13 of 13 episodes seen
If one were to critique the character designs of TARI TARI solely based off originality, I'm afraid the result would not be pleasant at all. It hasn't been all that long since Hanasaku Iroha ended—about a year—so for most people who watched it, the characters in it are still quite fresh in their minds. And although this is the same P.A. Works that did Hanasaku Iroha, one would expect them to at least a bit of effort into their character designs in TARI TARI. Depending on how you look at it, each of the five main characters in TARI TARI can be matched to a character in Hanasaku Iroha in terms of physical similarities. To me, this shows a lack of effort on the producer's part. Nonetheless, I still really liked the designs. The background elements are also characteristic of P.A. Works and I found them to be pleasing to the eye, adding a nice, light touch to the scenes in the show.
A diverse cast of characters is an integral part of a successful anime. Character interactions generally make up a good chunk of an anime's content, more so in slice-of-life stories, which is what TARI TARI is. With that being said, I really felt the characters introduced in this series were easy to relate to and fun to watch. With each having their own quirks and traits, they also battled their own difficulties, eventually coming out on top, positively changed by the personal storm they conquered. The fact that all of them melded together well made their interactions so much more enjoyable and entertaining to see.
For an anime supposedly centered on music, TARI TARI didn't necessarily deliver when it came to the musical aspects of the show. In fact, throughout the series, there have only been a handful of occasions where there was actual singing by the characters; only a couple of those could actually be called "performances". That said, I absolutely loved the OP and ED—the latter nicely done by the seiyū cast—as well as the insert songs in the last episode, which slightly made up for the lack of musical performances throughout the series. As for the BGM, compared to your typical offering, TARI TARI's provided above average soundtracks. The piano instrumentals were quite good and effectively set the mood for many of the scenes.
Well, given that the story's your typical slice-of-life fare, I didn't really expect anything complex or mindblowing going in. And while I'd say my expectations were met (i.e. the story was decently interesting and engaging), I felt that my enjoyment overall was not constant; some arcs were great, while others were alright. I would've liked music to have played a bigger part in the story as the synopsis seemed to have suggested it would. Nonetheless, watching the daily lives of the five friends was enjoyable for the most part.
In summary, think of TARI TARI as the shorter version of Hanasaku Iroha, but instead of the general setting being an inn, you get a choir club at a high school. Additionally, the prominent side element in the former is music, instead of romance like in the latter. So if you're a fan of slice-of-life stories about high school students and music, TARI TARI might just be for you. In the end, the show is slightly underrated in my opinion, so I hope more people will promote it in the near future. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
I'll be honest here. I really dislike Haruyuki's character design. It's not so much that he's fat, but more so because he's so disproportionate to the other characters. Given that he's the essentially the poster boy for the anime, this isn't a good impression to give. But aside from that, I thought all the other character designs looked quite nice, although they were a bit on the plain side. The background details of the show were on about the same level. The most memorable animation aspect was definitely the battle scenes, which should be expected from an anime of this nature. For the most part, the animation for the fast-paced fights filled with flashy attacks was smooth and of decent quality.
Let's first take a look at the main male protagonist of the story, Arita Haruyuki, whose character has managed to more or less evenly divide viewers into two distinct groups of fans and haters. On the surface, he is indeed different from the usual anime characters—fat, short, and whiny are just a few of the negative adjectives that have been used to describe him. And while people are entitled to their opinion, isn't judging a character based on his/her appearance a bit superficial? Upon further analysis of Haruyuki, you can see that he grows a lot throughout the series. Although his transformation is not so much a 180-degree turn, that is what makes it realistic. The other characters also display signs of growth as the series progressed. Through the difficulties and trials they experienced—including battles with past demons and encounters with antagonists—all the major characters ended up noticeably changing for the better.
For the most part, shōnen anime are rarely driven by great BGM pieces or talented seiyū—and Accel World is not an exception. Both the aforementioned aspects did their jobs well, but not to the point where they were memorable. For me, I found that the OP and ED were the best parts of the show in terms of sound, but that's not really saying much. All four tracks are upbeat to a certain extent, sharing a common synth feel. Everything was quite average overall.
