Reviews of yesteryear: Another

Another is a mystery horror anime based on a novel by Ayatsuji Yukito. The anime actually started in January and finished a few short months ago and a live action movie is set for release in August. The original review was put up in May 2012. The anime had finished airing in March. So it’s done pretty well so far. Let’s take a look at the anime adaptation to find out why.

I can’t give away too much of the story without going into spoilers. The basic gist of it is that a student named Sakakibara transfers to a new school after a short stay in hospital. There’s a strange girl with an eye-patch who no one will talk about or even acknowledge the existence of and a rumour about the class of twenty six years ago having the ghost of a student who died appear in their picture. No one will explain what’s going on, leaving Sakaki to try to unravel the truth for himself. Which is why I can’t go into too many details. You get information as he gets it. That really strengthens the mystery element, it does an excellent job of building suspense by slowly revealing more and more information. It also does an excellent job of leaving clues that are subtle and difficult to put together properly, but that all make perfect sense when you know the entire truth. As a horror story, it doesn’t do so well. It’s simply not scary. The main issue is the premise which, though very creative and interesting, is too outlandish to be frightening.

The characters are very well done. They have enough complexity to seem like real people, making the tragedies that start to happen even more poignant. Most of the characters, certainly all the major ones, are sympathetic. Which helps create a genuine atmosphere of concern for them.

The art is spectacular. The details, atmosphere and characters are all terrific. The use of colour and shading in every scene helps set the situation up perfectly.

The voice acting is excellent. The entire cast does really well, particularly Sakakibara Naoko, Yonezawa Madoka, Abe Atsushi and Takamori Natsumi. They convey emotions really well and realistically. The music is perfect for the atmosphere in any given scene.

The yuri factor is a 1/10. There isn’t any yuri here.

My final rating for Another is a 9/10. The mystery and suspense elements are superb. The characters and voice acting are top notch. Really, the only aspect that doesn’t work is the horror aspect, which doesn’t bother me that much when you look at everything that it does right.

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