The blog that reviews all anime and the mangas

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Anime Review: Another

So today I will be reviewing a relatively new anime: Another

Before you begin let me warn you: If you are under 15 turn away, this anime is bloody, gory and this review will contain some sensitive material.
Also this anime will change your perception of life and death (and dolls). I personally loved it (even though I swore to never ever rewatch it I found myself watching it again the other day)


Well this is a tough one... Another is full of twists and stuff but I'll make it "spoilerless" (hard)
Anyway the story takes place in Yomiyama and follows Kouichi Sakakibara, a young boy with lung disease who just transfered to junior high at Yomiyama North (actual name of the school) from Tokyo. He lives with his grandparents and his aunt Reiko.
A little spin off here: There is a rumor in Yomiyama that 26 years ago a person called Misaki, who was in class 3-3 and was very popular, died with all his family in a house fire. Misaki's classmate's unable to accept this horrible truth began to act as if he was still their with them and acted along (even the teachers did). Anyway at the prom's picture it is said that Misaki appeared on it. It would have been nice if this had stopped here but...

The story begins with Kouichi waking up at the hospital.

He is visited by 3 of his future classmates (because he didn't get to go to school yet) who claims to be representatives from his class.

Visit's over, Kouichi went to take a walk, he catches the elevator quickly and gets in. He doesn't notice that someone was already in there, a girl who is also at Yomiyama North wearing an eye patch and carrying a doll.

She is going to the B2 floor (the morgue) claiming that she has to meet her other half (creepy eh?)

First day of school (for him) he isn't greeted the way he was expecting it, the mood in class is gloomy, dark, tense etc... Some people try to get to know him but there is obviously something going on (from their attitude)
He meets the Eye patch girl again on the rooftop, her name is Misaki Mei (suspicious eh?) who tells him to do not get close to her and to stop trying to talk to her.

That's mostly it for an introduction, the plot is simple: one tightly-written, carefully thought out, involving a relatively small number of characters, which proves surprisingly durable as a twelve episode series, having avoided the trap of the same cliff-hanger ending every time; they always manage to throw in a new and interesting variation. The resolution of the story-line was amazing; it managed to bring all the strands of information which we had gleaned and wrap everything up in a style which was paced exactly right; fast, but not hurried or rushed. I certainly didn't see the final twist coming- not many people did- but it was masterful. It was also the most emotional moment of the series; even those of you who have laughed like maniacs throughout the entire series will suddenly become somber during the final five minutes. Being mindful of the strict limits on what I can actually say about its specifics, I shall merely say that it was a perfect ending to a brilliant series.


Kouichi Sakakibara is a regular junior school students, interested in arts with some cooking skills who always gets involved because of his high curiosity level in the most dangerous stuff. Oh and I forgot to mention he is a horror story lover. He is always trying to find what is happening, we can say he is half clueless...

Misaki Mei: A mysterious girl who apparently can only interact with Kouichi.

Izumi Akazawa, the class representative, is blunt to the point of being rude, but is quite the deceiver and manipulator behind the scenes, as it later turns out.

Not every character is what they seem to be. Only the end will tell you everything!


Well... how to say it... the sound is the key (bad musical pun... sorry). From the start, the music creates a sense of eeriness, from simple melodies to electronic effects and string sections. As difficult as it is to describe, I would like you to imagine a full orchestra having a psychedelic freak-out (think of that section of A Day in the Life) with a hair-raising selection of electronic hums and whines added, and then multiply that by about ten. That's about what it's like (or as best as I can put it into words). The music never quite goes away, unlike in other, lighter series; it drops right down to a few notes on a piano, but still gives you the sense that something's always just about to happen.

The opening theme

The opening is one of the freakiest thing. Just read the lyrics, they are all about death, emptiness, void and blood... And the video doesn't help to ease the tension!

The ending (it is quite relaxing and gives you a sense of peace)

One of the many scary OST

The scariest OST


The art is simply beautiful. This might actually be quite near the top in terms of the best series I have ever seen art-wise. The characters aren't that different from any other series, but the backgrounds are amazingly well defined; they really are just bliss to watch. The art mostly depicts death, lots and lots of death, with some dismemberment and impending doom thrown in. In almost every scene, there's a sense of decay, everything looks decrepit and rusty, the buildings look deserted, and there's gratuitous use of deep, dark reds wherever possible. If it's outdoors, there are crows perched on the roofs, looking hungry. If it's indoors, like the hospital, then the lights are dim and flickering occasionally

Difference with the manga and Novel:

Concerning the manga some stuff might change but you will get the same feeling as the anime.
I haven't read the novel, a book can't be judged by it's cover but THIS IS TOO MUCH


If you are still with me (and it's quite likely if you are indeed reading this sentence), I recommend you go and watch Another now. It's only a few hours out of your spare time and you really have nothing to lose except a night's sleep if you are easily scared. If you are going to watch it, I can recommend watching it at midnight, it's surprisingly good fun (if your idea of 'fun' is the same as mine, that is).

