Welcome to Winter Watch, a look at the latest anime season. Among the many shows being broadcast this season, Anotherfinds itself as the sole horror series in the slate.
Episode 7: Sphere Joint
Summary: After Class 3's countermeasures fail, Kouichi and Mei rejoin the class and search for another way to stop the calamity.
Air Date: Feb. 20, 2012
Run Time: 24:40
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode here first.
Picking up where the previous episode ended, Kouichi and his classmates are forced to witness the brutal public suicide of their homeroom teacher. After talking with Tatsuji about about the event, Kouichi and Mei come to the conclusion that the suicicde was related to the calamity of Class 3. Additionally, with the countermeasures having failed completely, Mei and Kouichi's banishment from existence is lifted and they are recognized as students of the class. After more research into the past, Mei, Kouichi, and some of their classmates discover that a prior year's class was able to stop the calamity after it had begun by doing some mysterious act at a shrine during a class trip. Hopeful to repeat whatever it was that happened, a class trip to a shrine is scheduled.
Well, that's certainly a way to grab your attention early on. The suicide of the homeroom teacher was one of the most brutal anime scenes I've seen in a while. Everything came together to deliver a truly terrifying experience. The looks of terror on all of the students faces, the way the teacher almost seemed to be fighting against his own will, the animation, the shots, and the sheer dedication of the suicide attempt (he not only stabbed himself through the throat with a butcher knife, he twisted the knife and began cutting through his neck horizontally)... all of these elements combined into a scene that I'm not likely to forget anytime soon.
In addition to the scene mentioned above, we were treated to a pretty twisted nightmare involving rotting faces as well as a few interesting developments in the story. Mei and Kouichi being rerecognized by the rest of the class makes me dislike them a lot less than I previously did. Their being friends with Mei and Kouichi will make their deaths all the more meaningful, possibly to the point where I actually feel sorry for them. Additionally, Mei's interactions with Izumi and Teshigawara actually seemed... dare I say, normal. I mean, I love Mei and all, but she usually comes off as a Wednesday Addams type of gal so it was nice to see her "happy". Having said that, Mei being happy is about as spunky as Daria on a good day, but it left me feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside when, similar to her interactions with the art club in the previous episode, I saw that she could have normal interactions with her classmates. Another interesting development was the revelation that it is possible to stop the calamity after it has already started, albeit through mysterious means that nobody is aware of. However, those pale to the biggest event in the episode. "What was it," you say? Mei was standing inside of a doll coffin and for the briefest of moments it seemed like Kouichi was leaning in to kiss her. Ahh, the shipping, creepy odd shipping inside of coffins, continues.
This episode was intense. It started off with a bang and didn't let up, whether it was more horror or interesting story and character reveals. Of course, it doesn't hurt that it ended in a nice scene possible teen romance.