Genre: Drama, Horror
Summary: 26 years ago, in a third-year classroom of a middle school, there was a student named Misaki. As an honors student who was also good at sports, the charming girl was popular with her classmates. When she suddenly died, her classmates decided to carry on as if she was still alive until graduation. Then, in the spring of 1998, a boy named Sakakibara Kouichi transfers to that classroom, and he grows suspicious of the fearful atmosphere in that classroom. In particular, there is a beautiful, aloof girl named Mei Misaki who wears an eyepatch and is always alone drawing pictures.
Review: When I first saw that there would be a horror anime coming out for the Winter season I was really excited. I’ve always been a huge fan of horror of all kinds. I’m not sure what my attachment to it is, but I’m starting to wonder if it is unhealthy. The summary for Another also peaked my interest because it seemed like it might have a pretty good story going. For the most part I was right. The story wasn’t bad and it had a general flow to it. It wasn’t anything spectacular but I find that most anime never have that great of stories. It is more about the raw horror or gore factor. I’m not saying that makes for a good horror, but it’s a start. Another was placed in the typical high school setting, and it didn’t do much of exploration since this crazy phenomenon was tied in with the school. Without much breathing room I would say that the anime did fairly decent. However, the characters and over done freak-outs kind of did the anime in for me.
For the artwork I would give the anime a pretty solid rating because it did have everything a horror anime needed. It had the twisted faces, bold lines, and dark atmosphere. Nearly all of the anime was set in a very cloudy, rainy environment. The daytimes seemed bleak and uninteresting, as if everyone was sort of just passing the days by. The entire town seemed to have been hit by a constant state of depressing weather. In terms of setting I would say that Another did a good job getting the mood right. The characters were a bit bland for my tastes, but I suppose they were trying to aim for a little realism. The gore for Another was obviously censored for television but that didn’t stop you from imagining what was behind that black screen. The anime did a good job showing you the events leading up the final moments of someone’s life, leaving little to the imagination. It reminded me a lot of the movie Final Destination, which if you don’t know is basically a film about people dying in unexpected ways. The deaths in Another mostly consisted of people dying due to a series of unfortunate events. Because of this the artwork really needed to step up its game to show a fluid motion between scenes leading up to the deaths. For the most part it did well. Unfortunately the art didn’t save the anime when it came to me actually caring about characters dying.
The problem I had with Another were the characters. I don’t understanding the mindsets of these kids and why every single one of them had to go bat**** crazy. One minute everyone was living out their high school days in normal fashion, or at least as normal as someone who understanding death is only a step away, and the next they are hacking each other to pieces or killing themselves. Another thing that kind of bothered me was the reasoning behind the curse of class three. I wont spoil anything as I feel the back story has a lot to do with the series, but I’m sure if anyone else watched it they would agree. Back to the characters, I would say the series would have done a lot better if they had more people I actually cared about. Even the main character Sakakibara was a complete waste of life. He was trying to figure out why everyone was acting so strange, but did it in the worst way possible. I can’t put the blame on him too much though because his classmates left him high and dry. Instead of getting him in on the plan, they just assumed he would follow suit. Fatal flaw number one right there. The series was doing well until it started coming to a close. The series started getting worse and worse because the characters were getting worse and worse. It seemed like every episode had someone freaking out and start screaming. Not to be rude, but after you see one dead body and know that everyone was in equal danger, don’t you think the second, third, hell even seventh body would kind of lose its “scream factor”? The final two episodes was basically a slaughter house filled with whacko high school kids with make-shift weapons and a bad attitude. I found the series to be more entertaining for the wrong reasons. It was as though I started to watch it for the fun factor rather than the mystery or suspense. The series’ only saving grace was the twist ending. I’ll admit that looking past the stupid was very difficult so I missed quite a few hints. However, I’m pleased to know that the series did offer the hints very early on, and it wasn’t something that they just pulled out of their you-know-what. Sadly I can’t give the series a passing score because it didn’t capture me as well as I wanted.
The soundtrack was quite good for the series as well. It had a great opening and a more relaxed ending. I personally didn’t find the ending to be all that fitting despite being melancholic. The series overall had a very aggressive feel to it that the ending sort of came from left field every time. The background music though did a brilliant job getting the viewer in the mood. Most of the time I was probably on edge because of the creepy music in the background during a conversation.
Final statements: I’m a pretty harsh rater when it comes to horror anime because I’m such a huge fan of the genre. I gave it close to a passing score because I feel those who aren’t as infatuated with horror might actually like the series. However, I believe for the most part that it is an avoid watch. There is a good horror anime out there for me I know it.