Thursday, November 13, 2014

Manga: Another by Yukito Ayatsuji and Hiro Kiyohara

Yomiyama Middle School in Yomiyama, Japan is a strange place. Starting in the 1980s, every few years several students in third year class 3, or people close to them, die. The deaths are from accidents or disease, everything looks perfectly natural—but it’s not. There is a powerful curse on the class. After a year where the deaths happen, students slowly forget about the phenomenon, and parents are never alerted to the danger. However, there is a slight shadow of class memory that realizes something is wrong and forces students to take precautions to stop it.
Koichi Sakikibara is a late transfer to third year class 3. He doesn’t know the rules and no one has time to tell him, so it’s not his fault when he breaks them and people start to die. But can the deaths be stopped? That’s what Koichi and his friend, the beautiful and mysterious Mei Misaki, have to find out.
Another is a brilliant horror manga that is all the more disturbing for the ages of the characters involved. These are older teenagers, some of whom die horribly because of the curse. It can also strike family members, up to two degrees of relation away. Because Koichi broke the rules and started the deaths, and Mei was involved unwittingly in helping him, they are blamed by the class and shunned by their classmates. The two, especially Koichi, whose mother was killed by it the year he was born, are obsessed with the curse and stopping it before anyone else dies. Particularly him.
Although over 700 pages in one volume, Another is an enthralling, fairly quick read. I kept turning pages to see who was next to go and how Koichi and Mei find the next clue to stopping the curse. Also, why is there a curse? How did it start? And can it really be stopped? The answers have some unexpected twists, especially regarding how things involve Koichi’s own family. Creepy and addicting, Another is a page-turner you won’t be able to put down. Highly recommended.
Rating: **** out of 5 stars

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