First Impressions – Another


And you thought dolls were cute…

Another is possibly the anime I’ve been most excited for in the winter line up. The manga is brilliant and I fully expect this to be as well. So onwards to the horror!
So like, I know I said this about a ton of other shows this season, but I’m really excited to start Another. Horror in anime seems to be more about atmosphere than, say, shock or gross out, and I’ve already heard lots of great things about Another and the creepiness that it conveys.
It’s time to spice up this season with a little bit of horror and mystery! I was really looking forward to this as its preview looked so promising. Surely some scary, dark themes wouldn’t scare me too much. xD Alright, I’m ready for this!~
The long-awaited horror is finally here. Everybody’s extremely excited about it, so I wonder how it’s going to be?
Another is here! Wait that makes me sound crazy…whenever I hear the phrase “horror anime” it sort of makes me laugh! I never thought of anime as scary ever…maybe back when Higurashi was actually good? Then again Yuno from Mirai Nikki can freak people out. So will Another scare the pants of you? Or will it just put you to sleep? Find out soon!
I am not ashamed to admit that I absolutely cannot STAND horror. In all seriousness, I curl up in a ball and force my sister to sleep with me after I watch something scary. That being said, I’m still very excited for this show. Another should prove to be pretty awesome, even if I do pee my pants in the process of watching…

We begin with the story of Misaki Mei, a student in class 3 of Yomiyama Middle School, who was, really, the perfect student. She was intelligent, pretty and loved by all. However, she died in some sort of accident. All were, of course, shocked that she had died. Suddenly, however, a student in the class pointed to her desk and said that he could see her and that she had not died. The whole class continued to behave as though she was still alive, even going so far as to keep her seat at graduation. This isn’t where the story ends, though…

26 years later we meet, Sakakibara Kouichi in a hospital, as his lung has collapsed. He has returned to his late mother’s hometown and his dad is in India, so he lives with his grandparents and aunt. Three of his classmates, Akazawa Izumi, Kazami Tomohiko and Sakuragi Yukari, visit him and they’re very curious and pushy about whether or not he’s been lived in Yomiyama before. Later on, while he’s on the elevator, Kouichi encounters a girl, who goes by the name Misaki Mei. She gets off the elevator on the basement level, headed toward the morgue, as she has some business with her “other half.” Back at home, Kouichi places a call to his father and finds out that his collapsed lung is supposedly hereditary, as it had happened to his father twice before.

…I have chapstick, if you need some.

I’m not ok with how her doll creeps me out more than she does. 

Kouichi finally starts school and is greeted by a class of eerily subdued students. This entire aura changes at lunch, however, as they bombard him with questions about Tokyo and the like. After this, during PE class, Kouichi ends up sitting with another student with heart problems. Sakuragi Yukari approaches him soon afterwards and he asks her about Mei Misaki. Though she doesn’t say anything, it’s clear that Yukari knows more than she’s letting on. Just then, Kouichi spots Mei up on the roof and runs up to talk to her. She warns him to keep his distance, warning that his name is linked to death.

“Yah, nice to meet you too, guys…”

End Thoughts: 

This. This was brilliance. The mood, the random flashes of dolls, the creepiness. Everything. P.A Works did a fantastic job with making this actually seem like a horror anime compared to other ones (*coughBlood-Ccough*) that tried to hide under slice of life crap, most of the time. Everything in this episode felt like something was NOT RIGHT and it was wonderful to watch.

They also did a great job at setting things up for events to come. I’m not going to spoil anything here, but I suggest watching this again after more is revealed and then appreciating how many vague hints were dropped everywhere. Or just appreciating the anime in general. The seiyuu in this were also some great choices. Misaki sounds awesome and monotone~. Normally I don’t use those two words in the same sentence, but it works for Misaki.

Oh my god, the music was perfect. Every single bit of that OST is pure gold. I don’t even care that I haven’t heard all of it yet. AHHHH I can’t get over how well it set the mood. …As for the OP, that was classic Ali Project right there. Lyrics and all. The imagery from the OP was kind of like the Mirai Nikki OP (is this the new thing for horror anime?), but yeah. I loved this. I can’t wait until people start dying since I just know going to be good.

