On May 30, 2022, I wrote a review on Another anime. And I finished reading the novels it’s based on!
If you’ve watched Another, you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s a mostly faithful adaptation. The core plot, character introductions, and deaths happen similarly.
But I think the novels do a better job of explaining how the curse or phenomena works. But, unfortunately, it fails to explain why it started or how to beat it truly.
This is one of Another’s strong suits, but according to the official synopsis on the back of the book, there’s supposed to be a vengeful ghost. But, unfortunately, there are no ghosts in Another.
At least not in the traditional sense. There will be spoilers ahead for both versions, and you can read my review of the anime here.
How are the two versions different?
The anime does a good job of following the source material but made some critical differences during the 12 episodes. For example, in the novel, our main character, Koichi, is only visited by Tomohiko Kazami and Yukari Sakuragi.
Whereas in the anime, Izumi Akazawa is also present, and she’s the one who asks to shake Koichi’s hand instead of Kazami. Koichi first encounters Mei in the afternoon in the novel, instead of at night during the anime.
And the most significant change is during the class trip to the shrine at Mt. Yomi. The anime’s ending was more dramatic, with the students going insane and trying to kill each other, but most of them are trying to kill Mei.
Mineko Numata’s killing spree didn’t include the same victims, and her death was also different. I prefer seeing Isumi kill her with a frying pan.
The anime suggests that Yukari might have a crush on Koichi and Izumi had romantic feelings for him. But this doesn’t happen in the novel, and Izumi’s death has little impact on it.
How does the “curse” work?
One of the few things I don’t enjoy about the novel is that sometimes certain words or phrases are in bold text. The book is a mystery, but I want to solve the case myself.
I don’t want the clues pointed out to me. And sadly, there are a couple of chapters that are pure info-dumping.
For example, how they discover the tape in an abandoned classroom. But this doesn’t affect the rules of the curse.
First, the curse doesn’t happen every year, and leaving the town of Yomiyama is guaranteed to save your life. But these are middle school students, so that’s not an option.
The curse strikes the third-year Class 3 and those who are related by blood by two degrees. In other words, parents, siblings, and grandparents are fair game.
Cousins are safe, and if you reach graduation, you’re safe unless you have a younger sibling or your child winds up in Class 3. Then, the deaths are either due to medical conditions or freak accidents.
Many consider the homeroom teacher, Shouji Kubodera, and Mineko’s actions part of the curse, but I don’t see it this way.
There’s no trace of a supernatural presence beyond people dying. I believe Shouji snapped under pressure and decided to go out on his terms.
Which sadly included him 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 member of Class 3. The anime makes her a lot crazier than the novel.
And there is no beach in the novel. Instead, Mei goes to her family’s vacation home for a week, but details are in the Another Episode S/O novel.
I’ll be doing a review shortly on it, so please look forward to it!