Reasonable reaction, really.
|And we’re back! Lots of crazy stuff has happened and I’ve had several theories proven wrong. This show confuses me. I believe that, as a legal adult, I should be able to have a deeper understanding of what’s going on, but, alas, this is not so. Also, guys, remind me not to ever watch this show alone in my room in the dark. It is not okay. T_T|
Going back to episode 6, we begin as Mei and Kouichi walk to the park after leaving her house. They discuss their treatment from the class but Mei doesn’t mind it so much seeing as it’s sad when people die. She then tells him about how she lost her eye and how her fake eye came to be. Later on that night, Kouichi receives a phone call from his dad. His dad mentions that Kouichi was in Yomiyama 18 months before, which doesn’t make any sense. However, before Kouichi can inquire further, the line goes dead.
The next day, Kouichi day dreams in class about dancing with Mei while the class ignores them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mei smile so much before – figures that it was a day dream. They talk to Chibiki, the librarian, about the curse and how he was the original teacher of class 3 and was filled with guilt.
Things just seem to spiral downhill though, as, the next morning Kubodera-sensei stabs himself in front of the class. It turns out that he had murdered his mother as well. In other news, his death proves to the class that ignoring Mei and Kouichi isn’t working, so they stop with the cold shouldering. Kouichi is invited to a café with Naoya, Akazawa and Mochikuzi. While there, they find out from Mochikuzi’s sister that a student in 1983’s Class 3 was able to stop the phenomenon from occurring, but, unfortunately, he can’t remember what happened. Reiko was in the same class, however, so they plot to use her to help out in getting the information out of Matsunaga.
Episode 8 is the quintessential beach episode that EVERY single anime has to have. Kouichi and Reiko are joined by Akazawa, Teshigawara, Mochikuzi, Nakao and Takako to go find and interrogate Matsunaga. He isn’t there when they ask for him, so, taking advantage of the fact that they’re out of Yomiyama and thus out of harm’s way, the group decides to go to the beach. They meet Mei there, as she is at her family’s beach house, and they spend the day frolicking about in a rare display of relaxed playfulness, as they’re finally able to act their age and just have fun without the burden of the curse.
I think it suits him…
Mei: “I shall call him squishy and he shall be mine.”
Matsunaga finally comes around but he still doesn’t remember anything. He does remember, however, that he left a clue for the future Class 3 students at the school and that somebody died on the mountain when his class went on a trip. Just then, a beach ball blows out to the water and Nakao volunteers to go get it. However, as he swims out, it appears as though something is wrong. Suddenly, a motor boat approaches, hitting Nakao and cutting him into pieces. The group is horrified and Matsunaga, in his shock, reveals that he hid the clue in the classroom.
Not quite the beach episode you were expecting…
Later on, they find out from Chibiki that Nakao was a dead man before he got hit by the boat. He got a brain contusion before he even left for the trip, the real cause of his death. Afterwards, Kouichi, Teshigawara and Mochizuki meet and Kouichi tells them about how Matsunaga left the clue in the classroom. They decide to meet up the next day to search for it.
Teshigawara and Kouichi arrive at school and encounter Ayano and Yumi who are there for drama club. It turns out that Chibiki is the supervisor for the club, which is rather surprising. He doesn’t seem particularly expressive, after all. Kouichi and Teshigawara reluctantly tell the girls what they’re there for, but they decline to assist. The pair continues up to the art club room, only to find Mei in there. The boys end up letting her assist in the endeavor and they continue to the old Class 3 classroom to find the clue. The search, though peppered with a couple scares (a la glass windows and falling lockers) is successful as Kouichi finds a cassette tape.
They head to the tech room to listen to it. A younger Matsunaga describes the school trip to the Yomiyama shrine. The class prayed and cleaned up the shrine, in the hopes that the curse would stop but it only worsened – one student got struck by lightning and another fell off the mountain. Just as Matsunaga gets to the good part, the tape stops and a teacher comes by. Teshigawara rips out the tape, breaking it in the process. Mochikuzi offers to fix it. Meanwhile, as Ayano drives out of town, her car gets struck by rocks and veers off a cliff while her friend goes home to find her brother had died from a tractor rolling into the house.
Episode 10, begins as Akazawa is seen crying. She throws a coffee can in anger and it hits somebody who is revealed to be Kouichi. It’s a dream, but it seems to be her first meeting with Kouichi. Meanwhile, the students of Class 3 finally travel to the shrine. Teshigawara, Kouichi, Mei and Mochikuzi listen to the tape in full and find out that Matsunaga had ended up killing the extra student on accident, stopping the calamity. The entire class is super tense at dinner when Akazawa stands up and apologizes to the class for her inability to stop the calamity. She then insists that Mei apologize because it is apparently Mei’s fault that the countermeasures did not work. Kouichi and the others protest this when they are all interrupted as Daisuke suffers from a severe asthma attack. Chibiki-sensei drives him to the hospital.
Mei asks Kouichi to join her in her room and she tells him the story of her sister, who was the first to die in the calamity. She then tells him that she’s able to see the color of death with her glass eye, so she will be able to tell who the “extra” student is. Just then, Teshigawara busts in saying that he may have done something bad, as we flash to a student’s body lying on the ground outside.
