Monday, 26 March 2012

Another - Episode 12 (Completed)

Between serial killers and the members of class three trying to off one another (and not to mention a massive fire), it's probably fair to label the school trip to visit a nearby shrine as "slightly unsafe".  It certainly isn't going to get any better, that's for sure.

With fire now ravaging the building, it's imperative that those left inside the hotel escape - a task which is easier said than done when you have a number of lunatics running rampage with sharp objects in the building.  Even those who are on the brink of escape have problems of their own to contend with, namely a chandelier and falling pillars - cue one of those moments where you know you shouldn't laugh, but just can't help yourself.

Even Akazawa isn't immune from the madness, jumping on the "kill Misaki" bandwagon in the conviction that doing so will end the nightmare and save them all, leaving the two (plus Kouichi) to scrap things out while the hotel around them burns, helped along a little further by multiple lightning strikes (because we all know that wooden buildings are the worst possible attractor for lightning, right?).  Misaki somehow manages to survive even this onslaught, and it's a good job too as it's time to finally unveil the real "extra" individual and the cause of all this calamity.  Just who is responsible for all this death and destruction?  The answer is closer to home that Kouichi could possibly have imagined, leaving him with a difficult choice to make...

Considering its slow, considered and careful start, these final episodes of Another couldn't have been further from those formative instalments, shifting away from its slow-moving, "creeping" horror in favour of an outright bloodbath of gore and insanity.  The trouble is, when you end up laughing at the most horrific moments a show is trying to offer up rather than... well, being horrified at them, I can't help but think that you've messed up somewhere along the line.  It's rather a shame in all honesty, as there are a lot of good things to be said about Another on one level - visually it's been fantastic throughout with a wonderful eye for detail, backed up by arguably the most brilliant use of audio I've seen in anime short of Arrietty.  Sadly, it simply didn't have the story to back it up, and by the end of it those shortcomings became painfully obvious as Misaki revealed hitherto unmentioned powers while the final twist in the tale felt pretty weak, before we even delve into the insanity of the final two episodes which should have burned and grown far slower than it actually did in the name of building tension.  As entertaining (and inadvertently hilarious) as it ultimately was, Another was holed beneath the water on several counts, and thus it's consigned to sink without a trace against other, more practiced horror anime like Shiki and (for doing utter insanity properly) Higurashi.

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