First Impressions – Another

Prior to watching this episode, I’d heard incredibly mixed things about it. Some declared it to be far too slow and dull for its own good; others said that the pace worked greatly in its favour and that it was one of the better shows of the season.

I’m here to tell you that if you enjoy horror (particularly J-Horror) at all, ignore the opinions of the former; it’s hands down my favourite first episode of the season.

Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, the first episode is very slow paced, possibly slower than many people will be able to tolerate, but tough it out, and you’ll be rewarded from an incredibly atmospheric horror. It may not have been the scariest episode, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Another follows the Silent Hill brand of horror, where there aren’t many sudden jump scares preceded by minutes of absolute silence. No, in Silent Hill and Another, everything about them is working to slowly unsettle you, from the characters’ body language, through the rust covered surroundings of the town, to the way a classmate reacts when Misaki’s name is brought up. There’s clearly something deeper at play here, and part of the tension is created by the viewer’s desire to discover exactly what is going on.

Maybe I’m biased toward this form of horror though, it’s often said that Silent Hill 2 is the scariest game of all time and that’s an opinion I don’t disagree with, and considering the similarities the game has to Another, It was almost a guaranteed that I was going to enjoy it, but as far as storytelling and atmosphere building goes, this template simply works, and that’s no different here. Believe me it may not seem scary now, but I’ve got a feeling that’ll change in a few weeks.

But enough about why Another succeeds as a horror, let’s talk about the technical aspects of the series. P.A. Works is known for gorgeous visuals, and they aren’t slouching here, animation may have been fairly limited (though this is less a budgetary restriction and more of one brought on by the mature of the show) but the artistry is wonderful, the aforementioned rust covered town and the surrounding nature looks terrific and the character designs are sharp. (If a tad too similar to Hanasaku Iroha) The direction is surprisingly good (considering this is from the director of the terrible Blood-C. No, I don’t care if it gets better) and the music is great. No particular piece of music stands out, but it’s an effective horror score nonetheless (But the OP is utterly horrible, just ignore it). I wasn’t however, a fan of the dolls that kept popping up, they weren’t scary, they just felt trite, but it’s a minor issue that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

So in short, this episode is fantastic if you can put up with the pace. An effective horror and an intriguing mystery, it could very easily be one of the best shows this season.


Absolutely yes.

6 Responses to “First Impressions – Another”

  1. 11 January 2012 at 1:17 am

    Considering I’m not good with horror I question the logic of me watching the first episode late at night :). Still I have to say it was a good first episode that set the atmosphere and made you wonder about some things. To be fair Higurashi (only partly horror I think) is one of my favourite series ever so the right show can definitely pull one in.

    Anyways the episode did give me a bad feeling about the survival of that class. The teacher talking about graduating in good health really highlighted all the bad health conditions in that group. Lead that had a collapsed lung, kid with a heart condition, girl who sprained her ankle, and a few that looked sickly/pale.

    The OP didn’t really bother me. The creepy dolls and that specific music really reminded me of those Rozen Maiden OPs. Didn’t overly enjoy the song, but think it ties well enough into the atmosphere. Better than them trying some cutesy OP that wouldn’t fit at all.

    • 2 Gooney
      11 January 2012 at 5:01 am

      I’m ok with horror, I don’t scare too easily usually, but there are two things that scare the everloving piss out of me for some reason: Silent Hill 2 (fair enough, it’s considered one of the scariest games of all time) and Saya no Uta (something about the concept utterly terrifies me).

      But yeah, that bad feeling is what I loved, the fear very slowly sets in, there’s never a sudden scare that just lasts a second or two, these are lasting scares that gnaw at you long after the moment has passed. (I hope)

      Also, I’ve never watched Higurashi for some reason and I have no idea why, it seems like it’d be right up my alley.

      • 15 January 2012 at 4:18 pm

        Yeah I did play Saya no Uta so I completely know what you mean there. That one definitely scared me as well. I mean terrible things happening is bad, but what happens to some people there…And even with the protagonist himself…I actually only watched my friend play the first Silent Hill and decided to stand back from that series.

        Every now and then these kinds of shows are good. Long as you don’t get too paranoid after.

        Well if there is a series I’d recommend it was Higurashi. Kind of wish the animation for the first season was as good as the second season, but great series I thought. Mystery, some scares, and some compelling characters.

  2. 11 January 2012 at 2:08 am

    Still…not…scary 🙂

    Instead of being afraid, I’m laughing at how slooooooooooowwwwwww every character in this show is speaking.

  3. 11 January 2012 at 4:46 am

    so knowing how easily scared I get, would you recommend this show to someone like me? is there any point in starting it if it’s only going to get scarier and I won’t be able to finish it?

    • 6 Gooney
      11 January 2012 at 4:57 am

      It’s not particularly scary at this point (unless ruined dolls scare you, there are a TON of those for no discernable reason) Think of it as more of a dark mystery series. I think it might get scarier, but more often then not, I’m wrong on these things. I say give it an episode and see if you like it

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