I just spent the entire night watching episode after episode of Another - Partially from insomnia but also due to sitting on the edge of my seat waiting on the answers to my questions. I am relatively new reviewing things in general so I am trying my best here please give it a read. I haven't watched many suspence/thriller/mystery anime like this before although Higarashi no Naku Kuro Ni & Ni Kai definately come to mind while watching it.
Story - 8/10
I rank this at only an 8 due to the fact that the story is really slow to pick up which for an anime with only 12 episodes could be considered almost a fatal flaw. The story definately makes up for it and then some once it starts to pick up though. If you can make it through the first three episodes I assure you, you will be rewarded. There are however downsides. I feel that this lacks from some psycological discipline and randomly changes the psycology of the characters too willy-nilly. I just can't see some of the random switches from scared to full blown psyco murderer working in real life quite as well as they did here. I feel there should have been more thinking involved here and it brings the story down a bit.
Animation - 8.5/10
The animation is very good. There are no blatant flaws and overall the production is consistant. I just feel it is very lackluster & the same as everything else with the exception of the amazing dark ambiance they have created in the town. Everything is rusting and falling apart... they paid great attention to detail in making this place look so scary you might get tetnis from looking at it. The doll scenes are great and for the most part they work but sometimes they will throw a doll up for a split second and flash back, I think this was meant to be some kind of "jump" moments but they don't work like that at least not for me. I found myself getting creeped out more by the longer doll scenes then those flashes.
Sound - 9/10
The sound in Another is amazing for the most part but looses a point due to some high pitch sounds from time to time that can get just borderline annoying for the few seconds they are around. The sound does a great job in working with the ambiance created by the animation team to really get your heart pumping and sometimes get you thinking. The sound really helps to bring you into the world and give you a great sense of fear and mystery from what is happening. Some of this music could even be scary on its own!
Characters - 6/10
At this point you might be asking yourself "6/10 but it sounds so great so far?!" sadly this in part has to do with the way the story of the anime is set up. The main character Kōichi Sakakibara is very relateable and there are moments that you can feel his emotion coming through. For the most part though the cast is robotic and while this is intentional by the writing it feels very poorly executed. I have never seen the people around me turn into still images because they are ignoring me.
Overall - 7.87/10 (rounded up call it an 8, or 4/5 stars)
Overall the anime is great but suffers a lot due to the secondary characters being so distant. If they had taken more time, done more episodes, and created more subplots with the other characters it could have been perfect. Due to the lack of relatability from the characters a lot of... events... lose their effect on watchers. I really loved this anime aside from this though. The fear, the intrigue. It kept me up all night and in a way I am still a little afraid.
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