Thursday, 31 October 2013

[Anime] Another (2012)

Another is the first horror anime I've watched, and with the rate I devoured it, I'm sure it won't be the last. It's a spine-tingling, fear-inducing kind of anime that will keep you glued to the screen from start to finish. With just 12 episodes, it's a pretty easy watch, but every episode is packed with excitement and mystery.

Koukichi Sakakibara moves to Yomiyama from Tokyo. Being a transfer student is hard enough, but he doesn't expect the rumor surrounding the class he enters. A curse that started 26 years ago surrounds the Class 3-3 of Yomiyama Middle School, and Sakakibara finds himself in the middle of it when he frequently ends up in the company of the aloof Mei Misaki, the girl whom nobody in class seems to notice.

I haven't read the manga so my opinion of this is entirely based on the execution of the anime. It'll be difficult to write a decent review without spilling anything, but I'll try. I appreciate not knowing anything about it so I watched with no expectation and without a single spoiler. It's what kept me at the edge of my seat every episode.

So if I'd end up spilling anything or if you do not want to know a single secret, then stop reading now. But before that, let me say that this is one of the best anime I have watched. The 12-episode length is just enough for a compelling and comprehensive story, but the narrative is tight enough to leave no room for fillers. It has such a strong opening, so it basically left a pretty good impression on me. From the first five minutes alone, I knew I'd be in for a very engaging watch.

The characters are no-nonsense, and I love how we are given characters who actually think, who actually deserve such a complex mystery. They don't let themselves just become a puppet of the curse's trajectory, but they try really hard to come out alive from such cruel fate.

There are clues scattered all throughout the anime, but the viewers are kept guessing until the end. Or maybe I'm just incredibly dense? But really though, you may think you know what's going to happen next but there are twists in every turn. Every episode offers something new to think about. I also love how the truth is given in increments and not just in one take.

Another thing I love about this anime is how it's not just out to scare you (but that's good, too!) but it will also make you wonder. There aren't ghosts here, but the terror of what's waiting for them and who's going to live or die are enough to keep it terrifying. The situation of the students may seem to be pretty dire at times, but the ending is gratifying. The students are at least given a fighting chance. There are no questions nor mystery left uncovered. It's pretty thorough.

There's an incredible mix of horror and mystery in Another, and I hope to watch more like it soon. It's scary enough to give me nightmares. It actually took me two tries before I could get through the first episode. For the second try, I made sure to watch it on broad daylight in the company of other people.

It's Halloween today, and my only wish is I that won't be alone tonight.


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