A Spooky Mystery – Another Anime Review

“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, 15-year-old Kouichi 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, Kouichi begins to get closer not only to her, but also to the truth behind the gruesome phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North.

Another follows Kouichi, Mei, and their classmates as they are pulled into the enigma surrounding a series of inevitable, tragic events—but unraveling the horror of Yomiyama may just cost them the ultimate price.” – MAL Synopsis

Episodes: 12 – Studio: P.A. Works – Dub/Sub – Aired: Winter 2012 – Finished – MAL Rating: 7.50 – Genres: HorrorMysterySupernaturalSuspense

I wanted to watch a bunch of scary/spooky anime in October leading up to something on Halloween. Unfortunately it was a pretty busy month and I didn’t watch that much anime but the Halloween vibes are still in the air so I thought it was still a great time to watch an anime that is always mentioned when bringing up scary anime. Unfortunately I don’t find anime scary. But, I did still enjoy this show a lot and everything it had going for it!

When talking about the story of Another there was a pretty clear tonal shift from the first half to the second half which is brought about by a major reveal in episode 6. First of all this feels like Final Destination the anime, but like the good Final Destination. I love the whole cursed classroom aspect. The rules set in place for the curse were pretty tight yet also explained in a way that allows for the ending to be what it was. The whole show has a really nice and eerie vibe. The first half of the series is definitely more eerie than the second. I’d say it really tried to dig into that horror aspect while also playing with the mystery of the whole town as we see it through Sakakibara’s eyes. Sakakibara is us, new to the town and being thrust into this scary mishap. While the eerieness didn’t affect me, I can still appreciate it and see how it can affect people. Few if any jumpscares, great imagery, all the stuff that makes good horror was there. My biggest gripe with the first half of this show is really only how characters talk to Sakakibara. They all beat around the bush when talking about the curse it got annoying but it was explained away very well.

The second half of the series is when the final destination comparison really popped into my head. The horror definitely took a back a seat as more stuff got explained and the curse is getting to be understood more and solutions start to arise. The mystery and mystery-solving element took the forefront from here on out and I loved it. The rules around the curse were very tight, the suspense is there, the foreshadowing is great, and the overall storytelling was on point. It seemed as though to make up for the decrease in eerie horror, they ramped up the kills. That’s not to say the kills in the first half weren’t suspenseful and brutal (I think a lot of us have seen the infamous/iconic umbrella scene). But there’s a lot of wild deaths in the second half. As a horror fan, I gotta appreciate a good death scene when it’s done well, and Another hit it out of the park in terms of the kills.

There are a lot of surprisingly cute and wholesome moments. I was here for it. These kids are going through a tragedy and I loved every moment of happiness they got. Throughout its clear to see the mental toll the curse has taken not only on the kids but also former students that were in that class. It actually hurt to see those moments where they broke down or their psyche is just completely broken. Those moments hit. Especially in the last arc and the ending. The ending kind of pissed me off though and it could’ve been completely avoided by just removing a single plot detail. As I watched the ending I was like “DAMN, that was so good. 9/10, the ending was amazing.” Then the episode continued on and that single plot point started to get elaborated on more and it sadly brought down the whole show and made the last arc especially feel very pointless.

There’s a lot of characters here. The main character Sakakibara is a good lead. I don’t have much to say about him. He was smart, his level of curiosity felt right, he didn’t make dumb decisions, everything he did and felt was appropriate. A good mc. Misaki was great. I loved her eerie vibe, the monotone and nonchalant attitude. She has a very mysterious aura but shes sweet. Her and Kouichi were great together. Other than them, the other people from their class that were focused on were good as well. My favorite being Akazawa and Teshigawara. Really good characters all around.

The music and sound effects were outstanding. The opening and ending hit. Particularly the opening is a banger, definitely going into my playlist. The overall sound effects added to the atmosphere immensely. A horror movie/show’s score and use of it is so key in really hammering home the atmosphere. Another nails it. Also on the note of sound effects, the sounds during all the death scenes were so brutal and vivid, I loved it. The animation was amazing for the most part. There were some really beautiful and eerie shots/scenes. The death scenes were crazy, the overall brutality was very well captured. There’s some use of CGI here and there and sometimes it looks really great and it’s barely noticeable, sometimes it stands out like a sore thumb. Nothing enough to bring down my overall opinion of the animation. Finally voice acting. I watched the dub and overall it was solid. The performances ranged from eh to pretty good. There were some moments that I wish were performed better but its good enough overall.

So yeah, Another is a pretty damn good anime. I’d almost go as far to say it’s great but certain things in the ending really retroactively made the show worse. Regardless I really enjoyed this and I’d recommend it to anybody if you’re a fan of horror/mystery/suspense and can stomach the brutality of it all. Great story, good characters, great atmosphere, amazing music and animation. Another is definitely worth a watch.

Another – 7/10

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