Thursday, 22 March 2012

Another - Episode 11

No sooner was the concept of killing the "extra student" in class three outed, it was pretty clear that inter-pupil relations were about to go to Hell in a handbasket - I'm not sure anyone could have predicted just how badly awry things might go however.

Even as the episode begins we have our first victim, as Teshigawara decides that his roommate's memories of their time together at elementary school are a little too fussy, leading to a tussle that sees said individual dumped unceremoniously from a balcony.  This is as of nothing compared to what transpires next however....

Before we know it we have another pupil stabbed, the hotel manager resembling a knife rack and a fire in the dining hall - with the fire alarms not working, evacuating everyone else seems like the top priority until we stumble across bloodstains and a general sense of panic throughout the hotel.  While some of the students discover a meat cleaver-wielding serial killer on the loose, others find a problem closer to home as Takako goes bat-shit crazy, deciding for herself that Mei Misaki is the "extra" student and gleefully trying to resolve the issue with a handy chisel.  When this fails, Takako uses the hotel intercom to announce to all and sundry that, to all intents and purposes, Misaki needs to be killed - cue utter chaos as the body count rises at a ridiculous speed... and we still haven't seen the half of it.

Given the plot point that Another had brought to the table with the mysterious tape and its explanation of how to solve the calamity befalling the class, I'm not sure why it felt the need to throw a crazed psychopathic mass murderer into the mix - Takako's descent into murderous tendencies would have held more than enough power on its own, but the addition of those extra aspects just seemed a little... well, silly, to be honest.  It's this over-egging of the pudding which shifts this episode of Another from a shocking horror gore-fest into something that becomes inadvertently amusing as death after death occurs with no time to soak in what's going on or why.  It all ends up like a particularly disturbing episode of Holidays From Hell, and without any pause to comprehend the cascade of death it effectively loses almost all of its power in favour of delivering a dumb blood-spattered B-movie horror feel.  It's all good and well if you like that kind of stuff, but I think it's fair to say that we were expecting something a little more intelligent from this series, and it certainly feels like a skewed pay-off compared to the build-up the show has utilised.

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