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Cover: Another (novel) Cover
Name Another
Kanji アナザー
Romanji Anazā
Written By Yukito Ayatsuji
Published By Kadokawa Shoten
Published October 29, 2009
Magazine: Yasei Jidai
Genre Horror, Mystery
Number of pages: 679

The NovelEdit

“ANOTHER” was originally serialized in the monthly literary magazine “Yasei Jidai” from July 2006 through May 2009 (some breaks in between, for a total of thirty issues) and written by Yukito Ayatsuji . The title is influenced by the movies “The Other” by Robert Mulligan, and “The Others” by Alejandro Amenábar, although Ayatsuji admits that his story has nothing to do with either movie.

The text was revised and edited into book format. There have been three releases:

1) a 679-paged hardcover book format released in October 2009 by Kadokawa Shoten.

2) A two paperback novel release in November 2011, in anticipation of the anime. There is a new afterword by Ayatsuji in this release.

3) A two-volume “light novel” edition in March 2012, with cover illustrations and fold-out posters by Noizi Ito. There is a new afterword by Ayatsuji in this release.

4) A two-part digital release for the Amazon Kindle.

The story is told in first person narrative by Kouichi Sakakibara. The main characters are Kouichi, Mei Misaki, Naoya Teshigawara, and Tatsuji Chibiki. All the other characters play minor roles, and the majority of students in class 3-3 are nameless.

The novel was ranked as the number-three novel by Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2010 and 2010 Honkaku Mystery Best 10, annual mystery fiction guide books published in Japan.

Novel vs. AnimeEdit

Up to episode 7, the anime is fairly faithful to the original source. Here are some of the differences (beware of spoilers).

1) The opening dialogue in the novel (Introduction) between the two students goes deeper into the “Misaki” legend. To add to the mystery, the male student confirms that it’s not known if Misaki was a boy or a girl, or if the name was a first or last name. Also, some of the legends refer to the student as “Masaki.”

2) Izumi Akazawa is only a minor character in the story. She is mentioned periodically, such as being absent on the first day of school and how she’ll be angry at her classmates for not running interference with Mei and Kouichi. Other times include her nomination as Female Class Rep, glaring at Kouichi with other classmates after Kubodera's death, her confrontation with Mei at the Sakitani Kinenkan (the first time she actually speaks) and her death at Sakitani Kinenkan. Her inclusion in the anime is most likely to add more female characters to a heavy male cast.

3) Tomohiko Kazami appears more often in the story. For example, when he and Sakuragi visit Kouichi in the hospital, he is the one that shakes his hand. Some of the scenes in the novel where Kazami appears, Akazawa is used in the anime instead.

4) Kouichi’s meeting with Mei at the hospital actually happens during the day, instead of at night. He notices her right away in the elevator. Also, she wears an old, weathered name tag on her school uniform which leads Kouichi to suspect she is the "Dead" during the story. During a visit to her house, Kouichi learns that the name tag is old looking because she accidentally washed it with her uniform.

5) Kouichi’s discovery of Kirika’s museum is after he goes to the hospital and asks Mizuno about the name of the female patient that died. He is looking for a place to eat and also runs into Kirika (who is walking up the stairs to her workshop). He does not go in though until he follows Mei a few days later.

6) Kirika’s dolls are a mix of female and male. Also, the doll in the coffin that looks like Mei has reddish-brown hair, and is not a life-size doll (slightly smaller) that wears a light colored dress.

7) The layout of the three school buildings is explained on Kouichi’s first day of school by Kazami and Teshigawara, including that the art club is in the old school building “A.” They also ask if Kouichi believes in curses and unexplained circumstances. Kouichi recalls this conversation later when they go to look for Matsunaga’s tape, which also happens in the anime.

8) The deaths occur off scene (except Kubodera’s). Sakuragi’s is one of the most detailed, since Kouichi discovers her after hearing her fall down the stairs.

