maimed/killed, which is actually closer to thrice an episode on average. Also, Rin talking to He Who Must Not Be Seen on the phone even after she gets amnesia. Though in that case, it was more of the phone line opening up so that He Who Must Not Be Seen can listen to her voice like some stalker.
      • Yggdrasil showing up and shedding some Time Spores, with Rin and/or Mimi staring at the event for a couple of seconds. Averted in episode five, where the tree is only mentioned as a rumor/seen in the credits, and the only time spores shown are either from immortals, or already in the hands of Apos. Episode six makes this a borderline case. Five out of six ain't so bad, is it?
      • Borderline example: Laura showing up to shoot Rin full of holes then blowing herself up with Rin once that fails. She even starts using a sword in episode six.
    • Lesbian sex scenes
  • One-Gender Race: Immortals are Always Female, and Angels are Always Male. Unless you take the third option.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Very different.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: In this case, we have a President Buffoon, who allows Apos to manipulate him into starting some kind of war involving time spores. It was completely irrelevant to the plot, however, and it's only briefly mentioned in the epilogue that America has fallen into civil war.
  • Out-Gambitted: When Apos has Laura killed when she tries to mess up his plan by attempting to feed Rin's time spore to angels.
  • Playing with Syringes: Sayara's cloning and immortality project. When she's not just doing it for fun, that is.
  • Precision F-Strike: From the dub: "MERRY FUCKIN' CHRISTMAS!"
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Rin gets one in the first episode (though the recipient doesn't actually die). From the dub:

Rin: "It's such a shame when the good die young." (gunshots)

  • Private Detective: Rin, minus the Private Eye Monologue.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Sayara and especially Laura.
  • Rape Is Okay When Its Female On Male: Subverted, as Ruon is shown to be just as depraved and wrong as any male rapist.
  • Razor Floss: Yet another piece of Rin's arsenal of concealable weapons.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: May be literally so with some of the girls. Rin at one time even says that it has been centuries since she had a lover (although it also raises the question what Mimi is to her then). In fact, Rin is at least, a thousand years old in episode six while Mimi can't be much older than one and a half centuries - at the time Rin met her, she was already wearing her trademark killer suit which only went into fashion in the 20th century.
    • That, and Mimi didn't know the person Rin met back in WWII.
  • Rie Kugimiya: As the loli-genius Mimi.
  • Running Gag: Every episode but 5 has Rin wake up with a splitting headache (Usually a hangover) and yelling at Mimi to get her some water.
  • Save Point: Essentially how immortality works. Once a Time Spore enters your body, it records your physical condition at the time and then 'reloads' it whenever you're injured/killed/get a haircut/whatever.
  • Scenery Porn: To the point of sometimes being distracting.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 1, the pharmaceutical company executive's laptop is named "cylon".
  • Shower of Angst: Rin in episode 5.
  • Shower Scene: Rin from episode one, and the second informant in episode 3.
  • Show Some Leg
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Mishio uses Laura's Hand Cannon to kill an angel.
    • A partial example would be Mimi using a Kill Sat. Guns don't really get much bigger than that...
  • Spoiler Opening: Subverted by the Root of Yggdrasil. Although in the opening credits, it appears with Rin, Mimi, and Laura at the top, it's Apos and Laura who end up topping it off. We also see all of the Maenos, as well as Sayara and both of the informants, however none of these really register until you've seen them in the episodes proper.
  • Spy Catsuit: Sort of:
  • Stalker with a Crush: Apos has a serious obsession with Rin, and of course, in his own 'special' way. He goes so far as to remodel Laura to look just like Rin and even rapes her even though she's a cyborg. Even after he claims to be just after her time spore, it's strange that he doesn't just go out of his way to dig it out of her.
    • He does just that in episode five, and using Rin's own hand to do it, too.
    • Also, Ruon to Teruki in episode four.
