Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another - 07

[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.19_[2012.02.20_11.32.24] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.24_[2012.02.20_11.44.17] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.07_[2012.02.20_11.53.28]

As great as the mystery element in this series is – and it’s the best of any series for quite a while – I think the character interaction might just be even better.

This was a funny sort of episode in some ways. For the most part it was actually quite low-key by Another standards, focused as much on character building as horror, but it opened with one of the most grisly scenes I've seen in anime. Kubodera-sensei’s demise certainly didn’t shock anyone after the cliffhanger last week, but the manner in which Mizushima-sensei brought it to life – slow, clinical, with no heavy BGM to drown out the mechanics of the situation and very little censoring – was appallingly effective. I can’t help but think of his work on Blood-C, where the violence was so cartoonish and silly as to lose all emotional impact, and contrast it with this scene – and it cements the notion in my mind that he was merely a hired hand on that abysmal disaster of a project. I suppose there was some question as to whether Kubodera might turn his rage onto a student but I never thought so – the only surprise for me was how much this shocking scene contrasted with the rest of the ep. Perhaps it might better have been placed at the end of the last one, but that’s a small and debatable matter.

Some thoughts stand out as regards to the nature of the phenomenon. First, there’s the matter of Tatsuji. I think he believes what he’s telling Kouichi and Mei, but that there’s a fundamental flaw in his logic – i.e., he says he has “no direct connection to Class 3” and seems to consider himself somewhat immune to the effects of the phenomenon, but I don’t buy it. I think his original connection to the event still holds, and if nothing else he was the first to enter the classroom after Kubodera performed the deed he did. Tatsuji is connected, whether he thinks so or not – his judgment thus suspect, and maybe at risk as a result. His connection with Mikami-sensei is also interesting – “she knows my history” – and he was obviously actively involved in the strategy of taking the class to the shrine the group visited 15 years earlier that might have managed to stop the curse. As for Mikami-sensei herself, she's a figure of much mystery for anime viewers - even down to her identity - and is clearly deeply intertwined in whatever is happening with Class 3 past and present.

On the question of Kouchi being the Another, I’ve never felt it likely – it just seemed too obvious – and I still don’t buy it. There’s a tremendous amount of trolling in both directions on this question, with broad hints that he might be dead (even a full-on dream on his part) but I still think the phone calls to his father refute the logic of this. If anything, the categorical denial this week by both Izumi and Mei makes me question whether the possibility of a “double-troll” exists and he might actually be the dead one – but I still doubt it, and it seems likely the anime is setting aside this rumor and moving on. If that’s not the case and he is the Another, the whole notion that Mei might have deep sight in her special eye is pretty much bogus.

There were plenty of hints dropped this week, some subtle and some gross. There’s the matter of Mochizuki’s sister Tomoka (death flagged?) whom Yuuya has tipped off to everything that’s happening. She tells the group that one of her regulars at her cafe, a man named Matsunaga Katsumi, was a Class 3 survivor who claims to have stopped the curse ‘ “I knew I had to tell them – so I left it there.” Left a clue, for future classes? Izumi implies that Reiko was in Matsunaga’s class (not confirmed) but it makes sense. I also wonder if Mochizuki’s T-shirt of Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” is a clue – it’s been speculated that the painting was inspired by Einstein’s Theory of Relatively and the collapse of our fixed notion of time, but Dali later said it was “an image of camembert cheese melting in the sun”. The conversation between Izumi and Kouichi that preceded the group meeting at the café seemed full of significance for me and not just for her denial that Kouichi might be dead – there was the matter of Izumi stating her feeling that she’d shaken his hand before, and how “similar” their hands are. That last line especially has a weightiness to it that makes me think it might be crucial – could they be somehow related? I even get a slight vibe here that Izumi could be the Another, and her comment that the rumor of the dead person’s hands being cold is likely bogus because “it couldn’t be that easy” sounds right to me, and doesn’t refute the possibility that either of them could be the one.

So now we have a plan crafted by Mikami-sensei and Tatsuji, where the class is repeating the class trip of 15 years ago (and it’ll be interesting to see what the show does with the beach episode). This was the class Reiko was in, it was the year Ritsuko died, it was the supposedly the only year the phenomenon was stopped in the middle (August – most likely connected to Matsunaga and his clue) – in short, this is obviously the key year in the entire history of the phenomenon. The trip is being repeated on the same dates – 8/8-10 – and on the original trip two more students died, but the phenomenon seems to have been halted. We’re also told by Tatsuji that “It never became clear who the dead person was that year” – and if that’s not a major clue I’ll watch Blood-C again, that’s how sure I am. Maybe that Another never disappeared at the end of the term, and has been in our world ever since? Clearly something unique to that year happened that stopped the phenomenon – or could “delayed” be a better word? If “The Persistence of Memory” is indeed a clue, my guess is that it relates to how that class is connected to the current one. There’s a string of fate tying that class to this one, of that I’m certain.

