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Winter Watch: Another #8

The requisite beach episode that ends up as a nice change of pace.

Welcome to Winter Watch, a look at the latest anime season. Among the many shows being broadcast this season, Another finds itself as the sole horror series in the slate.

Episode 8: Hair Stand

Summary: Kouichi and friends head off to the beach for some fun in the sun but find that everything isn't as peaceful and serene as they hoped it would be.

Air Date: Feb. 27, 2012

Run Time: 24:40

Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode here first.

If this was Nisemonogatari, Mei + Kouichi + Tentacles would have had a radically different outcome than this.
If this was Nisemonogatari, Mei + Kouichi + Tentacles would have had a radically different outcome than this.

Desperate to put an end to the Class 3 Calamity, Kouichi and friends decide to head to the beach where they plan on meeting Matsunaga, a former student from Class 3 who was able to stop the calamity after it started. Unfortunately, Matsunaga's memory of exactly what it took to stop the calamity is incredibly foggy, but he does recall that he left a note somewhere that explained what was done. Disappointed but not wanting to let the trip goto waste, the students continue to have fun on their vacation but tragedy strikes when one of them suffers a fatal dismemberment via a speed boat.

A nice change of pace for Kouichi and the gang.
A nice change of pace for Kouichi and the gang.

So, we've finally reached the point that all shows based around students eventually arrive at: the beach/pool/hotspring fanservice episode. I found this episode to be a nice change of pace. There were some genuinely funny moments scattered throughout, such as the initial gasp everyone let out as a massive tractor trailer passed them on their way out of Yomiyama, everyone hunting for food to eat (to varying degrees of success), and the multiple gags provided by the ever cheerful and upbeat Naoya. Additionally, it tapped into an element that I love about slice-of-life series: everyday interactions. I'm a bit of a voyeur myself and just watching the way people interact with each other can be entertaining to no end. Sitting back and watching the kids be kids without the need to have everything narrowed in on the plot was the breath of fresh air that I didn't know the series needed but was happy to see.

Of course, it wouldn't be Another without a little bit of carnage and this episode made sure to live up to that. I usually enjoy these deaths but this one made me laugh much more than usual. I understand the idea that nowhere is safe, but the way the episode goes from fun in the sun to blood in the water in an instant cracked me up. The transition from kids having a great time on the beach to hearing evil horror music blaring was so jarring and out of the blue that it bordered on dark comedy. I believe this episode would have been better without the death or at least one that felt less like well, people pay to see carnage so we have to give it to them in every episode. There was plenty of spooky and interesting calamity related content within for it to stand on it's own as good horror without going for the cheap thrill.

Verdict

Another good episode. It ended funnier than it probably should have, but I really enjoyed the light hearted feel of it and getting to see these kids relax and just have fun for a change. The Mei x Kouichi connection got pushed a little bit further via some 1-on-1 fun in the sun, but even more intriguing, Izumi now seems like a viable second romance option for Kouichi. We've got a possible love triangle going here folks and with more murder and mayhem sure to come, things should be pretty interesting from here on out.

Watch on Crunchyroll - More Winter Watch: Another Articles

- William Taylor ( sickvisionz ) is lazy by nature, procrastinator by trade. You can also find him on Twitter @mrsickvisionzand on Tumblr at In My Lifetime.

Wraithon March 7, 2012 at 4:53 p.m.

The weird thing about Izumi is that she apparently hates Kouichi and Mei in the novel and manga

metalsnakezeroon March 7, 2012 at 6:22 p.m.

A good beach episode works when its a few episodes in and not come out too quickly. Also helps that it maintains the same feel of the series while changing the pace a bit.

sickVisionz moderator on March 7, 2012 at 8:01 p.m.

Kinda off topic, but is it just me or does it seems like all of these middle school girls magically got grown ass woman sized busts once they put on swimsuits, except for poor ole Mei, who still looks her age and seems even paler and bonier than usual.

Neuroticon March 8, 2012 at 3:29 a.m.

@sickVisionz: Yeah, I thought the same thing. They're as stacked as Reiko is. Mei's still the best though.

Again, good episode. This series never disappoints. The death at the end made me wince but didn't have the imapct of the first two in the series. I don't think that guy was ever shown or mentioned in any episode besides this one. The nurse in the elevator is still the most disturbing death for me, until the inevitable death by decapitation happens of course :P

I'm beginning to take the show's hints that Kouichi is the extra classmate but it all seems too obvious, doesn't it? For once, I don't think I'm going to keep guessing though and just let it all unfold.

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

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