On May 30th, 2022 I wrote a review for Another Anime. And I’ve finished reading the novels it’s based on!
If you’ve seen Another, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s an adaptation that’s largely faithful to the original. The core plot, character introductions, and deaths happen similarly.
But I think the novels explain better how the curse or phenomena work. But unfortunately it doesn’t explain why it started or how to really beat it.
This is one of Another’s strengths, but according to the official synopsis on the back cover of the book, there is said to be a vengeful spirit. But unfortunately there are no ghosts in Another.
At least not in the traditional sense. There will be spoilers for both versions, and you can read my review of the anime here.
How do the two versions differ?
The anime follows the source material well, but made some critical differences throughout the 12 episodes. For example, in the novel, our main character, Koichi, is only visited by Tomohiko Kazami and Yukari Sakuragi.
While in the anime, Izumi Akazawa is also present and she is the one who asks to shake Koichi’s hand instead of Kazami. Koichi first encounters Mei in the novel in the afternoon, rather than at night during the anime.
And the most significant change is during the school trip to the shrine at Mt. Yomi. The ending of the anime was more dramatic when the students went insane and tried to kill each other but most of them try to kill Mei.
Mineko Numata’s killing spree did not involve the same victims, and her deaths were also different. I prefer to see Isumi kill her with a frying pan.
The anime hints that Yukari may have a crush on Koichi and Izumi may have had romantic feelings for him. But that doesn’t happen in the novel, and Izumi’s death has little bearing on that.
How does the “curse” work?
One of the few things I don’t like about the novel is that sometimes certain words or phrases are bolded. The book is a mystery, but I want to solve the case myself.
I don’t want the clues to be shown to me. And unfortunately there are a few chapters that are pure info dumping.
For example, how they discover the tape in an abandoned classroom. However, this does not affect the rules of the curse.
First, the curse doesn’t happen every year, and getting out of the city of Yomiyama is guaranteed to save your life. But these are middle school students, so that’s not an option.
The curse hits the third year class 3 and the blood relatives in two ways. In other words, parents, siblings, and grandparents are fair game.
Cousins are safe, and when you graduate, you are safe, unless you have a younger sibling or your child ends up in Class 3. Then the deaths are due to either medical problems or freak accidents.
Many consider the actions of homeroom teacher Shouji Kubodera and Minekos to be part of the curse, but I don’t see it that way.
There is no trace of a supernatural presence beyond human death. I think Shouji broke under the pressure and decided to go on his terms.
Unfortunately, that involved killing his bedridden mother and traumatizing the class by stabbing himself in the throat until his head was almost off. Mineko was driven by grief.
Her grandson, Ikuo Takabayashi, died of a heart attack and was a Class 3 member. The anime makes her a lot crazier than the novel.
And in the novel there is no beach. Instead, Mei goes to her family’s vacation home for a week, but details can be found in the novel Another Episode S/O.
I’ll be writing a review on it shortly, so look forward to it!