Hello and welcome to the fourth of twelve reviews about the anime called Another. You can find the Episode 2 review here. 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.
The story I am writing while trying to fill in the gaps is as follows. Mei is not the Mei from 26 Years ago, she is the person who died at the hospital while Sakakibara was there. She is giving the doll to her body so she could move on. She died because the shopkeeper took her eye, and she is going to haunt her for the rest of her life. If you would like to read the review for Episode 2 you can find it here.
Episode 3 Bone Work
So Mei has a doll’s eye. Now that did not occur to me when I watched it the first time, and is still somewhat shocking to see again. I paused the episode so I could take a screenshot and found myself staring at the doll eye and comparing it to her real eye. I’m not sure if you noticed but, the pupil of her doll’s eye is dilated and her real eye is not. Why that is important you ask? Its not, I just thought it was cool.
I was also weirded out when she started asking Sakakibara about the dolls. You know, describing them as hollow things in body and spirit and how things that are hollow try to fill themselves up. To further weird you out, she says that they need to go upstairs because it is not safe for Sakakibara down here. She then asks if he can feel them sucking something out of him, and he strangely answers, yeah. Like what does that even mean? Uh creepy Mei is still being creepy, and what about that bit about her eye seeing things that should not be seen? I’m starting to wonder if she has been a ghost for so long that she is now crazy or something. But then again, she has only been dead for about a day to a month at most. We don’t really know the time lapse between when Sakakibara sees her in the elevator, and when he then joins her at school.
When they go upstairs Sakakibara asks a lot of questions, like “The Hollow Blue Eyes of Yumi at Twilight” being the name of the shop. Mei shakes her head saying yes he is wright. He asks what is “Studio M”? Mei says that it is Kirika’s studio and she makes all the dolls he sees in the shop. Now you are wondering who Kirika is right? So was I the first pass, but just put that in your pocket for now, not all that important really.
Sakakibara asks why the doll looks so much like her, she says she does not know. He then starts asking about the doll she was holding when they meet in the elevator and if she has a sister. She shakes her head no, this then makes Sakakibara start tensing up because he has flashbacks of the conversation he had with Sanae where she tells him that the girl who died in the hospital was an only daughter. Add this to the weird doll down stairs and he looks like he is ready to bolt, I mean I would be, and just to add the icing on the cake for the creepy factor. Mei decides to tell him that she told him to stay away, and then says she bets he does not even know, and that it has more than likely already begun. Um what has begun?
Mei decides to tell Sakakibara the story about Misaki from 26 years ago. How she was smart, did well in sports, kind to everyone and generally well liked. She tells Sakakibara that shortly after starting 9th grade, she died. Everyone in the class was devastated and one kid even went as far to say that she was not dead, pointing at her desk saying that she was right there. Several other students joined in as well, until even the teacher joined. The teacher then told the students that they should work together as a team until it was time to graduate. At graduation, Misaki’s desk was even brought to the ceremony, and when they went to take the class photo, Misaki was in the picture. She was even smiling although she was pale.
Now that is…creepy.
Mei goes on to say that there is more to the story, but Sakakibara’s grandmother calls to ask where he is and the shopkeeper says that it is time for him to go home. When he looks back at where Mei was sitting, she is gone.
At this point in the series, I was thinking that everyone in this town was crazy. Like I was wondering if this town was one big mental ward for crazy people who saw dead people. I mean that would explain Mei’s existence in the series in one go, but sadly this is not the case. As for my little story, I’m beginning to think I should stop writing it, I don’t even know where to go with it at this point.
The next scene is so light hearted that it is kind of unnerving. Sakakibara, Naoya and Tomohiko are looking at the exam schedule. They start talking about how long Naoya and Tomohiko have been friends and how they are stuck with one another. Yukari looks at the schedule off to the side, and you get the feeling that there is a little love interest from Tomohiko. They start talking about what schools everyone will attend, and how next spring Sakakibara will more then likely be back in Tokyo.
Eventually they are joined by other class members, Izumi even joins saying that she might go to K High, which is the private school that Sakakibara was at. See? This scene is so light that its odd, or just odd placement. That is until Naoya says “Just another one trying to hard.” Which then you get a scene of the old desk that Misaki sat in, and the one that Mei sits in now. Also, Mei has not been seen in this scene yet.
Of course it rains later in the day and Sakakibara has no umbrella. Yukari being nice says that he can walk home with her, her house is just past his. He accepts and they go down stairs to the lockers to put their shoes on. On the trip down, we learn a little about Yukari. She says that she wants to go to school in Tokyo, when Sakakibara asks why she can’t, she says that her family can’t afford it, but I can’t help but wonder if the real reason is this curse. So keep this in mind for a later moment.
When they are down stairs putting on their shoes, they are joined by Naoya. Yukari is a little upset at the time, Sakakibara did just ask about Mei, and she tells him to never say that name in class 3 again. When Naoya walks by commenting about the weather, Sakakibara then asks him if he has heard the rumor about the Misaki from 26 years ago. Naoya at first plays it off like its just a rumor that is not in anyway true, but then ask how much he knows. When he tells them they look at each other and say that he knows about the first year. Eventually they are joined by the assistant homeroom teacher, who tells them that they need to keep this under wraps for now.
