Amnesia is a common story device in fiction, and it has been employed in anime to varying degrees of success as well.
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In fact, the plot device of amnesia is as old as literature, and as a result, it has appeared in innumerable anime. There were some episodes that employed it for comedy, but the majority of the time it was used to its full dramatic capacity.
It doesn’t matter whether certain anime characters were unable to remember important details of the past or even their entire identities following a traumatic event, their stories were indelibly etched into the minds of anime fans around the world.
1. Code Geass — Lelouch Lamperouge Forgot His Revolutionary Self Twice
Unbeknownst to him, Lelouch lost his memory twice. Although these setbacks were only momentary, it is nonetheless an odd accolade for Zero, the self-proclaimed revolutionary genius, to have twice suffered from induced amnesia. In any case, the dramatic impact these could’ve had was lessened by the speed with which they were dealt with.
Lelouch was mind-wiped into a lazy student by his father as a punishment for his first rebellion in Code Geass R2. While Zero Requiem was retconned to show that Lelouch survived, he became a feral state of mind and forgot who he was in the process.
2. Tokyo Ghoul: Re — Haise Sasaki Is Not Who He Thinks He Is
Sasaki seems to have no relation to the preceding actors or events in the series. However, after just one episode, it was revealed that Sasaki is actually Ken Kaneki, who was brainwashed into serving the very people that wanted him dead.
It was revealed that Sasaki is in a state of crisis as he is forced to choose between the idealistic life that he always wanted that is predicated on a lie or the brutal truth that is his actual fate. Despite the Tokyo Ghoulanime’s flaws, fans loved how Sasaki portrayed Ken’s psychological conflict.
3. Zombie Land Saga — Sakura Minamoto Resurrected Without Any Memories
To be fair, none of the zombie idols fromZombie Land Saga are easy to forget.
As the anime’s primary zombie vocalist, Sakura is a standout since she is the only person in Franchouchou who suffers from acute amnesia. She has no recollections of her mortal life other from a vague desire to be an idol.
After being hit by Truck-kun, Sakura begins to recall bits and pieces of her past that help her rediscover who she once was. While most amnesiac characters use these to reclaim their old selves, Sakura does not. Instead, she decides who she wants to be in her next life and how she wants to improve on her shortcomings.
4. Dorohedoro — Kaiman Woke Up With A Lizard Head & No Idea Of Who He Was
To be sure, Kaiman is an anomaly even in the universe of weirdly particular sorcerers and a gigantic man-cockroach named Jonson. This man is not just an intimidating figure, but also has lizard-like features. He also has an in-mouth resident who may or may not hold the key to recovering his identity and memories that he’s been lacking.
The only thing Kaiman recalls is waking up in a dark alley with a lizard head on and no recollection of how he got there. Sorcerers and gyoza-eating pals have been together ever since, but not before Kaiman stuffed their heads into his mouth to see if the man inside was their killer or not.
There are a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh! Yami Yugi Only Remembered He Was Good At Gaming In “Duel Monsters”
5. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters — Yami Yugi Only Remembered He Was Good At Gaming
Yami, on the other hand, has long since forgotten his background except for the fact that he’s an exceptionally talented gamer.
Pharaoh Atem, who was known as “The King of Games” due to his love of games and winning streak, was actually Yami, a popular young ruler. Even though his identity was important to him, winning at children’s card games took precedence, and it took Yami the length of the anime series to restore his memories.
6. Bleach — Nel Forgot Herself After Barely Surviving An Assassination Attempt
First, Nel was a tiny girl with a Hollow mask who was running around the Hueco Mundo playing tag with some silly-looking Hollows. When she was first introduced, everyone thought she was merely one of the few children in the Hollows’ barren domain, but there was a lot more to her than anyone had ever figured out!
Nnoitra Gilga, the then-eighth Espada, deposed Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, the former Tres Espada, out of sexist jealousy. Although he failed to murder Nel, Nnoitra managed to injure her so severely that she reverted to a juvenile mentality. To this day, the moment Nel rediscovered who she was to save Ichigo from Nnoitra remains one of Bleach’s most memorable moments.
7. Elfen Lied — Lucy Got Shot In The Face & Forgot Her Monstrous Side
The pilot episode of Elfen Lied, without hyperbole, is one of the most memorable ever. After escaping the confines of a laboratory in which she had been imprisoned, a young woman named Lucy went on a rampage, killing anybody who was in her way. Her metal facial constraint saved her life when she was shot in the head.
Amnesia and a split personality resulted from the injury. As Nyu, a little girl with an infantile knowledge of the world, Lucy woke up on a beach. Lucifer and her innocent amnesiac self delivered some of the most terrifyingly unforgettable mood swings ever seen in anime, because to their vastly different personalities.
8. Eden Of The East — Akira Takizawa Showed Up At Washington D.C. Amnesiac & Naked
Only Akira from Eden Of The East, another amnesiac anime character, comes close to Lucy in terms of making an unforgettable first impression. The first time we see Akira naked in the anime, he’s in front of the White House, humiliating a tourist named Saki Morimi.
That being said, the situation’s comedic value was quickly diminished when Akira discovered he only had a smartphone and a revolver with him.
According to his plan to save the world, he had to use 20,000 nude NEETs, a missile strike, and brainwashing.
9. hack//SIGN — Tsukasa Forgot His True Identity For A Tragic Reason
isekai anime with an amnesiac twist: Tsukasa knows that he’s living in an MMO game called The World, but has no memory of his prior life; he is the protagonist of the series. Tsukasa’s only recollection is that he awoke in The World with no memory of who he was before the game or in the world.
A girl named An Shouji is revealed to be the real mastermind behind the control of Tsukasa. Tsuaka’s in-game sorrow, melancholy, and defense mechanism amnesia suddenly made sense.
10. Berserk — Casca Reverted To A Childlike State After The Eclipse
It’s an understatement to say that Berserk’s Eclipse is traumatic. Even though Casca was spared since she was doomed to an even worse destiny than death, the Golden Age Arc ended with most of the Hawk Band’s members dying horribly. Casca’s intellect was shattered by Femto’s attack, and she reverted to an infantile state.
This once-proud knight was now a pitiful child with no memory of the Eclipse or her former glory days throughout most of Berserk. Casca’s sanity and dignity have eluded fans for nearly 20 years and over 200 chapters. In Chapter 354, Farnese and Schierke hauled Casca out of the abyss, a feat that had been impossible until then.