The idea itself was promising; integrating gaming elements into anime generally produces good results as quite a number of viewers are also gamers. However, execute it unsuccessfully and you have a subpar story at best. Although learning all about the Accelerated World, Brain Burst, and like was interesting at first, it soon got to the point where things started getting either repetitive or uninteresting. Overall, the story moved at a slower pace than I expected, and at times, felt bland and boring. However, it did have its moments in which it was able to earn my praise. Nonetheless, the slow pace of the story, in my opinion, is what hurt its score the most.
Accel World is really just your typical shōnen anime. You get your typical "weak at first, strong at the end" protagonist, a bunch of high-octane battles, and some good dialogue. If that's your cup of tea, then by all means give it a try. But if not, I'd suggest giving some thought before watching this show—24 episodes is quite the time investment—though that's not to say it's a bad show. When it comes down to it, the enjoyability of all shows comes down to the viewer, some more so than others. read more
22 of 22 episodes seen
If it's Kyoto Animation, the art will definitely be good, right? While I myself agree to this, do keep in mind that art is a subjective matter—and so are reviews. That said, I have grown to love the unique character designs that are associated with KyoAni productions—and Hyouka isn't exception. The designs give off somewhat of a light and fluffy feeling, in contrast to other anime where the character designs are considerably more rough-looking; female characters greatly benefit from this. Another aspect of the art which I liked was the SHAFT-like style of animation accompanying narration. And while I feel SHAFT's execution of it is better, KyoAni didn't do a bad job themselves. Finally, background details were nicely done like always and accompanied the character designs well.
Indeed, in a slice-of-life anime, characters are generally the focal point. Whether the show is a hit or miss greatly depends on the quality of the characters, with character development being a key factor in determining this. At first, Hyouka presents a group of four seemingly average characters who have their own little quirks but nothing more. However, aided by the mysteries along the way, the personalities of the individuals—particularly main protagonist Oreki Hōtarō—in the group slowly changed, more so in the latter half. Seeing Hōtarō's transformation from an unmotivated, energy-reserving individual into a slightly sociable person with an interest in mystery was satisfying. It just goes to show that, no matter how firm one is with their current lifestyle, given the right people, change is inevitable—and in Hōtarō's case, it was all for the better. If good character development is what you're seeking, Hyouka definitely delivers.
From great theme songs to a cast of talented seiyū, Hyouka did not fall short in this category either. The four theme songs were quite catchy and grew on me quickly, with the second OP and ED pair being slightly more upbeat overall; personally, I preferred the first OP and ED. The BGM was decent too, with some tracks here and there that were memorable. Most impressive was probably the voice acting. In terms of popularity, the duo of Nakamura Yūichi and Sakaguchi Daisuke of CLANNAD fame (Okazaki Tomoya and Sunohara Yōhei, respectively) make their return once again, with Satō Satomi (Tainaka Ritsu from K-ON!) and Kayano Ai (Yuzuriha Inori from Guilty Crown) completing the main cast. And while popularity is one thing, the four were also able to deliver great performances with their respective characters, truly bringing out the best in each one.
In a sense, it's not so much the mysteries that drive the story, but the characters themselves. While I initially thought Hyouka would be primarily focused on Sherlock Holmes-style mysteries integrated into high school life, I later realized this was not the case. Aside from the one "main" mystery, if you would call it that, the story itself was mostly comprised of mini mysteries whose purpose was to serve as a catalyst for character development. Thus, it could be argued that the story was somewhat lacking. That being said, I will admit that quite a handful of them were interesting to say the least, especially when it came to seeing how they were solved. But given that this is a slice-of-life anime to begin with, I guess character development is essentially the overall focus of the story.
