This article was written by Casey A. Malik
Bright and Cheery Amnesia is a pretty simple gag/romance manga, mostly in the 4koma format. The premise is that a young woman, Arisa, has gotten amnesia about the past three years, and her loving partner, Mari, expects a huge struggle in dealing with this, especially with giving her the news that she's a lesbian. Instead of rejecting this news, however, she instantly falls for Mari all over again, with the ending of the first one shot being bright and happy.
The manga from then on is as Bright and Cheery as the title implies, mostly focusing on how in love the couple are. However, all stories need conflict, and I'd come down hard on Bright and Cheery Amnesia if it didn't. Comedy cheating plots aside, the main source of conflict is simple: Arisa doesn't remember how to have sex or even kiss. Mari is used to being the more submissive partner, so she can't really initiate things, despite still being desperately in love with Arisa. Both members in the couple end up insanely horny and touch starved, despite living together and being together all day.
This doesn't cause them to work badly as a couple, though. Arisa's love is boundless and Mari is more than willing to put in the work to compensate. It just means that they act like a type of couple that doesn't actually exist: complete domestic perfection, while trembling at the slightest touch of each other. They represent, in other words, a realistic fantasy for those of us who are unfortunately dating long distance.
As I have been informed by doctors and many scholars of the human body, it is "physically impossible" for me to have sex with my girlfriend across the 5000 miles of distance that currently seperates us. Not only that, it's impossible even to have any sort of comfortable domesticity. While I do technically have larger problems, this is the thing that depresses me most. The standard fantasy of a domestic couple that has, as Arisa calls it, adult sex all the time is nigh-on unattainable, when you can't even reliably get video of your girlfriend's face every day. A fantasy of getting to live with the one you love, while maintaining the excitement you'd actually feel at getting to touch them, is way more realistic. In that way, Bright and Cheery Amnesia is the perfect yuri manga for those in long distance relationships.
Of course, I have failed to engage with it as a yuri manga per se, and that gets me into another part of Bright and Cheery Amnesia's comedy. Being gay is not the most socially acceptable in Japan, so Mari's pretty hush-hush about her and Arisa's relationship. Mari, it seems, identified as a lesbian beforehand, and sees it as an identity that causes her great strife. For Arisa, meanwhile, its liberatory to be gay; for her it means that she gets to be with the person she truly loves. Their contrasting approaches clash; Arisa is usually right, but yelling about having sex with Mari at their wedding is considered a step too far. The point here then, is to give an escape, and to maybe reduce reader anxiety about coming out themselves.
All in all, there isn't too much to say about Bright and Cheery Amnesia. It's just a fun gag manga. Read it if you want.