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Review of the first volume of “Cheerful Amnesia” manga by Tamamushi Oku, released in 2023.
Review of the first volume of "Cheerful Amnesia" manga by Tamamushi Oku, released in 2023.

Review of the first volume of “Cheerful Amnesia” manga by Tamamushi Oku, released in 2023.

“When Arisa loses her memories from the past three years, her girlfriend, Mari, worries it might mean the end of their budding relationship. A needless concern, it turns out, because when Arisa lays eyes on her, she falls in love all over again! Arisa’s not about to let a little severe brain damage get her down, because she has a chance to relive all their firsts for a second time—from dates, to kisses, and even beyond…!!” (Yen Press)

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Tamamushi Oku presents an innocent and charming story of re-ignited love as one girl returns home to her partner after suffering from amnesia. Wonderfully optimistic and idealistic in what, otherwise, is a traumatic event, the series looks at recapturing intimacy between two different personalities.

Arisa, the main character, is a cheerful amnesiac who is the highlight of the series. She is highly expressive and enthusiastic, often stumbling upon small details as she uncovers her past relationships. Her admiration and excitement towards her partner adds a playful dynamic to the story, making it both entertaining and heartwarming. On the other hand, Mari is more reserved, but her actions towards Arisa and her eagerness to help her remember her past are commendable. Although not the main focus, Mari’s welcoming presence plays a crucial role in the success of the drama and comedy in the series.

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The structure of the book makes the content more enjoyable and amusing by featuring short stories on each page that showcase the developing relationship between the couple as Arisa recovers her memories. While there is still a main plot, author Tamamushi Oku skillfully integrates it with the lively comic-like layout to give readers a well-rounded experience. Yet, the clever humor of Oku remains the main highlight of the series, making it a fun read.

The layout of the manga presents “Cheerful Amnesia” as a lighthearted read that focuses more on humor than delving deep into the characters. It is perfect for readers seeking a short and enjoyable escape. However, those looking for a more serious GL series may not be satisfied with this format. On the other hand, the maturity of the characters is a refreshing aspect in a genre that often centers around youth. Yet, this structure may not appeal to yuri fans who prioritize drama over comedy in their stories.

The artwork in “Cheerful Amnesia” is a bit of a combination. Tamamushi Oku does an excellent job portraying expressive characters – Arisa is always endearing – and the timing of the comedy is spot-on. However, the overall style may appear basic in its execution. While this suits the series’ format, it would be nice to have some more visually stunning moments to emphasize the couple’s emotions for each other.

“Cheerful Amnesia” is a collection that can be picked up and enjoyed casually for a few laughs, and then set aside to be revisited later. It makes for a perfect read when seeking comfort. While it may not be the pinnacle of the genre, its playful style and clever humor make it a worthwhile addition to any collection.