Why Another is Bad

Another, the most fanboyed show of the season.

Most people watch it because it’s apparently scary. I watch it because it’s ridiculously easy to criticize. Let’s move onto the actual dissection.

Why It’s Decent Mediocre

Reveal: The final reveal was decent; the previously introduced foreshadowing was laced with a heavy layer of ambiguity, it wasn’t blatantly obvious, but looking back at it now, it seems that way. Another had a decent premise, not a great or amazing one, but a decent one. Nevertheless, it was executed in such a mediocre way that extenuated the possibilities of it actually being considered good, or even somewhat decent.

12 Episodes: Vicodin would have been required to finish the series if it was any longer. [That’s sarcasm; I would not take Vicodin; I would take placebo pills.] Well shit, I tried finding the positives. Let’s move onto the bad’s.
Why It’s Bad

Dolls: During the first few episodes, random shots of dolls were screened, for no other reason than to pompously declare “These are dolls, therefore you should be scared shitless.”; they quickly lose relevance after the first few episodes, and they aren’t central to the story.

Character Reactions: The character reactions in Another are so ridiculously inconsistent. They range from being scared shitless, to hysteric. During the first few episodes, a common trepidation was shared among the classmates, however, during the final episodes, a common mass-hysteria was felt. This in turn shifted their personalities; What was the catalyst behind the shift? Simply the curse. For example, let’s make up a character, let’s name him Billy. Billy witnesses countless deaths during the beginning of the show; Billy spends his days at school scared shitless; Billy listens to the head of countermeasures; Billy sees more of his classmates die; Billy becomes more worried; Billy goes on a class trip; Billy sees more of his classmates die; Billy becomes more scared; Billy snaps and kills countless people; Billy is not a main character, so Billy falls off the balcony and dies; Billy’s life flashes before his eyes; Billy’s life is not animated because Billy’s character does not matter; Billy groans for aid; Billy receives no help; Billy dies. The example is mainly relevant, but I decided to be creative towards the end; the big picture is, extreme mood-changes are inherently blamed on the curse, sure it’s plausible, but it’s half-assed.

Mei: I never really liked Mei’s character; she had nothing distinct that separated her from any given archetype, she was just another mysterious, silent girl with an intriguing past. If she was a dude, nobody no guy would watch this show; she’s the poster girl, therefore she’s attractive, she’s an improved version of Inori from Guilty Crown. But subjectively loving aside, objectively, she’s still a shitty character. Late in the series, we learn that she has a magical eye that discerns the “extra” from the other classmates; now, the potential of this was revealed during episode ten. However, it’s not until the final ten minutes of the last episode that she tells Sakaki who the “extra” is. Even prior to the reveal, she knew about the extra, exactly who it was, yet, she didn’t share the information with anybody, she preferred to cosplay as a pirate instead; this asinine stupidity resulted in numerous avoidable episodes, deaths, and melodrama.

Melodrama: Everything in Another is introduced to accentuate the largest “shock factor” possible. The deaths are inherently, bizarrely shocking [Bulldozers saying “Sup” to second floor windows, impaling via umbrella, suicide in front of the entire classroom, etc.]. The cliche music plays to exemplify that, and the classroom reacts as such too.

Original Soundtrack: Another insists on playing melodramatic horror songs, over a favored more, dramatic silence. The deafening OST is so ridiculously obnoxious that it actually subtracts from the situation at hand, the OST loses its effect after a while. Another also insists on playing the same melodramatic OST regardless of the situation, whether it’s an actual death scene, or a small development, the music plays. [Think of it as The Boy Who Cried Wolf, after the fifteenth time the music plays, or after the third time the boy cries wolf, nobody gives a damn about it anymore.]

Amplified Volume: Contrary to popular belief, amplifying the volume from being silent to 600% does not correlate with being a good horror anime. It’s generally desperate to rely solely on human impulse to scare the shit out of the audience. Like for fuck’s sake, headphones and sudden tornados do not blend well.

