Another (the anime) episode 1 review: Rough Sketch

Posted: January 10, 2012 by Xana in Another (anime)

Another is a brand new anime based off of a novel written by Yukito Ayatsuji.  The animation studio is P.A works who are well known for their 2010 anime angel beats.  Another brings to the table a mixture of horror and suspense mixed  with everyday high school life. So lets see how it goes.

(I’m happy I don’t have to wake up this early.)

Synopsis

Another starts with a screen shot of a damn as Kouichi Sakakibara the protagonist asks a girl if she had heard of Misaki from the 9th grade, class 3 who attended in 1972.  He goes to say that she was smart pretty and very popular.  She suddenly died from an accident which shocked the class.  However someone after she was dead suddenly pointed to Misaki’s desk and said, “Misaki’s right there, she’s not dead.” The class pretended that she was still alive and kept the act up until graduation. While the preceding narration was going on their are screenshots of dolls, black and white photos and shots of a school.  The anime then switches to Koichi who has just moved from Tokyo to a small town where his grandparents live, because of his father going to India for business.  Kouichi is in the hospital because of a punctured lung and has not yet been able to go to his new school.  He is visited by his class delegates who introduce themselves and ask to question of if he had ever lived in this town before.  He responds with no but he had visited when he was younger.  The delegates continually pass awkward glances to each other before they leave.  Kouichi goes to the hospitals basement to call his father when he sees a girl with an eye patch.  They make small talk and he asks for her name which is in fact Misaki.  He thinks nothing of this encounter and eventually attends his new school days later.  He tries to fit in but he notices how weird his classmates act strange around him.  Misaki is in the same class as him but no talks or interacts with her.  He asks another classmate about her who seems very confused.  Kouichi then tracts down Misaki who tells him his classmates associate his name with death and that he better not associate himself with her anymore.

(Kouichi classmates are really weird, questioning a poor student who in a hopital only minutes after meeting him)

Review:

This is a series that I didn’t know what to expect from it.  There wasn’t a lot of information on it and I have never read the book its based off.  I watched the first episode completely based off a 2 minute  anime trailer I had seen without any english subtitles.  The trailer made the show seem mysteries l and it had some awesome background music.  The first episode did a good job jumping right into the plot.  It highlighted important aspects of the show and introduced characters that will play an important roll in later episodes.  i am going to  start with one of the great highlights of the show, the animation, which is great.  As seenw in one PA Works other anime, Angel Beats, P.A. Work’s animation is great.  They have wonderful attention to detail which really makes their backgrounds look realistic. The animation of Another so far seems flawless from the character design which is crisp and clear (at all angels) to the scratched floors and wooden beams that make up the house that Kouichi lives in.  I was very surprised that you could see scratches and dents in the floor boards.  It made the anime almost look like real life at some moments.  I also really loved how realistic all the trees, flowers grass, and bushes were.  Another is an anime that you really need to see in high definition so that you don’t miss out.

(The flowers look great don’t they?)

The characters themselves have not had enough time to grow yet. They all seem rather boring at this point but this could quickly change in the next few episodes.  Kouichi is rather quiet and seem sad and lonely but is able to hold normal conversation with his new class.  Kouichi’s class mates include Teshigawara, Tomohiko Kazami, Yukari Sakuragi and Izumi Akazawa but they are barely given any screen time so far.  Teshigawara seems like he will be the load and energetic high school friend.  Tomohiko  is one of the class delegates who seems like he is quiet and smart.  Izumi Akaxawa is the another class delegate who seems like she is the type who is nice to everyone.  Izumi Akazawa seems like a girl who is hard to get along too.  The all are similar to characters you see in every other high school anime.  The only difference is the other important character, Mei Misaki who is by far the most interesting character at this point.  She may be quiet but makes me feel very uneasy especially with her eye patch.  Another made really wonder why everyone in the class ignores her and whether she really exists at all.  She also says some very weird stuff to Kouichi which makes their interaction great.

The sound fits the anime perfectly by adding suspense the the show.  Everything from the  theme song to the erie background music that plays whenever their is interaction between Kouichi and his classmates.  It really adds to the mood of Another and it made me feel like something big is about to happen.  The sound plays prominently at the end of the episode when Kouichi and Mei have their second interaction.  High pitch violins play when he is told that his name is associated with death creating a very suspenseful mood when the episode ends…

(This teacher gives me the creeps, who says this to their students, “Help each other, and work your hardest together so that you can all graduate in prime health next march.”  The are in 9th grade are they going to loose their health?  Is something big is going to happen?)

The story really captivated me from the begining of the episode to the end.  I was never bored even when Kouichi was in the hospital and at home.  The real treat of the episode was the beginning and the end.  The show had me from the beginning with Kouichi narration.  I genuinely wanted to know this Misaki was.  The middle of the episode was slow and seemed to drag a little, making the pacing a little slow.   The ending with the dialogue between Kouichi and Misaki did a good job making wonder what up ahead for Kouichi in the future.

While dragging a little the first episode of another did a good job introducing the storyline.  The charecters have no had enough time to develop but Misaki seems like an interesting character.  I hope that Another is true to the “horror” genre and has some scary aspects to it.  On a side note the anime is only 12 episodes.  P.A works had major rushing issues with angel beats only being 13 episodes and I felt that they rushed way to much at the end.  I hope another won’t suffer from that same issue.

Episode rating 7.5/10

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