First Impressions – Another

I’m a huge fan of horror (or otherwise creepy) things. Anime, games, whatever. Especially when Japan tackles it with good, atmospheric, psychological fear. If you’re like me and want to be all sorts of uneasy after you’re done watching something, Another is something you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Let me start off with how well-done the atmosphere for this series is. Everything has a sort of ‘off’ or ‘wrong’ look to it. The hospital where the main character, Kouichi Sakakibara, is discharged from looks decayed and akin to something out of Silent Hill. His first day at school is delightfully gloomy and dark and there’s even a distorted, ‘static-y’ effect when his eyes drift to the rooftop. Everything looks muted and suppressed, which works wonders for a horror show. Also, they often cut to shots of horrible, bug-eyed ceramic dolls!

The soundtrack is another one of those decent-but-not-great ones. The opening is nice and pseudo-gothic, much like Mirai Nikki’s, but the ending leaves a lot to be desired. It’s more calm and pleasant, with the main characters in various states of formal dress in a sunlit room. Not entirely sure why they made that choice, but I’m not the biggest fan of it outside of Misaki appearing away from the group, back turned to the camera, then fading away.

The story, setting, and overall creepiness of it reminds me so much of Higurashi. A transfer student comes from a large city (Tokyo in Kouchi’s case) to a much smaller town because of his father’s work. Everything seems off-kilter and creepy and we learn that the school – or at least Class 3 – has a dark secret. People associate the main character with something horrible, such as Keiichi slowly beginning to emulate Satoshi in Higurashi and Koichi’s name being associated with death. I don’t normally like to make comparisons in my first impressions unless it’s based off another work and I’ve read that work before, but Another definitely gives off a Higurashi vibe and that’s just great.

All in all, if you like to feel uneasy during and after the show, or really liked Higurashi, definitely check out Another. I could even pair it up with Mirai Nikki, except without the horrible murders and (so far) insane co-protagonist. Either way, if horror’s your thing, Another is probably the best I’ve found. As always, thanks for reading, and have a good’un.

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