Oh god oh god oh god…
Good LORD. As I’ve pointed out approximately a bajillion times before, I am seriously HORRIBLE at dealing with horror shows. Quite honestly, the only reason I’m able to sit through Another is because it’s animated. Otherwise, I’d be pissing my pants right about nine episodes ago. I’ve definitely got to hand it to P.A. Works – they sure know how dole out the heebie-jeebies. Another is brilliant at handling suspense, building it up untilvit’s hardly bearable and you can cut the tension with a butter knife. A perfect example of this was in the tenth episode where Mei was telling the story of her sister to Kouichi. The scene was almost too still, the music eerily calm while flashes of the other characters suggested that all was not well. With a crack of thunder (which caused me to jump approximately five feet in the air), the moment was shattered, hurtling the plot straight back into action…and death.
Matsunaga’s discovery did not come as much of a surprise to me. It makes perfect sense that sending the dead back to where they came from would stop the curse. If only it were that simple, though. He was able to stop the calamity in his class on the virtue of pure luck – the gods of coincidence were most definitely on his side. This is a luxury that the current Class 3 does not possess. With Mei’s skill, however, there is definitely a means of figuring out who the “extra” student is. That is, assuming, she tells the truth. I don’t doubt the morality of her character, but I do believe that she wouldn’t necessarily be honest with the “extra” them self. It’s called self-preservation and strategy. Not to mention it’s a little awkward to tell somebody who thinks they’re alive that “Oh. You’re actually dead. I’m going kill you so you’re REALLY dead. For sure.”
In other words, despite her assurances to Kouichi himself that he is not the “extra”, I am still not willing to rule him out as a possibility. Though the calamity supposedly began with the death of Mei’s sister, a month before Kouichi physically joined the class; there are still some plot holes that have not been considered. If you remember, Kouichi’s father mentioned that he had been in Yomiyama for a while before he actually started class. If this is the case, he was most likely registered to be a student in the class well in advance and thus added to the roster. Not only so, but Akazawa was suspicious from the beginning that Kouichi was not new to the town – her dream in the latest episode proves that she had a legitimate reason to be suspicious. Kouichi himself had considered the possibility that he was the “extra” or somehow involved, even going so far as to have nightmares about it. Essentially, all signs point towards Kouichi being the dead among the living.
That being said, when has Another ever been so straightforward? For example, in the beginning we were lead to believe that Mei was a ghost, perhaps the specter of the Misaki whose death triggered the Class 3 phenomenon. Even so, this theory was proved wrong as the class countermeasures were revealed – she is a real student (assuming she is not the “extra”). Not only so, but the Misaki of the past was actually a male student. Thus, despite the fact that Kouichi is the clear choice to be the “extra,” the clues may possibly be leading us, the viewers, in the wrong direction. Furthermore, I would hate for the plot to be so obvious seeing as that would somewhat ruin the element of surprise that the show possesses (though I assure you, all of the deaths account for the thrill, in full). Either way, my final consensus on this point is that, Kouichi is the best option to be the “extra.” Plot wise, this is the better choice in terms of sheer impact. Nevertheless, I credit Another constantly leaving me in a state of uncertainty, which almost makes up for the obviousness.
Continuing on, what I have come to realize over the course of watching Another – and I apologize for not sharing these thoughts with you all sooner – is that it raises a number of serious moral issues. Class 3, on a micro level, is in a sort of pseudo-apocalyptic situation. Students, staff and loved ones are dying left and right and the only ways to stop it all requires the sacrifice of a student, at first in a mental way, but now, with Matsunaga’s revelation, a physical way as well. Kouichi definitely raised a good point when he asked whether or not they would be able to kill a classmate. Furthermore, Akazawa’s treatment of Mei seemed extremely uncalled for. Mei didn’t ask to be ostracized, so how should she be expected to apologize? So, is it acceptable to ostracize a student for the sake of keeping the entire class safe? Furthermore, I ask you this, if killing off a classmate who is supposedly “dead” would stop the deaths of others, is it worth it?
As a side note, I would like to point out that I believe the shrine may possibly bear greater significance than simply being the site where the calamity was stopped in Matsunaga and Reiko’s year. What I’ve noticed is that, when the classes go to the shrine, the frequency of deaths increases rapidly. This suggests that, perhaps, the shrine is a focal point of the phenomenon. What I would like to postulate is that the shrine may have been the site where the original Misaki was killed. That’s the only reason I can think of the phenomenon worsening in intensity when the classes go there.
Really, the final episode has a lot of ground to cover. We still don’t have a full understanding of Kouichi’s background. Not only so but we don’t even know how the original Misaki died. Not to mention the most important question – who is the “extra”? There’s going to be a lot of death in the final episode, but hopefully it comes around to a sound conclusion as the “extra” is revealed.
Finally, I would like to direct you guys over to Daifukuu where Starburst has been doing amazingly in depth reviews on this show, making me feel even guiltier for my inability to properly cover this show. Happy reading! xD
I really don’t want him to die…