Although it has the mystery tag, don't expect Hyouka to be like a Detective Conan. For the lack of a better comparison, think of it like a more lighthearted version of last year's Kamisama no Memochou. From great characters to interesting mysteries, Hyouka is a solid series overall. It was able to successfully integrate the generally dark genre of mystery into a typical high school romantic comedy. And while it wasn't particularly spectacular, I can wholeheartedly say that I enjoyed watching Hyouka. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Although there were times where the lack of effort could be seen quite easily, the animation quality of Sankarea was for the most part decent. In terms of background details, they can be considered up to par with current standards. The depictions of hydrangea, which was a prominent symbol in the show, were on the plus side as I found them to really stand out apart from everything else. As for the character designs, I was glad that the characters didn't look totally generic; the designs seemed fresh and made it so it was easy to distinguish the characters from one another.
In general, characters inside a zombies-based story change through struggling and persevering through the most gruelling of situations, while characters that are part of more light-hearted stories focusing on moe develop via interaction with others. In Sankarea, the characters are living a normal, everyday life for the most part, so the latter holds this time around. The development of the main character, Furuya Chihiro, focuses mostly on his gradually maturing personality. At first, Chihiro is depicted as a socially awkward teenager with a weird fetish. But soon enough, after his seemingly impossible dream came true, he began to develop a sense of responsibility, and started to act and think on a more mature level. Along the way, his interactions with various characters aid in these changes, with female protagonist Sanka Rea being an integral part of Chihiro's development. In exchange, Rea also develops as a character thanks to the time she spends with Chihiro.
It's not too often I find a piece of music that sticks with me well after the anime ends, but for Sankarea, "Sukeru Hitomi" does just that. To me, it's one of the most memorable OST tracks of the year so far. The way it intensifies the emotions of the scenes in which it's played in really helped to increase my overall enjoyment of the show. As for the theme songs, the relationship between the OP and the ED is similar to that of the two main genres of the series—pretty much the opposite of each other. While the OP is fast-paced and upbeat, the ED slower and more mellow; both were great tracks though. And although no big-name seiyūs were involved in this project, I felt the characters' emotions were brought out well nonetheless.
On the surface, Sankarea is a romantic comedy aimed slightly towards zombie enthusiasts, but more so for those who enjoy stories of romance. The idea of coupling a human and a zombie in itself is bound to create some comedic situations. Throw in a childhood friend of the male protagonist and you've got your typical love triangle too. But in the end, I view Sankarea as somewhat of a tragedy (in the dramatic sense). That's not to say the story's bad; in fact, I actually like how it turned out that way. In an essence, Sankarea is a story about a pair of star-crossed lovers who try their best to avoid the inevitable—that one day, they'll be separated for good.
So while the idea of "zombies" and "moe" sounds crazy, in the end, Sankarea is just another typical romantic comedy, but with a twist. Clearly, the show is best suited for the niche audience of people like Chihiro—those who dream of being in a relationship with a zombie—but even if you're not that type of person (I know I'm not), it's still an enjoyable show. Having a season two would be nice as the ending was open-ended and left viewers wondering what would happen next. Overall, Sankarea is a solid series worth watching. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Fittingly enough, the notable grainy appearance of the visuals matched the overall theme of the series quite well. It illustrated the "get down and dirty" aspect of the arms dealer job and the dusty battlefield of the wilderness. However, on a more subjective note, the character designs barely appealed to me at all. For the most part, virtually all the characters had many similar physical traits, making the minor characters hard to remember. It even got to the point where I had at times asked myself, "Where did this character come from?" before realizing they had been introduced earlier on. As for the battle scenes, the animation was generally fluid and not hard on the eyes to watch. A decent job overall.
Here is where the score for the series takes a hit. Aside from Jonah, and possibly Koko/Valmet, all the other characters seemed rather bland. Sure, they had their own little distinguishing characteristic/story to set them apart from each other, but other than that, they were barely developed. On the other hand, I do understand that with only twelve episodes to work with, the story might be prioritized over the characters. That said, what's to say you can't use the story to help develop the characters (i.e. give a character screentime during which they not only develop the story but also allow the viewer to understand more about them)?
