Monday, 20 February 2012

Another - Episode 7

When you're in the midst of a series of unusual, "cursed" deaths, the last thing you want to see is your teacher walking into class looking deranged and wielding a knife.

Luckily for those remaining in class three, the only life teacher Mr. Kubodera had any intention of taking was his own, turning the knife on himself in gruesome fashion in front of his shocked pupils.  Following his death, we learn that the stress Kubodera was under wasn't merely limited to his life as the tutor of class three, but also his home life via another grisly discovery.  Are these deaths that can really be chalked up to the curse itself, or just the psychological pressure brought to bear because of it?

Of course, such questions seem to be irrelevant for those directly involved, as their sole interest is in ensuring that further deaths are prevented - with Misaki and Kouichi "reinstated" into class three after being ignored had no effect, they seem to be amongst those leading the way in trying to find a way to stop the madness.  Eventually they settle upon the same plan as the class teaching assistant, as she plans a school trip similar to one which seemed to stop the deaths fifteen years previously.  But what was the secret behind that trip?  Besides which, who is the "extra" student for the year - are Kouichi's fears founded that it could be him who is really dead?

After a shocking but slickly delivered visceral opening to the episode, this week's Another fizzled out a bit - its subdued pacing and story-telling sometimes (wrongly) gives off the feeling that those inside its world don't really care about the curse or their own potential demise.  In fairness, this was offset by some creepier moments - Misaki still has the aura of something decidedly ethereal while Kouichi's nightmares were plenty horrific enough in their own way - but with the aforementioned trip threatening to turn partly into a beach episode and some of the characters seemingly enjoying their youth rather a lot given the constant threat of death, the show's atmosphere seems to be waning somewhat, and time is running out to put it back on track even as the story continues to progress at a solid pace.

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