Final Grade: 9.8/10

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Anime Review: Sword Art Online

So today I will be reviewing a new anime that only finished airing recently: Sword Art Online.

Before I begin I would like to say that yes it is a popular anime, yes it has flaws but it is really enjoyable. Even though the beginning is a bit rushed, you will still enjoy every second for different reasons: The original story (and no it's different from .Hack// you hater, the Light novel was released before the .Hack// fanchise) the enjoyable music AND the lovable characters.


The story begins in 2022 when the first virtual gaming console with a full diving game was released. The game, called Sword Art Online created by a famous scientist Kayaba Akihiko, offers real life feelings and needs, like you have to eat, sleep and all.

The story follows the adventure of Kirigaya Kazuto (ingame: Kirito) a geek/gamer who lives with his uncle and aunt and has no friends. Kirito was one of the beta tester of the game thus having a direct access to the game without the need to buy it.

Things start to go awry when players try to log out only to find out that the "Log Out" button does not exist. The creator shows up claiming that all the players are now his prisoners in-game and that the only way to get out is to clear the game. Also in-game death means death in real life, "once you die in a world you die everywhere" - Kayaba Akihiko

Upon realizing what is going to happen, Kirito runs to the next town in order to clear quests and raise his level (this is a plus because these days most of the anime protagonist would have sat in a corner and cried... Yes I'm looking at you Haruyuki from AccelWorld)

Anyway Kirito start searching for the 1st floor's boss. While searching for him he joins a temporary party and meets a girl: Asuna.

While raiding the boss, the party leader gets killed and Kirito is the one who slays the boss. Other people understand that he must have been a beta tester and label him as a beater (combination on cheater and beta tester).
And thus begins his real adventure as a solo player in that jungle-like world.

I won't spoil the rest of the story, I will just say that the second arc (arc not season) is focused on the relationship between Kirito and his sister: Kirigaya Suguha.


About Kirito, he's the badass type of boy who get girls easily and can solve all problems without even sweating a bit and has many friends. The boy most people want to be.

He’s a guy with a heart of gold.
He’s always at an advantage.
He can accomplish whatever he wants to with little effort.
He has an ‘ideal’ girlfriend/wife.
He’s admired by those around him.
He can ‘unintentionally’ make every other chick adore him, romantically or otherwise.

About Asuna: Asuna as the female lead is as stereotyped as they come. Much like Kirito, her character is heavily idealized. She’s pretty, popular, kind, caring and every other man wants to have a piece of her. Oh, and did I mention her cooking skills that level up with each passing day? After all, her foremost duty is to cook for Kirito and show how much she cares for him. While initially she’s portrayed as a strong, independent female player with a tsundere-ish attitude, it doesn’t take her long to make a transition from that to a deplorable damsel in distress, requiring her knight in black robe to come to her rescue whenever she’s in a bind.

Other characters like Silica, Klein, Agil, Lisbeth and Yui are here just to add some humor and make you laugh!


The music is composed by one of the most renowned composers in the anime industry, Yuki Kajiura (nuff said!!!!). While the soundtracks aren't bad by any means, none of them stand out much except the one that plays during combat/intense scenes. In fact, that’s the only track that can be heard playing most of the time in the entire show.

Opening 1: Crossing Field

Opening 2: Innocence (didn't put the original video for spoiler purpose)


Within the game, the vast tracts of greenery, the beautiful cities during the night, the castles… they’re all a pleasure to behold. The animation is also well-handled for the most part. Initially I wasn’t much pleased with the character designs but they gradually grew on me, and I personally find a few characters like Asuna, Klein, Heathcliff and Lisbeth to be very well designed.

Difference with the Light Novel:

The light novel goes more into details explaining things and deeper, especially the relationship between the characters. And it has more side story that are pretty enjoyable.


In conclusion, sword art online is a great anime, even though the two main protagonist are very criticize-able the plot always has this thing that pushes you to continue watching it. For those who don't know it the Light novel is much more in advance, meaning that it goes after the end of the anime. I have read it and I can personally understand why were all these choices made. Bear in mind that every decision taken has a consequence in the future.

Final Grade: 9.7/10

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