Since my creativity has run dry for the time being as far as post formats go, here’s an open letter to Another in hopes that it may rectify its indecisive ways to become either something chilling to the bone, or goofy to the extent of parody. Enjoy!
How many years have we known each other at this point? What, only four weeks? Okay, we’ve known each other for four weeks now. You’ve been reliable in delivering an atmosphere of encroaching dread and… well, little else. Our weekly dalliances started off interesting, with you showing me that you had potential to be an excellent horror series that I would fall in love with. And then in our third week this happened,
And all sense of wonder and amazement was lost to that part of me that relishes deaths that border on the absurd. “Okay,” I thought to myself. “Maybe it’s going to drop all pretense of being a serious-minded thriller in exchange for providing cheap, gory entertainment. I can get behind that. Even then the doll stills make sense as anything other than a cheap gimmick.” But then you denied my claim and said in no uncertain words “No, I’m entirely serious. Be scared! Boo! Doll still!” It was the equivalent of a person putting on a white sheet and claiming to be a ghost, and honey that isn’t a good look for you.
Another, or Annie as I think I’ll call you from now on to keep things from being too confusing, I know you know what horror is. You’ve taken elements from and mimicked the best of the best, even dropping names a few times in book titles and such. But there are three things the likes of Stephen King, HP Lovecraft, and the inevitable comparison Shiki have that you don’t: Subtlety, build-up, and anxiety.
You do know what those are, I know you do. I saw you copying off their papers at the last minute in an illegible scrawl, attempting to turn it in before the teacher noticed. And really, you do know that juxtaposition is crucial to affecting the audience. But at this point, you’ve dug your own grave and pressed the loaded gun against your head by making us anticipate a death an episode. It’s gone from tense mystery with hints of traditional Japanese horror, the kind that everyone loves, to a now rather tired comparison to Final Destination… tired, but not unwarranted. At the very least don’t telegraph who’s going to die.
I’ll be frank, Annie, our meetings have become token and hollow; I have all the wrong joy in watching you, waiting for your next misstep so that I might laugh drolly at it with the rest of the more cynical anime bloggers, swirling my brandy glass while puffing on an oversized cigar. Hell, I even prepare my top hat for the occasion each week. If you learn to at least utilize subtlety and refrain from gruesome deaths and doll stills for a little while longer, you might be able to recover some of your claim as a serious horror show (Though to your credit, at least death by elevator is more believable than death by umbrella).
At this point, I’ve written something of this sort each week and it never seems to sink in. Each time I do, you keep making the deaths more gruesome and more absurd. Not that I’m bored, of course, because I’m not. It’s still a treat to watch you each week, but I’m worried that it’s become something akin to a joke, and despite what you say I don’t think you’re intent on proving me wrong.
It’s not that you’re particularly bad, but you’re putting me in the wrong mindset. I should be expecting horror, not cheap overkill and blood splatter. If I want those, I can just go to Mirai Nikki and enjoy what that show intended to do. Then again, maybe I’m just too desensitized to fall victim to your wiles, so I may not be the best person to hear this from. Either way, this will be the last time I try to provide constructive criticism or explain why I like or dislike something that you do in anything but mocking derision. From now on, if you flounder about in an attempt to scare me, I’ll just point and laugh at you and ask you to do it more for my amusement. And I’ll do it out of love.