Journal of anime ramblings, fiction works and reflections
I started the series last night and just watched the last episode and felt the need to share my views on it. For those who love horror/mystery and gore this anime is close to perfect for you. I think it was so good that even if you don’t remember most of the characters, the images and story will leave a lasting impression and probably even the music – if I can take it a stretch further.
Another brings the horror/mystery tale of the cursed class 3 of the ninth grade at Yomiyama North junior high. It begins with an ambient setting, introducing one of the main characters, Koichi Sakakibara who – having a lung condition – is being hospitalized for a short time. Three students from the school he has transferred to because of his father’s job, come to visit him and act strangely when communicating with him after getting niceties out of the way. As things progress in the first episode, he then meets Misaki Mei, another protagonist who is more aloof and seems disinterested to speak with him.
Another is great in the sense that it presents a mix of ambiance, frustration and suspense that transitions into each other at the perfect moments in staging the events that take place. For the first few episodes, it generates a true sense of mystery and stress, which makes it easy to grasp the story and become captivated by the story being told and its anomaly. The curse in itself is complex and the odd behaviors and cryptic dialogue of the students around Koichi enforces the idea of the anomaly. The curse of class 3 affects its immediate students, their close relatives and the teachers of that class. Even the dolls, the most insignificant but most apparent feature of the first few episodes embody a cryptic symbolism of omen. Even the rare moments of humor are layered with some degree of uneasiness.
The storytelling was genius up until the anime fell into the cliched cheap scares, exaggerated cliffhangers and ultimate predictability. For me, it could easily be paralleled to the Final Destination idea in a few respects, especially concerning the solution to lift the curse. There were many inconvenient moments which worked conveniently for the anime’s purpose. For example, when Koichi asked a student if he believed Mei existed, the student died of sudden cardiac arrest. The first few deaths were horrifying in its shock element but then the others fell helplessly into being foreseen. I was bored by the deaths because of that, the only thing to redeem it was the amazing graphic quality. The one I most remember is the teacher’s death. That was done to utmost detail, I shuddered and my throat started to hurt. My favorite scenes were the nightmare scenes and will remain etched into my memory for a very long time.
Another thing (lol) that made Another great was the epic music score. The composer(s) did well making music that kept to the melancholic theme of the anime and its dread. The character development was really good and set the pace for the emotional build-up of the anime. Mei, whose disposition remains consistently aloof throughout most of the anime, displays her shock and fear during the last few episodes. Other characters, who seemed strong and fairly composed throughout most of the episodes, reached their breaking point during those last episodes too. There was a lot of unraveling, regarding the dormant emotions (fear and madness) of the characters. Everyone was just dying, it was just blood, blood and more blood, dead bodies all around. Towards the end, the suspense really hits its high point as the students became crazed to find the dead person so that the curse could be stopped. Also, there were points where everything felt exaggerated just to achieve a good enough scare.
The ending was fairly okay – and a bit dull. The curse is lifted. Everyone is happy, the students have forgotten the deceased and go on with their daily lives and it seems a slight romance strikes up between Mei and Koichi.
Besides Another’s flaws, it was well done and well presented. I had a few jump moments. The content was fairly good and out of 10 stars, I give it an 8.5.