- Genre : Horror, Supernatural, Mystery
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: P.A. Works
Koichi is starting to notice something strange about his new high school. Since his father had to take a job overseas, he was sent to live with his grandparents and attend his mother’s old high school but had to start late due to illness. Now it seems there’s an invisible girl in his class. Why is he the only one to see her? Does she have the power to make herself invisible? Has Koichi’s illness affected his mind? Nope, none of that… I didn’t really know how to make a spoiler free summary…. There’s blood – lotsa blood!
I hate to admit it but I’m that jerk. You know the one. The one that really likes horror movies but is such a coward that they either talk through the whole thing making dumb jokes to break the tension or spend the entire time flinching at literally everything. Also the type that then doesn’t sleep for a week and constantly complains about it. My friends are saints – I don’t deserve them. Keeping all that in mind, a while ago I decided that I was really in the mood to watch a horror anime, at home, alone (my dog is also a saint) – and set out to find a good one:
What I did find is that there isn’t exactly an overabundance of choice when it comes to this particular genre. My friend google kept coming up with the same handful of titles and “Another” was available on Crunchyroll. It was as exhaustive selection process. Having a modicum of self-awareness, I turned on every single light in the house, got all my most ghost-proof blankets together, grabbed something sweet for good measure and got ready to cower in terror while lamenting my poor decision-making skills.
Another starts off promisingly enough. The visuals aren’t exactly notable but they’re not bad either. There’s a hot girl with an eyepatch of power, so I was pretty stoked about that. The set-up is appropriately unsettling and really had me wondering what the hecks was going on and who/what exactly Mei was. The slow burn of those first episodes did a great job hiking up the tension and in my opinion this is when Another is at its strongest.
After the first “reveal” – which is really more of an exposition dump to explain to Koichi, and by extension the audience, the actual premise of the story – the narrative becomes more of a mystery in structure, as the characters start trying to unravel past secrets in an attempt to escape their fates. There’s a reason why this anime has been compared to Final Destination so much – there are indeed quite a few similarities, but Another tries to incorporate some “poltergeist” in there as well. As far as horror narratives go, much like the art and animation, it’s hardly anything exceptional but it serves its purpose. Unfortunately, the slow pace and long silences of the first act, are kept through this part of the story as well and are much less effective once the details are known. Rather that add to the creepy atmosphere, they seem to drag the show down and some of those middle episodes got sort of boring.
Personally, I think they should have just crammed in more gore, which is something that Another handles spectacularly. The deaths which start soon after we get an idea of what’s happening, are for the most part very disturbing and quite sensational. I am as desensitized to violence as the next guy and I have zero issues with blood (it’s ghosts that are scary) but I was peaking at these scenes through my fingers and holding my breath until they were over. Trust me, these are some intense sequences. If you’re not affected at all, you should probably talk to someone about it. Someone qualified.
Like most horror movies, the story eventually traps everyone in a secluded house in the woods were the climax consists of a huge bloodbath during which the “killer” is finally unmasked. There are a lot of kids getting bludgeoned at this point and the show doesn’t really have the time to develop most of them. I could only keep a headful of them straight in my mind, the rest were just an indistinct mass as far as I was concerned so I didn’t really care if they died. And died they did! There was so much dying that I got a bit overloaded. Of course, the same care and attention to detail can’t be given to each individual death at this point so these poor students’ demise really paled in comparison to the earlier ones. In fact, even without the comparison, they’re pretty run of the mill. As for the identity of the big bad, I saw it coming. I don’t see things coming – I mostly rely on my looks in real life. It hasn’t worked out so well but I’m not giving up. This said, it’s fairly par for the course that horror movies start of scary and then flounder in the end. Very few can actually give you a decent scare after all the action is over. So if you like the horror formula – this show follows it pretty closely with a very strong start and some fantastic gore.
And if you don’t, just youtube the intro cause that’s an awesome opening theme. In fact…here‘ i’ll do it for you!
Favorite character: Naoya
What this anime taught me about myself: I would have transferred out of there day 2…
“Adulthood has shown me that you really don’t need fun to have alcohol.”
Suggested drink: Corpse reviver
- Every time someone says Misaki is not dead – drink
- Every time cell phones malfunction – drink
- Every time you see a creepy doll – gasp
- Every time there’s a death – drink some water
- Every time we see a photograph – drink
- Every time you change your mind about who the extra is – dink
- Every time we see Mei’s green eye – drink
- Every time there are Scary Shiny Glasses – drink
- If your favorite survived to the end – be happy
15 thoughts on “Another”
I saw a trailer to this anime on The Garden of Words DVD as I reviewed that movie. There’s certainly some hype to it, but it looks interesting. I haven’t reviewed as much horror stuff, so I should broaden my horizons if I can find time to watch it.
You know there were some very strong elements – especially in the first half.
Of course. I can handle some intense moments and gore, so I wouldn’t be bothered much by it.
I watched Another as my Halloween Horror anime this year, and I have to say, I loved those early episodes; and it really got me thinking on how suspense/thriller based horror really thrives on mystery and questions, but struggles to keep going once those questions are answered.
The series did slump a little in the middle, though I thought they did a great job of creating new questions.
The last few episodes felt oddly out of step with the rest of the series. A blood bath is one way to resolve the series, and it certainly explored the age old “who’s the real monster”, but in some ways I felt that the ending was ill-suited, as if the production team was abruptly told “wrap this up in the next 3 episodes”, and did the best they could.
But I do love this series. The dreams were intense, the atmosphere was strong, and that doll shop was perfect.
I think I was particularly disapointed because I loved the begining. Until roughly 2/3 in I couldn’t stop watching and then it just lost it’s way. The tension unravelled, the character developpement stopped and let’s face it the reveal was pretty obvious so there wasn’t much incentive to watch just to find out whodunit. But it’s definetly not a BAD anime by any means
Agreed. I definitely think it’s an interesting story to study as a student of stories. I found myself really considering why/how it struggled as time went on. I think Another is a strong example of the natural strengths and weaknesses of suspense/thriller based horror. They thrive on questions, but the more audiences learn, the harder it is to maintain the fear without finding new questions. I think that’s why many of my favorite horror are shorter in nature. A season long horror has a bigger challenge, unless they go with self contained arcs or stand alone episodes.
Definitely makes for an interesting conversation. 🙂
One of these days, I’m going to find a horror anime that a) is actually decent and b) is actually decent the entire way through, instead of starting off strong and then falling off in the final few episodes. I liked Another, but man did that ending feel rushed and slapdash.
When you do – let me know!
Requiem from the Darkness and Hell Girl, maybe? But they’re both very episodic shows, so it’s not like they have much in the way of overarching stories in need of solid conclusions.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has some great endings, though it’s a series with numerous independent arcs.
I’m not sure whether it’s really a horror, but Death Parade definitely has a strong ending.
Pet Shop of Horrors is another personal favorite, though it’s more tragic than true horror.