20 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Another episode 1

Oh no, not Another first impression post. I thought there was Another anime Scamp still had to write about. I don’t want to hear about Another first episode. I wonder if he’ll use Another piece of wordplay using the title.

….yeah OK, I’m done milking that joke.

Since I’m a teensy bit late with this first impressions post, you may have already read from other reviews that Another has an awful habit of making everything out to be creepy, damaging the areas where it’s supposed to be creepy. I don’t really buy that myself though. The atmosphere they’re going for is that this entire town is supposed to be strange and unsettling, as though everyone there is a bit abnormal, and it achieved that. Yes, perhaps the creepy music playing all the time is a bit too much, but it’s not obnoxious about it so it didn’t really bother me. The deadened look of the scenery combined with the unnaturally long pauses the characters gave and that weird habit the camera had on facing the characters directly all added to the atmosphere it was trying to achieve.

Not that it’s anything close to perfect at achieving this atmosphere. The random cuts to dolls with no arms were just pathetic, as though the show kept wondering whether we weren’t convinced this was supposed to be a horror anime. Not good directing there, Mr. Mizushima. I will commend you for that scene with the character narrating his life while the camera focused around the classroom at all the different people. In one sweep of the classroom you already established a cast of characters from some very simple actions on their parts. Combine this with the atmosphere of trying to depict everyone in this town as abnormal and you have the perfect hook. This will all be put to waste if everyone in the town isn’t actually a serial nutter, but I’m willing to believe they will fulfill that promise. It’s supposed to be a 2-cours show, they can’t have the entire story be about that one dead girl with the eyepatch.

Aaaand that’s about all I can talk about, because so little happens. This was my problem with Shiki too. All your intrigue and mood and character development you’re trying to build up gets sapped away the more you drag this shit out. This is especially the case with a horror story, where it relies so heavily on atmosphere. Then again, I think this is a problem reserved to just me and my ADD addled mind. There’s a reason why my favourite anime that can be technically classed as ‘horror’ are stuff like Future Diary.

So, since I have little else to talk about, let’s mock that opening song, shall we? Mocking Ali Project at this stage is almost pointless, as there doesn’t seem to be anyone in anime fandom who doesn’t have an instant kneejerk hate reaction to them anymore, so I won’t bother talking about the actual song (except that it’s the same song they’ve been playing for the past 10 years and it still sounds like it’s being played backwards) and instead talk about the animation used. It’s nothing more than a random mix of horror imagery, from dripping blood to hairless dolls to crows, thrown together at some last-minute clip show because christ imagine bringing in somebody to storyboard some sort of proper opening. It really has been a season of shitty openings.

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  1. Ryan
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    The atmosphere they’re going for is that this entire town is supposed to be strange and unsettling, as though everyone there is a bit abnormal, and it achieved that.

    I think so as well, but I’m not going to follow the show either way. And “the unnat­ur­ally long pauses the char­ac­ters gave” that was poor timing in my opinion, sure they used it where it was needed, but at the same time it seemed like *ever* dialog was over 56k dialup, or from astronauts on the ISS, take your pick. That became annoying, and I don’t mind silence, but there was too much in awkward places. Suppose that’s just one of those things that would take getting used to.

  2. Test
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Talking about Mirai Nikki, did you miss the 13th episode? It came out 2 days ago and still no review from you :(

    • Scamp
      Posted January 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Sorry about that, first impressions bogged me down. Post should be up in the next day or two

  3. Posted January 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s sup­posed to be a 2-cours show

    Where did you get that information from? I’ve read everywhere, that it’s going to be a 1-course-show with 12 episodes. Would surprise me, because the manga doesn’t have enough content for more than ~12 episodes.

    By the way, I would recommend to keep watching this show, as the story is very surprising and written very well (at least in the manga). As I already know the story and the solutions to all the mysteries, the atmosphere in the anime didn’t really have any effect on me, but at least it looks pretty and it seemed quite well executed to me.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh shit, you’re right. Where did I get that into my head?

    • derp
      Posted January 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      You do know that the manga is based on a novel and that the manga started its serialization afterwards, right?

      • Scamp
        Posted January 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Apparently she didn’t, so why don’t you tell them in an incredibly patronising way?

  4. romulus
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow I thought about Shiki too the first moment I saw that prelude-like first ep. For me 20 minutes of “shit will hit the fan in 3 minutes” music was a bit too much. For now it only seems to be a cheap ripoff of Shiki. Well, watching each and every character revealing how batshit crazy they are can’t be that bad.

  5. Moomba
    Posted January 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, it didn’t impress me quite as much as I’d hoped it would – those doll cuts were just annoying and really killed any sort of mood the rest of the atmosphere was trying to create and the constant tension without any climaxes doesn’t really work for me.

    I’m going to keep watching though as I’m interested to find out why the class is segregated from the rest of the school. Seems like there’s more to it than just eyepatch dead girl. Or I could be wrong and it could be entirely because of her. Which would be kind of disappointing.

    I do hope that everyone turns out to be crazies. But at the same time, the impression I got was one of fear rather than sociopathy. I hope I’m wrong there though.

    Posted January 12, 2012 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Im assuming people die in that class often because i cant find anything potentially scary other than how hard they r gonna hav to try to scare me. & i never understood horrors like this. If someone tells me im pretty much fucked after a day of being at that school i would be on the next flight to india.

  7. Mr. Anon
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    >…yeah OK, I’m done milk­ing that joke.
    I don’t believe you :P

    • Scamp
      Posted January 14, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      You’re right, I’ll always be there to make Another pun

  8. Posted January 12, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    My impression of the visuals in the opening were that they were foreshadowing of future deaths rather than various horror clips mixed together. Seeing a body swaying back and forth, a speeding car’s tires, glass shattering on the sidewalk, and a falling chandelier are probably going to be the deaths of some of the students we saw. At least those are my thoughts, especially after seeing OPs like xxxHOLiC and Future Diary employ the same techniques.

  9. Posted January 12, 2012 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    the broken mannequin dolls actually creep me out. It makes me wonder what’s the deal with that whole shit it, just like I wonder what the whole mystery the whole town is all about. It’s unsettling

  10. Posted January 12, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Oh I’m sure those dolls will come into play.

    • Posted January 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they will ;)

  11. Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m probably the only one here who loves ALI PROJECT, yes? Okay, that opening was stupid, but they did some good things in the past.

    • Posted January 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      They definitely have done good things, although this OP is total crap (of course, I also think the show is total crap, but that’s beside the point). Pastel Pure was a very good instrumental piece, and although it didn’t end up matching the show very much, I liked Angoku Tenkoku quite a bit (Kamichama Karin OP).

    • Scamp
      Posted January 14, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      I think I may have liked whatever the first Ali Project song I listened to was, but then you hear that same one again and again and you quickly get sick of it

  12. hint
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh well, shiki is great anime. And you missed!

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