Hello and welcome to the first of twelve reviews in this series of reviews about the anime Another.
I decided to separate them into episodes because I talk a lot, or in this case type a lot and the review for all twelve episodes was very long. So this way it’s short and sweet, and you can leave a reply telling me what you think of this episode.
Episode 1 Rough Sketch
The show starts off with random flashes of places, you see a dead body’s feet floating in the river, the classroom, the hall, a bunch of places, not really important but don’t rule them out. The important part is the dialogue that is going on. You are being told a story about a girl named Misaki who died 26 years ago. She was well loved by everyone who was in her class. She was a 9th grader in the class 3 the year she died, but she died halfway through the year. One day a boy said that Misakis not dead and pointed to her desk saying she was right there with them. Everyone went along with it and no one said otherwise. The principal even had the girl’s desk brought to the graduation ceremony.
Now there are two voices during this story, one is male and he is telling the story, the other is female and she is asking questions. The female voice says that it is creepy that they included Misaki’s desk in the graduation. The male voice agreed, but then says “If it only stopped there, the rest of the story is…” and then you get the intro. By the way, I don’t believe this song fits the anime, it’s a little upbeat for me, even before I watched the whole anime, this song was just not doing it.
This is Kouichi Sakakibara ( I like to call him Sakakibara), the main character in the story. He moves to Yomiyama to live with his grandparents and his Aunt Reiko. But as soon as he moves to Yomiyama he gets sick and is put in the hospital. While there Sakakibara’s Aunt Reiko, gives him a brief tour of Yomiyama from the hospital window, and points out where his school is. She also tells him that she will help him prepare for life at Yomi North, which is the short name for the school he will attend called Yomiyama North.
While in the hospital, Sakakibara is visited by three students. From right to left you have Izumi Akazawa who is the head of countermeasures, Tomohiko Kazami and Yukari Sakuragi who are both class officers. While they are visiting Sakakibara they ask a lot of questions, like” Why did you move here?”, “Have you lived here before?”, “Have we meet you before?”, “You moved from Tokyo right?”, ” Are you sure you have never lived here before?”
Now I thought this was weird, I mean you are suppose to be visiting a sick person in the hospital, not some guy that just committed a murder or something. Then when I thought about it, I was like “Why are they visiting him in the first place? They don’t know him.” But then Yukari gives him flowers from the class as a get well present. Now while she is doing this they make a big deal of pointing out the school crest on her jacket. Weird, but you’ll understand in a few minutes. Tomohiko also gives Sakakibara the notes he had missed from school since he has been in the hospital, which was nice of him. When they get ready to leave Izumi shakes Sakakibara’s hand and asks him yet again if he was sure that he had never lived in Yomiyama before.
All I can think is that this girl is rude and what is the head of countermeasures? Which apparently Sakakibara wants to know as well, as he did try and ask the question but was interrupted by Tomohiko. At this point, I don’t even know where this anime is going. You got the story about Misaki from 26 years ago, and three really rude 9th graders who visit people the don’t know and ask a lot of questions.
If I thought the the three students from before were weird. My level of weird just went up with this one. Sakakibara tries to go to the roof to call his dad to let him know that he is in the hospital. When he gets in the elevator he notices that it’s going down not up, he turns to see a girl standing in the corner. It kind of scares him, but then again who would not jump when they see someone else in a elevator when they didn’t know they were there in the first place.
Sakakibara notices the crest on the girls jacket and asks her if she is a Yomiyama North student as well. She just shakes her head as a reply. If you remember from when Yukari gave Sakakibara the flowers, this is why they did a close up on the crest on her jacket, so you would see the connection here in the elevator. But the first thing I noticed was not the crest, it was the eye patch, and the fact that she holding a doll. Creepy, and weird is now where my weird level is at.
Sakakibara asks if she has something to do on basement level 2. She replies that she has to deliver something and then says “my poor other half”. Umm what? The elevator gets to the level the girl has selected and she kinda zombie walks out of the elevator. Sakakibara chases her and asks her what her name is. Without turning around she replies, in a very monotone voice that her name is Mei Misaki, and continues walking. Sakakibara looks up at the sign and sees that she went in the direction of the morgue.
CREEPY!!! My first thought was what the heck? The second was is she a ghost? Followed by my brain making it’s own story. I came up with this, “She is a ghost who is giving her body “the other half” a doll.” Not bad if you ask me, but then again, I’m so wrong. I also noticed that her last name is “Misaki”, which if you remember the story at the start of the episode a girl named Misaki died 26 years ago. Which I then added to my story this, “Every night she takes a trip to the morgue because her body is no longer there and she is trying to find it, to put the doll with it and this is the last place she seen her body.” A little far fetched, but hey it’s anime, anythings possible.