  • The Stoic: Rin
  • Stoic Spectacles: Rin's glasses are sure as hell not Nerd Glasses
  • Strapped to An Operating Table: Someone gets tied to something nearly Once an Episode. Most notably, Rin is strapped to a chair and tortured in episode 1, and vivisected on an operating table in episode 3, both times by Sayara.
    • Episode 4: Ruon straps Teruki to a table. Episode 5: Apos chains Mimi to a rock. Episode 6: the Yggdrasil roots try to do this to Rin inside the egg.
  • Stripperific: Mishio Maeno's outfits.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Courtesy of Laura.
  • Take My Hand: A weird example, which starts with Rin and Tajimamori, then Maeno lends a hand, and then ends up being Rin and Mishio. Don't ask how, just Take Our Word for It.
    • This is symbolic of Tajimamori, Maeno, and their entire bloodline living through Mishio as Rin's sworn protectors.
  • Taking You with Me: Laura does this... a lot...
    • Subverted on one occasion. Rin runs away after seeing Laura's explosive vest, so Laura simply takes it off and throws it after her.
  • Technology Marches On: Played for laughs in Episode 2, where Mimi retorts Koki's remark about screwing up a computer job by saying "This is a top of the line 16-bit 40MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM with a 300MB hard drive with all the bells and whistles."
  • Techno Wizard: Mimi has claimed to be capable of hacking into the CIA, MI 6, and Special Forces Section II. Furthermore, in episode six, she hacks into a Kill Sat belonging to Teruki's company and tries to stop Apos with it.
  • Time Skip: Happens Once an Episode. Considering Rin and Mimi are immortal, it's not surprising that the series took place over a period of 65 years, with the epilogue taking place at least nine months after the climax.
  • To the Pain
  • Torture Technician
  • Turbine Blender: Rin lands inside a running airplane engine in episode four. Her last thoughts are "This may be too much even for me." Though, of course, she gets better... after 20 years of continuous regeneration.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Episodes 3-6, which are set in 2011, 2025, and 2055 respectively.
  • Unknown Rival: While Laura goes Psycho Lesbian with her obsession with Rin and spends considerable amounts of time thinking about how to kill her, the latter considers her nothing more than a nuisance.
  • Virtual Ghost: Ruon, and with a touch of A.I. Is a Crapshoot, too.
  • Virtual Celebrity
  • Waking Up At the Morgue
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Laura, after she gets dissected and made immortal by Apos.
  • Wham! Episode: 4 already had some serious wham moments, but they upped the ante in 5. A lot.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Amongst other catches, when you become immortal, your current physical state is sort of recorded, and you will forever return to it. Bad vision? You can't fix it with surgery. Virginity? You will be deflowered each time. Dying of grievous wounds in extreme pain? Yeah.
    • Though Rin and Mimi don't seem to mind and find odd jobs to do to pass the time.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Laura has done everything in her field of expertise to kill Rin, from blowing her to pieces with a shotgun, to doing a Taking You with Me with a claymore mine, to using high-tech large-bore bullets, to pouring acid on her. By the fifth episode, she even admits to have become obsessed with figuring out how to kill her.
  • A Wizard Did It (how did Rin regenerate from a single time spore within a few days? Yggdrasil did it!)
    • Might not count, since this was stated outright and was important for several other scenes.
  • The World Tree: Yggdrasil, source of Time Spores, is visible in the opening credits as an ominous background entity that easily dwarfs Tokyo skyscrapers.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Everyone, really. Of course, half of the hitters are women themselves.
  • Yakuza
  • Yandere: Ruon
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Teruki's blonde hair is presumably a dye job, and Ruon's orange hair is justified since she exists in Cyberspace and uses a gynoid body in the real world, but there's no explanation for Rin, Mimi and Laura, whose hair is green, blue and red, respectively.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Mishio Maeno
  • Zip Me Up: Rin, to tease Teruki
  • Zombie Gait: Sayara's zombies in episode 1.