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caelenvasius

  • SoCal
  • Joined Aug 30, 2011
  • 25 / M

Another

May 30, 2013

As always, my Review FAQ is in my blog, check it out if you want to know more info on how I do my reviews.

PLOT/STORY: 7/10
As a Horror/Mystery, Another has a very complex plot, with the (potentially unfortunate) bad habit of not explaining things very well. This can lead to some game-breaking plot holes. Many of these tend to be resolved (eventually), but by the end of the series there are two big holes--one got a handwave, and the other was barely mentioned. Still, the plot moves along at a decent pace, and it is a rare time that it comes to a standstill (the first two episodes notwithstanding; they're slow as crap).

Secondly, there's a huge issue with the big reveal at the end. The show gives little to no clues about who the Extra One is, and while it makes for an interesting twist, it's a huge Ass Pull.

The only other major complaint I have about the story is the final two episodes. Every episode prior to this had maintained a good balance between creepy and gory; mostly the former, such that when the gore does happen, it's shocking. This is why the story between episodes three and ten (inclusive) are so great when compared to the final two. The final two episodes almost entirely give up on the mystery, suspense, and creepiness, and instead opt for an ax-crazy gorefest of a climax. While this is not bad in and of itself, I felt disappointed by the sudden genre shift.

CHARACTER: 8/10
Relatively standard school-based character archetypes here: the stoic class leader, the ditzy girl, the jock/delinquent, the creepy girl, et cetera. So while the archetypes were expected, the show spent a surprising amount of time on secondary and tertiary characters, which I loved. While most don't get much of a background, we get more than enough character time to get a good feel and become attached to these characters; in this fashion, it hurts that much more when they are finally killed off, especially the more violent deaths. I wish more time had been spent on the character of Kazami, though; more screen time in the beginning of the series would have made his actions near the end more palatable, I think. As-is, his efforts at the climax are uncharacteristic.

ART: 10/10
If this anime gets one thing right, it's the art. Fluid, dynamic, well-planned, and fitting the theme well, I loved the art direction. There are few times of conspicious CG (mostly in the vehicles), but it only gets really bad at one part in the middle of the series. I did have one niggling complaint about the art direction, though; many times, characters will be having a dialogue, and the "camera" will shift to completely random characters doing their thing. While not hard to piece together, it's a bit distracting. This isn't enough of an issue for me to dock points, however.

MUSIC: 7/10
The intro music was too odd at first, but over the twelve episodes it grew on me. I do wish it had been done in a higher quality program (or better yet, live), because the MIDI-like recording is a bit of a downside for me, as a music buff.

The outtro song is deliciously dissonant, when considering that many episodes end in a death of some sort, with only a quick fade to black between the two. The sweet but melancholy vocal and piano track provides a huge contrast to the violence of the episode itself. At first this was distracting, but again, I grew to love it.

The in-episode music failed a bit for me though. While often written well from a musician's standpoint, I found the over-use of Scare Chords to be a downside.  Remembering the axiom "Nothing is Scarier", often times it is more effective to leave the music a dissonant interval rather than busting out an overly-loud, dissonant screech.

Also, the music for the final two episodes matched the tone shift well, but some parts of the soundtrack I found to just be obnoxious. I'm not sure If I can forgive it for that, because in horror more than almost any other genre, music can make or break the tone of the scene. During one part when an otherwise sweet character goes axe crazy (no spoilers, though you'll easily recognize it when it happens), the music turns into raucous banging and clashing, which, instead of investing me in the horror of the scene, made me say "What the hell?" out loud. It completely took me out of the scene, and that's a bad thing, mmmkay?

PERSONAL CHOICE: 7/10
I came to this show by way of a friend who constantly bugged me, until I broke down and started it. Disappointed by the first two episodes, I stayed on, and became enamored with the universe, despite its flaws. I would recommend this to any horror lover, but I'm not so sure that viewers who don't care for horror as much would get too much of a kick from it.

Story 7/10
Characters 8/10
Art 10/10
Music 7/10
Personal Choice 7/10
TOTAL: 39/50
PERCENTILE: 78%
GRADE: B+

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Overall I liked this show. Decent plot, good characters, and amazing art held up against all the downsides. Normally I'm not much into horror; I find that creators have to try really hard to frighten me, since I'm such a jaded old man (plus, spending way too long on TVTropes has caused me to over-analyze many otherwise scary scenes), yet Another did not fail to give me chills every so often. However, the somewhat disappointing ending kept it from being one of my personal favorites.

WATCH AGAIN?: Despite the good things in the show, it lacks much in the way of replay value. Unless you miss some important detail, I feel that there's nothing really to be gained from multiple viewings.

Sayonara,
CaelenVasius

7/10 story
10/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall

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Ubersnuber says...

Nice review. Informative and spoiler-free. Just what I needed, as I wasn't sure if I should bother.

And I wholeheartedly agree: less is indeed more.

Thanks!

Jul 6, 2013