Another (2012)

anotherSo this is the first time in about five years that I have sat through a whole anime series. I don’t know what happened… at one point I was in talks with someone about doing reviews for anime but all of a sudden I just kind of lost interest. Either way after all of this time and talking to several people (including Katie and Taylor from the OTT Podcast) I’ve decided that I should pick of some good horror anime. First one up is Another. This will contain some spoilers in the storyline section. You have been warned.

1972 was the first year that a student died in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3. So year after year there is this constant worry about a curse and for our unlucky main character, Koichi Sakakibara, he is trust into the whole thing with no prior knowledge. Once he enters the class he starts to notice this girl who no one else even seems to see. There is a lot going on with this class, they have a girl who is in charge of “countermeasures”, and it’s clear that this is not a simple ghost story.

The girl that no one else can see, Mei Misaki, is the center of this whole thing. Later in the series we see that she is actually alive and has been designated as a “extra one” as a ward to make sure the calamity doesn’t happen. I’ not sure exactly why the ward didn’t work that year (it apparently works 50-50) but it gets pretty blood a couple of episodes in.

Even though we have a rather full range of characters in the class there really isn’t that many that stick out.  The main character Kouichi is not exactly the most original when it comes to anime. He is the run of the mill high school student who has a clot of compassion for people who seem to be suffering in one way or another. Thankfully he actually does have a rather wide range of emotion in this story including one point where he believes that he may be the “extra one” and the reason why the deaths are happening.

Mei Misaki is my favorite character and I think she is meant to be people’s favorite just because of hwo she is written. More often than not in the beginning of the series she refuses to give simple questions. She is the smallest in the class yet seems to be the perfect student, straight A’s and a desire to serve the class regardless of what it would do to her. When she was picked to be the one, Mei accepted it without any issues. This is something that I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to. The most interesting characteristic is that of her eye, at a young age she had one replaced with a dolls eye… I can’t remember why but it ends up being a big deal later on.

The other notable class members are Izumi Akazawa and Naoya Teshigawara. Izumi is the one in charge of countermeasures, meaning she is to prevent the curse coming out at all cost. She is cold to most people but it comes clear (to me anyways) that she is fond of Koichi even thought she partially blames him for the curse coming out. Naoya you see a lot of towards the end of the series and ends up being a confidant of Mei and Kouichi. He is willing to do anything to help protect the rest of his classmates.

The animation is super clean and fluid. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but I’ve watched some that were definitely lower budget and that could be seen because it seemed that they took a lot of shortcuts. I liked that character designs, I know there can’t be a huge variation because they are in school uniforms for the most part. A few times we get to see characters outside of school and I was pretty happy to see the Hawaiian shirt. Clearly the best designed character is Mei… I don’t know what it was cut the eye patch and fake eye caught my attention.

As a side note the blood in this anime is really well done.

For the first anime I sat through in a long time I would say that this was a fun way to start. I was never all that into horror anime but this changed my mind.

Grade A

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