Nope. Not creepy at all…
|And it’s Episode 2! I’ve been avoiding my schoolwork all day, so this episode is another way for me to do that! Hehe, see what I did there? Seriously though, there’s no better way to start your week off than with a good ol’ dose of creepiness! …Ok so I don’t exactly prescribe to that notion at ALL, but this show is quickly proving to be the exception to the rule.|
The episode begins as Mei and Kouichi talk outside. She warns him to be careful, stating that “it” has already begun. As to what “it” is, I have no clue… We cut to art class where Mochizuki has painted his own interpretation of the still life they’re supposed to be working on. He refers to it as the “Lemon’s Scream,” as it’s a reflection of a lemon terrified at the world that is screaming around it. Kouichi talks to him in more detail about this and Mochizuki talks about his feelings and how he’s comfortable with uneasiness. This discussion prompts Teshigawara to come into the conversation, thinking that they’re talking about their (hot) teacher. When asked about what he feels uneasy about, Teshigawara talks about how nervous he was to end up in the cursed Class 3. Mochizuki cuts him off before anything more can be said.
Just then, Kouichi sees Mei in the library. She’s drawing and he expresses interest in what she’s sketching out. He then inquires as to her eye patch and what it covers, but she doesn’t tell him. He’s interrupted by Chibiki, the librarian, who tells him to leave. When he goes home, he talks to his aunt about the librarian, whose creepiness, hilariously enough, has not changed in the least. He then discusses his aspirations to go to a fine arts school and become a sculptor. Reiko warns him that it’ll be difficult, but encourages him to pursue his dreams.
“Hi there. I’m creepy. I also look like a lizard. Nice to meet you.”
“My shirt? Short? Well, I have had it since I was 12 years old…”
Back at the hospital, Kouichi visits the nurse, Mizuno, and asks her if any girls, fitting the description of Misaki Mei, had died recently. Mizuno can’t think of any who died recently, but does remember that, a while back, a girl died under similar circumstances. She offers to find out what happened for Kouichi, telling him that she’ll call if she finds out anything. Meanwhile, the elevator closes ominously…
The next day in class, Kouichi notes that the Izumi is glaring at him. She confronts him after class, inquiring as to his history with Yomiyama, once again. He tells her that he was born there and that his mother died after he was born. She’s still suspicious as she feels as though she’s met him before. It turns out that she’s head of countermeasures for Class 3, which means that she has to figure out how to protect them all. The question here, though, is – from what?
Judging you. Very hard.
Before Izumi can talk to Kouichi any further, however, he’s already gone as he has spotted Mei walking away from the school. He tails her for a while but, unfortunately, loses sight of her. On his way he finds a doll shop but before he can enter he receives a phone call from Mizuno. She tells him that she found out about a girl who died a while back, whose name was something similar to “Misaki.” Before she can say anything else, however, the phone cuts off. Kouichi then decides to enter the shop, Studio M, which is run by an unsettling old lady. He explores the shop where he finds a doll that looks exactly like Mei. Just then she walks up, noting that the doll looks like her. She points out her favorite dolls in the shop and then asks Kouichi if he would like to see what’s under her eye patch. The episode ends as she takes it off and we are left to wonder just what the hell she’s hiding under there.
#21 on the horror checklist: Ominous phone call. Check!
“Damn it. Your boobs are bigger than mine are…” “Sucks to suck.”
…Oh. My. God. I hate cliffhangers…
This was an amazing episode. Of course, I didn’t expect anything less than such, but it was still a relief to find that Another’s high quality remained untouched. I was a little more perturbed this time around, seeing as the creepiness factor was upped significantly – Studio M wasn’t particularly pleasant. The dolls were frightening, their facial expressions haunting. In the last post, I expressed my wish for the dolls to serve as more than aesthetic touches and it was fulfilled much faster than I had anticipated. As a reoccurring motif the dolls are a useful plot device, representing a number of key points and setting specific moods. In Kouichi’s first encounter with her, Mei is seen holding a blindfolded doll, which seems to represent a sense of warped innocence, suggestive of a childhood jarringly brought to a halt. Another such example is that of Mei’s musings about the conjoined dolls. In her discussion of their supposed calmness to be joined together, she hints towards her own inherent, and thus far obscured, nature.
Continuing on this note, I wish to touch upon the duplexity that Misaki Mei appears to possess. It’s apparent that Mei has more than one side to her character. We were explicitly told so in the first episode when she expressed a desire to go see her “poor other half,” and in a morgue, no less. As to what this “other half,” is, I can only speculate. In Studio M, as she observed her favorite doll, Mei noted that the two parts appeared calm when they were conjoined. Coupled with the fact that the most distinctive characteristic of the Misaki Mei that Kouichi knows is her distinct air of emotional detachment, I am lead to believe that her “other half,” is some sort of manifestation of her feelings of ill-content towards her unfortunate fate, perhaps in the form of the curse that has befallen Class 3. They are not united, this Misaki Mei and her possible alter-ego. Thus, the sense of peace witnessed in the doll is not present, which suggests that her “other half” is…not-so-pleasant.
On an entirely different tangent, this episode was satisfying as we were given deeper and more thorough introductions to characters who we had only caught glimpses of in the previous episode. Mizuno, the nurse, is quickly proving to be an unlikely ally to Kouichi in his search for the truth behind Misaki Mei. Her upbeat personality is a nice contrast to the rest of the somber cast (with the possible exceptions of Reiko and Teshigawara). Akazawa Izumi made another appearance as well, and, though I wasn’t surprised that it was her in the position, it was interesting to find out that Class 3 has a head of countermeasures. This just goes to show how serious the “cursed Class 3” issue is. I still don’t understand, however, why Kouichi is being left out of the loop, but I suppose we’ll find that out in due time. Two more of Kouichi’s classmates, Teshigawara and Mochizuki, were also given their moments this episode and I hope to see more of them in the future. Finally, we met Chibiki, the librarian, who is just as creepy, if not more so, than the dolls. Though he was given less than one minute of screen time, he has an ominous aura about him that suggests that he’ll be playing a larger role in things in the future.
So, really, Kouichi’s venture into Studio M was the most pivotal scene in this episode. It was, all at once, chilling and enlightening, as we, the viewers, were exposed, albeit barely, to Misaki Mei’s true nature. Furthermore, the episode culminated in, perhaps, the most nerve wracking of cliffhangers I’ve ever seen. I am pretty damn desperate to find out what the HELL is under that eye patch. At the same time, however, I’m a little wary because Mei’s smile wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure…
He doesn’t look too happy…