19 CommentsTwelve Days / By Shinmaru /

12 Days of Anime #8: Say Hello to Mary Poppins in Hell

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I love horror. I’ll get into the good aspects of horror I dig another day, but I also love impossibly dumb, cheesy horror. Horror has pushed the envelope on violence for so long that it’s often as ridiculous as it is terrifying and visceral — many times intentionally so (see Zombi 2, Braindead, etc.), but also unintentionally so. Today’s moment is an example of the latter.

Another is one of those horror stories that plays at being scary while having nothing truly scary to show. I don’t always mind that, of course; there are plenty of horror stories I enjoy that don’t scare me at all. But the aesthetic quirks of Another never show anything particularly interesting, raise the tension or even feel like they belong in this setting. After what felt like the billionth quick cut to an ugly doll, I questioned why I was even watching Another.

Then the wonderful ending of episode 3 happened. I’m sure everything was supposed to be super serious scary, but how could anyone react to . . . that with anything but raucous laughter? (Well, I guess you could be grossed out, too. I suppose I wouldn’t blame you.) It’s a ridiculous shock that wasn’t even remotely earned by the show, but there’s something about the amount of effort put into the death scene, the absurd circumstances leading up to the death and the death itself that endeared it to me. I laughed a lot, but also admired it. Nobody could think of a death that ridiculous without at least a little imagination.

And so it went for the rest of Another. The non-death horror aspects were still a drag, and the characters and plot were dumb, but the deaths . . . oh, the deaths. So much enjoyment. So wonderful. And it all started with an umbrella.

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19 Comments

  1. Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    2 Umbrellas: $40
    1 Elevator: $15000
    1 Motor boat: $50000
    Infinity well-placed sheets of glass: ???
    Random asthma/seizure/heart attacks: lol
    The crazed look on the faces of generic high schoolers stuck in a cursed classroom regulated by dumb, arbitrary rules and with little creative intelligence to avoid dangerous situations: priceless

  2. Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I legitimately liked the scene when I first saw it just because I’m a sick guy who likes seeing cute anime girls die brutally. I’m awful like that.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Well, I laughed when I saw it, so that counts as legitimate enjoyment, doesn’t it?

  3. Fumoffu!!
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I liked this so much I showed it to all my friends. They don’t even watch anime.

    Needless to say, those fucking umbrellas man.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Another is the anime that will unite anime fans and non-anime fans.

  4. Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    I loved Mei and Kouichi’s little romance. Oh god, I guess I’m in the minority that actually liked Another a lot.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Nothing to be ashamed of. If you like it, you like it.

  5. Chipp12
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    But Another isn’t even a horror! It’s pseudo thriller for the first 10 episodes and trashy slasher for the last two.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Eh, it’s clearly trying to be horror. Don’t really see how you can deny that.

      • Chipp12
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        Trying to be a horror is not equal to being horror.
        Or maybe you’re going to call Blood-C a horror too?

      • Posted December 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        I watched only a couple of episodes of Blood-C, so I can’t say. But I do think you are being pedantic with your genre definitions.

      • Chipp12
        Posted December 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        No, it’s just too hard too actually scare me, so I was talking for myself here :3

      • Posted December 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        If actually scaring people were the sole requirement to be considered horror, then barely anything would actually be horror. :p

  6. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Beyond the faults of Another, in all seriousness, for as long as I can remember I have actually worried about doing that exact thing and will still refuse to use any umbrella that has any sort of point on it. So as I watched that scene I heard my brain yelling – See! That’s why you don’t use that type of umbrella.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never had any umbrella with that sharp a tip, haha. Mine have always been rounded.

  7. shytende
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Another at least was honest. It really thought it had a great story totell and believed in it…

    And since we had Tasogare Otome X Amnesia this year, who was far worse and the definitive proof that the cancer who will kill Anime is ecchi… I can’t see it that badly. (Yes, everithyng is better than this, I know, but context…)

    My favorite scene was the Imagined Dance between Kouchi and Mei.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Well, I’d like to hope most anime believe in their stories lol

      • shytende
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        My point is, they really wanted to makes an horror story.
        I can’t say how much it works.
        I don’t know a lot about horror stories, so it worked for me…

        Tasogare Otome X Amnesia was just an ecchi comedy anime, but tried to look more than that, and failed completely (IMO).

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