Another year, another Halloween, another time to scrounge around the horror anime genre and another time to either be shocked or disappointed in a title and guess what the anime in question to review is?
Well, the title of it is a no-brainer but still confusing to say when bringing it up.
When Kōichi Sasakibara transfers to his new school, he can sense something frightening in the atmosphere of his new class, a secret none of them will talk about. At the center is the beautiful girl Mei Misaki. Kōichi is immediately drawn to her mysterious aura, but then he begins to realize that no one else in the class is aware of her presence.
However, there is more to the story than that as a legend in Yomi North Middle School in 1973 that a student named Misaki died and now in 1998 (where the show placed itself in time), his ghost haunts the school and rumors of a cause have begun to rise as classmates start dying left and right and how can this be stopped?
I was a bit skeptical about the show at first but hearing the overall mystery of the show gotten me intrigued and for the most part, they have done an excellent job on that aspect as everything about the class and the recent murders but when it gets towards the end, it hesitates for a bit as just went into a perplexing yet lackluster mess. The show does leave you wondering about those unanswered questions although it’s likely that you will never, ever, ever get the answer to them. Also 12 episodes for the whole series are adequately paced and never the feeling of it being too short or too long came into mind.
Oh, for the characters…..let’s face it, most of them are going to die anyway so for them to try some character development for most of them would be a waste of time as they are basically standard character types from Mei being the stoic, doll-like, silent character to Koichi being that guy who could be the root of the problem and sees everyone dying in a really fucked-up way.
Did I forget to mention that the characters die in many ways from something as simple as a heart attack to more brutal ways like having an umbrella stab you in the neck or crushed by a broken elevator? (Yeah, I’m not saying what character got those deaths as that’s for you to find out.) Yeah, now I need to make sure the elevator in my college won’t break and it only has 2 floors. Some deaths are plausible while some just seems a bit too cartoony and out-of-the-blue….so like death itself.
Animation-wise, the visuals were mildly gorgeous done by famed animation studio P.A. Works and you do notice their standard animation visual style, as in very vibrant and colorful but with blood and gore this time around.
Musically, the opening theme “Nightmare Contagion” by ALI Project has their usual flair of theme songs in an anime being fast-paced and ominous especially for this show particular. “Anamnesis” by Annabel is more of a different contrast than the opening but I think that it’s actually a good way to end an episode after experiencing the intensity of what just happened before. The musical score for the series is decent at best, capturing some of the horrifying moments on key.
As for the English dub by Sentai Filmworks, it was satisfactory. Not too many good parts but never any horrible parts as some of the performances are pretty much type-casted with Greg Ayres as Koichi and Monica Rial as Mei but those two brought a good performance out of themselves. The rest of the cast was either forgetful or were mostly flat and stilted in some of their scenes.
FINAL VERDICT: Another does its premise justice and you want to know more about the mysteries behind it and it is very well-executed throughout but midway, you are going to wonder what the hell is going on. It does have the typical trimmings of anything horror-related in an anime, although I’m not sure why a beach episode is on there. (Cause ANIME, now SHUT UP!!) I could see myself telling people about this, but I would say to stream it first than buying it.
So would I give this a good or another bad grade? I would give it ….
7.5/10 – High OK.
ANOTHER is available on DVD & Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks. Streaming options are available on Crunchyroll, Hulu & The Anime Network.
Oh, and here’s a little treat for some of you.
Until then, I’m MAKasscre 2.0. AKA The Blue HORROR and……make sure to not die when you walk outside.
ANOTHER – animated by P.A. WORKS / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS