Another: Episode 1 -Beginning of the End

So… This is a part of an older project of mine that I had in mind. Besides writing reviews to an entire anime series – I wanted to watch each episode and talk about it.

I have a list of 60-something watched anime and I need to re-watch them all, and also new series and start writing about them. Details, spoilers will be presented ahead – so a friendly suggestion – do not read articles of episodes you plan to watch.

another_novel_coverAnother – an anime adaptation after a Japanese mystery horror novel by Yukito Ayatsuji, published on October 29, 2009 by Kadokawa Shoten.

The story focuses on a boy named Kōichi Sakakibara who, upon transferring into Yomiyama Middle School and meeting the curious Mei Misaki, finds himself in a mystery revolving around students and people related to his class falling victim to gruesome, senseless deaths.

A manga adaptation by Hiro Kiyohara was serialized between May 2010 and January 2012 in the issues of Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace. Both the novel and the manga have been licensed in North America by Yen Press. A 12-episode anime TV series produced by P.A.Works aired in Japan between January 10 and March 27, 2012, with an original video animation episode released on May 26, 2012, and a live-action film was released in Japanese theatres on August 4, 2012.

A dark, sad story, with great characters and a great soundtrack.

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The first episode “Rough sketch” – “Sobyō” (素描) was released on January 10, 2012.

Following the cliches of other horror works – like Higurashi no naku koro ni – there is a disturbing story that took place in the past. Another tells the cruel fate of a girl named Misaki who was a student 26 years ago. Shorty after entering the 9th grade she died in an accident. Shocking as it may seem – the other students behaved like she was still alive – and so it was born the so called “curse” of class 3-3.

The protagonist – Kōichi Sakakibara moves to a town called Yomiyama to live with his grandparents and his aunt Reiko Mikami. Unfortunately – he gets sick and a few weeks he spends in a hospital reading horror novels and hoping to regain his health.

One of the days – some students from his school – Yomiyama North Junior High – Izumi Akazawa, Tomohiko Kazami and Yukari Sakuragi, visit him. Their first discussion brings a note of tension – which is completed by the environements depicted in the first part of the episode, cruel, dark tones, vivid colors, the state of Sakakibara and the mystery surrounding their “interview”. From the beginning you can realize that something very wrong is happening here.

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Another scene that makes everything undoubtebly  strange is Sakakibara meeting Misaki Mei for the first time. She seems lost, she is very quiet and talks weird. And she loses herself like a shadow in the hospital’s basement where the morgue is.

The first day at school brings some aspects that seem odd. Class 3 is the only class that is ignored by the rest of the school. And after asking out about Misaki Mei – he finds out that others claim that they do not know what he is talking about. This aura of mystery surrounding this girl – makes Sakakibara seek her presence.

The ending of the episode gets again tensionate as Misaki tells Sakakibara that his class – their class is very different from the rest of the school – it is very closed to death.

[to be continued…]

Another Anime Artwork and Wallpapers

So.. I have quite a thing for the series called Another.. Horror with a note of suspence and tragic mystery. This could become one of my favorites after Elfen Lied, Higurashi no naku koro ni, Corpse Party, Pupa and some other titles. So this morning I’ve saved up some images representing artwork and wallpapers with the scenarios and characters from the anime. Enjoy.

Comic Art: Ethereal Details

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I can’t say I am a big fan of comics.. besides a few chapters of The Darkness and The Walking Dead – I didn’t indulge myself into anything. And I hear there are a few titles worth anyone’s time.

Maybe I should read some. With artworks like this.. who doesn’t love spiders?

Horror Ascend: Yami Shibai

The following article contains many spoilers. Do not read if you plan to watch the show.

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A series of short animations with a duration of 4 minutes and a half can really spook you out?

That depends on what they are showing to you, and what atmosphere each episode can create. And definitely this anime can leave you without words. A collection of short japanese tales, each one more weird and upsetting than the previous one. I was just browsing my completed anime list on My Anime List and I searched for some horror shows and this one caught my eyes.3e70c2d2055555744f644a98720d263098146d99_hq

First of all, because of the strange anime effects and artwork and secondly because of the stories told.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Episode 1 – If you move into a new house and right across the street, a strange woman stares at you, day and night, you have to quickly realize something is very wrong. But what if she comes into your house and that is the start of an undefiled end for you?

Episode 2 – Zanbai can be translated as offering disaster to a certain person. It is a curse, it is a ritual of death, and the hero in this episode cannot escape his fate.

Episode 3 – We all love the fresh air of countryside in the morning. But what if, in this wonderland there is a demon that must be kept out through a strange ritual of laughing…? A happy face always hides a deeper truth of darkness.

Episode 4 – I work at a print shop, and once I saw an old person climbing down the stairs towards me – and then – it just vanished. I do not know what it was. I am sure I saw someone coming down and yet there was nobody there afterwards. Episode 4 tells the story of an entity similar to Yurei that lives inside a copy machine. So strange, so beautiful.

