Another – Anime Review

Niall Gibson November 29, 2013 2
  • Story
  • Artwork
  • Animation
  • Audio
  • Gruesome Deaths

Another

Directed By Tsutomu Mizushima

Released – November 25th 2013 in the UK

Published by MVM Entertainment.

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Synopsis and Opening Comments

“Mei Misaki was cute, athletic, and one of the most popular girls in her school. Why should a little thing like death change that? Now, twenty-three years after Mei’s mysterious demise, a new transfer student discovers that not only is his school’s student body one corpse short of a full roster, but that some secrets never leave high school. What’s more, all of this may somehow be tied to his own family past.
What is the secret and how does it all connect? And even if Kouichi does figure it out, will that knowledge help save him?

As the school bells toll a deadly dirge and students begin to die, things that were never properly buried come back to haunt the high school of the damned!” – MVM Entertainment

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Another is a TV anime series produced by P. A. Works and directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. The series ran for a total of 12 episodes between January and March 2012. The anime is based upon an original novel by Yukito Ayatsuji that started serialisation in 2006. The franchise has also received a manga adaptation by Hiro Kiyohara in 2010 and an OVA in May 2012.

Another was one of those anime that came out during the Spring season of 2012, which in my opinion was the second best season of anime I have seen since I started watching. There was two reasons why this season scored so highly for me: Another and Black Rock Shooter. With Another obviously taking the top spot for the season for me. So being given the opportunity to sing its praises and persuade you to watch it is awesome. I won’t keep you any longer with me blabbering on at how good it is, so carry on reading to find the rest of the review.

Another Anime 12 - 2 Chandelier

Story

In 1972, Misaki, a popular and well liked student at Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 suddenly died midway through the school semester. With the class devastated, the students and teachers start to act as if Misaki had never died. This led to the beginning of the curse that strikes class 3-3.

The story of the anime takes place 26 years after this in 1998. Kouichi Sakakibara,  a 15 year old transfer student from Tokyo who enters Yomiyama’s class 3-3. He soon meets Mei Misaki, a peculiar student whose presence is ignored by both her classmates and her teacher, but this doesn’t prevent Kouichi from talking to her and investigating the reason behind the situation.

Another anime 09 - 2 Umbrella

However, his investigation soon leads to the curse of the class returning. The strange phenomenon  soon leads to the students of the class and their relatives dying mysteriously one by one. In an attempt to save their fellows classmates Kouichi and Misaki try and find the cause of the curse and try to find a way to stop the curse from taking any more lives. Will they be able to stop this savage curse that is tearing there class apart?

The story of the show is very good, it is in depth and planned out superbly. It has quite a weird premise but it manages to pull it off quite well. It was filled with a lot of gruesome deaths so if you like that sort of stuff the show will be right down your alley. The story does have some issues that have been pointed out to me, but unless you look for them you will probably miss them as well.

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Characters

The characters are quite difficult to talk about. They are good, but since the story involves  lots of deaths you’ll probably end up liking a character and they’ll die, leaving a whole inside you that can’t be filled. Think of the characters similar to that of those in Game of Thrones. They are very good, well developed but are more than likely going to die. Despite this the characters are well designed in terms of appearance, personality and their ways of perceiving the situation. All of which come together which makes the time they spend in the show very good.

The main protagonist is Kouchi Sakakibara, a  15 year old boy who transferred from Tokyo. He has a very curious personality which leads to him having an interest in the events that took place 26 years prior and in why the current class is ignoring Misaki Mei. This obviously leads him into a lot of trouble with his class mates once the curse starts again. In regards to him as a character, I have to say that he is very good. He is well developed and has a backstory that intermingles with the underlying story. He is the most considerate character out of the bunch and is the one that leads the way in solving the mystery.

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The female protagonist and my own personal favourite character is Misaki Mei. She is the current “one that does not exist”, which has led to her presenting a shy and solitary personality. However, she is ok with this and somewhat enjoys this lifestyle. The reason why she is my favourite character in the show is mainly down to how she is comfortable with this sort of lifestyle, I can somewhat relate to this sort of lifestyle and so that’s why I like her.