Ahhh! That was gorgeous! PA Works has done it again on that front after the beautiful artwork of HanaIro. While HanaIro did an amazing job of setting a lighthearted mood with its charming secluded backdrops, Another raised the bar even higher with the droll and really imaginative visuals. Watching it at night in the dark probably added a lot to the atmosphere, but it was fantastic and eerie! I felt genuinely creeped out watching this, especially in the darker hospital scenes. To make things worse, we even got random clips of horrifyingly creepy dolls!

Another little tidbit I loved was the way the show went about showing and introducing the cast. I love when shows give character and meaning to even the most minor of people. It makes everything feel more … alive, I guess. With only 12 episodes I doubt they’ll go any farther than one-liners or face-shots with the majority of them, but I do appreciate the detail that went into designing the entire cast, both important and minor. And if the ED is any indication, some of the students who didn’t even get speaking lines in this episode might become more important later. (Oh, and I love the way Ai Nonaka handled Yukari, she has so much talent!)

I’m not too sure where the story is going though, but for now I’m just assuming it will be about Mei and the mystery surrounding her. Just in general, the entire town is freaking creepy, and poorly maintained if you ask me. I love atmospheric horror (if such a thing exists?), so I think I’m really going to love this show. My only complaint would be that the OP felt a little out of place. I enjoyed it, but it sort of … er, sliced the mood.

Yeah, that wasn’t too bad at all! I was kind of expecting lots of blood and yanderes because of my recent experiences with Mirai Nikki, but this show appears to be a different type of horror/mystery, and I must admit it’s pretty refreshing. ^^ At first I thought the pacing was slightly slow, but afterwards I was drawn in by the entire mysteriousness of Mei Misaki. The atmosphere within the class had a kind of creepy, calm-before-the-storm feeling and I found myself anticipating what would happen next. What kind of secrets are they hiding?

Moving on to the characters, although many common stereotypes were adopted – the megane class committee members, the typical clueless male lead, there’s probably a lot more to them than it might seem. Everyone seems to have their own dark secrets, and that’s what makes it compelling to watch – looking as those truths are revealed one by one will be very exciting indeed.

I also have a liking for its art style. The character designs are appealing and the setting of a small, “peaceful” town also seems perfect. The OP and ED were decent, but WHAT IS WITH THOSE CREEPY DOLLS SHOWING UP EVERYWHERE? I have a phobia of dolls and it’s freaking me out. Still, this anime has managed to capture my interest and I’m definitely going to give it a go. Yes, I am going to watch ANOTHER episode, hehe (NOT) #punny.

That. Was. Great. It’s been a long time since I’m actually liking a horror (when did Shiki air again?). Just like any other horror anime, the first episode is full of foreshadowing and unlimited amount of creepiness. However, the execution of this episode managed to perk my interest, story-wise. Our ghost Misaki had been handled greatly, giving off the mysterious vibe but also charismatic at the same time. No wonder our protagonist is slightly curious of her. I would too.

But what’s better here is the animation. It’s great. Lots of details for the creepiness, the dark colors that are giving off the horror feeling, and the background music that’s pure awesomeness. It’s been a while since I’m getting chills just by listening of the background music. Another had a great first episode, and I’m sure I’ll be watching this until the end.

Sooooo what happened?! Our main character Kouichi got “transferred” to “another” school where all kinds of creepy ass stuff went down? Right! Sounds just about right to me. I have to say the city is really damn creepy looking but it just looks freaking fantastic. Of course, since PA Works did Hanasaku Iroha and Angel Beats, they will always win for animation from me. So I have an idea about this whole story; I think this Misaki character is actually a ghost! Because Yukari had a case of evil “higurashi eyes” when the main character mentioned Misaki…so maybe Kouichi sees dead people?

