Another Anime Club: Another

Hello everybody! Today we have the horror/suspense anime Another.

ANOTHER

DIRECTOR: Tsutomu Mizushima

EPISODES: 12 episodes

GENRE: Horror, Mystery

YEAR: 2012

COUNTRY: Japan

In 1972, a very popular honor student named Misaki died partway through the school year in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3. The rest of the students, devasted by the unexpected loss, decide to carry on as if their classmate was still alive, going so far to keep the desk in place and bringing it to the graduation ceremony. Yet no one could explain why their classmate, already dead and buried, was present on the graduation photo. Then, in the spring of 1998, a boy named Kouichi Sakakibara trasnfers 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.

When I first heard about Another you would not believe how excited I was. First of all, it is a horror anime, a real-life bona-fide animated J-horror of which there are incredibly few. Secondly, the fine artists of P.A. Works, who have only just finished giving us the beautiful and generally enjoyable Hanasaku Iroha, would be making it. And finally, it would be an actual novel adaptation (opposed to a light novel) which would only add to the novelty. Another gives us Kouichi Sakakibara. Let me be blunt, Kouichi isn’t a stereotype – he doesn’t have enough personality to be a stereotype. If you ordered a “Kouichi” from Domino’s they would send you a pizza base. Yes, he is meant to be a placeholder character that we can all project ourselves onto so it’s as if we’re the hero and it is as if we are the ones exploring the dark mystery of what appears to be Japan’s on shore equivalent of Silent Hill.

  Deaths in horror are and pretty much always have been the primary tool the genre has had for producing its namesake (i.e. horror) in its viewers. Sadly, for the horror writer, the wholesale desensitisation of the media enjoying public has made plain old death rather … passe, so the brutality or rawness of the depiction needs to increase in order to create the shocking event the writer desires. Once again, Another misunderstands that point. Yes, more needs to be done for something to be shocking but too much takes you past shocking straight to comical. The deaths in Another are absurd. So yes, Another fails as an effective horror show; the characters aren’t in the least bit empathetic or relatable, the plotting and pace are awkward thanks to stalled reveals through stupid vague dialogue and contrived plot events (including where a characters has a heart attack just at the moment they are about to reveal the truth to Kouichi. I was half expecting Light Yagami to jump out of the bushes and cry “Just as planned!”) and the big shocks are often too stupid for me to do anything but laugh.

PROS:

  •  Actual horror animes.
  • P.A. Works animation.
  • Actual novel adaption.
  • Neutral character.

CONS:

  •  Absurb deaths.
  • Fails as an effective horror show.
  • None relatable characters.
  • Plotting and pace.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

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