Review #26- Another

Welcome anime fans! Today we will be covering the horror anime Another. RishRaff is not a fan of horror or gore, so he will not be joining us for the review. So today I, B-Ro, will be doing the in depth review and LowKev will be doing his normal review. Please beware of minor SPOILERS like always.

Now without further ado, let us begin the review.

Summary: In 1972, a popular student in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 named Misaki passed away during the school year. Since then, the town of Yomiyama has been shrouded by a fearful atmosphere, from the dark secrets hidden deep within. Twenty-six years later, fifteen-year-old Koichi Sakakibara transfers into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North and soon after discovers that a strange, gloomy mood seems to hang over all the students. He also finds himself drawn to the mysterious, eyepatch-wearing student Mei Misaki; however, the rest of the class and the teachers seem to treat her like she doesn’t exist. Paying no heed to warnings from everyone including Mei herself, Koichi begins to get closer not only to her, but also to the truth behind the gruesome phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North. –MyAnimeList

Plot: 8/10

Another does a great job in setting up a good horror through the plot. Though it may look like this anime is just going to be a gore fest it is not.  It uses it to give the viewers a sense of dread, but sometimes it does go a bit overboard with the blood taking away from it some. It also use some mystery to keep suspense throughout the show. Even when one mystery is solved more come up.  It is also a little slow at the start of the show, but it picks up quite nicely and keeps a good pacing throughout the rest of it.

Characters: 7/10

This show has some awesome characters.  They are all interesting characters with some unique personalities.  The main characters are well developed and memorable.  That being said not all characters are developed well.  Some character die too soon for them to really get any backstory.  Also some character that seem like they are important get killed off randomly leaving you with a dissatisfied feeling afterwards.

Animation: 8/10

The animation is good for this series. It is able to help set the mood with all of its dark or muted colors. That being said it is nothing spectacular or memorable about it.

Soundtrack: 10/10

Anothers’s soundtrack is perfect for setting the mood.  The opening does a good job depicting the horror and gore aspects of the anime, while the ending is sad and reminds you of the situation the characters are in. The rest of the sound track is creepy and ominous making it the perfect fit for the show.

Themes: 10/10

Another had some good themes in it. One theme is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. At first Koichi seems to be quick to judge Mei because of the way people react around her. After Koichi gets to know her he finds out that not everything is what it seems.  Another theme is about making hard decisions and following your gut.  The student often have to make hard decisions that will leave some people hurt to help others. The students are stuck in a bad situation and can only do what they think is best.

Final Score: 8.6/10

Final Grade: B

LowKev’s Take

To say I enjoy horror would be somewhat of an understatement. However, I’m not a fan of all horror. I usually gravitate toward things that are dark and creepy. I love works that are horrific, yet interesting and deep. That being said, I was a little worried about Another before I started watching. From what I saw/heard, I was afraid that it would be too reliant on gore and violence, and not have enough of that creepy atmosphere that J Horror is known for. I couldn’t be happier that I was proven wrong. Another does have plenty of gore for those who are into that kind of stuff (with seriously twisted and memorable deaths), but it is also oozing with atmosphere. The premise is extremely interesting, thought provoking, and will leave you guessing until the end. I couldn’t believe just how well thought out it was It admittedly took me a few episodes to get into the anime, but once I had a vague understanding of what was going on, I immediately needed to know more. Another especially excels at building unbelievable amounts of tension. I was under constant paranoia while watching, fearing that that something bad was going to happen, or someone was going to die. You get the feeling that no one is safe at any moment, making you freak out at the littlest movement or action, even if all other indicators seem to say it’s safe. Now that’s tension!! And it was achieved through the combination of an amazing premise and equally amazing execution. It also doesn’t help that the characters are all extremely interesting and well thought out, and at around the halfway point I realized that I really liked all of them and didn’t want to see any of them die. The cast is quite diverse, and the anime really makes you feel for them in their situation. Of course, the mystery of it all is the most intriguing part. I’ll do you a favor and not spoil anything (I’ve been intentionally leaving out most information on the plot itself). I will, however, say that it develops extremely well, has a rewarding climax (which was an extreme nail biter), and has twists and developments that left me speechless every time. This anime clearly isn’t for everyone though. If you can’t handle tension like I described, or dislike extremely sad or melancholy anime, this isn’t the one for you. Death is very prevalent in this anime, and I will admit that I sometimes felt too bogged down by the overwhelming sadness. I still say it’s worth it though. The soundtrack excels at heightening the tension, horror, and sadness. Music box pieces, atmospheric noise and crescendos, all of it extremely well done. The Op by ALI PROJECT is very much fitting for the show, especially with her vocal style (very good choice). Then there’s the closing “anamnesis”. Just when you hit tension overload watching the show, this song comes in. It is every bit haunting as it is beautiful, and does an amazing job at making you feel not the horror per se, but the sadness and tragedy of it all. This closer’s by Annabel (who also did the beautiful closer for Sankarea) and is easily one of my all time favorites. It never fails to give goosebumps and just consumes you in its emotions. I realize I’ve been quite vague in this review, but that’s because I don’t want to spoil anything about this anime. I will just say that if you can handle horror, you must watch Another. It is a horror masterpiece and an anime masterpiece.

Final Comments: Another is a fairly unique horror anime.  It often leaves you in suspense and wanting to know what happens next.  What hurts it the most is its characters, it kills off characters quite randomly leaving you with a dissatisfied feeling at points.

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