Another – 01 Review
Every single person had a story to tell, not only with their book, but with their life. It happened 26 years ago, a popular girl named misaki who’s smart, pretty and had a great personality from 9th grade, class 3 suddenly died from an accident. Since Misaki was loved by both students and teachers alike, everybody was in great shock and the class felt hunted, until, suddenly one day someone pointed out misaki’s desk and spoke “Misaki’s right there. She’s not dead”. The rest of the story is….
EPISODE 1 – Rough Sketch
Sakakibara Kouichi, who recently just moved from Tokyo to Yomiyama city (his late mother’s hometown), was bedridden due to his punctured left lung. Upon not being able to attend the class he was visited by 3 of his (odd) classmates namely, Kazami Tomohiko, Sakuragi Yukari & Akazawa Izumi. Weirdly, He was made sure if it was his first time living in Yomiyama, which Sakakibara-kun was so sure of or if not, he claimed to be too young to remember.
At the elevator, He met another strange girl named Mei Misaki, a student from Yomi north with an eye patch on her left eye which he curiously asked (when he realize where she’s heading) if she have something to do on the second level basement (the boiler room/ morgue) which she replied “my other half is waiting for me there”.
It’s already the first day of classes, but before going, her aunt reiko (her mom’s little sister) warned him about the things he needs to know to prepare & MUST surely follow in school stating that things might be a little different from how he does in Tokyo (but she sure does makes it appear as a huge difference). Moving along, the 3rd rule was: “Always uphold the class rules” something about rather than individualism what the group thinks matters most.
Everything followed with the typical class setting where Sakakibara Kouichi introduced himself and was recognized by everybody (though “typically” a normal classroom is not as quiet as theirs) As a transfer student and a person that came from Tokyo, his classmates rounded up trying to be familiar by asking him various questions.
During the P.E class, Sakakibara-kun (stated to like running) who was just been discharged from the hospital, had no choice but to just seat on the bench and patiently watch while others are running. He was seen talking to his classmate, takabayashi who also can’t run due to some heart problems he was born with, but then left after he suddenly doesn’t feel good. After that, Sakuragi-san approached him asking where takabayashi went which he explained resting in the nurse’s office as he saw when he looked down sakuragi’s sprained ankle. Talking about how only class 3 doesn’t share P.E. with another class, Sakuragi responded having the class being “different” which she followed up asking if his classmate Kazami & Teshigawara said anything (weird I guess) to him, but everything felt really awkward when Sakakibara-kun suddenly blurted out the name “Misaki” that doesn’t seem to ring a bell to her.
Looking up, Sakakibara-kun saw a silhouette in the roof top (which he went to check out) and saw Misaki sketching on a notepad and tried to talk to her. He asked her if she remembered him from the elevator which misaki denied immediately (as if she was a different person). She then told him creepier things like if his classmates told him anything, or like how they associate his name to death, but not just any death, a cruel, irrational death that took place at the school, or so she said. She continued by saying how the school was close to death, especially to the 3-3 class (the class he was in).
Something’s wrong with Misaki? (Reminds me of the movie Orphan : >) or not. Everything about Yomiyama Middle School feels so wrong, yet it’s easy to deduce that there is really something going on behind those every little hints of mystery they toss in and desires to portray in the story.
*ehem* but before continuing, in case you didn’t know, I’m one of the new “guest-blogger” from the team, Tsubaki-desu *bows* =D and you will see me often, errr.. More like every week *coughs* reviewing this anime: “another”, and I hope everyone would support me, the other new guest bloggers, the old admins, and the very blog itself = ) *waves hands* arigatooo ne ~ <3
Going back to the topic, “Another” is a new kind of schoolyard horror mystery from Yukito Ayatsuji, the standard-bearer of the “neo-orthodox mystery” movement (ANN) but honestly speaking there was nothing really special about the premise (like we haven’t seen school- horror genres, even in our school we have those stories/ shenanigans being passed down to fellow students that wants to scare the heck out of them), the prologue itself doesn’t give us much but what makes ‘another’ interesting, is still probably the level of vagueness and the good eerie atmosphere (with the handy touch of camera works) they built up after the first 25 minutes of viewing.
Obviously there is something weird going on in class 3-3, as Sakuragi-san refers the class being “different”. It seems that the 26 years old legend is still running through the halls of the classrooms and the mishap of whatever happened in that room is still lurking even as we speak.
Animation wise, I wasn’t really worried (based from experience) with P.A Works in charge of production for I already anticipated they would pull this off, which they really did. The Backdrops and Character designs are alluring, from the radius of sharpness to being Crisp & the fluidity of simulation with its usual (P.A. Works style) color scheme as colorful (but not being too flashy) and were toned down rightly where it needs to be that the animation feels so natural and was beautiful indeed.
I was wondering what seems to be different, but then I realized how (Noizi Ito) changed the character design from being a little mature (I have scanned the manga before) to “cute” or what people refer as “moe”, buuuut since I’m not sure if It’s really a moe kind of character, it’s safe to say that they were made to look “younger” than the original character design. So far, except from the 2 main characters (misaki & Sakakibara) that was focused and fleshed out in the start of the series, no one really perked an interest (but I think that’ll change in the long run), except that everybody is “odd” and seems to be always in “paranoid” state.
Talking about odd, what we deduced so far, except that class 3-3 is a dangerous class to be in, it seems that they are trying to avoid talking the infamous legend about the “misaki” girl that died years ago or about the curse in the very room their in. Another, it seems that people who have stayed there (who lived there long) are somewhat already connected to whatever’s happening in the city or perhaps just in the school. There are certain rules (superstitious belief) that you must absolutely follow or certain punishment (something bad will happen) might befall upon you. I’m not sure how to interpret sakuragi-san’s sprained ankle but it seems like it’s one of those “misfortunes” that class 3-3 is suffering. Lastly, is it me, or Misaki is supposed to be dead already? Judging by how Sakuragi-san reacted upon hearing her name, it’s pretty obvious that the name “Misaki” doesn’t exist, the question now is what make’s Sakakibara-kun so special as he can see misaki?
Disappointingly, what makes an animation more memorable is their opening & ending sequence, which the animation failed to take highly, prioritize off. If the question is whether the music is good/bad? It’s not really that bad, but they could have done better, at least they could have made it more outstanding. I couldn’t say much about the Music sequence but the BGM’s did make up for it; it’s all about the timing that even the long silence makes a slight difference.
Overall, It’s way too early to assume what’s definitely happening, but as far as I can tell, “another” is one of those series that could probably (hoping) shine this season (not the best, but would still be decent to watch), with the assurance that Mizushima Tsutomu- Sensei [blood c] would not sabotage the show (joking) = ) and the intensity of consistency would always be attached. Rather than emphasizing the “horror” genre, this series is inclined to have a good mystery vibe, but I don’t mind either way, how everybody would enjoy it is what’s important.
Episode Rating: 7/10
How did everybody find the new series? I’m pretty sure everybody has lots to say about it too…