I am easily spooked. I loathe horror movies. I look away when sharp, pointy objects appear on screen. I have every reason to hate Another. I did not. In fact, I looked forward to it each week.
Another succeeds in constructing imagery to evoke a mysterious setting. The animation, while always crisp, retains a decaying feel throughout via dimmed lighting and the prevalence of rust on every metallic fixture. Music from ALI PROJECT delivers a haunting presence to add to the suspenseful atmosphere. The ending song proves even more frightening with its slow, calm melody that seems out of place and makes one wonder. And that is often the key to horror: the fear of the unknown.
The story opens with a captivating strangle to complement the gloomy atmosphere. Questions are raised, characters act awkwardly, nothing makes sense. The audience is essentially thrown into deep, murky water and this is where the anime shines brightest (or darkest in this case). One’s imagination is almost always scarier than the reality and while we know death is forthcoming, we can only tremble in our guesses to the details. The wait proves unbearably eerie.
Another forte of Another (can’t resist =P) lies on its focus on the telling detail, especially ones that easily raise suspicion. Mei’s eye patch is the perfect example. It’s impossible for any viewer not to wonder about that from the first glance at the cover art. The show plays to this intrigue and spends a quarter of the time (the first three episodes) unfolding this one mystery. Finally, the show never rests in adding to the fear by suggesting clues in abundance. It makes one paranoid to think that everything has a hidden meaning.
Lovers of horror will likely yawn through the graphic action. I cringed at several scenes but again, I have a low tolerance. Executions of death are meant to provoke and are on par with Elfen Lied.
However, the ending ruins the show. While it is still entertaining overall, the viewer is left with a very unsatisfactory taste especially given the richness demonstrated prior. While the genre isn’t famous for logic, the resolution sends a message more mysterious than the entire show.