Most helpful critical review
Another Final Destination
on 23 June 2014
A 12 episode anime from 2012, based on a novel of the same name, is a mystery horror set in a sleepy town of Yomiyama, where a troubled 15 year old (tries to) settle into a slower pace of life outside the city. Only things are problematic from the beginning, suffering from ill health the first few months of the school year, then finding school life a slowly deteriorating grind. When classmates act increasingly shady, the true nature of harrowing rumors become reality.
Finding my way back into the anime scene and it's vast depths of entertainment, 'Another' seemed a fairly basic and safe choice (I hadn't properly watched anime for years - even then it was largely well known films from Studio Ghibli). It sets up a little plot via a tape recording, but little is understood other than its about a school where the most beautiful and popular student died - yet the people in her class pretended she still existed. Straight away it was similar to all anime series - a terrible introduction theme song bangs on for a couple of minutes with scenes not really found in the series - then you get to stare at some 'artwork' for a couple of seconds while the song repeats itself - largely unnecessary. However, when the anime actually gets going, it gives of a very lonely and cold vibe, thanks to its location, ominous score and lead character traits. The subtitles didn't get off to a good start though, with the main character clearly indicating he is in pain"Hi" with subs saying "No" - which kind of throws the credibility of the translation, up in the air..
I should mention that it's incredibly difficult to summarize the plot without giving too much away as each of the 12 episodes hold a puzzling 'spoiler' moment where a secret is revealed or rumor confirmed where the viewer (similar to Sakikabara's situation) are finally in the know. It's this aspect that makes the series rather addictive, the feeling of unknowing and intrigue. That and the fact the episodes are just under 25 minutes each - so you could easily plow through several a day (usually still clueless about various goings on). Here are some potential spoilers (that are integral to describing this anime) - Class 3-3 (or 3-C as it was renamed) holds a terrible burden. That of a deadly phenomenon that occurs every year to the same class. People start dying. Students, teachers and relatives of those involved are all at risk of impending death, from accident or ill health (this is where the whole thing gets a 'Final Destination' vibe - only without the cheesy 'reaper's coming for you next' idea).
Already this series has gained some mentions about it's increasing violent scenes, the further the story progresses. Although they aren't particularly vivid or brutally gruesome, some are tragic and even a little bit shocking - despite a lack of visual stimuli (with the exception of a kitchen knife catastrophe).
Koichi Sakakibara - is the main character - a 15 year old student attending Yomiyama school, class 3-3. Recently transferred from Tokyo, he starts his new school with the misfortune of suffering a collapsed lung, missing the beginning of the school year. His father working in India and his mother deceased, he stays with grandparents and Auntie.. and annoying bird. A quiet guy, but inquisitive.
Mei Misaki - A highly mysterious girl in class 3-3. She lives with her mother in a mannequin shop and has a distinctive eye patch. She is hesitant when speaking to Koichi at first, but eventually the 2 become friends. It is unknown whether she is being completely ignored by her classmates and teachers, or if she really is a ghost. Hates being questioned.
Izumi Akazawa - Another fellow student, she is in charge of 'countermeasures' against the rumor. Bossy and loud, she takes her responsibilities very seriously and is suspicious of Sakakibara from the start - believing they have met before.
Naoya Teshigawara - is the macho guy who loves sports and is generally poor at school. He has been tasked to show Sakakibara around school and explain its various rules and situations.
Tatsuji Chibiki - some creepy looking librarian...
It passed the time for me, and wasn't a chore either. The visuals are kind of generic for anime, the movements are limited and the environment mostly darkened (although some scenes are well made). It's main holding points are that of the mystery of the rumors and the methods in which the characters die. At times, the way the story progresses can get cloying as you are constantly left in the dark about how things are happening and why as the students very slowly reveal information. My Favourite moment happens to be the only time humor is used (seaside antics aside) and could have easily been a plot twist... however it turned out to be a daydream :( I;d recommend this animation for teenagers around the 15 mark (mostly because that's the rating) but also for the relating school link and taste for shock and awe (blood).
I wouldn't mind watching it again (I'm currently watching bits here and there to refresh my memory as I only watched it when I was off ill from work a few months back) but I'd probably only do so if someone else wanted to see it and I could act like a know-it-all smartarse :D