Sounds in general are usually a hit or miss in most anime; either they really help one get into each episode, or they stick out like a sore thumb. For Jormungand, it luckily fell into the former. While the OP, ED, BGM, and voice acting weren't outstanding, they were definitely not bad. The OP was upbeat, and despite the Engrish, quite catchy too. On the other hand, I personally didn't really like the ED that much as I felt it didn't fit the theme of the show. The show's BGM was probably the best of the four aspects; high-octane tracks matched to hot-blooded action is never a bad combination. No comment on the voice acting, which was more or less average. Lastly, who can forget about the epic episode preview track? That alone, factored in greatly to this section's score.
One's first impression of Jormungand's story might be that it's just a bunch of people killing each other with guns. While that's partially true, there is also some dialogue and informative content as well. To be honest, I wasn't really too into the whole arms dealer idea. However, I do admit that by watching this anime, I learned a bit about tactical strategics and arms dealing (assuming they're depicting the job accurately). The story had its ups and downs—from being downright boring to keeping me at the edge of my seat for the entire episode. With that being said, I'll give this season's story the benefit of the doubt by assuming that having to also add in character introductions might have hindered the story's potential. However, I won't be so forgiving when season two rolls around.
Although it wasn't a memorable series by any means, Jormungand was entertaining for the most part. It's not an anime where a lot of thinking is required; just kicking back and watching Loco Koko's adventures is enjoyable in and of itself. Anyone with an open mind will probably enjoy this series so feel free to give it a try if you have the time and haven't already. As for me, I'll be patiently waiting for season two, which starts airing in Fall 2012. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Personally, I found the art to resemble the quality of rough sketches that have been coloured in. The sharp strokes and uneven outlines of the artwork, although I haven't seen it too often in the anime I have watched, didn't really impress me all that much and took a while to get used to, especially when it came to the characters themselves; I still wasn't able to fully appreciate it in the end. But in terms of fitting the anime's atmosphere, I thought this art style was a great choice. I found the roughness of the art actually enhanced my overall experience, even though I didn't really like it.
On one hand, the character development was definitely there. Both the two main protagonists, Jin and Kōga, were easy to understand and empathize with by the series' end. However, a lot of their development had a tendency to feel rushed and/or forced, hurting the solidity of their characters. Although the change in their characters could be explained by the circumstances that they went through, I still felt it wasn't enough to fully justify their development. On the other hand, some of the minor characters lacked development and seemed, at most times, to just be an unimportant part of the story, like an extra in a movie. And when they did play a role, it wasn't easy to connect or relate to them, given the limited amount of information about their character as a whole. The vast amount of characters for a short series also made it hard to keep up with and/or recognize each one. In a nutshell, the presence of a few great characters was offset by a bunch of not-so-great ones.
The highlight of this category is definitely the OP. While it took a while for me to get used to, I thought it was an excellent choice for an anime like ZETMAN. It's extremely catchy and does a good job in pumping the viewer up for the episode. The ED provides something different-a soft and slow song that follows a cliffhanger especially nicely. Aside from that the OST was unmemorable and the voice acting was average.
In a way, the story of ZETMAN depicts the possible outcome of when humans abuse their scientific knowledge for their own pleasure and entertainment. Adding in the conflict between the two protagonists' different views on justice when it comes to dealing with the consequences of the aforementioned outcome and you have an interesting plot. Unfortunately, ZETMAN was unable to fully flesh out the potential of this basis and a lot of the story felt rushed. Accounting for the flow of the story in the manga, the anime, as agreed upon by many, paled in comparison. But that may have been due to the lack of time that the show was given (13 Episodes); maybe a 26-episode run would have greatly improved the overall entertainment value of the story. But as it stands, ZETMAN (the adaptation) ended up failing to build upon the solid foundation built by its predecessor.