Inconsistent Curse: Now, the curse is arguable as being omnipotent, but it’s also broken in how situational it is. Let’s view the curse as being aware of itself, it protects the “extra”, killing everyone else off. Now, this would be the most logical way to view it, it introduces a “natural selection” of ways in the curse’s inherent nature of killing off the weak, to survive. However, the curse has shown to be sporadically favorable, in being selective on who to kill. For example, during the final episode, in the struggle amongst the head of countermeasures, Misaki, and Sakakibara, lightning strikes through the window, and shatters the glass everywhere; prior to that, lightning was shaking the home, stalling, or preventing the death of Mei from the head of countermeasures. Logically speaking, glass is a poor conductor, so it had to have been the work of the curse; however, there isn’t a reason for the curse to work in aspirations of delaying Mei’s death, if the primary purpose of it is to kill, then Mei should be on the top of the list, she’s the largest threat with her magical eye. But Mei not only evaded death, the effects of the curse killed the head of countermeasures, while Mei got away safely, relatively free of harm.

Same Episodic Formula: The majority of the episodes follow a specific format; it’s shown to be ridiculously consistent among the early-mid episodes to the mid-late episodes. The formula is usually a recap of the prior episode [most commonly through school girl gossip], then it’s followed by slight background information [small tidbits that eventually add up to be useful], then it’s followed by a possible big reveal [which is usually brusquely interrupted by a new development, or the next step.], and it always ends with an abrupt, melodramatic, and illogical death of a character who’s not major enough to alter the story, but significant enough to be noticed. [Sudden elevator collapse during important phone call, bulldozer visiting second floor window, teacher committing suicide in front of the class, falling on umbrella, heart-attack, hit-and-run by boat, flash rockslide, etc.]

Episode 11: This was by far, the most redundant episode. It’s fanboyed as being the best episode for none other than the senseless slaughter that occurs during the episode. To put it simply, everybody essentially kills each other, out of paranoia, hysteria, and stupidity. Nothing is developed, only blood, gore, and senseless melodrama. The thing is, this entire episode could have been avoided; the central goal of this episode was to find who the “extra” was; Mei, prior to this episode, revealed the ability of her magical eye, however, during the entire engagement, she didn’t bother bringing that up, and Sakakibara didn’t ask her.

Butcher Lady: I dislike characters whose existence is solely introduced to act as a catalyst, or a medium in this case, for melodrama, or brute slaughter. The curse is known to manipulate the surroundings, and events to occur, but controlling a random woman, with little affiliation to the school, in massacring kids was ridiculously pathetic. You could theorize an argument against this, but it remains purely circumstantial; she isn’t bent on stopping the kids, she isn’t a mastermind, all she does it kill, for the sole reason of it. Her existence exemplifies the archetype of the insane lady who hacks shit to death with a cleaver, and she does that well; but, it’s not a positive thing when she exists solely to do that.

Keeping the Kids in Class: This is slight nitpicking, but it’s also a huge flaw in the logic of how the world of Another works. Where the fuck are the parents? If your kid dies in school, chances are, parents are going to be ridiculously, illogically overprotective. They’re going to hinder their children from attending school, they’ll demand stronger security. How does Another work? Parents essentially go “Oh my, how tragic, I hope that doesn’t happen to my kid.”; that shit is not logical. According to blatant human nature from observation, a string of deaths causes sensationalism; parents would not let their kids attend a school, knowing the high mortality rate of it. The curse’s existence isn’t exactly a top-secret conspiracy theory, it’s common-knowledge; the general belief is that the influence of the curse resides purely inside the town. Therefore, get the fuck out of town [it doesn’t matter if the limits are “false , there was no attempts that proved them to be wrong.]

A Blatant Curse: This is slight nitpicking too; Another is labeled as a mystery, and that mystery is there. But the happenings aren’t ambiguous, there isn’t a possibility of the curse not actually existing, it has to. Half the deaths say essential “Fuck you’s” to the laws of physics; and they’re too circumstantial to be a string of unfortunate events. As Lovecraft said it, “…the oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown.” [I have not read Lovecraft’s works, I used a quote to make myself seem more credible as a writer complainer.]