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Episode 5 – A family man decides that buying a present for his son along with his wife is not what he planned for the day. So he decides to skip this part only to find himself in a realm of nightmare. He wanted to be alone.. now he finds himself in a strange place.. as he desired..alone…

Episode 6 – Only work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. Japanese people are known to be hard-working. But when you only work and work and work – fatigue comes along. And hallucinations happen. Is that pounding meat creature real???

Episode 7 – Visiting deserted places at night might be a very dumb idea. Especially when you enter a locked door and you find yourself looking like a smiling corpse.

Episode 8 – Do not look into the eyes of the Umbrella Goddess.. stay out of sight.. keep the door closed…

Episode 9 – A young girl is affected by a grudge held against her ancestors. And when this becomes visual on her skin, only inside a holy temple a cure can be found. Or at least purification can be tried.

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Episode 10 – As a child I heard stories about ghosts and demons hiding into toilets and grabbing you and eating you.. but this episode makes all this concept incredibly weird.

Episode 11 – Cursed videotape. A cliche into the Japanese horror productions. A videotape of a ghost who moves and if you rewind the tape isn’t there anymore. Don’t look back…

Episode 12 – A shadow in the pavement wants to play with you. If you promise to play with it.. for the sake of your good health.. keep that promise.

Episode 13 – All tales of madness must present the cries of cicadas in the evening. This last episode had something of a Higurashi no naku koro ni ambience included.

I really enjoyed this show because of the painted-style of the animation. Dark tones, disturbing voice effects and a creepy soundtrack helped grow the stories. I am looking forward to the second and the third season of the anime.

And remember… when the door opens up by itself… run!

Disturbed #1: Notions on insanity

Disturbed! will be a series of articles in which I will exploit my interest in the dark genres of literature, music, film, comics, manga and anime, audio productions and everything that you could possible imagine having a dark feeling attached to it.

Disturbed. Altered. Broken. Troubled. Bipolar. Nervous. Wrecked. All these notions can be attached to your person, when you are seeing life with a different applied perspective. Some call these things a path to mental illness, some call it their existential pattern, some call it art.

hqdefaultFrom the artistic perspective – the notion disturbed – creates an eerie dark atmosphere within a fictional environment where sad, sadistic, evil things happen. And when is the border between sick and art getting dissolved? I wonder myself sometimes, when I am watching something very gory and unsettling – what makes this of me if I enjoy it? Am I disturbed in some way, it is a sign that I am with half of my brain non-functional?

The answer depends on who is offering it. Some might say yes, some might say no. I really don’t think I am insane but I have a very dark side, a shadow growing inside me on a rocky temple of sadism. I like gory stuff, blood, death, pain, everything that takes you out of the ordinary and places you in a realm of despair. Therefore I seek these things. In art. In productions that make you doubt your own sanity.

I am a horror maniac. It is a daily ritual. At least one sick thing a day. If I’m not listening to some creepy melody I watch something or I read. It is in my nature. I was like that from a very young age. I remember as a kid I was fascinated with dark movies and stuff. I remember one time I knew about a horror movie with wild rabbits killing people to be broadcasted after midnight and I waited for my grandmother to fall asleep, pretending I was sleeping too and then I watched the movie…otherwise she wouldn’t let me see it :)).

There are tons of films, independent shorts, games, comics, manga volumes, anime series, podcasts where individuals like me can dwell in the sick pleasures of horror. It is a genre that captivates and seduces, a genre which can be very enjoyable or very unacceptable. Deals with fear, deals with the dark corners of the human psyche. Deals with everything that is beyond normal.

Like this thing I found on youtube today. Watch it at your own risk. It is sick and not easily digestible.

This weekend was relaxing. I saw Tag (Riaru Onigokko) – a Japanese horror movie from 2015 which deals with the perception of world through multiple personalities, a short disturbing film about some aliens called Mara Mattuschka, The Collector, The Bunny Game – movie about a psychopath that kidnaps a hooker and plays with her mind and both parts of Inner Depravity.

Took my dosage of what-the-fuck. 😀

Monster Musume: A Beastly Love

There are two main genres that I enjoy when watching anime. First and the most important is the horror genre, with all its subgenres like dementia, gore or psychological. The second one is ecchi. Many do like this genre. Makes you think a bit about the fact that you enjoy pervertness and mild nudity and full nudity and sexual depictions of various kinds. I guess it makes me a weird person. I am not so fanatic after all the ecchi shows but I love seeing them once in a while.

Yesterday I finished watching Monster Musume No Iru Nichijou. A comedy that takes place into a world where different species of animals or creatures are integrated into the human society.

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And then you have the main protagonist living with multiple females, representing different species. What is different about this harem show is that it exploits the tension between the female characters and their fights and arguments over their beloved Darling-kun.

With each episode a new addition to this “family” takes place. We have a lamia, a bird, a centaur, a slime, a spider and a mermaid, plus other species like ogre, zombie, doppelganger and so.

The characters have strong personalities, they are very unique and the anime reveals that, but since they are females, they all have a weakness for the male protagonist.

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I personally prefer Rachnera, the fetishistic arachnid that bondage-plays with the other species.

The anime lacks in a powerful story, it only focuses on what is going on when you live with different girls, trying to please each one of them. There is no powerful meaning in the art style nor in the soundtrack. It is a decent show but far from being a good one.