Artwork, Animation, Audio and Extras

The anime’s artwork, animation, and audio were all of a very good standard. It’s very typical and common of what you would see in the good quality shows that have been airing in the recent years. If you haven’t noticed already I don’t really put too much focus on the production values of an anime, its beneficial to have good quality material made, but I’d forgive minor errors here and there. So to put it in to perspective I’m saying that just because its typical or average it doesn’t mean it isn’t better than other shows. It is in a sense, how everything is executed and brought together is superb.

The artwork of Another is exceptional, this is not just down to the good looking characters but also the well designed backgrounds and settings that the characters find themselves in. The artwork contained a lot of dark scenes and a lot of black within the show as a whole, which from a design perspective acts well in tying the overall underlying theme of despair amongst the characters. A little detail that I find beneficial for the anime as a whole.

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The animation is very good. The scenes are detailed and flowed perfectly as they progressed. This was especially noticeable, surprisingly, in the death scenes. These were executed well and were not only well thought out, but also visually pleasing in how they played out, surprisingly.

The soundtrack and score of the anime is very good. The opening and ending songs are memorable despite it originally airing in 2012, in fact I listen to them quite often. The overall score of the anime is also of a good standard, it really worked well to portray the emotions and occurrences of the scenes in the anime. Which is an added benefit to the viewing experience.

[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.58_[2012.02.20_11.32.03]

The anime is available in English dub and Japanese with English sub. I haven’t heard the English dub as of yet and am unable to comment on the quality of it. However,  I did watch the Japanese original and can say that it is of a high standard. So I would recommend that you check it out if you do plan to watch the show.

Closing Comments

Another is a show I would definitely recommend to all anime fans. It has a well designed story filled with superb characters. It does have it’s flaws but they don’t really have much of an effect on the show as a whole, it is still enjoyable. I would personally like to give it 5 stars but rationally thinking it isn’t perfect so I am unable to do so. Nonetheless it is still one of my favourite shows of 2012 as a whole.

You can buy Another Complete Collection on Eye on Asia HERE.

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2 Comments »

  1. KawaiiSensei November 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    I’ve been reading your reviews on this site for a long time now and aside from the Durarara review you wrote, all your reviews have been very shallow.

    Another and Black Rock Shooter were considered the worst anime of the year, but that’s your opinion. I was anticipating to read this review and see if it would provide solid argument for why Another is actually a good series unlike what other critics said but this review… didn’t convince me at all.

    You barely critique the story. You only spent one paragraph talking about why the story is good without even really scratching the surface.

    Try reading other famous anime blogs and improve yourself. These reviews of Another are far more in depth:

    http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=1416

    http://www.nihonreview.com/anime/another/

    http://mecha-guignol.com/2012/01/10/eye-patches-bother-me/

    http://thecartdriver.com/another-episode-1/

    • Niall Gibson December 7, 2013 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the comment and criticism KawaiiSensei. As an author I aim to improve the way that I write and modify my style to one that the majority of readers appreciate and find useful.

      Obviously if readers are commenting on how they don’t like the way that I write then there is something wrong. I have taken into account the advice that you have given and the links you have given relating to ‘famous anime blogs’ and will use it to improve.

      In defense of the team and myself we are not bloggers, hence we do not choose to have a very informal style of writing within our reviews. In my own individual case I choose not to go into too much depth in terms of the story as it will open up the opportunity for me to spoil the story as a whole, not just the storyline but also how it is conveyed and progresses. I aim to inform the reader of a general overlook of the series as a whole. If I was wishing to provide a solid argument defending Another it would be in the form of an editorial not a review and this would include me discrediting other’s opinions and providing evidence behind my own stance on the anime as a whole.

      After looking at the sites you provided I appreciated the way they outlined the story, but I didn’t really see much information ascertaining to the production values or characters of the show. They only seem to focus on the story, which is peculiar for a review as the anime is more than just a story, it is a culmination of multiple aspects. Furthermore, two of the articles were merely episode 1 and mid-way reviews so they had very little they could of focused on in the article apart from covering a small proportion of the story, but hey that’s just my opinion.

      I appreciate all forms of feedback, especially the negatives. It helps me to shape myself as a writer and to get better at reviewing material. I will ensure to work harder to improve my style and to deliver the best reviews possible.

      This post is the opinion of myself the writer and not a representation of the site as a whole.

      Regards,
      Niall

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