This is my fourth review. This is an anime I watched in one sitting. It’s strong indication that it’s a really good series. I am very plot oriented so when I tell you a plot is good, it’s really good. The anime I’m talking about is titled Another. It’s a twelve episode anime that I truly can say is a great mystery anime.
I recently watched Ookami Kakushi and I could tell you that anime needed a bit of Another’s charm. That anime was a huge letdown. Luckily, my spirits was revitalized after watching this one.
There’s a legend in this town.
About Class Three of Twenty Six Years ago. Nobody has told you yet?
There was once a student who excelled in both sports and her studies. She was kind to everyone. Both the teachers and students adored her. But shortly after starting the ninth grade, she died. The story I heard is that her and her family died in a plane crash. But there are several other theories. Some say it was a car accident, while others claim she died of a house fire. At any rate, everyone in the class is completely shocked. Everyone was overcome with grief. But suddenly, someone said, “She isn’t dead.”
He pointed to her desk and said, “Look, she’s right there. She’s alive and well.”
After that, other students say the same. “He’s right, she’s not dead.”
That behavior spread throughout the rest of the class like a chain reaction. Nobody wanted to accept the truth. They didn’t want to accept the cruel reality. Everyone in the class continued with the act, insisting she was alive. Even the homeroom teacher sided with them.
“It’s true. She’s alive. So you should all continue to work as a team until the day you all graduate together. “
The principal even arranged to have her seat included in their graduation ceremony. So, after graduation, everybody gathered in the classroom for the class photo. The whole class, including the teacher. But when they looked at the photo, they noticed something. To the side of the photo they could see the girl who should not have been there. Her face was deathly pale but she smiled like everyone else.
That girl…the student who died…was named Misaki.
Taking the Pants Off
This is how you do a good mystery anime. I salute the efforts it took to make this anime. The first half of the episode will really capture your interest. The mood of the anime is incredibly tense. You can barely figure out what the anime is about and that’ll basically urge you to watch the anime until the end.
The anime follows Kouichi Sakikabara who recently moves to Yomiyama to attend school there. The first episode really sets a fantastic mood. The air is tense and it feels like you’re in a funeral. There seems to be an uncomfortable calmness in the anime. It’s like the calm before the storm. I’m really having a hard time doing this review right now without spoiling the crucial details.
The anime is stiff and suffocating in the first three episodes. The mystery is greatly established. Kouichi meets a girl with an eye patch named Mei Misaki. She is almost ghost like having no real presence at all. Kouchi was visited by his classmates a couple of days before he attended school. They’re tense and it’s as if they are hiding something. They seem to want to say something to Kouichi but they keep holding it back. He then comes to school and the air is also tense. They keep avoiding every question Kouichi ask. Whenever he asks about the girl with an eye patch, his classmates would give him a scared look and avoids the question. This would make Kouichi curious about the existence of Misaki.
Misaki would explain the situation pertaining to a legend about the class they are in. She tells her about the curse of class 3. That is basically the mystery of the anime.
You have three questions you waiting to be answered:
1. Who is Misaki? Is she a ghost? Does she exist?
2. What is the secret the classmates are hiding?
3. What is the curse of class 3?
These questions are answered fairly quickly in the anime. The mysteries would be answered halfway through the anime. When they are answered, it’s almost as if a veil is lifted. Knowing the mystery seems to lift the air up a bit. Kouichi would suddenly understand the status quo and other characters are slowly introduced. The first three mysteries are indeed answered but more questions branch out from those answers. So up until the end, there is a question looming over your head and that will keep you watching up until the end.
Just as quickly as the mystery is lifted, the anime would suddenly turn into gore. This transition is something enjoyable and greatly appreciated. The people in class three would suddenly meet tragic accidents. The anime isn’t shy of showing you a girl squirming while she slowly dies of being impaled in the neck by a pointy umbrella. The deaths are really amazing. I hate gore but they mix it in so intelligently that the story wouldn’t be complete without it.
These deaths are reminiscent of those in Final Destination. It’s an American horror movie about people dying through natural means. Events like being hit by a car or crushed by fallen glass. The deaths in Another seems almost natural with the victims being the only one to blame. It’s truly amazing and something really inspired.
When the mystery is slowly lifted, these two characters easily got along. These two are also the only characters the viewers can relate to. The other characters are introduced but with death just around the corner, it’s almost clear that only Kouichi and Misaki are the only characters safe. They are safe because they are the main characters. The bond formed within the two characters is also a fun watch. Kouichi is this guy who was hurled in this mystery desperately looking for answers. Misaki is this outcast that opens up to Kouichi when no one else would. Misaki would also confide in Kouichi strengthening their bond.
Other characters are introduced in small doses. Some are introduced just so the viewers can have an emotional connection with them when they die. Other characters are introduced as supporting cast who would either help answer the remaining mysteries or pile in more questions to answer. Characters who would help Kouichi with the mystery are his classmates who would try to escape their ill-fated death. They try to stop the deaths and find a certain way to stop the curse. These characters would also participate in an out of place beach scene. Seriously, I’m perplexed.
Other characters don’t really help and just adds in on the mystery. One of them is Kouichi’s dad who sporadically calls. He seems to be forgetful whenever Kouichi asks some questions regarding his mother. There is also his aunt who conveniently doesn’t remember crucial details about the past. Certain details that could greatly help Kouichi answer the mystery behind the curse.
I have some problem with the anime though. One problem is the deaths; the characters don’t seem to mourn over their classmates’ death. The characters simply die and they are never mentioned again. Kouichi and Misaki would almost feel no remorse over the death. Kouichi just seem to care about the mystery and nothing else. While it’s a good thing the characters aren’t distracted, it seems impossible to be mentally stable after witnessing so many deaths. Not one person would cower in fear. It’s a little pet peeve of mine but something that doesn’t ruin the anime.
The final episodes are the best bit. The anime would suddenly be flipped upside down and the students of class three would descend in their own personal hell. The anime ends pretty nicely. All the mysteries are answered and the ending is satisfying.
Sight and Sound
The animation helps establish the mood significantly. The town of Yomiyama is old and eerily quiet. The buildings are old and some places are rusty. The scenes are always cloudy representing the uncertainty of the anime. The scenery is both gloomy and mysterious at times. It adds a huge amount of anxiety in the viewers, particularly in the first episodes when we are still trying to figure out what the story is about.
The anime would also employ dolls to heighten the paranoia. I am creeped out by dolls and some scenes would focus on the faces of the doll. The human-like dolls would play a huge role in establishing the horror factor of the anime.
The sound is also an important part of the anime. It establishes the suspense of the anime. There are moments when you are left wondering what will happen next and the sound would suddenly raise to build suspense.
The opening song is called Kyoumu Densen sang by ALI PROJECT. The song is dark and hair raising. It establishes a feel of vulnerability when you hear it. When it is coupled by the OP scene, it employs the mystery and horror almost too easily. The ending song is a huge contrast though. It’s the only moment in the entire anime that is bright and vibrant. The song is also sad as if mourning the deaths in the anime. It brings a sort of a calm feel and peaceful mood entirely different from the anime.
8/10 “It’s rare to experience a fulfilling mystery anime that satisfy all expectations.”
Another is something I would highly recommend. It’s rich in plot, the mystery persists through the end and the overall feel of the anime is top notch. I urge you to watch this anime because it’s one of the best anime around.