I wouldn’t refer to Another as a horror show. It’s more of a psychological thriller and what a thrill, indeed. Though I wasn’t necessarily frightened, per say, I was definitely a little jumpy. The presentation of this show is definitely a major factor in such a feeling. Perhaps the most distinctive of such aspects was the music which was absolutely stellar, instantly creating a mood that was both haunting and somber. The creepy dolls served as chilling transitions and I certainly hope that they have more significance than simply aesthetic effect. Though the character design was on the soft and cute side, the art style was still stunning and I found it to be an interesting contrast to the serious nature of the storyline at hand. My only qualm was the OP and ED sequences which I found to be disappointingly lacking, especially in comparison to the quality of the show itself.

I find Misaki Mei to be the most intriguing character in this show. The circumstances behind her passing are, as of yet, unknown and I am, quite frankly, dying to figure out what happened (…no pun intended). This would offer insight as to why she’s still hanging around, though I don’t see her staying for any sort of benevolent purpose. Her death seems to have brought about an era of sadness and desolation, if the behavior of the class was any indication. There’s definitely a link between Kouichi’s mother and Misaki Mei, and I’m willing to put down money on the aunt knowing more than she’s letting on. Not to mention the entire class. There’s a massive web of secrets and connections hiding under all of this tension, it’s going to burst soon and I am SO READY FOR IT.

That being said, I relish in the fact that I have no clue what to expect from this show. There’s a distinct possibility that this show could dip in quality in a manner reminiscent of the aesthetically pleasing flop that was Guilty Crown, but I sincerely hope that this scenario never comes to fruition. Another is based on a novel by a legitimately talented writer, Yukito Ayatsuji, which means that the source material is structurally sound. That’s not to say that the producers won’t take creative liberties with it, but it should prove to be top notch. So, it only makes sense that I am crazy excited for this show, guys. Seriously. Excited. Excuse me while I go spaz out in that corner over there…


…It looks like potato chips are falling from the sky…

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26 Responses to “First Impressions – Another”

  1. Kitty says:

    AGREED ON THE DOLL COMMENT!!! *still scared* I could have done without them, sadly I think they will be back -_-; With you on the phobia Miyu, we can shudder together XD

    I was waiting for this one. I had hoped Mirai Nikki would fill that hole left by Higurashi. Sadly Yuki-kun is to annoying to fill anything. Another has definitely satisfied my craving for a good horror / psychological thriller anime that draws you in and makes your mind spin. I want my answers!! and I can’t wait for this anime to unfold.

    • Namika says:

      OMG so I’m not alone with my phobia???? Thank god. Let me shudder with you guys TT^TT

    • BlackBriar says:

      Those are some creepy looking dolls. Who makes those things? I shudder everytime I see one.

  2. xochandaox says:

    Yes! Potato chips falling from the sky!!

    Woo! So I’m looking forward to how this will play out 😀

  3. Toori-chan says:

    This is really awesome! P.A Works never let me down. All of their works (True Tears, Canaan, Angel Beats, Hanasaku Iroha) were really good. Even now, Another seems to be no less of goodness in it.

    I can’t wait for the next episode to release! The suspense seems to continue picking at me ever since Steins Gate.

    • Kitty says:

      ooooo I loved loved loved Canaan and Angel Beats. Their works always have deeper meanings behind the story which I loved. Plus you can’t beat Yuppie!!

  4. Bob from Accounting says:

    This was indeed an impressive opener. I’ll definitely be back to see how our Keiichi Expy (come on, even his name is almost the same!) fares in his creepy new home!

  5. Reaper says:

    Best opening episode I’ve seen in a while? I think so! Obviously a few things are already obvious to us, like the don’t-talk-about-the-Misaki-it’s-really-a-troll, Akazawa is the boss of the school, and Sakakibara is missing a certain power in his right hand…
    Beautiful animation, and the right mixture of suspenseful music (and complete lack of it in the right times too) by the master Koh Ohtani, well…this will be an adventure of a thriller. Kind of reminds me the first step into Shiki, but a bit more straightforward, and filled with more dolls…so many dolls, it was a bit creepy…:)

  6. Kyokai says:

    P.A. Works need to try a bit more to keep me happy. Ali Project for OP, WTF?! Though, not a bad start story wise at least. I need more blood and yeah, some murders. xD

  7. Namika says:

    Dolls? Cite?? Never. I hate them. And now, I seem to hate them even more. Great work at intensifying my phobia, PA =__=
    But this was so cooooooooooooooooool O_O I can’t bear the potential of this show! I want moar *~*
    First decent thriller after Shiki, I swear !

