[Anime Review]: Another

Another1

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima

Writer (of original novel): Yukito Ayatsuji

Animation Studios: P.A. Works

Version Watched: Subbed

 Choosing new anime to watch is hard. There’s a huge amount to pick from, so recently I’ve just been picking out names that I’ve seen talked about by others. While Another isn’t a show you see mentioned often I’m very thankful to whoever did bring it up where I could see because I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. If you’re after some visceral slice of life horror with a little bit of mystery thrown in (if such a thing exists), then you won’t go wrong with Another.

 Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 isn’t normal and its new transfer student, Sakakibara Koiichi, can’t quite put his finger on what’s off about it. Odd enough is the fact that 3-3 is the only class in the school, or perhaps in Japan, that has a Head of Countermeasures (whatever that means), but there seems to be a girl in the class that only he can interact with. Though Misaki Mei seems normal enough despite her eyepatch, it’s as if no one but Koiichi can see or talk to her and whenever he tries to ask anyone they seem too scared to reply. As Koiichi tries his best to unravel the secrets surrounding his new class, a series of gruesome deaths begin to plague everyone around him. Is it even worth knowing the truth?

Another

 Maybe I’m starting to beat a dead horse here, but 12 episode series are not the best way to tell a complete story. Having said that, Another does an admirable job of keeping you on the edge of your seat while crafting its morbid tale. Jumping from one mystery to another multiple times throughout the course of the show, you’ll find yourself eagerly trailing along behind as you guess at what might happen next. What makes the story so gripping, though, is that the characters and their interactions seem so real. This isn’t your average slice of life affair with over-the-top personalities and hilarious antics; it’s a very normal, very believable setting that could have taken place at any school in the real world. However, at the same time that realistic feeling means that the characters themselves aren’t all that interesting on their own. While they may have some amusing quirks and backgrounds within their mundane setting, there really isn’t any character that stands out for you to feel a connection with, and the length of the series doesn’t help with that either.

 I’ll warn you right now that watching Another isn’t exactly a walk in the park. The deaths are brutal, gruesome and horrific in a way that only realistic deaths can be. Of course, for many people, that’s one of the series’ strong points. At the same time, however, it’s also one of its weaknesses. The characters that are killed off are often the ones you don’t really know or care about, meaning that their deaths lack impact. It also means that you never fear for the safety of the main characters. While it may not be a big deal in the long run, I couldn’t help but notice it while I was watching.

Another2

 Continuing with the realism theme, Another’s visuals are much like a more modern version of Death Note’s. Add on a layer of concentrated depression and you have Another’s animation. It immediately sets the mood for the entire series and drags you down to its level, which works well because Another isn’t meant to make you happy. I can’t comment much on the OST because it didn’t really stand out to me, though in this case that just means it did a good job of meshing with the other technical aspects.

 Summary – While Another isn’t going to do anything for your mood, it will provide you with 12 episodes of solid, mysterious and gruesome entertainment. I’ll almost guarantee satisfaction if you’re into more morbid storylines (Final Destination, anyone?). If you’re not, then pick it up anyway because Another is simply well made and you might just find that you like it. I’m not exactly chomping at the bit for more but I’d happily watch a second season, or even something in the same vein.

 Score: 8.5/10 – Good

Another3

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About Silvachief

I'm a Gamer that dabbles in a little bit of everything. I'm big on Video Games, Visual Novels, Anime, Books and TV Series, but there's more to me than just those!
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19 Responses to [Anime Review]: Another

  1. Overlord-G says:

    Let me put it this way, after watching a portion of Tokyo Ghoul I formed a newfound respect for Another. What I once thought was a decent creepy show is now a glorious, well timed bloodbath that honored the Final Destination franchise before it went down the crapper with pointless sequels. I would go into more detail but I’ll save that for when I explain my current state regarding violent and gory horror/suspense once I )eventually) finish Tokyo Ghoul.

    In short I like Another now a lot more than before.

    • Silvachief says:

      I had to look up Tokyo Ghoul and my first though was whether eyepatches are somehow intrinsically related to horror. The vibe I get from your comment is that it doesn’t live up to your expectations, but would you still say it’s worth watching or not?

      I agree with the pointless sequels thing. They had a good idea and rode it far too hard.

      • Lambda says:

        I liked Tokyo Ghoul. I couldn’t call it horror, really, though. Because I could stand watching it. (I have no opinion on Another because horror isn’t for me). Parts of it are definitely closer to shonen battle show than a horror… But I found it good. The plot’s alright, and the characters and character development are good. There are some interesting blog posts and stuff on it, too.

