Another 02 — Lemon Scream

What is it with lemons in anime this week? We have Lemon-senpai in Ano Natsu, Lemon-chan in Zero no Tsukaima, and now “Lemon Scream.”

FYI, the “Lemon Scream” is referring to the painting “Scream” by Edvard Munch, which they were talking about in the hallway.

How to (Not) Be Creepy

I mentioned just yesterday that you get the biggest shock value by jumping between horrible situations and lighter situations. The same is true of horror. Another keeps playing this creepy music all the time, even in the most inappropriate situations, such as when a girl is surrounded by flower petals in the wind.

No matter what music you play, this scene is not going to be creepy. It’s just not. So why are you playing this music that sounds like we’re about to turn the corner and come face to face with the grim reaper? All it does is serve to make the music ineffective when we reach a scene which should be legitimately creepy.

The scene in the doll house should have been legitimately creepy, when he calls “Mei” to the doll and she actually responds. It was still a bit creepy, but could have been even more so if the music hadn’t been overused. They tried to play the music to raise the tension, but since I’d been listening to the same thing for the past ten minutes with no apparent reason I wasn’t particularly alarmed.

Another is trying to creep us out all the time with the music and random doll body parts, which serves to only breed immunity. Compare this to two of my favorite shows, Ghost Hound and Higurashi. Higurashi is equal parts comedy and terror. Ghost Hound has moments of terror interwoven with comedy and more introspective, psychological moments. Because they don’t try to scare the viewer all the time, these shows can catch the viewer off guard to creep us out, while Another can’t.

Next week we’ll find out what’s under the eyepatch. I’m guessing a doll eye. But who knows.

14 thoughts on “Another 02 — Lemon Scream

  1. Well, this *is* from the director of Blood-C. If he wanted it to be subtle, the protagonist wouldn’t have left the hospital yet and we’d have been treated to three songs about dolls.

    1. True, we should be grateful this isn’t Blood-C. That applies to pretty much every show by the way. (except Blood-C)

  2. Ah, not every horror needs to follow Higurashi’s (brilliant) formula of contrasting slice-of-life/comedy with utter terror/madness. I quite like how focused Another is on its mystery and horror, which seems important since it will be a short series that has a lot of material to adapt.
    I feel that people are overlooking the mystery aspect of the series, which for the first two episodes is more significant than than the horror aspect. The series has not had anything bad actually happen yet, and anything deemed horror is mainly there simply for general atmosphere.

    The very short scene with Mei and Kouichi at the beginning with the flowers wasn’t meant to be scary. The music was rather quiet, and didn’t stand out to me at all. The scene was just a brief reminder of the state of things at the end of the first episode: AKA Mei is warning Kouichi, so stay back if you don’t want to get caught up in all the trouble. Just tension and build-up, as most horror stories start out.

    1. The mystery has been decent so far. I am curious about what the classmates are hiding from him, in particular. My biggest fear comes from the fact that this aspect of the mystery is almost exactly the same as what happened in Ookami Kakushi, and we all know how that turned out.

      If the horror’s just there for the atmosphere, I’m still not convinced it’s working well…

  3. I don’t think the point of the music is to try to make is creepy nor are the dolls there to do so either. I think people have completely gotten this anime wrong – the dolls have a purpose and the music is for environment.

    It isn’t subtle in the sense that things are wrong or that the school is messed up, its subtle in its story telling. It isn’t meant to be a horror rather a mystery.

    1. I’ll wait to believe the dolls have a purpose until I see it. I mean, I realize they’re related to the story with the doll shop at all, but I can’t any reason for randomly showing them for half a second aside from to establish the “atmosphere.”

      And I should clarify that when I talk about horror, I really mean “atmosphere,” not the jump out of your seat and scream horror that we see in the West. In anime, “horror” tends to be of the atmospheric variety, such as Ghost Hound and Higurashi, rather than the western idea of horror. But it’s the atmosphere that I think isn’t working out.

  4. I had the same thoughts, it’s trying to be creepy ALL THE TIME and it just makes everything boring. It would’ve been much better if they made the scene where he was just hanging out with classmates normal and cheerful, then throttle up the creeps when it’s at the hospital or the doll shop.

  5. This is still my favourite of the new shows this season.

    What I like about this show so far:

    – The eerie atmosphere imo is carefully made – just take the sound effects, the weather, the use of light and colours and so on. Agreed, you get used to it, but I don’t like shock moments and therefore I don’t mind. I just enjoy the atmosphere like I’d enjoy a relaxed one in a slice-of-life show!

    – The amount of detail is outstanding imo. Admittedly the actual animation of movements is not so great to nonexistent but I’m always willing to forgive a lack of animation for an increase in detail.

    – I find Izumi (the girl in charge of countermeasures) looks quite attractive 😉

    – Finally I’ve been fascinated for a while by these eerie artist-made Japanese BJD like from Katan Amano and others. Some of the dolls, like the joined ones, remind me of dolls I’ve seen in some artbooks. Alas, I hadn’t been able too see any such doll in RL. I guess I’d have to travel to Japan for that!

    1. It does have some nice, detailed art. And I couldn’t agree more on Izumi. 😉 Although eyepatch girl is mighty fine too!

      Dolls have to be just about the creepiest thing ever. Uncanny valley to the max. Japan also seems to be obsessed with taking it a step further and making them move…

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