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This sci-fi road journey is set in the near future (1999--six years after the film was initially released). Human civilization has been devastated by a mysterious wind that erased everyone's memories--even the basics of language and self-care that real amnesia doesn't affect. Their minds wiped clean, the survivors haunt the ruined cities, scavenging for food. Wateru ("traveler" in Japanese), whose mind was laboriously restored by a survivor at a government research facility, wanders through America in a jeep, trying to bring knowledge to people. In San Francisco, he meets Sophia, a mysterious woman with unexplained powers; she joins him on a journey to New York that turns into a transcontinental escape from a murderous and seemingly indestructible robot. Along the way, they encounter the members of a cult that worships an enormous wrecking machine, and two puppetlike survivors in an fully mechanized city. Wateru struggles to fulfill his mission to start people on the long journey back to civilization, but he often has to rely on Sophia's extraordinary powers of communication. A Wind Called Amnesia is more thoughtful and less violent than most anime features; unfortunately, it ends on a weak, unsatisfying note. Rating: 16 and older for animated sex and some violence. --Charles Solomon
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