In every school, there always exists some form of school legend about some creepy place, or some creepy teacher. In my school, it was said that a spirit dwells within a mural outside the school music room. There was a creepy looking painting of a middle-aged man in the mural, holding up a conductor’s baton and legend goes that if you look at it for a long time, you’ll feel a tingling sensation, starting from your feet, up to your knees…Soon you’ll be paralyzed with fear as you will realize that your zip is open and the wind is blowing!!!
And…it is unknown whether it is the spirit that is playing tricks on you or you actually forgot to zip it after coming out of the loo…but many people have fallen victim to this spirit…and it’s not just the boys…There are female victims as well…
Well, I made that up, but the mural really does exist in my school and there really is an air of mystery surrounding it. There’s even a story about it and it was even said that if you stare at for too long, the guy in the mural will stare right back at you…
Anyway, Another preys on the psychological aspect of stories like that and haunts the innocent minds of the younglings. It revolves around a certain legend of how in a student in a certain 3-3 class in Yomiyama Middle School back in 1972 died. The student was named Yomiyama Misaki and was a very popular person in school. Everyone adored Misaki and when Misaki died, they had a bad time accepting Misaki’s death. So, they decided that they will go on with their lives, except that they will treat Misaki as one of the living! As if that was not enough, they even prepared a seat in the graduation ceremony for Misaki! Creepy, I know but what’s worse is yet to come…After the graduation ceremony, the class decided to take a class photo and when the photo came out, they saw a ghostly pale Misaki smiling in the photo! But this still wasn’t the last of what you’ll hear of it…
Fast-forward 26 years, Kouchi Sakakibara, a transfer student from Tokyo moved to the place and transferred into that exact class in that exact middle school. He didn’t notice anything peculiar except for the fact that there was a student named Misaki in the class whom no one seems to notice…
So, if you’re a fan of Thai horror movies or Japanese legends like Ju-On or Ringu, seriously, DON’T watch this. Huh? You asked. No, actually, I asked of you, just you people who love horror and ghost stories, DON’T watch this. The rest of you, go on. Why? Here’s a few reasons why a horror fan will hate this anime.
First, the horror genre in anime is really, really broad. Even an anime series with the slightest hint of gore or ghosts can be classified as horror and Another really doesn’t do the tag Horror justice. Despite the mystery surrounding the incidents that occur, this anime strikes me as another cheesy knock-off of Final Destination. Well, I have to give them credit for the great OP that set the disturbing atmosphere for the anime . The animation and the song was all top-notch and creepy to the point now every time I see a dark corridor, the disturbing images of the OP comes to mind.
The reason I said it was like a cheesy knock-off of Final Destination is because of the nonsensical deaths occuring all around them. I mean, they died because they had to. Like, they died so coincidentally and the main characters, especially Mei Misaki or Sakakibara seem to be unperturbed by all the senseless deaths around them while the rest of the characters just pretty much cannon fodder. There’s not much reason for them to be there in the first place other than to be screaming wallflowers in the class 3-3. And the writers themselves seem to have no idea what’s going on, since they made a U-turn halfway through the story and came up with another explanation about things. For me, that was when the fascination towards the story disappeared. And dear producers and writers, gore does not equal horror.
I have no doubt that the source material, the novel by the same name is quite good and creepy since it has such a good reception that it got animated but the anime really isn’t just as good. For starters, the way it changes the original story for maximum shock value has inevitably decreased its sensitivity of the plot. For example, a certain relative of Sakakibara is supposed to die by drowning in the river, instead she was killed off by a stalker. Huh? How does that even make sense?
Due those ‘ingenious’ plot twists, this anime has been labelled as ‘crazy’ which in a sense, isn’t all that bad since many other crazy anime series have made their way to fame, but sadly, Another is an exception. In a horror genre plot, I expect cold-blooded spirits and calculated frights that leave you on the edge of your seat, not something that leaves you hanging and scratching your head.
Although I must say, this anime successfully created a tense and creepy atmosphere in the beginning even though nothing makes sense before everything exploded into a bloody mess, especially the OP. ‘Cause right now I’m in an empty office during lunch hour and all the lights are offed. My office is quite small and the light from the screen dimly illuminates the office. As I dig my memories of watching Another, I look out for shadows and the spinning ceiling fan lest it falls on me… So, I’ll say, the OP single-handedly did what the anime couldn’t : instill fear in its viewers.
So, yeah, here I am trying to brave through another 45 minutes in this dark and empty office, distracting myself by humming the tune of ‘City Hunter’ OP and Beelzebub OP1, while trying not to look at the flickering shadows behind me. Wish me luck…
Oh, yeah, before I piss myself wet trying to write this review and forget everything out of fear, I’d like to tell you readers reading this to watch this. Really, although it’s kind of stupid and spooky at the same time, if you don’t watch this, you’re missing out on some must-watch anime. Another is after all a legend is its own right. So, yeah, watch it, no matter how stupid it gets. Or spooky.
Anyway, till my next post, it’s “Dadadadadada Dadadadadadadadadadadada da da dadada~”
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Have a great day and a great weekend too!!