Another by author Yukito Ayatsuji
Another is a horror manga about a haunted high school class. The classroom isn’t haunted this time but the actual grade and class assignment. It’s got a curse on it! Students dread being placed in this class but no one knows how to stop the deaths.
The students and faculty follow several weird superstitions in order to protect themselves and others from dying under sudden and mysterious circumstances. The lore dictates that they need to pretend like a student doesn’t exist in order to allow for the presence of the ghost without the class head count being incorrect.
Apparently this has worked for past classes but this time a nice boy disrupts everything by being friendly to the ignored girl. The class starts experiencing the deaths and becomes very afraid and doesn’t know what to do.
The book is largely about superstition and conformity. Fear of breaking tradition rules this class of teens and there are severe consequences that can affect generations.
The story was interesting enough. The violence was gruesome enough. But the whole book just fell a little flat for me. It never really added up to anything more than a basic ghost story.
I feel like there is a lot of commentary to be made on the Japanese culture of tradition and polite conformity but maybe it didn’t quite make it through the translation. This is a common problem for manga. I enjoy reading books from other cultures but I have never been to Japan, I have some gaps in knowledge of how people are there. It doesn’t make it a bad book, just one that might be better appreciated in its culture of origin.
Additionally, the characters are never really developed enough for me to actually care who lives or who dies. And that is always a problem in a pick em off one by one classic horror story.
It’s a standard length collection of manga at just under 700 pages for the full series. I finished it in about 2 nights so it’s not a daunting undertaking if you’re looking for a simple horror story.
The bulk of the pages is the typical black and white manga style but there are color pages between book breaks and they are absolutely stunning. The colors and art on those pages really stand out and make the book feel more special than the story itself does.
Perhaps if you are more familiar with Japanese lore and culture this book will have more meaning to you. Otherwise, I can recommend it for an easy read that you don’t have to put too much energy into. With a couple of good scares to boot.
3/5 ghosts 👻👻👻
If you like Another you might also like Drifting Classroom.
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Buy it here: Another – manga