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ANOTHER #1 -- Watch & Learn

Really, how scary can you get with eyes like that?

You’ve got to wonder how scary a show can actually get when it’s rendered in such a cute style. I imagine ANOTHER might be a demonstration in how effective music, sound effects, framing and context - - basically everything except the visuals - - can be at instilling terror in the viewer. I’m also a little skeptical over how effectively the 26 mega-series model can work for horror. I’m not necessarily dubious, mind you, just without enough prior examples to compare this to.

Anyway, concept wise, this show’s already tapping into that very primal and unsettling notion of something remaining in some greater institution even though there’s ostensibly no room or purpose for it. You know, like a 13 floor, or a room that wasn’t in a house’s blueprints, or a hallway that leads to nowhere. To that end, the idea that a school’s going on and pretending that a dead student is still part of a class is sharply creepy one - - although maybe just a touch harder than usual to suspend disbelief over. One wonders what happens when the superintendent stops by to break some balls and he finds the principal putting on a macabre pantomime that nobody on the administration probably has any patience for.

I want to say that this was a much more effective pilot than the one for SHIKI. Nothing flashy happens, sure, but plenty of things actually do happen in a fashion that feels natural and continuous even as the plot jumps around from one seemingly self-contained scene to another. The whole off-screen conversation in the teaser sets the tone - - it had a sharp hook that made understatement actually more exciting.

Maybe I won’t get to continue watching this but, if there were a 25 hour in the day that existed in the same place as our extra classmate here, I’d certainly go on with it.

Watch this episode, "Rough Sketch" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

metalsnakezeroon May 16, 2012 at 3:59 p.m.

Another wasn't meant to be scary but more mystery which what makes it interesting. In fact a lot of the horror genre aren't really scary at all but have a sense of tension, mystery, unsettling, and intrigue, when done well at least. Also most of them take a few episodes to build things up and then things start rolling.

UsbCableon May 16, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.

I just started this a few days ago and I'm up to episode 8, I'm enjoying it so far.

jnw93on May 16, 2012 at 7:11 p.m.

great its on hulu

cant watch ;/

sickVisionz moderator on May 16, 2012 at 10:37 p.m.

@jnw93: Also on Crunchyroll.

Darokion May 16, 2012 at 11:19 p.m.

Another isn't 26 episodes, it's 12, so it's not trying to maintain too much, and I don't think it could have stretched it out for much longer than that without falling under it's own weight. The best thing I can say about Another is that it was great at hitting it's big moments strongly, which was the part that I enjoyed the most about it. The shocking moments were really disturbing, creepy moments were goosebump inducing, and great moments were absolutely fantastic. And that one scene... the one in episode 6... was probably the best single scene out of an anime this year.

zaldaron May 17, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.

I have really heard great things about this show. Something to think about tom (really wish you would reply more). Does contradiction that shines a light more on one aspect make an aspect stronger. For example...does the cuteness of the characters in when they cry...make the very non-cute things they do more shocking? Does the easy going, cute, and breezy style of the first episode of Now and Then Here and There (one of my top ten shows) make the crazyness that comes in the second episode and later all the more shocking? Especially when that cute animation style lasts the entire show? To me it does, the contrast shining a light on the non-cute (horror) aspects more. I expect that is what they are going for here, and I expect you would really like this show from everything about it (if I wasn't watching three shows all ready right now which is about the time limit I have for at one time (angel beats which I am really enjoying MUCH more than I thought I would, noein which is so freaking wonderful, and the new last exile which just took a rather interesting turn) I would be checking this one out now.

tomaron May 18, 2012 at 6:35 a.m.

I've said it in other places that Another demands to be watched just for being a modern horror story and set in the 90s. The key to story is the undercurrent of mistrust which wratches up the tension. This is definitely unusual since other shows are stacked with girls and fanservice and extra voilence where instead Another has lot of quite and dread.

Dig Deeper into Another

Studio P.A. Works Anime adaptation of Yukito Ayatsuji's horror novel "Another"

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