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.
WILL I BLOG IT?