Home > Anime, Manga and Games, Reviews, Television > DVD Review: Another Complete Collection (2012)

DVD Review: Another Complete Collection (2012)

A twelve episode series based on the novel by Yukito Ayatsuji.

Another DVD coverThere are some animes that hit you so hard, you will never forget them. They take you through twists and turns, and no matter how many times you think you’ve figured out what’s happening and what will happen, each time you are wrong. When it’s all over, you find out you were dead wrong. Another is one of those animes.

This show is the animated version of the manga that was illustrated by Hiro Kiyohara. Both works are based on the novel by Yukito Ayatsuji.

Explaining Another

At the heart of Another are two characters. The first is Koichi Sakakibara, a boy who has just moved to the quiet town of Yomiyama to stay with family members while his father works in India. The second is a mysterious girl named Mei Misaki who Koichi first meets in a hospital elevator. He observes she is holding a doll in her hand, and when she gets off on a dark, deserted floor, Mei comments that she’s returning the doll to her other half. This is all fine and good until Koichi realizes “her other half” occupies a place in the hospital’s morgue.

Koichi later discovers that Mei and he are classmates. He also learns he is part of the “cursed” 3-3 class, a class that is virtually isolated from the other teachers and children in the school.

another characters

Despite Koichi’s attempts to get closer to Mei and figure out just what’s going on, Mei resists, and his classmates aren’t forthcoming with the truth of their situation. They continually warn him to leave her alone before it’s too late.

This is all that can be revealed about this series; Sharing anymore will be a major spoiler – at least, if you love anime with supernatural horror, psychological twists and turns, and a bit of “whodunit” mystery thrown in.

One bit of fair warning for the squeamish: This anime is not for the faint of heart. There is a considerable amount of blood spilled, with children and adults meeting horrible fates. It gets especially violent towards the end, which may be upsetting to some viewers. In short: If you prefer something fluffy and cute, do not be fooled by the way this anime starts and think it’s going to be a “slice of life” type of show. It takes a hard left turn about three episodes in.

Beyond the gore and blood is a story that is one of the most captivating you’ll see. It is the perfect mystery thriller, one of the best seen in any genre. By the end of the short series – it’s only twelve episodes long – you may be questioning your own sanity. Most likely, you’ll be wondering how you missed the answer when the truth was there all along, staring both you and Koichi in the face.

If this explanation of the series is vague, understand that it is a necessity. Another is the sort of anime you can only truly enjoy if you see it from the point of view of being an outsider who knows nothing. Much like Koichi, you the viewer get to know the characters and, as secrets are revealed, you try and figure out who or what is at the center of the show’s mystery.

another elevator

Another and Bullying: A Harsh Non-Paranormal Reality

When Koichi first joins his class and notes the way the other students treat Mei, virtually ignoring her, he assumes she is being bullied. There is a logical reason for this assumption as ostracizing a child by pretending they don’t exist is a common form of bullying in Japan.

Imagine you wanted help with your writing, and so you request some proofreading from a classmate. The classmate ignores you. You ask someone else. That person also ignores you. Everyone ignores you, and when you go to the teachers for help, they either won’t answer or say they don’t know what it is you are talking about.

As no one wants to get involved, this cruel behavior may be ignored by teachers, school staff and even parents. It may even escalate to something far uglier: harassing notes telling the child to commit suicide.

With its level of horror and student-against-student nature, Another reveals that beneath the formal, orderly nature of school life for many Japanese children is a level of sadness, loneliness and terror that others don’t see or simply refuse to see. While the source is something unique to this anime, there are elements of truth about the unfortunate life of some Japanese children hidden in the plot.



Label: MVM Entertainment

Release date: 25 Nov 2013

Certificate: 12

Running time: 300 mins

Genre: Anime

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima

The complete 12 episode series is available on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Author Profile:

Kayla Matthews is a Diverse Japan blogger, anime nerd and Japanese cultural enthusiast. You can check out her productivity blog at ProductivityTheory.com and follow her on Google+ and Twitter @KaylaEMatthews to get updates on her latest posts!

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