It has been a while since I did a book review, huh? Due to how I obtain books, I do not usually get books on the day or week they are first released. However, I am pretty lucky this time around.
Back in May, I found out that the novel version of a series I covered back in 2012 was finally being released here and I reviewed the first book.
This week, I was able to get the last book around the time it was actually released. Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Another Volume 2 by Yukito Ayatsuji.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Having disobeyed the wishes of his class, Koichi has become a person that is not there, because the class thinks that will prevent more deaths from occurring.
However, the efforts were futile, as more deaths still occurred.
Upon investigation by Koichi and his classmates, they find out that there is a way to stop the string of deaths and they are determined to find out how.
I enjoyed this book. The creepy atmosphere around Yomiyama, unlike the anime, seemed to persist right up to end. For something in the horror genre, I would expect nothing less. After all, I do not really that anybody could find anything scary if the atmosphere itself was not very creepy to begin with. Of course, the mystery aspect of the story did not disappear either, as the question of who the extra person was still ran through my mind throughout the course of the book. Of course, no matter how creepy Mei Misaki was in the first book, I could not really say that she was the one, even if my experience with detective, mystery, and crime fiction tells me to suspect her. I also liked how the things that happened in this book were just as surprising as they were in the anime, if not more so. Normally, it feels so dull to find out the same details, but I was engrossed in this book to the point where I had pretty much forgotten some of the stuff revealed. Another nice thing was that a police detective also became interested in the events that were happening in Koichi’s class. No matter whether or not these events were a string of accidental deaths, I think that somebody in the field of law enforcement would be interested in investigating such events. However, seeing as there is not really anybody causing these events to happen directly, I do not see how somebody that would normally be skeptical of the supernatural would be able to do anything. It was also nice to see Koichi’s hesitation when he found out the truth. While he did hesitant in both the manga and anime, I think that it was more believable here. In anime, we never really saw a comparison between Koichi’s mother and Koichi’s aunt, except maybe being grown up. All we get is a comment from Misaki that they share a similar appearance. However, in this book, there is a photo with Reiko as a child and Misaki makes the comment then. While it does happen in the manga as well, I just do not seem to get the feeling that it is really hard for Koichi to end things, though it could be that I was just glancing through some scenes, and not reading it all the way through. Outside of that, I cannot really think of anything else without repeating myself. The fact that the creepy atmosphere continued on through this book, as well as the fact that Koichi’s hesitation was more believable in book than the anime when he found out the truth, did make this a good book.
Although I liked the book, there are certainly some issues. First, the Table of Contents is similar to that of a manga. It starts off at chapter ten and ends at an epilogue. I thought that this was supposed to be a normal book. As such, the first chapter should have been chapter one. I know that this is may sound nitpicky, since the last chapter of the first book was chapter nine, but many readers coming to this series may be a bit annoyed that chapters are not numbered like the normal books over here. Of course, I think the reason that this happened was because Another was originally a book that totaled about 677 pages, according to Amazon’s Japanese site, and it was later split into two volumes, which is the version Yen Press got. However, the only thing that can determine whether this is either a minor or major issue is to see how the Japanese versions of the two books were released, which I unfortunately will not do, due to the fact that I cannot read or speak Japanese, though I do know a few things. For now, I will just label it as an annoyance. The other thing that I did not really like is that the extra person was obvious way before the end. Yes, in the two adaptations of this book that I have access to (I cannot find the third, which is a live action adaptation), that person is the same, so those who either watch the anime or read the manga will know right away, but I think even without reading or watching those adaptations, it would be easy to tell. This is because of Koichi’s grandfather’s words. Either Koichi’s grandfather is losing his mind or his words were actually the truth. In any case, it was a very major hint to finding the extra person and ruined the mystery behind who the extra person was. Another thing that was not that great was the fact that the extra person had to be killed to bring everything to an end. Now, I may not have as much experience with the horror genre as I do the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, but this kind of annoyed me because it reminded me of how a lot of events in the show South Park end, which usually have somebody (often the character called Kenny) die. Some people, on the other hand, are annoyed by it because it is similar to a manga series I decided to pick up, though the deaths there are not accidents like most of the deaths in Another are. I just think that there should have been a much more creative way to end the mysterious events. Still, it did not ruin the experience too much. Other than that, the only other issue I noticed was some minor writing issues that did not seem to affect things. While the Table of Contents shares a similarity with manga releases, the things that hurt the story the most were the fact that the extra person was revealed way before the end and the fact that yet again death was the answer to the problem.
Despite the issues, the story was good enough that this was definitely worth reading. I recommend this to fans of the Another anime and manga, as well as those that liked the first book. As for everyone else, I recommend reading the first volume, before considering this book.
What are your thoughts on Another Volume 2? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.