In not a single aspect is Another merely another anime taking another typical route of anything, not in visual, story, or sound – yet of those three, we focus on aesthetics, the extraordinary artwork far from any other.
Another is a series with an essence of the supernatural lingering with every episode – there’s a sense of suspense ever present, an unknown force in the shadows, and an unsettling feeling that at any moment, something unforeseen will strike. It is through aesthetics this is all made so engaging a sensation – the combination of colors, shadows, and perspective all work in conjunction with one another to provide a flawlessly proven appearance of the ethereal and disconcerting, similar to those seen in AAA horror gaming titles (Silent Hill).
Technique is heavily intertwined in each frame of Another, without exception, to ensure the setting pulls off the feeling as desired by the creative minds of P.A. Works – the tense atmosphere as described above. And so, we look now to the strategic implementation of art’s seven elements, alongside the principles of design, to understand why Another is not merely another anime.
Look to the still above – a frame taken from the sixth and latest episode of Another.
This scene has nothing flashy going on – nothing in particular will blatantly ask for attention, yet even the average man will be able to grace their eyes upon it and notice it has quite an entrancing charm. When watching Another, one will be ensnared by every single scene – and that is for the same reason as you see here, not a single frame goes without maximizing the full potential of aesthetic mastery that can be achieved.
The library is asymmetrical – books litter the right far more than the left. The left however has windows, both of which vary in amount visible – this is all informal balance, a contrast of components between the left and right portions of the artwork, done here at the background layer of the frame, which by the way, also happens to make use of depth. All lines of the bookshelves return, or point back, to the mid-level segment of the intersection between the large bookshelf and the wall, or where white and dark red meet bookshelf.
Before moving to the mid-ground layer, notice how the shadows submerge the right edge of the image, allowing the area of the windows, where the characters sit, to come forward as dark colors recede, whereas lighter colors stand out. The white clothes of our leading characters however allows them to not simply fade into the scene – however as a means of balancing the unity between both of them and the librarian, he sports a dark shirt, ensuring he doesn’t overpower everything else in contrast, yet remains noticeable himself thanks to his grey hair.
Take note of how all three characters vary in size, and are angled at a precise off-set manner – it’s not your remedial table conference scene where all characters are lined up under a common camera angle. The reason for this again refers back to balance and unity.
Sakakibara and Misaki are within the mid-ground, as is their section of the table – on the other hand, the librarian sits in the very foreground. Their shuffled placement prompts the focal point to become the transition from him to Misaki and Sakakibara – or in other words, the general vicinity of the table’s far end.
Putting interest back on the room as a whole, the ceiling is practically shrouded in darkness – and while we can’t see the floor much, the table, which accounts for most of the bottom portion of the image, is lit up and bright. Dark colors above to a light surface give a heavy atmosphere – as well as a tight, enclosed feeling, however this is not too much in effect here due to the windows.
Think deeply about how this is only one frame of many thousand which make up just one episode of Another – it incites incites all of this emotion, and is simply a lone frame, this is something which cannot be stressed enough. Understanding of artistic concepts is what ultimately gives the compelling aura sought by the innovators of the series – in turn, also setting the stage for story, sound, and more, as when it comes to animation, it really is all about animation, meaning visual art.
A second example from a seperate episode, incidentally another table scene, sports fish-eye view based depth and shadow to the far ends. An unevenness is prominent – both in the number of characters present to each side, as well as within the background itself as caused by the placement of the door. And lastly see that colors of attire all vary. These aspects all promote variety, which is one of the most potent principles of design – and that definitely shows.
A lack of symmetry especially is something which is said to capture not simply the eye, but the brain as well.
These small facets all act together – and that gives off the vibe one feels when watching Another.
Prevalence of artistic expertise extends to even our adorable Misaki, or rather, all characters, items, objects, and anything you can see within the series for that matter.
She has realistic highlights in the eye – this eye of hers is also responsible for an achromatic color scheme within this frame as aside from red, no other hues are to be found. Her head tilts in a manner which makes use of the rule of thirds – she’s not smack center in the image, and that of course would have been nowhere near as lovely to look at. And finally, delicate, yet very defined and specific shadows line her hair – as well as the edge of her head.
A lack of light, met with a yet natural darkness. Every scene isn’t simply predominately dark, but it feels as if it were so by nature itself – adding to the feeling of it all, in particular since the value is a hard transition. No gradually shifting gradients are used, this shows the encompassing direction, strong intensity, and far distance of the light source. Or more simply stated, light is scare in this series.
It’s recommended to keep attentive the next time you view Another in order to not have this amazing anime be simply another of the season to pass – and instead, a work which goes appreciatively remembered for its abundance of sheer breathtaking respects.