        (What’s that..? Why am I reading a blog post on Another when I don’t like horror/intend to watch it..? …No idea.)

        • Silvachief says:

          I guess i’ll add it to my list then! You should totally try Another though. It’s not jump-out-and-scare-you horror that a lot of people can’t deal with so much as it is an unsettling series of events. That is to say, it’s in the horror vein but I was never actually scared.

        • Kai says:

          Tokyo Ghoul certainly had elements of horror during the earlier episodes, but the later episodes tell us it isn’t exactly horror but also shounen action xD Still not a bad anime per se, though definitely not groundbreaking.

  2. Annalyn says:

    I loved Another. I followed it as it aired in Winter 2012. Every Monday, I’d turn of the lights in my room and soak in the lovely (although often bloody) visuals and the wonderfully crafted, dark mood as I tried to figure out who the “extra” person was. I viewed umbrellas with apprehension for many months after watching a certain episode. I need to re-watch Another on a dark weekend this fall. I didn’t find many faults the first time I watched it, even the ones you mentioned. In fact, I have it listed as an all-time favorite. I need to see if it stands up to scrutiny the second time around.

    • Silvachief says:

      I should probably admit that sometimes I decide on a score before writing a review and then try to think of -why- I think that score is deserved…which can mean that my complaints can be rather weak ones. Thankfully my umbrella is one of the small, compactable non-deadly ones =P

      • Annalyn says:

        My umbrella is, too. Neither pointy nor attractive to lightning… I hope. I look at other umbrellas’ ends with suspicion every time, and then banish concerns to the “fantasy” side of my brain. Another excelled in transforming these kinds of normal, everyday things into imminent dangers. I’ll keep silent about other examples, since some of your readers probably haven’t seen Another. But my mind is now revisiting other unfortunate scenes.

  3. Kai says:

    Recently, there haven’t been that many anime with psychological thrills, tension and intrigue like what Another did. That’s why when I was watching it, it immediately caught my interest, and I was reminded of Higurashi. It was definitely one of the better anime that season 😀

    • Silvachief says:

      Do you have any other anime you would recommend in Another’s genre?

      • Kai says:

        Well, Higurashi, lol. And maybe Death Note, but you had already watched those. Mirai Nikki is awesome though. Paranoia Agent seems like it’s of the same genre. Although I personally haven’t watch it, I had been hearing praises.

        • Lazarinth says:

          Paranoia Agent is really good but also really weird, a little less than Serial Experiments Lain but a little more than Monster. I just love the psycho-thriller genre. .

          • Silvachief says:

            I’ve already got Monster, so do you think I should add in Serial Experiments Lain?

            • Lazarinth says:

              Nah. It’s not your usual anime with an easy to understand plot, pretty animation or very likable characters. It’s VERY weird, oddly atmospheric and based on very abstract ideas. Some psycho-thrillers are like that but this takes it to the extreme through the cyber punk genre. It’s something solely to get you thinking and not to entertain you at all, but to put you right into the shoes of the ‘lonely god’ theory. I would only recommend it to someone who watched and liked the mind-fuck qualities of Evangelion. At least that has mecha in it. To be honest I’ve watch the series 3 times and still can’t figure it out completely.

        • Silvachief says:

          Mirai Nikki’s on my list and i’ll check out Paranoia Agent. Thanks!

          • Lazarinth says:

            Oh and a little context for Paranoia Agent, it’s created by the same director who did Perfect Blue as a hub for his left over ideas after his 3 main films. For this reason I would highly suggest watching the Perfect Blue film before trying out Paranoia Agent to get an idea for Satoshi Kon’s style.

  4. Meiji says:

    I read about Another in an anime magazine once but I never got around to finishing it. I stopped at around episode five, I guess? I should really go and finish it already, he =P Great job on the review (´◠ω◠`)

    • Silvachief says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the review ^_^
      Another’s definitely worthwhile if you’re into the genre at all. Unfortunately I can’t remember whether it’s one of those series that gets much better in its latter half, but I hope you enjoy your second viewing!

      • Meiji says:

        The first time I tried watching it, it was a super busy year so I tried watching fast-paced shows that I can get the content from quickly, but now that I have more free time I’ll be able to pay more attention =) I like mystery shows so I’m sure I’ll enjoy Another ^w^

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