I thought I’d start out with something easy for my first review… the anime Another (2012). This horror/mystery/psychological anime is only 12 episodes long with one OVA. Anyway, here goes…
What’s it about?
Koichi Sakakibara moves to Yomiyama to live with his grandparents and aunt. Unfortunately for Koichi, he is rather a sickly young kid, and spends his would-be first day of school in hospital. Whilst there, he gets a strange visit from his classmates Izumi Akazawa, Kazami Tomohiko and Yukari Sakuragi (read: class officer and co.) Furthermore, he also meets a strange girl wearing an eye-patch- Mei Misaki, who’s just chilling in the morgue (technically, she’s there to give a doll to someone).
When Koichi is eventually well enough to go to school, he finds that Mei is in his class. However, every other person in the class, including the teacher, acts like she doesn’t exist. Koichi quickly realises that there’s something ‘not right’ about the school, and, as the anime unfolds, the school’s dark history is revealed, and the deaths of Koichi’s classmates begin…
There is a lot to love about this anime. The two main characters (Koichi and Mei) are both likeable and I think quite realistic in terms of their reaction to the events that occur around them. The characters share a good relationship on screen. Both of the characters are well styled, especially Mei, with her eye-patch, pale skin and dark hair. You could easily mistake her for a ghost…
The anime is beautifully drawn with a lot of attention to detail. The horror/death scenes are always drawn well and realistically (well, as realistically as they can be 😛 ). There are great horror aspects in the art, especially the dolls in episode 2, which I found to be as creepy as hell. The anime opening is also drawn well with a great song by Ali Project.
Another’s strongest point is its plot. The ‘horror’ aspect is drawn from suspension and mystery rather than out right blood-curdling scenes. The plot draws you in and you definitely keep watching to get a number of questions answered- Who is Mei Misaki and why is she ignored by everyone? Why are the students dying? Why does the class need a “Head of Countermeasures”?. There are also a number of plot twists- the best being the final one, which I don’t want to reveal here because of spoilers. The anime ends with a fast-paced and gripping conclusion, answering all questions and wrapping up the series neatly.
The main thing I didn’t like about Another was the pacing- particularly at the start of the anime. It’s a little slow to start up. Whilst I obviously didn’t expect to learn the full story within the first episode, I expected to pace to pick up for a bit and for explanations to start once the deaths begin. However the plot stays slow for a little longer. Fortunately, the last four or five episodes are paced perfectly, with enough action and suspense to keep you wanting more.
The only other minor issues I found in Another was being confused by the story’s long term timeline- something that was probably my own fault, because a friend who also watched the anime said he had no problems with it.
Finally, a few of the characters were a bit bland, but this was expected in an anime of this kind- there isn’t time nor reason to have all characters as well thought out as the mains.
The only other problem that others might have with it is the bloodiness of the death scenes. This didn’t bother me at all, but if you dislike blood or confronting deaths, it may be best to avoid this anime.
Anything else I should consider?
If you’re ready to give up on this anime in the first couple of episodes- STOP! Please, please, PLEASE at least watch Episode 3: “Bone Work”, all the way until the end. Why should I? You smugly think, not wanting to waste your time any more. Well, *incoming spoilers* at the end of this episode, the first student is killed. This death is completely unexpected (well at least I didn’t expect it), and marks the beginning of the show’s goriness. If you aren’t gripped by this death, and aren’t wanting more by the end of the episode, then you can give up.
Art: 9/10: Well drawn, the death scenes are bloody but not off-putting.
Story: 9/10: The plot is gripping and full of twists, with a solid ending, although slow pacing at the start.
Characters: 7/10: The characters are likeable enough, and you are drawn in to see if they survive.
This was the first horror anime I watched, and I really liked it. The plot is excellent, the characters (for the most part) likeable, and it is drawn well. I highly recommend this to any horror fans, Final Destination fans, or anyone who wants a great anime with an excellent plot, that will keep you guessing until the end. Overall, I give it an 8/10.
I hope you enjoyed my first review 😀
I tried not to give away any spoilers, so I hoped I covered the anime in enough detail for you to get a good sense of it. If you have any comments/questions/feedback regarding the anime or format of the reviews, please comment! 🙂