Secret Santa 2014: Another

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one bites the dust.

Some horror flicks manage to work because of good pacing, unique presentation, and a genuinely unnerving atmosphere, others are just entertaining gorefests that make up for there weak writing and stupid characters with a healthy dosage camp. I genuinely enjoy both sides of the horror spectrum and came into Another looking for one or the other and instead got what seems to be a horrendously botched attempt at both. As far as being creepy goes, Another employs the most ridiculously derivative approach. A small pale chick and ugly dolls? It’s about as done to death as it sounds, using such cliche imagery isn’t gonna put my hairs on end.. Plainly put, the series puts a pitiful amount effort into establishing a legitimately creepy atmosphere. The ominous music does it’s best to compliment these scenes, hut ends up being overused and doesn’t do much to elevate the material.

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OK, so Another clearly isn’t very successful when it comes to being unnerving, but there’s still the “other” type of horror I already brought up right? Well the death scenes are ridiculous, but Another otherwise lacks a fun sense of self awareness. Any fun to be had in this show is reduced to simply laughing at an absurd death scene before the series try to make you take it’s plot and characters seriously once again. I could forgive botched attempts at spookiness and some death scenes too silly and jarring to take seriously, but the underlying writing is so unrelentingly bad it’s unbelievable. The mystery in Another in simple terms makes no sense whatsoever. All the reveals regarding the calamity of Class 3-3 have to do with either how it happens and what the rules are. There’s never any explanation as to why it happens. It’s just a bunch of rules applied to some class with no rhyme or reason. The idea behind the show was bad, but what ruined the show was excruciatingly terrible. For starters, after the 1st couple of episodes, the show pretty much front-loads the viewers with most of the information through forced info-dumps, which is boring as hell to watch and doesn’t really give you much to think about besides the mystery behind who the killer is. You know exactly what’s going on for most of the show (minus who’s causing it all) which guts the tension quickly.

 A lot of the problems with the plot could’ve been mitigated if the series wasn’t driven by a cast with perhaps one of the worst case of plot convenience and plot-induced-stupidity I’ve ever seen in quite some time. This is where the characters come in unfortunately, who’s actions seem to lack any semblance of logic whenever the script demands so. It’s the type of stupidity that creates plot craters as opposed to holes. Why doesn’t anyone try to do something about a curse for 30 years? Why doesn’t anyone try to transfer out of a cursed class? Surely you’d consider at least that much before trying to murder your fellow class mates right? The writing goes far enough to avoid aspects of the world that ought to get involved in the annual massacre of children (like parents, the police, etc) to the point where the school may as well have been teleported to a remote island. The worst part of it all was the reason they gave for why Mei doesn’t just tell Koichi the identity the real undead person, it’s an insultingly stupid handwave that essentially causes the show to be four times longer then it needed to be while making most of the deaths entirely preventable.
Koichi himself as a character isn’t stupid like the rest of the cast, but that’s really all I have to say about him. He’s essentially a blank slate ” hey project yourself on to me” type of character. This sort of lead works OK for video games (though even then I’d prefer not to have to put up with it), this degree of blandness is sleep inducing in anime however. They don’t really give him much to do besides talk, and talk, and talk, and hey that person just died, back to talking. There’s not really much to say about the rest of the cast as individuals, but as a whole they came of to me as nothing more then l mere death fodder whose names I never bothered learning or forgot after/during my watchthrough of this series. Anyone who tries to drop information the writers deem to be to juicy to give up at the moment either do so by dropping very vague hints that you’d have to rewatch the show to catch (fat chance of me doing that), or something ridiculously contrived and inconvenient happens to stop right exact moment where a truth bomb is about to be dropped. There was also a hint of romance between the two leads, but the writers barely gave it any attention, so this post will follow suit.

There’s nothing to recommend about Another. As a serious mystery it’s far too dumb and as a thriller it’s paced far too leisurely to entertain . So here’s my recommendation to y’all who haven’t seen it: Just watch this uncensored video that covers all the absurd death scenes and get all the fun schlocky bits without having to put up with this nonsensical and overly long snore-fest.

I couldn’t think of a way to integrate this into my post, but here’s the link to the Secret Santa project for this year. For what it’s worth, I expect a whole lot more more from Dennou Coil and ef: A Tale of Memories, my other recommendations. I already got started on watching the former and it seems like a strong production thus far.

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7 thoughts on “Secret Santa 2014: Another

  1. Pingback: Secret Santa 2014 Project Reveal | Reverse Thieves

  2. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Yukiho! | idol notes

  3. I want to watch this anime anyway, because I like Noizi Ito’s character designs, but dislike Shana and Haruhi. Yeah, I am actually this much shallow. I have heard that this is a good comedy slasher if you watch it with the right mindset – the same as Code Gay-ass. I am really interested in the manga as well, as it was even released in my country not so long ago. On the other hand, I still haven’t watched legitimate comedies loved by millions of animu fans. So Another will probably sit on my To Watch list forever.

    • I tried watching it with that same mindset and it ended up being horribly dull, contrary to what I’ve heard, this show is terrible for people seeking to be mindlessly entertained.

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