Why the secret? Why is everyone ignoring Mei, but then you ask about her, they tell you to not say that name or they don’t even acknowledge that you have said it? Also what is with this rumor, that points to Misaki from 26 years ago and Mei in this year? Keep those questions handy.
When Sakakibara is at home, he asks his Aunt Reiko about the story of class 3 and which class his mother was in when she attended this school. She seems to zone out for a minute, when asked about the story of class 3 from 26 years ago, she says that its better to not pay attention to that, it has been floating around for years and stories like that have been floating around for years. Sakakibara tells her that he heard that there was a continuation to the story. She gets up, telling him that there is a time and place to learn about things. Walking to the door, she then stops and says that his mother was in class 3. Here is another question that you should add to your pocket. What does Ritsuko (Sakakibara’s mother) have to do with this? And why does the bird keep saying “Why Rei”?
The next day at school, Sakakibara and Tomohiko are walking out of a building when Sakakibara notices Mei on the roof again. He tells Tomohiko to hold on and runs to get to the roof. When he gets up there he can’t find Mei and gets a phone call from Naoya. Naoya ask if he is in trouble, when Sakakibara ask why he would be, Naoya replies with “Akazawa(Izumi) looks like she is about to blow her top.” Not really understanding why Sakakibara ask why she would be doing that. Naoya tells him that he should not mess with things that don’t exist, and what he will tell him why next month, and then the call is lost because of the bad weather. Now what does this mean? Well but that question in your pocket as well.
Later that night, Sakakibara gets a call from Sanae. Sanae tells him that the girl who died at the hospital while he was staying there was Misaki Fujioka. She thinks that it is odd that he is interested in this girl so much. I mean looking at it from her point of view in the story so far, it would be. She does not know about Mei Misaki, all she knows is that Sakakibara has the weird obsession with finding out the name of a dead girl who died while he was in the hospital, and that there was no real way that he could have meet her.
They talk about the upcoming exams, and how Sanae has two brothers who are muscleheads who don’t even read books. She also tells Sakakibara that he does not have to tell her why he is so interested in Misaki Fujioka at the moment.
The next day at school they are taking exams. Sakakibara finishes and leaves the classroom, outside he finds Mei. He asks why she is always finished early, and why she left early the day before. She does not really give a legit answer, just kind of says “Do I?”
Sakakibara then tells her about the name of the girl who died the night they meet. Mei finally gives some answers! She tells him that Misaki Fujioka was her cousin, and they were closely connected, more than anyone knew. Sakakibara ask about the Misaki from 26 years ago, Mei replies with “Nobody has told you yet?” When he shakes his head saying yes, she replies with “That’s understandable.”
Uh what about this is understandable? Because nothing is understandable at this moment.
Sakakibara finally gets up the courage to ask her why everyone acts like she does not exist, she interrupts him mid sentence and says that its because she doesn’t. Uh, excuse me? She then continues to say that none of them can see her. At this point in time Sakakibara is breathing hard, and looks like he is about to lose his cool. She then asks him “What if you’re the only one who can see me?” The whole time this is happening, Sakakibara is having flashbacks of all the times he has seen Mei, and of Naoya telling him it is dangerous while he was on the roof. While he is having is minor panic attack, you see a teacher run up the stairs and down the hall.
When I first watched this, I was like “Oh a teacher just ran by. Okay?” Well expecting for Sakakibara to continue have a minor panic attack I was not to concerned with this teacher. Until you see Yukari come out of the classroom the teacher was just went to, she bows, grabs an umbrella and turns to run down the stairs that the teacher just came up. Well she sees Sakakibara and Mei, and runs the other direction. Sakakibara asks “What’s wrong with her?” Not really to anyone, more or less just to himself.
You then see Yukari slip down the stairs, her umbrella comes out of her hand as she tumbles down the stairs. It hits a stair and pops open, just as she falls forward, impaling herself through the neck on the umbrella at the bottom of the stairs. Sakakibara runs to see what the noise was and see Yukari there with a puddle of blood spreading around her, and her hand twitching in the blood. The teacher soon joins him and starts panicking. Sakakibara grabs the collar of his school jacket, pulls it away from his throat and swallows. Thus ends the episode.
I will say that this has to be the most thought out death in this series, or at least the one that stuck with me through all 12 episodes.
As with the other episodes, no questions were answered, you are left with yet another question as the episode ends. Why did Yukari run the other direction when she say Mei and Sakakibara?
My question for you is this, do you think that Yukari running away from Sakakibara has something to do with what Mei told Sakakibara before the teacher came up the stairs?
With that question lingering in your thoughts, I will wrap up this review of episode 3. I should really just call these walkthroughs, as the more resemble them. But, here are my thoughts on this episode. Until this episode, I had considered not continuing with the series. I hated having the same question at the end of every episode, “Why does no one acknowledge Mei?” Even at the end of this episode you only get a half answer to the question, and a possible answer that is not really spoken. You know the one about Mei having something to do with the Misaki from 26 years ago.
And as for my little story I like to come up with to satisfy questions before the series can. Well its this: Mei died, don’t know when but she died. She is a curse upon the school, when you see her you die, as Yukari just demonstrated. But what about Sakakibara? Why is he not dying? Well simple, she has chosen him to be the next curse upon the school, and until she is ready, he will stay alive.
See you in the next review of Another Episode 4. You can find links to the other reviews below.