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.