Well, because of the issues I mentioned in the last post, I did not make an ebook archive of March and since the show that I have been following aired the last episode for free this week, I decided that I would include the posts I currently have for April in the archive. Anyway, as I mentioned, a show that I have been following has finally come to end. Today, I will be posting a series review of Another.
Kouichi Sakakibara is entering his last year of middle school. However, because of his father's work, he has to live with his grandparent in Yomiyama, where he was apparently born fifteen years earlier. Before he starts school, he suffers from a collapsed lung. After he recovers, he meets Mei Misaki, who turns out to be in his class. His classmates, and even Misaki herself, warn him not to get close to her, but he does not listen and a mysterious string of deaths starts to occur. Many claim it is the curse of Kouichi's class and Kouichi, working with Misaki and a few of his classmates, is determined to find out what it is, why it is happening, and how to stop.
I have to say that I really did enjoy the series. I know that there were not any episodes that I explicitly said I hated, but many should be able to tell what episodes I complained the most about. What was really nice was that right from the beginning there was a creepy atmosphere about almost everything. Many of the horrors works I have encountered, though as I said before, I have not paid a lot of attention to the horror genre, had a peaceful opening then things got scary. Yes, there are exceptions to what I have encountered, but that just produces a bit of dramatic irony, which is what creates the creepy atmosphere in those works. In this series, the town itself gives off the vibe of ever-looming death, even the school and the way Kouichi's classmates talk about Misaki and the school treats his class, as a whole, is creepy. A few other things that we learn, which keeps things creepy, is a rumor that a string of deaths tends to happen to not only students in Kouichi's class but anyone related to them as well, up to two generation apart we learn later, and the unknown about Misaki, whom we are led to believe at the start is a ghost or something else undead, due to a story about somebody named Misaki from 26 years ago that also seems widespread. Things do not help that people will not, understandably, tell Kouichi everything they know. Like a horror work should, its creepy atmosphere maintained itself throughout most of the duration. The fact that Kouichi investigates the incidents, as well as the uncertainty of Misaki, and that we are reminded of current unanswered questions, as well as get issued new ones, certainly bring the appeal of the mystery genre. Like I said in another post, just because there is a mystery does not mean that there has been a crime, which this show clearly illustrates. Being that it is twelve episodes long, I would say that the pacing was pretty good, and things certainly wrapped up in the end like both mystery and horror titles should. The show had and nice pace and was done pretty much how it should have gone.
I know that in the episode reviews, I have been saying that nothing bad can be seen, but now that the series is over, we can take a look at some negatives that have been present or just now revealed themselves in the series. The first negative that comes to mind, but does not really affect the quality, as the good outweighed it, is that episode 5 and 6 were almost completely void of a creepy atmosphere that horror works should have. Yes, many stories do have peaceful moments, in order to relax the audience and characters, before things get creepy again. However, it should just stay to one scene, and not particularly the place where we have been getting our creepy atmosphere from, unless the story does focus on only one area, which is definitely the case for the manga version and supposedly of what I could dig up about the novel, which was the original source for both the manga and anime. The only other thing that comes to mind, and I cannot say it takes down the quality of the series, but may turn people off, is that the show is very violent and bloody. It pretty much has to be since the string of deaths that the series focuses upon are not all caused by a disease, but things like being crushed from an elevator crashing down, impaled by glass or umbrella tip or knife, especially in the neck in the latter two, hanging, falls, etc. Luckily, we do not see the knives or other sharp objects go through the neck, only the before and after. A teacher even commits suicide in front of his class. Language-wise, although the subs I was watching could be inaccurate (I can only catch things like numbers in the range of 1-99, and even then I do not know all the terms that refer to a number. For example, I do not much beyond the Japanese using yon instead of shi, supposedly due to the latter being close to the word for death), this could easily be for an adolescent. However, the violence may be a bit much, but not as bad as the Deadman Wonderland anime. Aside from the complaint about episodes 5 and 6, the only thing that can truly be said is that the show has lots of blood and violence, even though it does not seem gratuitous, since the mystery aspect focuses on a recurrent string of deaths.
Despite the negatives, I am still glad I got the opportunity to watch this show. After all, there is more than just Japanese animation that is inappropriately rated higher than it should be in the US and streaming gives me the ability to tell if it was rated inappropriately or not. I will definitely recommend this series to fans of horror and mystery. As for those who dislike blood and violence, no matter whether it is gratuitous or not, I recommend staying away from this series.
As for me, I most likely will not buy this series, even though the quality of it is good. If the novel ever got translated, officially or not, I would like to check out it though because of this show.
What is your opinion of Another? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.
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