Friday, October 31, 2014

Anime Review No. 89 (Another)

“Send the Dead back to Death”
2012 TV Series
Studio: PA Works
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Script: Ryou Higaki

Ok, time for another Halloween review! This time, I am looking at something a bit similar to last year’s review, which was over Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, except a bit more darker and disturbing. The show in question, which will no doubt make you shat your own pants, its Another!

A new transfer student Koichi Sasakibara who moved from Tokyo to a small rural town named Yomiyama to live with his grandparents and his aunt. His father is off on travel constantly and dead mother. Everyone at school is quite nice and open towards him, but not so much to a particular student. Mei Misaki is a soft-spoken girl with raven hair and a eyepatch concealing a hidden power. All of a sudden, students in Class 3, same one Koichi and Mei are in, start to be killed off one by one in rather bizarre set of circumstances and situations. Now, Koichi and Mei have to work out the mystery behind Class 3 and why the deaths take place.

To boil Another down to its essentials, its a very effective horror mystery thriller. As such it is very dark atmospheric and moody. It takes quite a number of cues from other horror art pieces, from Munch’s The Scream to Psycho to heck Final Destination. To contrast to my last year’s Halloween review, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia had its moments of levity and hope to balance out the dark elements. Another, however doesn’t have any sort of refuge. It is a dreary show through and through or when its not dreary its rather dry and mundane. The visual presentation is decent if a little mundane at times.  

Death is a rather essential element to this show, and being a horror show it revels in the gruesome and disturbing. They are all varied in terms of setup, cause and execution, all of them unnerving and quite unsettling in one respect or other. Yet at the same time they are somewhat predictable and also laughably implausible instead of being shockingly disturbing which is what they were trying to do, somewhat akin to Final Destination. Granted some of the deaths are met with OMFG Jeezus reaction from me. There exists some brilliant misdirection and second guessing in part because most of the cast are unreliable and those that might, end up dying anyway. But hints are dropped here and there, at a natural pace, peeling back the layers of the mystery.
I like how Misaki and Koichi don’t end up as a couple, just friends then again somewhat understandable. The final reveal is something truly amazing once you stop and think about it. Granted this is accomplished by intentionally withholding some information from the audience right before the end. It is a great twist in that once revealed all the other pieces of the mystery fall into place.  

As a warning, Do not marathon this show, best to watch it in small bursts of 3-4 episodes at a time like I did twice upon getting this series. It allows one to sink in all that happens. Music is equally dark and moody, having been done by Ko Otani, of Shana, Gundam Wing and You’re Under Arrest fame. It is full of ambient and scary but subtle sounds. The OP and ED are quite fitting and good.

Another OP Another ED

Now this being a Sentai Filmworks, of course my favorite dub director Christopher Ayres helmed the dub for Another, and like many of his other dub efforts, its really good as usual. It is packed to the brim with Houston dub regulars: Greg Ayres, Monica Rial, Brittney Karbowski, Jessica Boone, Emily Neves, Chris Patton, Josh Grelle, Clint Bickham, Tiffany Grant, etc. At times it seems to be a ‘Ef series’ dub reunion of sorts, though really it is a testament to the steady stable of actors/actresses Sentai Filmworks has at their disposal. Of course, Greg Ayres and Monica Rial are indeed the standout performances for the dub. Though kudos are in order for the rest of the cast, a really great job by all involved. Christopher Ayres also wrote the dub script as well. His approach seems very transliteral (nearly dubtitles and including honorifics) with a few moments where the script deviate but only really in word choice and structure. Still, worth a listen as its one of the better dubs for Sentai Filmworks.

Overall, Another is a rather effective horror/mystery thriller with a lot of punch and drive that will creep into your subconscious forever. Another the anime is released by Sentai Filmworks, the original light novel and the manga adaptation written by Yukito Akatsuji is out by Yen Press.

Next review: Mardock Scramble III, to be posted November 9
Til Next time dear readers

1 comment:

Overlord-G said...

I owe Tokyo Ghoul being "meh" in my eyes to help me better appreciate Another as being better than I initially thought it was. I cannot emphasize how creepy this show was and the Final Destination-esque fatalities..."Shivers". Not to mention the insane climax.

PS. RIP background yuri girls. You will never be forgotten.