Anime Cinema Friday: Another

This will be my second time watching this anime. The first time was back when it was just being released. It was within that realm to me of Ghost Hound, Ghost Hunt, Erased, almost Tokyo Ghoul-esque but not quite. It fit nicely into what I considered horror anime back when I first watched it. Having put some more anime under my belt, I wanted to revisit this and see what my thoughts were on it now.

I found it over on VRV for this review.

Starting off, the graphics are cleanly rendered with minimal “stark” cgi. If Blender or one of the other 3d rendering softwares was used, it was cleanly blended into the rest of the animation. That said, it is an interesting thing to notice how much more grit in the detail is added when horror anime is introduced. Because most scenes are set in dark and shadowed atmospheres, there has to be more highlights, which ends up leading to more detail in both the character animation and the backgrounds.

Maybe that’s why it’s easier to pinpoint when you’ve stumbled into horror and grotesque anime. Gleipner also gives you this over saturated detail style. Maybe that helps contribute to a building sense of tension and unease within the story. You have to face the fact that the frame is cluttered and dense in its rendering, like how the human brain feels like it can take in too much information when in a scary situation.

Doesn’t help that jointed dolls are both beautiful and utterly creepy at the same time. There is that set up.

For a time, there was an excessive movement around the time this anime came out where “cute/shy” female characters would wear an eyepatch. Not in the pirate type of eyepatch, but a gauze medical eyepatch. It was popular within the medical-goth or pain-goth harujuku fashion. This one I never could quite understand. I understand the eyepatch usage in say Kuroshitsuji and Arifureta, but those look like standard eyepatches used by both regular optometrists and pirates. This gauze patch thing…I think it’s supposed to fit into the “creepy cute” aesthetic, but the aesthetic escapes me.

I took an Honors class in college on Music History. I never really learned music solidly. I had some basic concepts down, and had been taught how to play the mandolin and taught myself how to play guitar. Actually music history though had not been covered in my education up until college. Within the history, I got a taste of theory and my professor had a fondness for film industry usage of musical theory. So, we got to learn a bit more on the dissonance and minor scale usage within horror films as a method to create psychological tension on the view.

I mention that in an effort to note the quite minor chord usage and dissonance within the scoring of Another here to start creating the unsettled tension as the story opens. You get a solid feeling of unease, that something isn’t quite right, even if the graphics haven’t clued you into this already.

Style and music addressed, what about the structure? We’re introduced to characters in an ominous tone where they aren’t acting like normal people trying to be chipper and cheerful to the main character. One more box checked for something is very wrong here.

The scriptwriter sets up an air of dread and mystery along with frustration by having the classmates of the MC evade questions. The second episode opens on yellow roses which, when pertaining to death and funerals are given by friends to the deceased as a symbol of their close ties. As I said, watch the backgrounds carefully. They will clue you in to a lot.

This particular anime gets into both the psych-horror element and the grotesque-horror element, but it doesn’t overemphasize jump scares. It will use framing methods meant to give you a sense of forced perspective, something that cannot be avoided. In that way it drives home the point.

I rather enjoyed it went I first watched it, but the second time around is going better now that I have a firmer grasp on how Japanese school systems and their particular cultural concept of ghost story style rumors works. That’s probably why I was a bit lost the last time around. I remembered it being good then, I just didn’t get all the concepts for the way the story is structured and my utter frustration at the secondary characters lack of communication.

anime review Blog

Chapel Orahamm View All →

I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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