Romance: Thankfully, Another isn’t labeled as a romance series, but I find this section necessary. There is no god damn chemistry between Sakaki and Misaki; the only common interest they have is the curse itself. Regardless of how much a romance is slightly insinuated, or hinted at, there isn’t a blatantly logical romance between the two. Yes, Mei did share something personal about herself to Sakaki and nobody else, but that’s not chemistry, that revolves around the topic of the curse; they don’t talk about anything else but the curse. The final episode, after he fails at his aspirations of flirting with her, he reasserts the question of the curse, redundantly. It’s an obvious hesitation in not knowing what to say, they’re not meant for each other. Sakaki is best suited with another melodramatic entity, while Mei is better suited harboring a relationship with a rock.

Why Another is Bad: Conclusion
Another’s rating would double if it was considered a horror-comedy-parody rather than a horror-mystery.

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8 Responses to Why Another is Bad

  1. DDD says:

    Well even thou it really hurts to say it i 100% agree with what you just said :(
    i really enjoyed the series but like you said there is too much illogical
    and i was hoping for a ghost story with creepy dolls but all we got from so many mystery is kill the extra
    the first ep gave me so much hope with the whole “my second half” and stuff like that
    but i also want a second season because it cant just end like this
    what about the other generations lol just because they left them another tape that doesn’t mean that its over,you cant just tell them to kill their own classmate thats crazy

  2. grek14 says:

    I didn’t like the series very much either. Stopped watching it after the third episode and solely read your reviews thereafter.
    Maybe I’ll finish it at some point..

  3. Ovindel says:

    I can’t help but to agree but almost everything you said. Even though I love the show (until they arrived at that mansion I should rectify), there were too many inconsistent things that I wasn’t very glad about either, too put it softly.
    The fact I was annoyed the most by was really those dolls that didn’t have any significance at the end, they could have really used those dolls as some subject where for example the souls of those people in reside, who knows?

  4. Seph says:

    Nice “review”, i pretty much agree with most of what you wrote. Sincerely, the only thing that really made me facepalm throughout the series (excluding the last two episodes) was the way it kept the mistery going. It was stupid how the curse conveniently killed people who were about to tell Sakakibara something of relevance lol and how he never bothered asking too many questions.

  5. Onihige says:

    Wow, did you even watch the anime?

    All hell breaking loose in episode 11 was NOT random. FFS, they heard the tape recording saying they have to kill the extra person or they would die a gruesome death. Of course emotionally fragile children who firlmy believe they’re doomed are going to grasp at the single, bloody straw that might just fucking save their lives.

    And the lady at the mansion was NOT a complete stranger. She was a relative, they friggin’ said that out loud.

    Soundtrack is a matter of PERSONAL taste. And they did not raise the volume, definetly not by 600%.

    The dolls were not a pointless plot device, it’s an important part of Mei’s story.

    “He heads back into the classroom to find it empty, he finds a student there who dismisses him and asks him to uphold the class rules. Essentially, telling him to not go near anything suspicious like a cosplaying pirate is far too simple, instead, they find it necessary to talk cryptically.” – That was a teacher, not a student.

    The boat did not hit and run. It just hit him, and he died before it even hit him.

    You also mistook the aunt for a sister.

    You do have some points, the curse is weird and over the top. Mei was a dick for not telling. The parents should’ve moved or something, I know I would never place my kids there. But then again, it would be hard to admit there’s such a thing as curses. Even the kids themselves didn’t really believe the curse at first.

    When it all comes down to it, this is just your personal opinion. This show was simply not your cup of tea. Nothing wrong with that, but if you’re going to write a review you should at least try to understand the show and be fair. And do NOT be a dick to all the fans who like this anime, just because you think it’s stupid.

    One last thing, grek14: “I didn’t like the series very much either. Stopped watching it after the third episode and solely read your reviews thereafter.” – What the hell, man? Watch the show and form your own opinions. You’re only entitled to critize the first three episodes, and that ain’t a whole lot.

    • mdlolz says:

      Emotionally fragile children do not kill their classmates, they bitch and cry for someone else to do it. There was a severe change, prior to this episode, the classmates weren’t exactly heroes, or brave for that matter, they were scared shitless at every death. Please don’t try to justify them as gaining the sudden fervor to WANT to kill to be saved during the last episode. You’re also assuming that everybody’s a gullible fuck. It’s like being broke, then receiving an email from a Nigerian prince wishing to commit an altruistic act in making your day, then giving him your details for the planned transaction. [You don’t discard common sense.]