When you look at it in a general sense, ZETMAN was a decent anime. It had its good points (lots of action, an interesting premise, and two decent protagonists) but also had its flaws (rushed story and character development). Those who have read the manga will mostly say this adaptation was a complete flop, but by itself, there's no real glaring fault that makes it a complete failure. I'd recommend ZETMAN to anyone who enjoys a good mix of action (violence) and a decent story (nothing too special). read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The art was the strongest aspect of this series by far. I was absolutely captivated by the beautiful use of colours in those countless panoramic and sky shots of the sunset and night sky. It reminded me of how a lot of attention was put into the clouds in the sky in Makoto Shinkai movies. The use of SHAFT-like animation sequences also effectively added to my enjoyment of the artwork. Like SHAFT's animation, Silver Link took a risk by using a hit-or-miss art style in many of the more serious scenes and I think it paid off. In addition to the detailed backgrounds and environment, the character designs were also quite solid, with the periodic chibi designs providing a nice bonus.
To be honest, I felt some of the side characters needed more development, namely Kirie and Momoe. While it was easy to see that Teiichi developed from being a seemingly dull person into someone who really cared for the girl he loved (especially near the end), the development of the other characters was much more lacking. Even Yūko's development was restricted, but that was mainly due to the nature of her character. The only thing I got out of the series regarding the two other members of the Paranormal Investigations Club is that Kirie acts as an "advisor" for Teiichi and Momoe is there for comic relief. Although the development of the main character is crucial, I don't think it's enough just to focus on him/her alone. I find it is equally important to build up the supporting cast to a certain degree, which is one thing that this series failed to do.
Partially backed by the excellent OP, which I find to be important in getting a viewer into the mood of watching the episode, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia presents a decent auditory experience. The ED, although slightly overshadowed by CHOIR JAIL, manages to effectively slow down the pace and allow for time to reflect on the episode, especially in the latter half of the series. While the BGM is far from noteworthy, it did contain a few nice tracks which added to my overall enjoyment. In terms of voice acting, there were no big-name seiyūs aside from Kitamura Eri, who didn't even play a large role as Kirie. Nonetheless, the voice acting was solid and I especially liked how Teiichi's voice actor was able to convey his character's emotions with a great degree of skill, particularly in the last few episodes.
To put it bluntly, the ending ruined everything. I felt it was an amateur decision on the part of whoever was responsible for it. Furthermore, if the final scene was not used, I wouldn't have hesitated to give the story an 8/10 (which I had initially had). This just goes to show how much of an influence a bad ending can have on the story as a whole. But aside from that, the premise of the series is interesting at the least. It successfully struck a good balance between a "romantic comedy" and a "dark mystery"—two genres which generally don't go well together. And because of that, I feel one's satisfaction with it can vary, depending on how well the ending sits with them.
To say whether I liked the series or not is difficult. On one hand, the first and last few episodes were really good in their own way. But on the other hand, the fact that the plot jumped around quite a bit in the middle and the presence of that horribly placed ending makes me think otherwise. If it came down to it, I'd say the positives outweighed the negatives. Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is a solid series overall and those who enjoy romantic comedies and/or mysteries will most likely have fun watching it. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Soothing and calming visuals are few and far between. The light colors, the soft lighting, the detailed facial expressions of the characters - all these make for great artwork. Throw in some chibi drawings of the characters during the comedic scenes and the varying art styles are sure to impress viewers. Even the sparkles which are popular (and often overused) in shōjo anime/manga were moderated such that they didn't feel overwhelming. On the shōnen side of things, the handful of battle scenes and transformations were animated smoothly as far as I could tell.
First off, the supporting characters of the series, though unique and interesting, were a bit underdeveloped. However, the extensive character development of the two main characters made up for this. At first, the female protagonist, Shirakiin Ririchiyo, is your typical, sharp-tongued teenage girl who often unintentionally isolates herself from others. But as the series progresses, she slowly opens the door to her heart, accepting the warmth of those around her while trying to control her tongue. On the other hand, the male protagonist, Miketsukami Sōshi, is a self-despising and deceptive man who knows nothing about emotion and feelings. But, similar to Ririchiyo, he too changes drastically throughout the series. What's most heartwarming is that the two, although having totally different personalities, are actually the ones responsible for each other's development. Ririchiyo shows Sōshi the meaning of emotion and feelings while he proves to her that he will be by her side, no matter what, even if it means being verbally abused. Along with the other characters, the two end up transforming each other for the better, resulting in two solid characters.
