Preview: Another

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Holy crap, its been so long since I’ve written a preview post. I hope I haven’t forgotten how to do them.

Actually, if all goes well, I should have a second preview post out today. Cool, right? I’m thinking of making my Sundays kind of “chill out” days. I’m not playing games, I take the time to feel relaxed, watch some anime, write some posts, actually do some homework, etc. It’s a nice break from all of the questing and PvP of Old Republic. And school, obviously.
Though, if I was smart, I would actually schedule the post to go out in a few days, so I don’t have to worry about needing to write a post within the next 2-3 days. But I can’t do it, I’m far too impatient; I prefer to publish my posts right away rather than save them.

Also, before I start this post, I should mention that there will be a pretty huge spoiler at the end. Normally I don’t really care too much, because I consider the first three episodes to be fair game, but something pretty significant happens at the end of the third episode that’s worth seeing for yourself if you’re interested. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, I’ll try and cover the necessities in the beginning.

As most of you already know, I like browsing around and seeing other blogger’s opinions on shows, partially to see which shows turn out to be popular or not, but also to see opinions on certain aspects of shows that I disagree with, to know what I should cover. I know there are some readers that go around a multitude of blogs, so I like to provide differing opinions where I can.

Interestingly enough, Another has been getting fairly positive reception. There are some people who seem to dislike it, and more that are in the middle, but a fair amount seem to be enjoying the show, which pleases me. However, a common thread I’ve noticed is that people are kind of a coin toss when it comes to the show being in the horror genre. Even some people who like the show still aren’t completely sold on it being a horror.

So, what better topic to cover than that?snap2

I’m not entirely sure whether it was the problem or not, but something to note from the get-go is that Eastern and Western horror is handled very differently. Western horror is all about the ugly monsters and lack of sound in the occasional tense moments and things popping out yelling “ABLOOGEE WOOGEE WOO!” Eastern horror, on the other hand, is usually more subtle, and likes to screw with your head. It’s as if you occasionally feel someone poking the back of your head, only to turn around and see no one there every time you look. Eventually it’ll get to the point where you’ll be convinced you’re going insane, or you’ll start telling everyone about these invisible, magic gnomes that like to poke people in the back of the head, only to not understand that nobody believes you.

Possibly excessive analogies aside, I think there’s at least some people that won’t be able to get into the show due to the difference in how horror is handled. Which is a shame, because it handles this pretty damn well.

Throughout the episodes, there’s always the air of something not being right, or information being withheld. Right from the beginning, you can tell that the classmates have something to hide. You know what the event they don’t want to talk about is, due to the prologue, but you can still tell there’s far more to the story than just that. If it was really just a matter of hiding the death, they wouldn’t be acting quite as oddly as they do. The whole idea that your classmates are in on something that they don’t want you to know, and manipulate you to avoid whatever it is, is extremely creepy. People may disagree, but if I was in that situation, I’d be freaking the hell out and want to change schools.

Oh, and then there’s Mei. While there’s nothing inherently creepy about Mei, she’s the odd one out. The fact that she never bothers to interact with anybody, and that nobody ever seems to notice her is suspicious. It then gets even weirder (and creepier) once you find out what the deal with her eye patch is. Perhaps it’s predictable, but it honestly doesn’t make it any less creepy, especially since we don’t know the reason behind it.

Then in the third episode, it gets brought up that she doesn’t actually exist, and our lead character is the only one who can see her. While it normally would be brushed off as a joke, Kouichi remembers all of the times when people just seemed to not see her, or when he was told not to mingle with things that don’t exist. As unbelievable as it could be, all the pieces clicked into place.

However, there’s a reason to be skeptical.snap3

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There are two points, both specifically aimed at us viewers, of the possibility that people actually can see Mei. There may be rules or requirements behind it, but the idea of Mei not existing may not be entirely grounded in truth. Though then the question becomes: does Mei know this?

And finally, lest we forget, the famous (or infamous for some) finale of the third episode.snap5

While the initial reaction may have been to laugh, it certainly wasn’t mine. The ludicrousness of the death was entirely the point. That was in no way a natural accident (I know that sounds weird, but roll with me here), it was obvious that something unnatural was at work (think Final Destination).

I didn’t see her death coming at all. While the show is a horror, it just didn’t set off the kind of atmosphere that someone was going to get killed. And then when it did, it really bothered me. I kid you not, I was fidgeting for at least a minute after it happened. It was the kind of feeling how you shake when you get a shiver down your spine, except for me I just kind of kept shifting around and felt like I needed to move my hands.


Any show that can fuck with my head like that is worth watching.


4 Comments on “Preview: Another”

  1. Marina says:

    “…it was obvious that something unnatural was at work (think Final Destination).”
    I absolutely agree with you here. I read some complaints from others who thought that her death looked completely fake, and that they were surprised the way in which she died was preserved from manga to anime. I didn’t find the way in which she fell stupid at all, since like you, I found it believable some strange force made her fall the unnatural way that she did. Unlike you, however, I kind of expected her death given the prolonged shots on her face as she watched Kouichi earlier in the episode.

    • Riyoga says:

      Yeah, her fall and death was one of the main points I wanted to address in my preview, since a good chunk of people were saying they thought it was dumb or funny. I definitely understand where they’re coming from, but as you agreed, I don’t think they saw the whole picture.

      She did set off a fair amount of “death flags”, true, I just wasn’t expecting anyone to get killed off, period, which was why I was surprised. I guess it wasn’t so much that she personally died, so much as showing that the possibility of people dying was very much there.

  2. TRazor says:

    Horror needs time to build up and its atmosphere is completely ruined if you don’t marathon it. It’s silly to expect the same kind of dark and gritty atmosphere after 7 whole days, when you’ve watched shows about pirates and bathrooms in between. That’s why most other horror shows (Supernatural comes to mind) opt for a episodic format, so that there’s no need for creating the same atmosphere for an over-arching plot. It’s even harder for a show that’s only 20min long. A 2 hour horror movie is close to 6 episodes of an anime.

    That said, Another is dangerously teetering over excellence and M.Night Shyamalam wannabe cliches. I’ve only watched one episode, because I want to marathon at least 5 episodes at a time.

    • Riyoga says:

      Eh, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that. I get what you’re saying, and it’s true that some impact is lost by needing to wait a week and seeing other shows inbetween, but I’m someone who can immediately look at my next episode I need to watch and immediately immerse myself in the show. Also, you don’t necessarily need to be hiding under your bed sheets for the show to be considered doing its job. Regardless of the wait between episodes, the characters are still very much hiding something, the main character is still being manipulated, and weird shit is still at work.
      I’m not really flinching or cringing or physically reacting at all to things in the episodes (except for that one death, as I said), but I still consider it a horror because of the intent, I guess. I don’t believe you need to feel fear in order for something to be considered a success in horror. At least when it comes to Eastern horror. Western horror completely relies on you cringing and shielding your eyes and such.

      Perhaps its got the same vibes that a Shyamalam movie would give, but at least it’s more along the lines of his earlier works, which weren’t shit.


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