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…]

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!