Another: Review

anime Another

-Based on a mystery horror novel by Yukito Ayatsuji, published on October 29, 2009
-Adapted into an anime of 12 episodes
-Rating: 4*

The anime

is about a school in the Yomiyama district where one high school class is cursed with strange and unnatural deaths ever year. It all started in 1972, when a very popular student named Misaki died suddenly. Unable to take their friend’s death, the students of class 3-3 started behaving as if Misaki was still alive, and the teachers went along with it.

Following this, class 3-3 became cursed.

Years later, when Sakakibara Kōichi transfers into class 3-3, he meets Misaki Mei, a strange student whom their classmates and teachers seemingly ignore. Kōichi decides to discover the cause of the curse and figure out how to stop it before it kills them all.

Highlight to read spoilers.

My Thoughts, Let Me Show You Them

First off, I really liked this anime. I liked the red herrings in the beginning, like when we start thinking Misaki Mei is the ‘original Misaki’, and really a ghost – I liked the explanation for the entire thing, and I liked the fact that she only has one visible eye, which is a nice visual cue for us to think she’s really a spirit.

The deaths were sufficiently terrifying for me to think about locking myself in my room and never leaving my house again, if it weren’t for the episode where a hikikomori is killed in his room in front of his computer. D:

Seriously though, tripping and dying on the stairs, and dying in a falling elevator are two real fears of mine, and the way they’re portrayed in this anime is pretty scary.

anime Another review
The doomed cast of the show.
The concept of the anime is unique, the curse isn’t some vengeful spirit killing people in a misguided sense of justice, nor is it a sadistic entity out to simply kill for the sake of killing – the idea is that since class 3-3 once behaved as if the dead were still with them (Misaki), the class itself has become ‘close to death’. I won’t spoil it by revealing further details, but the logic of the curse holds up as long as you’re watching, which is as much as you can ask for in modern horror, I guess.

I didn’t like the predictability of the last few episodes, where the anime veers away from the plot of the novel; right from the set up it was obvious that it would descend into a bloody Battle Royale situation, which to me, at least, feels done to death.

I loved the scene where Koichi imagines dancing with Mei in the middle of class, when they both become ‘ignored’.

anime another review
Some of the things that don’t make sense:

  1. Why didn’t Mei just use her doll’s eye to find the ‘dead one’ as soon as her cousin died? You’d think something as traumatic as having her cousin/sister die because of the curse would be enough to get Mei to investigate. Why’d she wait until the LAST episode to use her ‘superpower’?
  2. If Kōichi doesn’t recall his aunt dying, how is it that Mei does? The end reveals that Mei knew all along that Reiko was the dead one, because she witnessed Ms. Mikami dying, but she didn’t tell her only friend Kōichi because Reiko was the only mother he’d ever known. The effects of the curse are meant to alter everyone’s memories, how is it possible for Mei to retain her memories when no one else did? It makes no sense. I feel the writers should have tried to explain it by having Mei witness Reiko’s death by her left eye, or something.
  3. Why on earth would you leave a tape for your juniors telling them that the way to stop the curse was to search for the ‘dead one’ and KILL THEM, after you’d just seen nearly half your class kill itself after being told the same thing? Do you really think a bunch of terrified fifteen year olds are in any position to think clearly when given such information?
  4. Why didn’t the school just dissolve class 3-3 and divide the students among class 3-1 and 3-2? Having an optimal teacher-student ratio is surely not that important.
  5. If everybody knows about the curse, why aren’t more people leaving Yomiyama? You’d think it’d be ghost town by now, if a curse has been operating for 26 years.


Why You Should Watch This

Because the show is atmospheric, and creepy, and manages to genuinely terrify with all the senseless death. The sense of despair is very well done. Avoid if you dislike seeing gore and blood, because there is a LOT of it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Fanfic Recommendations

Most of these are general fic, with no pairings, mostly because I couldn’t see any pairings amongst the kids. And if I can’t see it, I don’t ship it.

The Unforgettable by Lilian Swan
Rated: PG
Words: 809
Supernatural/Suspense – Kouichi S.
Summary: Even with each passing year, can they ever forget?
-I like this idea of a look at the class after the calamity, and how it has affected them.

Walking Through Death by Shizuku Takahashi (Written by retired fanfic author, that used to be part of this account, Cassia).
Horror/Tragedy – Mei M., Misaki F.
Words: 572
Summary: As Mei walks through the morgue, she thinks of her poor other half. One-shot from Episode One.
-A look at Mei’s relationship with her twin/cousin.

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