It’s the penultimate episode of Another, and that means that shit has to be ratcheted up to the highest levels of crazy possible. Of course, as it goes for the best of shows, the highest levels of crazy also coincide with the highest level of nonsensical crazy which are two totally different measurements as far as I’m concerned. So, just for fun, I’d like to start the Another Episode 11 Choose Your Own Adventure, since writing a boring old episodic about every character’s qualification for the Darwin Award is too easy. Choice A is what I would have done in that situation that leads to some hope of salvation and ends your wacky adventure, while Choice B is the ‘Another’ choice that leads into the next question somehow. So let’s begin!
You are a regular Japanese third year middle school student, named Kouichi, on a class trip to remote lodgings in the mountains. After a crazy night of frightening revelations about a curse afflicting your class, and during a long, drawn out reveal, you hear a loud thump outside followed by panicked screaming. No, the clichéd downpour didn’t just decide to start playing tricks; there’s a body in the dirt and a disheveled classmate in your doorway looking at you with wide, desperate eyes.
“What happened?” you ask, fairly certain that you already know the cause of his distress if there’s a body in the dirt and the person in the doorway is muttering that they made a mistake. After assuring him that a two story fall wouldn’t necessarily kill somebody, you go downstairs to offer assistance in any way you can. It was just a mistake, after all, and you’re sure the student will laugh off his fall and be alright with a minimal amount of broken bones.
As you step across the spacious entryway, a hand grabs your ankle accompanied by a scare chord. The hand belongs to another student bleeding out on the floor. You ask them if they’re alright and if anything happened, and they explain that they were hurt in the dining room and that there’s a huge fire for some reason. Do you…
A) Calmly carry the student out of harm’s way and tend their wounds while making sure that everyone in the building knows that there’s a fire that needs putting out
B) Check out the fire because it looks cool then have somebody drop off the dying student somewhere offscreen and only mention him in passing from there on out.
If A: Your reasonable choice not only yanks the dying student from Death’s icy clutches, but all the students gathered to calmly decide how to put out the raging fire in the dining room before it causes more damage. Once they do, everyone is herded into one of the larger rooms downstairs until the rain stops. Once it does, they all leave and you’re declared a hero. As the deaths inevitably continue to ramp up though, you eventually make Mei reveal the secret of who the dead student is, like she should have done several episodes ago. In honor of your selfless actions, you are given an ice cream party and you get the creepy emotionless girl. Good end. Congratulations, your brain hasn’t completely corroded!
If B: You see this and appropriately freak the fuck out, leaving the dying student to his fate with your stupid friend. You run upstairs to tell Mei and all your other friends that there’s a killer loose (and a fire). In order to alert the rest of the students, you have everyone split up into groups to cover all the rooms in no rush because it’s only a killer (and a fire). What’s the worst that can happen?
End Part 1
You are now a student named Naoya, sure that you killed your best friend after assuming that he was the extra ‘dead’ student who would disappear from everyone’s memory after his death. After receiving news that there’s another killer in the hotel, and a fire that threatens to burn the dining room, you mobilize with your friends to get the word out and make sure everyone’s nice and safe. You move with no sense of urgency as you do so, but that’s okay because you’re not the main character and aren’t being too heavily judged.
You and a friend reach a teacher’s room, who you check in on to make sure that she’s okay. You’re greeted by an ominous shape holding a butcher’s knife that slowly turns her head toward you, eyes ablaze with homicidal intent. “Shit!” You think to yourself. “Shit, she’s going to go all Ed Gein and repurpose me into some morbidly tasteless furniture!” She chases you from the room before cornering you, ready to plunge her knife in your chest and see your life leave your body before her crazy, crazy eyes. But all isn’t lost for you, as your friend manages to loosen her grip on the knife which falls to the ground, but not before giving your leg a shallow cut. Do you…
A) Yelp out in surprised pain but realize that it didn’t hit anything important and you can limp away in time.
B) Flop around ineffectually because THAT HURT DAMMIT.
If A: After the initial pain subsides, you get up and run away from the crazy knife lady, sure that you have enough of a head start to avoid being minced into sofa covers and bedposts. The safety of your life at this point remains uncertain, as your leg continues to bleed profusely from the cut, but there is one thing that you know for sure: You certainly didn’t stay there like an idiot!
If B: You stay there like an idiot, slowly being dragged away from the crazy knife lady by Not-Pico while nobody else helps you. The thought crosses your mind to get up and attempt to run, but you dismiss it as crazy talk because THAT SHALLOW CUT HURT AT SOME POINT and holy shit it’s actually bleeding a lot good thing you didn’t try to walk on it.
End Part 2.
You are Kouichi again, still warning everyone that there’s a killer loose. After defending your friends from another crazed student, sustaining a grievous injury to the crotch in the process, you make a break for it with Mei before hearing the voice of the crazed student over the intercom calling for Mei’s death. “Send the dead back to death!” she shrieks, having clearly lost all semblance of sanity. Students formerly in hiding slowly start to approach you, hesitantly chiming agreement that Mei’s the one who should be voted off the island through death, evidently through mop bludgeoning. Do you…
A) Try to explain that Mei has a twin, and that Mei can help find the dead student if everyone stops acting idiotic. It may not help, but at least getting the truth out there and knowing that you can back it up if you get out alive should help.
B) Stand there gawking while your teacher takes a mop to the head, evidently knocking her out with a head wound.
If A: While it doesn’t dissuade the majority of the horde from turning on you, some of the students take your word for it and do what they can to keep others from chasing and killing Mei. While deaths do still continue to happen with alarming frequency, you’re no longer in as much danger. I mean yeah, everyone’s still crazy, but there’s much more of a chance.
If B: Your escape from the rabid class of students is fraught with trouble as you’re chased across a ledge and down a staircase, with even your close friends turning on you. The fight for Mei’s survival grows more and more desperate and you’re left with no choice but to entrust the curse and rampant disregard for their own lives to wipe out the assailants, something that’s worked ridiculously well so far. Also, somebody tries to block you with a mop at some point.
End Part 3
The purpose of this wasn’t to show that the characters are all acting unreasonable. Hell, the sudden bout of the crazies (Take a shot each time that word is used here) is entirely justified and actually unnerving in places. It reaches the point that the deaths are less ridiculous coincidence and more reckless disregard for self-preservation, and that context is something that the series really needed.
No, the purpose was to show that the main characters that were supposedly in control of their mental faculties made decisions that were somehow even more fundamentally stupid than those of the crazies. However, putting aside the baffling leaps of logic, it was a surprisingly decent episode that had just enough suspense to keep me invested. Will Mei survive to tell the tale? How many more deaths until the curse of the class is appeased? Explosions?! Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of Another!