- Release Date
- Winter 2012
- No. of Episodes
- P.A. Works
- Light Novel
- R - 17+
When it comes to the horror genre within any medium, it can be quite tricky to flesh out fully. To properly execute within the horror genre, a series needs to cautiously walk a tight rope without falling into the trench of being too campy. If a series successfully entices an audience and evokes fear or suspense, it may have successfully crossed the channel, though that’s easier said then done. With so many horror elements within any medium, only one question comes to mind: is it worth watching? Sometimes this particular question is the hardest to answer, especially when viewers have a never-ending “to be watched” list, and if the series doesn’t attract them quickly, they’ll drop it and move on.
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Another is a 2012 Mystery Horror anime series from the ambivalent studio, P.A. Works. While the studio itself hasn’t had the best track record, the series itself and thirty-eight other anime and manga titles happened to get banned in China, so it must be good, right? Though much like any horror series that comes along, I always tread with caution. Because they tend to focus less on the story and horror and more on the jump scares. Though with such a highly ranked source material, the tale must be decent at its worst, right?
In 1972, a popular student in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 passed away during the school year. Since then, the town of Yomiyama has been shrouded in a fearful atmosphere, from its dark secrets hidden within the depths of the city. Twenty-six years later, 15-year-old Kouichi Sakakibara transfers into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North and soon 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 head to warnings from everyone, including Mei herself, Kouchi begins to get closer to not only her but also to the truth behind the gruesome phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North. Will the students survive the school year, or will they be another class trapped within class 3-3 dark secrets?
If one is looking for more of a spinetingling horror story, they’ll be disappointed, mainly due to this series being the true horror definition. Though don’t let that deter any potential viewer from this series because what it does aptly is giving its audience the spinetingling feeling with a good story with semi-decent pacing. Having those three factors within one story is instead an excellent example of storytelling. Though I must admit that if one isn’t fond of blood or final destination type deaths, this will be the leading factor in whether this series will be enjoyable for the viewer.
The unfortunate aspect of Another is that if a series is going to follow the definition of horror, seemingly inevitable but predictable doom, where the piece’s climax is either getting away or stopping evil. With that critical piece of information and the mystery plus the horror elements within the series combined, the mystery and the horror tend to lack, especially when the story is trying to progress. Another negative part of this story is that one of the greatest appeals to entertainment, whether books, music, film, and even television, is the piece’s re-watch ability factor.
With this particular series, one easily could rewatch again, but there isn’t a need to since there is no longer any mystery within it. This means that when the series shows all of its cards, the veil has lifted, leaving no more secrets or even the slightest bit of doubt in the viewers’ minds. This isn’t anything new within storytelling, and it’s even more of a burden when it’s a mystery – though it has happened numerous times before, and a fine example would be The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake. Another negative aspect of this story, though exceptionally written, lacks fundamental secondary characters, or anyone outside of the two main characters. Don’t expect a wonderfully executed rendition of a tale that will entertain massive audiences throughout the years to come; sure, there are a few character arcs within the series, but nothing to demand anything other than a slow clap of applause.
However, this series’s art style was very anticipated, yet still lacked any real horror on its own. The artwork is very gloomy and dark to make the viewer feel more anxious, but it falls flat when it pulls away from that element. While the character designs may not be for everyone, some being better than others, they are rather generic. The series focused more on setting the right atmosphere rather than creating originality within its work. Though the generic artwork is not announcing its negative, and that’s far from the truth, some scenes are wonderfully detailed and very talented. But if one held up two images from other series within the same genre, they probably wouldn’t tell the difference.
While the artwork within this series is rather generic, the series’s production was a splendid tag team decision. With the wonderfully crafted music created by Kow Otani and the sound director, Yoshikazu Iwanami, clearly confirms that these two are an excellent pair to team up with any project. Now the gory elements within this series are the best-animated segments within the series. However, the series isn’t just about blood and death – that’s called a compilation. The dark tones and colors mixed with the eerie music show this series strengths, especially when it comes to the deaths. However, those are few and far between.
As mentioned, this series lacks any proper character development from anyone outside of its main characters, and even that’s not the complete truth. Anyone outside of the Koichi Sakakibara isn’t fully fleshed out, which is a disappointment. They have all the pieces to make a decent character base, yet they somewhat throw it away for cheap horror. This series does have interesting characters and some that the viewers can potentially get behind, but with the lack of ability to understand them. When their end eventually does come, it just leaves the viewer potentially pondering and forgetting the importance of the character.
Throughout this series’s multiple screenings, Another’s entertainment value was admittedly the most challenging part to pin down. At times it felt like this series was decent at best, yet at others, it felt more mediocre and stayed there. However, this series has done something that potentially gets overlooked within any medium, and that’s the environmental viewers’ experience. While this series lacks pacing in critical areas and even lacks character development, it does pose a sustainable presence within specific environments.
While there may be other series that have done better within the same genre, this series has shown that it can be enjoyable and entertaining. For instance, if one is looking for a good anime series to get the chills, this would be a superb choice, same for having a marathon of horror anime. Outside of them, I can’t imagine this series would be watched as often as others, but it’s still pleasantly entertaining. As mentioned before, this series lacks some key pieces and falls flat at times, so don’t expect a high-class anime series and anticipate an adequate time.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.