It is common to find in animes some characters that are or have been affected by amnesia, generally retrograde or dissociative, for a various length of time. Those ones are frequently praised by the audience as there is always some kind of big mysteries hiding in their past, often tragic.
Personally I love those kind of characters as it makes my imagination run wild imagining what could have happen during that unknown period of their life.
But the amnesia doesn’t always appear in this way, from times to times it affects the story by altering drastically or not the behaviour of the protagonist.
Here are 10 memorable characters who lost their memories:
10. Touma Kamijou from "Toaru Majutsu no Index"
Even though he acts like everything is alright to not make Index feel bad about it, the bearer of the imagine breaker actually lost his memory after saving her, to the point that he doesn’t even remember his identity making him having troubles pretending to be fine while he doesn’t even recognize his friends nor his family and does not know what kind of person he was.
What makes him memorable is the fact that whomever he was or whatever relationships he had with people he tries his best to acts like he could have done in the past and continues to fight for what he considers to be right.
9. Shu Ouma from "Guilty Crown"
Shu has the perfect example of dissociative amnesia, losing his memories after an emotional shock.
His tragic past made him forget important information about the Lost Christmas of 2029 and altered a bit his behaviour as he lost the courage he had while he was a child.
8. Elie from "Groove Adventure Rave"
Before starting the more famous Fairy Tail, Hiro Mashima created Rave Master.
In its story next to Haru Glory appears the beautiful, full of life (and kind of innocent) “Elie” as second protagonist who can’t remember anything about her past. She doesn’t even know her name and just considered the tattoo on her arm (ELIE) to be hers. After meeting with Haru, she decides to follow him in his adventure in order to get back her memories.
An important power and its source are actually hiding in this unknown period of her life which could have an impact on the whole world.
7. Kyoshiro Mibu from "Samurai Deeper Kyo"
At the 7th place, Kyoshiro and his second personality, the spirit of Demon’s Eyes Kyo who has been sealed in him is another particularly interesting character.
While at the beginning we discover him as a joyful and weak pharmacist not remembering his past we learn more and more about him his link with Kyo and the battle of Sekigahara.
6. Lucy from "Elfen Lied"
Lucy represents the other popular kind of amnesia, qualified as retrograde when someone receives a strong physical shock on the head that makes you lose some memories and might alter your personality.
Well we can say she radically changed after the hit she received and turned into a new, cute, attaching and innocent personality called “Nyu”, name given by Kouta and Yuka based on the only sound Lucy could give.
5. Nina Fortner/Anna Liebert from "Monster"
Though she isn’t the main protagonist, she is definitely one of the most important character of Monster and another perfect example of dissociative amnesia because of one of the most dramatic and horrid past I’ve got to see. She forgot pretty much everything except some small visions that she was misinterpreting.
What happened in her childhood is probably the biggest mystery of the story and it will keep you watching the anime until the end to finally understand everything. Enough to make her 5th of this top.
4. Vash the Stampede from "Trigun"
Just before the podium, known as the Humanoid Typhoon, is to me another memorable character. Probably the best gunner of the planet Gunsmoke, with his agility, strength and accuracy.
Despite acting mostly as a really innocent, generous and foolish man, he actually hide a high intelligence and his deep loneliness.
His amnesia cause him to not remember clearly the destruction of July and his childhood.
3. Rei Ogami from "Code:Breaker"
Ok now, here is my top 3, starting with Rei Ogami, also named as Code:06, the mysterious and so classy main character of Code:breaker who shares lots of common points with a certain Sasuke Uchiha (evil for evil, main goal is to find and kill someone special…) who has also some troubles remembering what happened to him in the past before his brother took care of him.
Ah, really, December is a terrible month for our favourite anime heroes! Past, Present, Future, you will see, everything is linked…
2. Lelouch Lamperouge from "Code Geass"
You might forgot this one, but Lelouch, one of the most memorable character in animes from one of the best anime I’ve ever watched, has also been affected by amnesia for a short period of time (actually only during one episode), forgetting all about his secret identity and his power.
He is only my second choice as the first one is simply untouchable.
1. Son Goku from "Dragon Ball Z"
Here is the champion of this category! Yes, you probably forgot, but one of the most famous and powerful character of all time has been also affected by amnesia while he was young altering his personality after falling from a cliff when he was a child.
Before that he was an unruly child, violent and disrespectful. He had actually been sent to Earth to conquer the planet for the Saiyan race. But after his fall, he forgot everything that linked him to his race and became the kind and courageous hero we all know.
This is only a limited and subjective list but if you think I missed some other memorable characters with complete or partial loss of memory, please write it down in the comments!