  8. Metalsnakezero says:

    This was pretty creepy. Every character has something to hide and sooner or later bad things will happen. Also Ali Project for OP does not fit with the show.

    • Moni Chan says:

      I completely agree with the Ali Project comment (and every thing else btw) Ali Project has made some creepy songs. It just didn’t fit this anime

  9. Overcooled says:

    This is SO my type of anime. The only thing I don’t like is how scenes of dolls randomly flash every now and then. They need to relax a bit. I like the horror atmosphere that permeates through all the scenes, but not everything needs to be freaky!

    • Kyokai says:

      Like I said on twitter, these flashes of dolls are like those random cats in Kimi to Boku.

  10. skylion says:

    Overall, the only lasting impression this show made was how ‘dead’ everyone acted. Lifeless movement, lifeless convo, lifeless connections. Living yet not really alive. But mention this horror from the past, and things start to snap. Fear for their lives creeps in, looking like the only time any of the characters were truly alive.

  11. BlackBriar says:

    This is a great first episode. Not much time has passed and I’m already creeped out. To me, Yomiyama looks like a combination of Saya’s town from Blood-C and Shiki’s Sotoba village with a Stephen King horror book feeling, especially with the hospital and school atmosphere. What’s funny is that Kouichi was reading a Stephen King book.

    As if this wasn’t spooky enough, they added scary looking dolls, like they would turn their heads and watch you when you least expect it. And I thought the dolls from Dantalian no Shoka and the Vampire Princess Miyu OVAs were disturbing.

    Secret school conspiricies and ghost girls with eye patches makes this even better. The students are definitely hiding something. I wonder far into her world is Mei going to take Kouichi. Here’s to hoping this reaches Shiki’s class of thriller. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  12. Samantha Zan says:

    This was definitely an intriguing first episode! With that whole beginning of talking about Misaki ohhh just nice creepy feel. Though I think that creeped me out the most was the freaking stone cold faces almost all the students had. Especially the student council members in the hospital. The elevator scene was pretty freaky too. Though I would also agree this has more psychological elements than horror. Though none the less, still pretty scary XD

  13. anaaga says:

    I wouldn’t mind singing for their OP, seriously. ANYTHING BUT ALI PROJECT Like they want me to sing for them xD
    Everything’s good, seriously! The BGM, the intriguing characters (well, more like Misaki) and story, the setting, animation. Everything is good!
    Except ALI PROJECT

  14. HoshiHoshiYoru says:

    The fact that creeped me out the most was probably how THE LIFT HAVE NO 4TH FLOOR! OAO

    But all in all, it was a pretty good 1st episode, and I’m ready to be creeped out even more by the rest of the episodes! XD

    • skylion says:

      The kanji for the number 4 and the kanji for the word death are very similar. This is similar to the superstition surrounding the number 13 in Western cultures.

    • anaaga says:

      My apartment has no floor 4 either, or any multiple of 4

  15. Yippy says:

    So far, so good. I wasn’t scared so much as I was unnerved. I did notice the music once in a while and it was quite fitting for the bleak mood of the show.

    For *ahem* aesthetic reasons, I find Mei and Izumi to be my favourites so far. Sakakibara looks a little plain imo.

    Well, I hope it’s a worthy successor to Higurashi.

  16. leo says:

    رـآآئع !~ حقـآ ان هذا مذهل

  17. mo00odi says:

    اعجبني حقا هالأنمي
    I love it

  18. I tried so hard to like this anime. And at first I did, but then it got too scary for me!

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