Of course with the reality that ignoring Mei and Kouichi is no longer effective now obvious, the need to do so is gone – and they “exist” again. But that doesn’t mean that the connection between them has lessened – in fact, we saw a lot of development there once again. A telling moment was when Mei said she “didn’t feel as if a weight had been lifted” when the isolation was ended– seemingly a confirmation that isolation was nothing new to her (and were those blood stains on the roof during that conversation?). She’s certainly “weird” as Teshigawara says, but she seems to have recognized a kindred spirit in Kouichi. When she gives him her cellphone number, she’s making a pretty strong confession of affection – especially given her visceral aversion to the device. With her family going away to their summer house, we have not just a pretext to exchange numbers but a seeming confirmation that her father – not just unseen, but unmentioned – is alive. She also reveals to Kou-kun that the doll he thought was modeled on her was in fact a representation of what her sister – stillborn 12 years earlier – might have been. Weird and creepy – but is it a clue? Is Kirika connected with the phenomenon of 12 years ago? I still feel as if the weirdness with the dolls and Mei’s family is important to the story, but not directly connected to the phenomenon.

I loved the subtle signs of growing intimacy between these two awkward adolescents this week – so much of the character detail is on the money with Another. While there might have been a clue in Kouichi’s phone call with his Dad – at least we know that Ritsuko left the “creepy photo” at her parents’ house – what I most enjoyed about the call was Kouichi’s panicked reaction when his father was about to broach his defenses against emotional intimacy by telling him he loved him. It was so authentic for a 15 year-old boy – as was his involuntary smile after he hung up, relief at knowing his father still loves him despite their physical distance at the moment. This series is full of small gems like this – another one was the stunning imagery during Kouichi’s dream, as he walked down the school hallway passing in and out of the light from the windows – and it’s these small and profound moments that elevate what could be just a fascinating intellectual exercise into something that truly connects on a gut level.

[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.10_[2012.02.20_11.35.32] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.12_[2012.02.20_11.36.52] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.36_[2012.02.20_11.37.16]
[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.57_[2012.02.20_11.40.18] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.54_[2012.02.20_11.42.31] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.11_[2012.02.20_11.42.48]
[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.04_[2012.02.20_11.43.41] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.14_[2012.02.20_11.43.51] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.35_[2012.02.20_11.44.28]
[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.44_[2012.02.20_11.44.38] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.49_[2012.02.20_11.44.42] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.57_[2012.02.20_11.44.50]
[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.59_[2012.02.20_11.45.52] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.51_[2012.02.20_11.47.14] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.01_[2012.02.20_11.51.10]
[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.36_[2012.02.20_11.52.45] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.49_[2012.02.20_11.52.58] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.32_[2012.02.20_13.22.35]
[HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_24.34_[2012.02.20_11.58.12] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.49_[2012.02.20_11.57.19] [HorribleSubs] Another - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.56_[2012.02.20_11.57.26]


16 comments:

  1. I agree with you about Kou and Mei. I really like the development of their relationship. Part of me was a little disappointed that the thing that held just them together has disappeared, but I am glad they are still growing closer (and it is nice to get more interaction with the other classmates again).

    However I disagree about the opening scene. I thought it was way over the top (so was Kouichi's dream). I feel this series does everything right except the horror parts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am backing my theory. We have more animation of Mikami-sensei then ever and I must say she looks subtly different from Reiko. It is the mum! Mother is back from grave.
    Kouichi visited her grave 18 months back and met hot twin tails redhead girl.

    Question self: Why would he get a memory wipe and not remember the twin tails? I still think that Reiko being the another is too easy. QB is the another?? Who is Rei?

    ReplyDelete
  3. What if the role of the another passed on that year, from the dead mother to the dead child.
    The two things I really want to see now are:
    The pictures of Koichi's mother's and Reiko's graduation
    The date on which Koichi was born (unless they have already mentioned)

    Could it also be possible that the another died in that year, or is it impossible for it to die again until the curse finishes. They are going to a shrine, so maybe that exorcised the another or someone realized who it was and killed it. If I remember correctly only 1 student is supposed to die each month and yet 2 died within the space of three days. That could explain what it was that Matsunaga did and what he left behind was weapon he used.

