I almost dropped Another, like Shiki which I ended up loving. I had watched the first episode and had never gotten around to watching the second until I saw the stairs thing from episode three. After that I braved the terrible writing just to see how people would start to die.
Episode five has changed my perception of the series somewhat. The first big complaint I hear from everyone is the frustrating behaviour of the students. “Tell me what’s going on,” protag asks. “Ok well- NOPE” is the response every time. This goes on for five episodes. Nobody tells him anything. Nobody tells him anything /despite/ the fact that is what could have very well saved their lives. It’s classic too-stupid-to-live horror character behaviour. Which is maybe why it’s so satisfying to see them die in such horrible ways?
In episode five, protag pretty much says “screw you guys, Mei and I are going to do our own thing. Have fun dying, douchebags” (ok not really). But that’s how it feels. We’re also finally given an explanation for everything. Was it really necassary to drag this out? Was not telling us and instead frustrating the viewers their attempt at bulding suspense? Think of the potential here. I see a lot of potential for protag trying to warn the class about some kind of danger but having them continue to ignore and shun them in an insane way. Handled right, I guess that could be pretty creepy.
We’re told that everything happens because at the beginning of the year, an extra student is present in the class. A student who was not registered. A student who, in reality, is dead but probably doesn’t know it. I had trouble wrapping my mind around this. Mei does say that people’s memories are ‘altered’ but I still think that’s pretty cheap. I mean, this show hasn’t been the pinnacle of good writing but it seems like a pretty big stretch. The town didn’t strike me as very big. Someone has to notice that one of these kids has never been around before. Assuming that’s how it works.
It didn’t seem very clear to me. Misaki (of 26 years ago) seems irrelevant now. It seemed like the +1 student had very little to do with her. Maybe I need to rewatch it or the entire series to see if there are any clues I’ve missed regarding this.
I had thought it was probably Akazawa for many reasons (being present when protag was talking to Sanae when she died, Hisao Takabayashi disagreeing specifically with her before trying to break the first rule of Mei Fight Club, failing spectacularly – almost purposefully – at her job to protect the class, etc) but I no longer do.
However, given the terrible writing presented thus far (we’re not telling you and acting like Mei was actually a ghost for five episodes) I will not be surprised if it’s Kouichi somehow. If his mom died some how in connection with the curse and either he actually died or was supposed to die at that time, it could easily be him. I really hope that isn’t the case though. I’ll definitely regret watching this show if that happens.
I wasn’t that fond of Mei before episode five. She instantly grew on me the moment it turned out she was alive. Preview for episode six seems to show that she grows a teeny tiny semblance to a personality as well. But now that she’s not a ghost, it makes it a little odd nobody saw her at the hospital. And it makes it even weirder that she was at the hospital at night. I sincerly hope protag questions her about it again. Episode five presented a different mystery about Kirika. The op seems to imply she’s important in some way but we’ve only seen her for a second. Maybe she’s just one of the people to be killed? Another thing is the dolls. I had assumed the only solution to stop the curse or something would be to burn down the doll shop (because burning down things is ALWAYS the solution in horror stories) but I can’t really figure out what other purpose they serve.
The show is pretty much half way done so despite the frutstrating earlier episodes, it seemed like episode five covered a lot even if it wasn’t as entertaining as four or three in regards to character deaths. There are still a lot of things that need to be revealed and solved. I still think the show is poorly written and the first few episodes were incredibly annoying but I’ve still been excited all week to watch it. Now I’m excited because I want to see what protag and Mei do. I’m invested in the mystery of who the +1 is. If I can give any credit to the show, it’s for that.
(Of course after writing this I was promptly spoiled and did not expect at all)