Sakakibara’s dad calls him just before he goes to school. You finally find out the reason why Sakakibara was in the hospital in the first place. He had a collapsed lung, which was my guess from seeing the tubes and the equipment beside the bed. You also find out that his dad had a collapsed lung when he was younger. Just minor information, but I wanted to include this and a screen shot of that bird. You will grow to hate that bird by the end of the anime. It just never shuts up!
After the phone call from his dad, Sakakibara has a flash back of a short conversation with his Aunt Reiko about the rules of Yomiyama North. We don’t get to hear what the first two are, just that rule three is always to uphold the class rules, and the group is more important then the individual. Okay then…This is important info to remember later in the series, so just refer back to here if you get lost.
When Sakakibara finally gets to class, everyone is at first starring down at the desk. Like they’re not sure what to do with there being another student there. I thought it was odd, most of the time when a new student joins the class you have people snickering and making remarks about their hair or something. But nope, they just starred at the desk and looked somewhat scared.
Later in the day, the class gathers around Sakakibara, they ask him questions about how everything is going, and if he likes Yomiyama. They also ask about his dad and what country he is in now. Sakakibara is surprised that they know this stuff. But they tell him that the Mr. Kubodera and the assistant teacher Miss. Mikami told them. Nothing to bad about this encounter, I would have to say that the class had even lightened up a bit from when they first seen Sakakibara. Now I want to point out something at this point, the whole time Sakakibara has been in this classroom, he has been glancing at Mei. She however was not fazed like the other students were when Sakakibara was introduced to the class. She just starred at the window like there was nothing going on around her.
So so far the school day seems like a normal school day. Until Sakakibara asks where Izumi is. Tomohiko gives a quick head nod, and another student quickly changes the subject to giving Sakakibara a tour of the school. Now you sit there thinking why they would make such a big deal out of that little head nod. Well you’ll see, I’ll just put it that way. You just need to remember this head nod is all.
During P.E Sakakibara has to sit out because he had a collapsed lung. He is joined by another student who has a heart condition and can’t join in the activities as well. He mentions that he was born with it, then he gets sick and goes to the nurses office. Yukari then joins Sakakibara because she sprang her ankle the day before and she has to sit out. At first this is just a normal encounter with a fellow classmate. But then Yukari asks Sakakibara about the tour that Naoya Teshigawara and Tomohiko gave him and if they said anything to him. She also mentions that Azawa (Izumi) would be mad if they said anything and that they have to be careful what they do say to him. Now if you remember back in the classroom Naoya was the student that suggested the tour when Tomohiko gave the nod. It has something to do with the tour and whatever Izumi does not want Sakakibara to know. Which is odd, because as the head of countermeasures, you would think that she would want Sakakibara to know everything.
Once you get past the weird questions about the tour and who said what. Sakakibara decides to ask Yukari about Mei. Yukari gets this shocked expression on her face for a brief second and then pretends to not know who he is talking about. Now why would she not know a student in her class? That was my first question, also her reaction to the name brought me back to the story I was slowly coming up with as I watched this episode. Maybe Yukari knows the story about the Misaki from 26 years ago and no one is suppose to talk about it or something, and that would be why Yukari pretends to not know who he is talking about, and why Sakakibara is the only one that can see her. Summed that up all nice and pretty now didn’t I? Or so I thought.
Sakakibara sees Mei on the roof while talking to Yukari and he goes to see what she is doing. He asks her if she remembers meeting him at the hospital, she replies no. He asks her what it was that she was delivering on basement level 2, she replies that she doesn’t like to be questioned. She then goes on to tell him that class 3 is closer to death then any of the other classes. Sakakibara is confused, as was I, at what she meant by this. She also asks him if the others have told him yet? Well of course he still doesn’t know what she is talking about, I as the viewer doesn’t know what she is talking about. She goes on to tell him that he should not talk to her anymore, and that the others associate his name with death. I’m sitting here thinking “Uh your the one who is dead, how is it that his name is the one that people associate with death?” I mean is it just me or did we imagine the whole Yukari freak out moment when Sakakibara said Mei’s name?
She then walks off and tells him goodbye. This is basically the end of the episode, besides Sakakibara getting picked up by his grandmother and on the ride home Sakakibara sees Mei on the street just looking up at the rain. At the end of the episode I was like what is the connection between the Misaki from 26 years ago and this Mei Misaki that apparently only Sakakibara can see? I was left with a lot of questions, and general confusion as to what was going on. Is she a ghost? and,what is the “head of countermeasures”? I mean so far the only answer I can come up with is yes, she is a ghost.
So you know my thoughts, now I would like to know yours. Also look forward to the episode 2 review coming soon.