It is the year 2100, and on the colonized Moon, a project is under way to explore new aspects of energy. Amami Kurau is the daughter of the chief scientist on the project, and on her 12th birthday, she accompanies her father to the lab to observe the experiments. Then something goes awry, and Kurau is struck by twin bolts of light. In the aftermath, her father is dismayed to find that his daughter is no longer his daughter. Rather, her body is now home to two energy entities with fantastic powers.
This animation is pretty old, introduced in year 2004 and it never really captured the attention of the audiences. The main reason is probably because of its common sci-fi/action genre, in which people might have the impression that it is just another hollow action; good-guy-chasing-bad-guy shows. Undeniably, the plot does revolve around that of chasing and being chased. However, such synopsis and classification do not give the anime justice as it comprises something more in-depth.
Kurau is an anime driven by strong character developments and emotional human-relationship themes. It does not fall on the romance/love category as the show does not focus only on such connection; instead, it shows various type relationships between the characters, from family, love to work. How the people deal with their pasts, presents and future and how they interconnect with each other. And also the attachment of this alien species towards humanity.
It is also amusing to watch how the creators use Rynax (a species in the show) to showcase the joy and solitary moments of having another loved one to share these with. Between this alien species, it reveals an emotion far beyond love; like a need to survive with each other, a co-existence. Without one another, no matter how wonderful one's life can be, the heart will always be empty; will always be lonely.
Though this anime does not have a long list of soundtracks, (in fact most of them have been repeated in every single episode) the producers did do a good job in choosing the right music. The ending theme, Moonlight, emits a powerful melody that evoke a certain sense loneliness within its symphony. Together with the song and the emotional storyline, the combination amplify the melancholy theme of the show; making the entire atmosphere really sentimental yet warm. It is the main song used in the anime that in my personal point of view, it does a good job in conveying the mood of anime right to the viewers. It hits you at the right place of your heart at the right moments.
The character designs are really realistic. And with the animation done by Studio BONES which has produced some prominent titles in the industry, the actions scenes are really smooth if not brilliant. Some of the scenery in the shows are really beautiful as well.
The pacing of the anime is good. Every single episode reveals a certain something, no time is wasted on unnecessary plots. At the end of the story, every loose ends will be tied up; every questions will be answered.
It has been a very long time since I have been moved by an anime so much. It is one of the most intriguing titles I have ever watched in my entire anime-watching life. I was looking for a sci-fi/mecha/actions anime only to find myself watching a deep and mature anime emphasized on the growth of the characters and their relationships.
Kurau: Phantom memory has given me plenty of surprises; and many questions to ponder on in life. Without a doubt, it is an anime that has a real, mature and in-depth plot unlike those fan-service, mindless animes
It is definitely not a series where you could rush through and fast forward it. You might need to spend a bit of time to appreciate and understand the whole story, but it is all worthwhile in the end.
So if you a person who loves something in depth and meaningful, interested in character developments and powerful storyline instead of a hollow animes, this might be the right title for you!
Few things to note:
1. Though ANN categorized it as YURI theme. I don't even feel it or realize probably because they are talking about the need Rynax(alien species) to live and survive together with their fated partner.
2. The naming may be a bit weird for their characters, but watch on then you will know.
3. If you are not the emotional type of a person or just can't possibly connect, then you might not like it.
4. If you love BIG EYES, whiny voice, busty, pretty and submissive female anime characters, then this is also not for you. ^^