The strong point of this category is the elite cast of seiyūs that were part of the project. All of them did an excellent job in their respective roles, with no character having an unfitting voice. The OP was quite good as well - a fast-paced song with gradual progression in pitch. The downside of having multiple EDs is that only the good ones will be memorable. However, the ones used in this series were more or less unique so, even though they weren't exactly excellent material, they were somewhat memorable. BGM did its job well, with some of the pieces successfully standing tall on their own during dialogue-less scenes, while others set the mood well.
To put it bluntly, for the most part, the story was boring. Save for the first and last few episodes, the pace of one manga chapter per episode caused the story to be dragged out longer than necessary. Furthermore, the anime original fillers were fairly poor in terms of entertainment value. The first couple of episodes were tolerable given that they were used to introduce the characters and the plot. In the last couple of episodes is where the plot actually picks up from the first few episodes. Those two episodes alone would make for an easy 9/10 as they were both interesting and content-filled. However, with more bad than good, the story gets a 6/10 from me.
Having read the manga prior to watching the anime, I can say that this was a faithful adaption with a couple of original episodes added in. I indulged more in the characters than in the story for the most part which, although not necessarily a bad thing, is slightly disappointing. To be honest, I wasn't quite satisfied with Inu x Boku SS. I felt like it could've been better if more chapters were to have been adapted. With that being said, the possibility of a season two, which I will anxiously wait for, is moderately high given the decent popularity of the show and the remaining non-animated source material. The good thing about Inu x Boku SS is that it has both shōjo and shōnen elements so I would recommend it to virtually anyone looking for a light-hearted romantic comedy with interesting characters. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Often times, many people wonder what happens afterwards. What exactly is "happily ever after"? Amagami SS+, the sequel to the school romance anime, Amagami SS, gives viewers a glimpse of the lives of the six heroines after the conclusion of the first season. Not much has changed in between seasons - artwork, characters, seiyūs and staff all remained more or less the same - so fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy this continuation. With that being said, although Plus is a sequel, knowledge of the first season is not necessarily mandatory as the basic premise of the story can be grasped quickly.
Simplicity is almost always a good thing. Having clean art with a good amount of detail is generally well-accepted, especially when it comes to a series like Amagami SS in which the art is not focused on too much. I found the character designs to be very normal and plain, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The style is something I see very often but that is what makes it easy for my eyes to digest. Backgrounds that are not too fancy which don't detract my attention from what's happening is very much positive. AIC did a great job with the animation once again.
Let's be honest here, the girls of Amagami SS are far from realistic. Now I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure there are barely any girls in the world who would want someone like Junichi as their boyfriend. The guy, in many ways, is the reincarnation of a human male's inner desires; he doesn't know the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Not only that, but he's also a blatant pervert and idiotic protagonist. Despite all this, he ends up getting the girl at the end, which is a big reason why I think the characters are unrealistic. Nonetheless, the girls do develop during their own arcs. You can easily see that, after they started dating Junichi, their personalities have changed. While I would've preferred Junichi to not have been such an irritable character, I believe his current personality was used on purpose, in order to enable viewers of similar traits to be able to relate to him and to gain hope (i.e. "if someone like Junichi can get a beautiful girlfriend, then so can I!").
azusa returns for a second season with two more new songs - an OP and an ED - both of which I liked. They also fit their respective positions very well; the OP was high-energy, readying the viewer for the episode to come while the mellow ED wrapped out the episode nicely. BGM was the same as in the first season. Nothing in particular was memorable but it was there and did its job of enhancing scenes without being too obtrusive. No changes in voice acting since all the characters are still the same. Notable seiyūs include Itō Shizuka (Morishima Haruka, Katsura Hinagiku [Hayate no Gotoku!]), Yukana (Nanasaki Ai, C.C. [Code Geass]), and Satō Rina (Tanamachi Kaoru, Misaka Mikoto [To Aru Kagaku no Railgun]). Unfortunately, there were no insert songs unlike in season one.