    ReplyDelete
  4. All those seem possible, but none of them feel right to me based on what we know yet. The picture is obviously a key, perhaps in ways we don't even realize yet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Finally Akazawa gets into some spotlight. I've always had an eye on her, (mostly due to the twin-tails and the zettai ryouiki :P)
    And my god, that teacher death scene and that nightmare of Sakakibara. Gave me chills.
    Really warming up to this show now(took me a while you know as before ep4 I didn't quite like this show).
    Though can PA Works bring a good closure to this run and break their streak against me? We'll see.
    In the meantime, moar Akazawa pls, especially with beach episode next week.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I still think the most likely suspect for the Another is Reiko, but we don't yet have any evidence that the Another can be someone other than a student. I remember Kyuubei said something about the countermeasures only having about a 50% success rate, and that "some years when it didn't work, nobody could figure out why." My guess is that at least one reason why nobody could figure it out is because the Another wasn't a student that year and nobody thought to call the adults into question and factor them in.

    Then this year, the class thinks they are safe because the desks add up properly. I think that's because the Another isn't a student this year so there's no need for an uneven number. Unless the curse is precognizant and knew ahead of time that Kouichi was transferring in, the desk thing doesn't add up if the Another is a student. But I admit my theory is mostly resting on Kouchi's grandpa saying "Poor Ritsuko, and poor Reiko too." It's possible that line was a red herring to make us suspect Reiko when it isn't her. But if not her then I have no idea, I'm reasonably certain it's not Kyuubei cause that seems way too obvious, and I'm 100% certain it's not Kouichi, since the curse started before he even attended class (assuming that Misaki's cousin was in actuality the first victim). My intuition says it's not Misaki, Twintails, or the blond guy who's name I can't remember. Ahhhhhhh I'm just gonna go with Reiko until further evidence comes up, it just seems so suspicious that Kouichi was in town 18 months ago and now can't remember it, it says to me that the Another must be related to him somehow otherwise there would be no need for the curse to alter those memories.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wonder why Kouichi won't ask his father once again, did he stay at this town 18 months ago. Or he's quite confident with his memory...

    The pool is much more amusing, though. It's only natural that people would vote for Kyuubey just for the laugh. I did it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's my fault for including Kyuubey for laughs, but that's fine. I'm assuming folks who voted for Kyuubey don't have a strong opinion about one of the real possibilities.

      Delete
  8. I fucked this up for myself by clicking on a spoiler on myanimelist forum. I need to learn to see the difference between spoiler in entry and spoiler in signature /FML

    I know who the another is. q________q

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well.... I knew of the ANOTHER just by reading the WiiPiPiPia entry...
      I was sad that I gotten spoilt just by reading some innocent-looking, not spoiler-tagged entry about it... I should have learnt my lesson when I was viewing the Persona 4 Characters entry for the VAs when they listed a certain person under Antagonists right on top of the page.... haizz...*goes off on a tangent*
      but I'm still very excited to see how the ending folds out in the last five more episodes (12epis ONLY!!*cries*)...
      How did the phenomenon(sp?) stop 15yrs ago during the camp?
      What is going to happen in this year's camp?
      What are they going to do if they knew about the ANOTHER?
      Too many questions still need to be answered! Too little time!
      I seriously gotten a mindfish when I found out... don't we all love shows that play around with our minds and turns it insideout...
      my notebook is going to be full about this show man... notes and notes and notes about every possible nyumnyumnyum..........
      Could somebody help spread the news to not read the Wi-u-noe-what entry unless you want to be spoilt? MAjor spoilers there... I wish I wasn't curious about the VAs, so that I didn't need to check THAT entry... I don't mind having Akazawa-san's VA as my lecturer or Chibiki-san's one either...*goes off on ANOTHER tangent*
      I salute the Vigilant Guardian for keeping RC safe from spoilers!!

      Delete
  9. So the thing about Mei's eye really has me stumped, like what the hell!? If you can "see dead ppl" a la the 6th sense, with your doll eye ... why the HELL are you letting those kids run around (and DIE) trying to figure out who the dead person in the class is! That's like unbelievably cruel and somehow doesn't really fit with the way her character has been defined so far … which leads me to believe that the eye has some other significance, though I dunno why she was speaking so confidently about Kou's status when her eyepatch was off.

    The other thing I can't decide on is whether or not to strike Kou from the "possible Another" list. I mean has any one of those conversations with his father taken place in front of other people? Could he be imagining it? And we already know that the memories of his family (Grandma/Gramps/Aunt) could and have been altered. For some reason I feel like Kou's forgotten something really important. I think he WAS in the town before and he had some sort of connection with the curse (or stopping it?) through whatever time period it is that he's forgotten …

    The suspense is killing me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  10. I believe Kou spoke to his Dad in front of his grandparents and aunt earlier - maybe episode 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Sorry - TMI there. I don't want any hints.

      Delete