What They Say:
Panic ensues at the lodge as desperate students seek the key to stopping the class 3 calamity once and for all. Can Kouichi and his friends find the solution before the death count rises again?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As Another has progressed, it’s been littered with some really strong, brief and intense moments of violence and destruction. But as we saw in the previous episode, thing were starting to step up now that everyone is off at the mountain mansion and everything seems to be going wrong. The first ninety seconds of this features more death and chaos than you normally get in some much more ongoing violent series and it’s positively brutal to watch as these kids are trampled upon, knifed, having things fallen on them and suffer from the fire that’s raging through the building. We’ve had some striking scenes in earlier episodes but here it just doesn’t hold back in the slightest and it’s intent on making you feel it, even for these nameless kids that you barely know from the class.
With the idea being given into the kids heads pretty firmly at this point that the dead have to be sent back to death, it’s given some of them the impetus to take things into their own hands in a firm way, especially since several are feeling very threatened after what’s happened so far and the belief that they need to cause the death in order to not die themselves. The only thing bringing a little order into this massive amount of chaos is the teacher, Chidiki, as he manages to stop some of the attacks from happening and pulling out those that are simply trying to escape. Yet in the middle of it all, Kouichi is still trying to do his best to not only survive himself, but to find others and find a solution to this before it gets even worse. The face offs that happen here are striking even with how it moves somewhat slowly and with purpose rather than just over the top, all while Kouichi wants everyone to pull back from the precipice.
Watching as the chaos unfolds is pretty intense, especially as certain girls go against each other in a particularly brutal fashion as Kouichi helplessly watches on, unable to truly help. But when the series finally makes the reveal as to who the extra person in the class is, it’s such a profound shock to Kouichi that it really does make sense in a way that you completely overlook yet can piece together in the end. And when it comes to dealing with it, seeing those involved having to really step up to do it is harsh and hard to watch, especially as there’s almost a smile to their face which makes you again question the truth of it all. And that’s been one of the best things about the show outside of its overall atmosphere; it’s ability to make you question everything and not take anything for granted. So when we have the reveals, we’re excited to get it but then pull back and wonder if there’s another truth, a deeper truth or something else entirely going on here that isn’t quite what it seems.
With so much darkness and atmosphere to the series for a lot of it and even some very, very moody sunset scenes, this episode brings a balance to everything in a striking way. With a lot of death and destruction leading it off and filling most of it, having it shift to a bright, sunny exterior sequence at the end as the couple of survivors put together the final pieces is spot on. Its such a striking difference that you can’t help but to feel very differently about it. Another had captivated my interest from the start but had to work to make sure it didn’t come across as dull or boring along the way as it teased out what was going on. What it did was to bring in some very strong scenes and intense moments along the way that really drove home the intensity of it. It’s almost on the same level as Shiki for me in how it approached what it wanted to do and its overall execution. This is a series where you savor every moment right up to the final frame after the credits roll to get it all and to really get into it. As a work, it’s beautifully self contained yet open and delivers in spades as a complete project. Highly recommended and definitely worth the physical media release when it hits.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.