The omnibus format follows from the first season into the second. Each girl gets their own two-episode arc that introduces a problem before solving it. The purpose of these problems is to strengthen each of the girls' relationship with Junichi. It's realistic in a sense because real life relationships always contain ups and downs, even if the couple has just started dating. The different stories evoke a wide variety of emotions and appeal to viewers of diverse preferences. Personally, I thought some of the arcs were too rushed as there were only two episodes available for the problem to be introduced and solved.
As a fan of Amagami SS, I definitely enjoyed Plus. Seeing my favorite Amagami girls in action again was a real treat. I would've liked for it to be 24 episodes but, alas, you can't have everything go your way. At this point, I think it's safe to say that this is going to be the last of Amagami SS, in terms of TV series. It's been a good 38 episodes and I'm satisfied with how things went. I would recommend this show to those who want to watch a nice, relaxing shōnen romantic comedy. You won't be disappointed! read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
While the artwork itself is not particularly outstanding or excellent, the way some of the scenes transition from one another makes up for it. Camera angles were used skillfully throughout the series - a close-up shot when wanting to draw attention to something and a wide show when wanting to establish a scene. The sheer amount of symbolism used really required the art to be detailed and captivating, and I felt the animation in Another had no problem with that. Character designs and background elements had a good amount of detail in them; barely anything to complain about. Very solid animation, overall.
To be honest, there really isn't much known about the characters. From start to finish, they are more or less kept a mystery from the audience. Their background, hobbies, family, and any other pieces of personal information are not revealed, with the exception of the two protagonists. While this effectively accentuates the "mystery" aspect of the show, and prevents viewers from analyzing the characters in order to easily solve the mystery themselves, the consequence is the lack of character development for the side characters. This leads to a lower shock value when these characters end up being part of a significant plot event. But in the case of the main characters, Sakakibara Kōichi and Misaki Mei, their characters are developed fairly well throughout the 12 episodes. As the series went on, it was nice to see the two of them slowly open their hearts and grow closer towards each other, and at the same time supporting the other in times of need.
When it comes to horror series, BGM plays a bigger role than usual. If it is unable to set the mood for the scene, the viewer's enjoyment value plummets. Luckily, Another does well in this aspect. The BGM is very noticeable during the suspenseful scenes of the series, enhancing the overall sense of tension in the air. Although there weren't any big name seiyūs involved in this project, I was surprised at how the emotions of the characters were brought out fairly well through their voices. The only setback in this category had to do with the OP. I felt that it wasn't dark enough; it didn't fit the theme of "horror" too well. The slow and soft ED, on the other hand, wrapped up each and every episode magnificently. It's soothing melody is perfect for allowing the viewer to slowly absorb everything that has just been thrown at them.
Having often been compared to horror masterpieces like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Shiki, it's not like Another has a unique story. But while this may be true, the approach it takes using the plot of "a strange boy in a strange town" is what separates it from the other two. While I do admit to having lost faith in this series during the first half due to the seemingly predictable pattern the story was progressing in, I'm glad I stuck with it to the end. In a way, the slightly disappointing first half helped to lower my expectations for the second half, which ended up being both captivating and shocking. The story as a whole had a good sense of realism to it, making it all the more entertaining.
Another is undoubtedly more psychological than bloody. Each flashback, event or action almost always has a hidden meaning that is crucial to the series as a whole. Because of this, it's re-watch value is very high. I found Another to be one of the best shows of the season; the right elements came together to create a captivating story, full of twists and turns. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a short and interesting psychological thriller. read more