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Another by Yukito Ayatsuji
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Another

by Yukito Ayatsuji

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Along the lines of Assassination classroom only reversed and gory. ( )
  Mistify | Mar 1, 2018 |
At the beginning of April, I decided to branch out of my comfort zone and take a look at Japanese anime. As with most things, I went in and fully immersed myself which of course means that after finishing a few of the anime I wanted to check out the manga from which they were created. (I think you can guess where this post is headed.) Today's post is all about the manga, Another, by Yukito Ayatsuji with art by Hiro Kiyohara (translation by Karen McGillicuddy). I picked up the omnibus edition which includes all volumes of the manga in one ginormous book. I definitely recommend that if a book has published all of its volumes (although it was a pain to travel with). The art was gorgeous. If you like anime and the art is one of the greatest attractions for you then you should definitely check out manga if you haven't done so already. The story is so bizarre that you can't help but be pulled in. It's a gothic horror story about a class of students who have a curse on their class (I can't get too specific because of spoilers). This is a GORY story so if you're not okay with blood and guts then this is not the book for you. (Was that a spoiler? Nah, it was a warning.) I will say that I found the process of reading the manga quite challenging at first (and I'd get confused periodically). You start at the back (which for a manga is the front) and read from right to left. As with all of the graphic novels that I've read so far, I found it to be a quick read that I was able to get through mostly in one sitting. If you're looking to branch out or you want a new manga recommendation I think this one would serve you quite well...and you should definitely check out the anime. ( )
  AliceaP | May 3, 2016 |
In 1998, Koichi Sakakibara transfers into third-year class 3 at Yomiyama North Middle School. Due to a collapsed lung, he's unable to start at the same time as the other students, making him even more of an outsider than usual. His classmates are mostly friendly, but sometimes behave strangely, and they appear to be keeping secrets from him. The person he's most curious about is Mei Misaki, a mysterious girl with an eye patch. Even though Mei's attendance is erratic, no one ever comments on it, not even the teachers. As Koichi tries to figure out what's going on, he finds himself wondering if Mei really exists, and if the supposed curse surrounding third-year class 3 is real.

Although this was my first time reading this manga, this was my fourth time experiencing this particular story. I've seen the anime twice and read the original novel, neither of which were very different from this manga, so the story held few surprises for me.

I read this mostly to see how it compared to the anime and novel. Each version differed in small ways, and each had its own pros and cons. All three versions went to annoying lengths to hide who the “casualty,” the extra person in third-year class 3, was, but the anime and manga were less annoying about it than the novel. The anime did a better job of establishing the atmosphere than the manga, but the manga would probably be better for those who'd prefer a little less blood and gore.

The manga was neither an adaptation of the anime, nor an exact adaptation of the novel. The manga and anime characters designs differed, sometimes a great deal, and the anime's beach scene did not exist in the manga. The biggest difference I noticed was in the way the ending played out. Each version of the story ended in basically the same way (the same person is the “casualty” in each version), but the way surrounding events played out was completely different. If I remember correctly, the anime had a ludicrous number of on-screen deaths compared to the novel. Also, Akazawa played a much bigger part in the anime than in the novel. She played a big part in the manga as well, but in a different way – she still went after Mei, but Koichi wasn't involved at all.

There were a few things I didn't like about this version. Although the artwork was okay, there were a few times when characters' eyes looked a bit odd, like their size or angle weren't quite right. Also, there were several instances of somewhat goofy humor that didn't fit the mood of the story. The one that struck me as being the most out of place was when Teshigawara joked about searching the school for a clue after dark because “it's more atmospheric this way, obvs.” Never mind that searching an old school building after dark was also more dangerous than getting help from a supportive adult during the day would have been. I was also disappointed that the dolls that both the anime and the novel paid so much attention to were barely present in the manga. Koichi visited the doll gallery/shop, but the dolls themselves were mostly relegated to the background.

One thing I did like about this version was that it paid more attention to the aftermath than either the anime or the novel. Koichi and Mei talked a little about their plans for the future, and readers got to see how a few of the surviving students were doing. I'm not sure how believable that happy little scene was, considering that one of those surviving students had almost been killed by another one of those surviving students, but it was still nice to see Yomiyama life continuing on.

My favorite version of this story is still the anime, although I'm not sure if that's because it was actually better than the others or just because it was my first exposure to the story. This wasn't a bad manga, it just had very little that I hadn't already seen in the novel or anime.

Extras:

- A four-panel gag comic involving Koichi and the nurse.

- A completely useless “translation notes” page, right in the middle of the volume. All it had was information about Japanese honorifics, which would have been better to include at the beginning of the volume. This was followed by a one-page ad for the two-volume digital release of the novel.

- A few full-color pages at the beginning of each of the volume's four sections.

(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Aug 16, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yukito Ayatsujiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kiyohara, Hirosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGillicuddy, KarenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is the English release of the manga by Yen Press, which contains all four volumes in one. Please do not combine with any of these volumes or the novel which this is adapted from.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316245917, Paperback)

In the spring of 1998, Koichi Sakakibara transfers into Class 3-3 at Yomiyama North Middle School. But little does he know...his new class has a horrible secret. When he takes his seat in class for the first day of school, Koichi is unsettled by his fearful classmates. Despite this atmosphere and warnings from fellow students, Koichi is drawn to the beautiful, distant Mei Misaki, another classmate. But the closer he tries to get to her, the more mysterious she and their class become. And when a fellow student dies a disturbing death - the first of a long chain of deaths - Koichi seeks to learn the truth behind the curse of Class 3-3. But can he get answers before the curse kills him?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:20 -0400)

Manga. Placed in class three at Yomiyama North Middle School, Koichi Sakakibara sets out to discover the truth behind the malevolent spirit responsible for a series of gruesome deaths that haunts his class.

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