      Relative or not, killing the kids without an inherent reason is bullshit. She doesn’t say anything intelligible. She was there as a catalyst for shock, nothing more. You can say the curse made her do that, but you could pin every illogical happening on the curse, but that doesn’t make Another good, it makes it mediocre.

      Perhaps, if you understood English, you would know that volume in general, is not synonymous with the shit soundtrack. It went from silent, or very low ambiance, to a sudden upheaval, through shit such as wind blowing, a sudden scream, fire collapsing, etc.

      Very important part of her story? That’s the same as building the story of a sexual-abuse victim through constant pornographic images, because it captures the moment of her suffering.

      Excuse me for that inaccuracy, typing four pages in two hours is somewhat difficult while watching. Criticize this entry, not my episodic, rushed ones.

      Please don’t try to justify the boat death, you’re losing all the credibility you have here.

      Yes, someone corrected me on that already. I’m glad that you read all my entries.

      I don’t criticize anime to hate on it, I do it because like many people, I have standards. If I’m somewhat interested, and perhaps even a little hyped for something, to be handed a dish of shit plated with half-assed gold is an insult. If you feel the need to rebuffer your fanboying, go for it. It’s not a forced reading.

      There’s the curiosity as to if it shifts and turns, he simply did that. There wasn’t a need for him to put up through nine more mediocre episodes. You’re doing the exact same thing I’m doing: criticizing people for shit they do.

  6. Onihige says:

    I had written a whole A4 page as a reply, but then I decided… nah. I’ll do a short one.

    Yes, emotionally fragile children can kill. It’s happened before and it will happen again.

    Yes, people are gullable.

    The relative did have a reason, you missed it. But they didn’t need a reason.

    Common sense does not apply to insane people (that’s kind of the definition of insane.)

    I did not misunderstand the volume issue.

    Don’t watch and write at the same time. Also, sorry for pointing out a flaw someone else
    had already corrected.

    How the hell am I losing my credability for pointing out you were wrong and did not pay attention during the boat incident? (Also, where’d I earn that credability? ;P)

    “I don’t criticize anime to hate on it, I do it because like many people, I have standards.” – No offence intended, really. But it sound like something an asshole would say to convince himself he’s right. I don’t think that’s what you intended, but read it back to yourself and imagine someone else wrote it.

    Watching three episodes and dissing an entire show is bullshit, no matter how you cut it.
    Especially for such a slow starting show.

    This was still longer than intended. xD

    Ah, and last but not least. Don’t assume I’m a fanboy.

    • mdlolz says:

      Keyword is “can”. Let’s not make everything run on “cans” and “possibles” but rather on reasonable “shoulds” and “whatever the fuck flows”.

      They need a reason if they’re the centerpoint for the god damn episode. That’s like saying a random bomb being dropped on a village, killing half the protagonists can be deus ex, and still be fine.

      Sure and logic doesn’t need to apply to illogical people (that’s the definition of you).

      Yes you did. I’m afraid your reading comprehension needs improvement then. I suggest “Hooked on Phonics for the Mentally-Challenged”

      It’s a blog, I’ll write how I damn well please. =3 I correct my mistakes in the later entries, call me out if it’s there after being pointed out in a previous entry. I read all my comments, and I do respect opinions for the most part, but when an ignorant fanboy turns into an arrogant one, it turns into a fair argument.

      You’re losing credibility because your use of logic is consistent of fallacies and being a damn fanboy. I don’t hate Another, but, I do dislike blind fanboys. And fuck, misspelling credibility and every other word tends to hurt your so called “credability”. [It makes you look like an idiot, if you wanted an explanation. I don’t exactly take my time on replies, but I have the common courtesy to write English.]

      Three episodes out of an endless shounen? Perhaps. Three episodes in a twelve episode series is a quarter of the show. I didn’t call the show shit, I called the developments shit. Quite a difference. For example, your grammar is shit, but that doesn’t mean your opinion is shit. [It is though, I believe I truly called it shit towards the end (unless you consider 95% of the show a minority)]

      You are a fanboy. Use logic rather than just is’s and possibilities.

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