Amnesia in Female Characters
Here's something I've recently noticed. Why is it that amnesia/memory
loss is often considered the "best thing" for women who have
experienced difficulty? And oddly, it's often the strong, heroic
women who "need" to forget. Here are some examples of this
The only U.S. equivalent that comes to mind, oddly enough, is the I
Dream of Jeannie TV-movie in which (if I remember
correctly) the man loses his memory, and the family must start over
- The leader of Cat's Eye (manga). I don't remember the
specifics, but from what I remember, the strong leader of the Cat's
Eye sisters literally forgets about her thieving career, and another
sister remarks that it's probably for the best.
- Lufia in Lufia (SNES game). As I recall, Lufia (one of the
main characters) loses her memory of who she is and what she's done,
and winds up as a normal girl in a normal town, where the hero
re-meets her and they fall in love again.
- Elmira in Wild ARMS (Playstation game). One of our heroes
specifically asks that his once-love and once-great-swordswoman Elmira
lose her memory of who she was and what happened to her (she was taken
over by a demon and killed many people, etc.). He wishes to spare her
the pain of the memory. Elmira, at the end of the game, is no longer a
swordswoman, but is now a barmaid. It is obviously assumed she is happier
this way. There are some big parallels with Lufia.
- Mikami, briefly, in Ghost Sweeper Mikami (manga).
Strong-willed Mikami, rather than remember an episode in which she
sees she might marry Yokoshima in the future, induces amnesia of the
event in herself. Interestingly, she also forces Yokoshima to forget
the incident, too.
- Cornelia, in Chojin Locke (manga/movie). As punishment for her
role in aiding a cult, the strong female character of Cornelia is
subjected to a memory "readjustment." She forgets her past and also
the affection between her and Locke. In the movie, the once-warrior
is seen using feminine lipstick after her "transformation" into
"normality." While the act of cutting short the relationship between
Locke and Cornelia is clearly ambiguous in its effects, neither
character seems to have philosophical or moral objections with the
- In the gag comic Ike!! Nankoku Ice Hockey Bu, our hero
leaves the Earth and causes amnesia in all his friends, of whom
the most notable is his (yes, indeed, strong-willed) girlfriend. This
example, however, is a little unusual because of the humor-oriented
nature of the comic series.
- In Tuxedo Gin, heroine Minako suffers amnesia of
her penguin friend Gin's death, and her friends let her go on
in the delusion that he has gone off with his penguin friends (luckily
Gin returns to her in full human form).
Perhaps one cultural clue lies outside of Japan, in China. There is
apparently a myth of a woman who excelled in the military and who
fought amazingly well, but then returned to her home to obediently
serve her husband when she had accomplished what she needed to do.
There may be some remnant of that "domestic bliss is best for a woman"
attitude around here somewhere....