Review: AnotherPosted: March 27, 2012
Animation Studio: P.A. Works
Number of Episodes: 12
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes
Jeez, at this rate I’m going to have to type a post every day.
If it gets released on time, PapaKiki will be finished tomorrow. But that’s tomorrow, this is today. Well what do you know, it’s already released before I finished typing this. Guess that confirms tomorrow is yet another reviewing day.
I also have no real life quips to say beforehand, so lets get straight to the reviewin’.
Another is an interesting show to review, partially because of the roller coaster reception it got when it started. Some people dropped it right near the beginning because they thought the horror aspect was being forced too much, and came off as ineffective. Others dropped it after the third episode, when a character died from a very unusual and pretty much impossible cause.
I’m on both sides when it comes to Another. I thought it did some things well, and some things not so well.
As for the horror, I already commented on that in previous posts. It was going more for a “fear of the unknown” aspect, rather than a jump scare, or something similar. I thought it was handled pretty well, actually. I agree the first episode was kind of obnoxious with the cuts to the dolls, but the later episodes pretty much entirely stopped doing it.
The way in which the characters died also didn’t bug me at all, because I could tell they were going for the Final Destination-esque type of deaths. Again, I thought this route was effective, because that’s what I really think a curse would do if they were real: cause unusual and unlikely things to happen.
The mystery was also something I was impressed with. The setting for Another was unique, without it being overblown to the point where it kills your immersion. Even if you aren’t that invested in the characters, just the desire to find out the answer(s) is enough to make you want to finish the show. The show deserves a round of applause for thinking up such a clever setting/plot.
However, there were also parts the show didn’t handle so well, which mainly happened at the end.
I get what they were going for starting with the second to last episode, they were trying to show how fear can bring out the worst in people and how despicable people can be by having the students start racking up a kill count higher than the curse itself. The first problem that came about during this was that all of Sakakibara’s moves that he did to fend off the other students looked horrendously, humourously bad. That punch he threw, the knee jab that knocked the one girl way too far down the hallway, it looked so dumb that I couldn’t help but laugh. Perhaps if they hadn’t had him do them so quickly, it wouldn’t have looked so bad.
Speaking of things happening quickly, some of the deaths were also hilariously bad. When something is going to kill someone instantly, you can’t have it happen quickly, or it’ll just come off as cartoonish and funny. Or perhaps that’s just my small, decrepit heart. Either way, my favourite example is when after the students got crushed by the chandelier, one of them managed to get up and ran for the exit, just for a support pillar to come out of nowhere and flatten him. A scene meant to show how few people were escaping from the place, but instead came off as hilarious. If they had focused on the support pillar first, maybe shown at slowly cracking before landing on him, it still would have had the same effect without having looked as stupid. A good example would be the first death in the show with the umbrella, or the guy that got killed by that boat.
But undoubtedly the biggest offender for me in the show was Mei’s complete eye-power asspull. As a fond lover of mysteries, that is one of the most insulting things you can do. To be fair, it never got to really do anything. The mystery is solvable far before this reveal, and the characters really only use it for confirmation of who the dead one is, but just the fact that it exists at all is something I can’t stand. Leave the convenient powers to shounen, please.
Ultimately, Another was a pretty good watch. I am slapping myself for not seeing the answer sooner, seeing how obvious it was at time. Maybe perhaps too obvious. But the fact that it was able to be so without having everyone in the universe knowing the answer is impressive. It’s the middle ground that all mysteries should achieve to be. If it’s not obvious and too deeply mysterious, fans will actually be able to be meta and get in the author’s head and will usually figure out the answer. If it’s too obvious… well then pretty much everyone can see the answer. So again, kudos to Another for the mystery. It was undoubtedly the most impressive feature to this show that kind of felt like it got lost as it reached its final episodes.
RATING: 8 out of 10.