Another is a twelve-episode horror about an unfortunate ninth grade (third year) class. Every Monday, I turned off all the lights and sat down to watch the show on Crunchyroll. I loved the art, the plot, the suspense, and the feeling of shock. The show kept me guessing through the last episode - who was the extra person in Class 3-3? Who would die next?
This anime was fantastic, but bloody and somewhat disturbing. These kids were about fourteen years old, after all, and they were dying one by one. I didn't enjoy seeing these character suffer... even if I enjoyed the show overall. At least it ended on a decent note. It was still tragic, but beautiful.
|Misaki Mei in episode 12. I love the backgrounds in|
I won't go into much more detail here; I responded to it halfway through the season, and again after the ninth episode.
Instead, I want to take a moment to reflect on my viewing habits. Another isn't the type of show I'd watch around my grandma or my sweet roommate. Similarly, I watch Attack on Titan and Baccano! with the screen facing the wall. I'm not ashamed, necessarily, but there's no need to offend them with blood and violence.
Does it offend me? Or am I desensitizing myself? If so, is that bad? I blame last year's sociology class for putting these questions in my mind, but they're questions I need to ask. I'm more likely to ask them when I see language or sexual content in a show. I know that both of those can float around my mind more than I like, interfering with my perception of the world and, if I'm not careful, with my fellowship with God.
I rarely examine anime like Another with such a critical eye. It's true that I can handle more blood than I once could, but is it because of desensitization? If so, then only a little. No matter how often I see a fictional ninth grader die, a Titan rip apart a soldier, or a gang member killing another, it doesn't get better in my mind. And it doesn't affect how I view real-life horrors. Nor does it give me nightmares. I may, however, need to avoid such shows if I'm already feeling down. There's no need to reenforce long bouts of melancholy. I like to keep an eye on my mood, and the little black things can add up. It's a matter of balance.