9) The causes attributing to Sakuragi’s death: On rainy days, Yomikita students don’t change their shoes when they walk outside, meaning the floors are wet (and possibly slippery). Also, Sakuragi was still recovering from her sprained ankle. The news of her mother (and aunt’s) car accident along with the fear of running into Mei/Kouichi in the hallway, she rushed to use the opposite set of stairs, slipped and unfortunately landed on her umbrella. Sakuragi dies on the way to the hospital. Also, her mother died in the hospital after a car accident, while her aunt was badly injured.

10) Kouichi has slightly more interaction with his grandparents. His grandmother coddles him, which causes some irritation to him. Also, he does not have a comfortable relationship with Reiko, although he realizes when she’s the “Other” that he really does love her.

11) The calamity seems to only affect the memory of humans, or humans not afflicted with mental illness. The family pet “Rei-chan” repeats things that Kouichi’s grandparents probably said regarding Reiko’s death (Why? Cheer up!). Also, his slightly senile grandfather mentions “Poor Ritsuko, and poor Reiko” and “I’ve had enough of funerals.”

12) Kouichi is slightly cruel to Mochizuki, and takes his frustration with the class’s treatment of Mei on him. Also, Kouichi sometimes refers to him as “Boy.”

13) Mochizuki visits Kouichi’s house to tell him to put up with what ever may happen. Later, Kouichi realizes that Mochizuki probably came to see if Ms. Mikami was OK, due to his crush on her.

14) Kouichi does not walk with Mochizuki and Takabayashi home, when Takabayashi dies of his heart attack. Mochizuki receives a phone call instead while at Kouichi's house.

15) Kouichi visits Mei’s house about four times in the story. In the anime, some of the conversations they share are combined into a single visit. Also, Mei visits Kouichi’s house before the school trip, most likely to confirm who the “Dead One” is and perhaps to get a glimpse of Reiko. It is at his house that they look at his mother’s old pictures, including the “ghost photo” with Misaki Yomiyama. In the anime, this scene happens at the Sakitani Kinenkan.

16) Mochizuki’s family owns the restaurant “Inoya” where his half-sister Tomoka works. Kouichi does meet Mochizuki and Teshigawara there and learns of what Matsunaga says. The students and Reiko do not meet Matsunaga in person. Everything they need to know about finding the “object” in the old 3-3 classroom comes from Tomoka’s conversation.

17) Episode 8 is an original anime story. It seems to be nothing more than an excuse to add some sexiness to the story and the female characters. Also, Nakao’s death does not happen until the end of the story at the Sakitani Kinenkan.

18) The search for Matsunaga’s tape does not happen on a rainy day, although the boys meet at school at 3 pm in their school uniforms (in case a teacher asks them what they are doing on school grounds). Mei does not participate in the search, since she is on vacation with her parents (Mei gives Kouichi her cell phone number prior to this in case of an emergency). Also, the boys do not run into any classmates before the search. The old 3-3 classroom is not in disarray and goes without an incident. Matsunaga’s tape is ruined when they tear off the packing tape that its wrapped in. Mochizuki does take it home to repair it.

19) The character of Aya Ayano does not exist in the novel. Thus her death with her family was an additional three to the story.

20) The boys listen to Matsunaga’s tape before the school trip. They bring a tape player so Mei can listen to it as well.

21) Only fourteen students of the remaining 28 attend the school trip to Sakitani Kinenkan (in the anime, 19 students attend). Of those students in the novel, five die (Izumi Akazawa, Manabu Maejima, Shigeki Yonemura, Takako Sugiura, Junta Nakao).

22) In the novel, only five female students attend the school trip. With two students per room, Mei gets her own room and invites Kouichi so she can listen to the tape. She also tells him about her adoption, her older sister Misaki, and the “color of death” she sees with her doll eye. Mei also reveals that the reason why she has to carry a cell phone is because of her mother’s paranoia that she’ll want to go to her birth mother.

23) Only a few characters have cell phones in the story, which includes Kouichi, Mei, and Teshigawara. This becomes important when Wakui has an asthma attack at the Sakitani Kinenkan and a phone is needed. Kouichi left his in his room, but was able to call Mei earlier in the day.

24) A scene omitted from the novel is when Kouichi is going to Mei's room, he notices from a window a figure going to a shed outside. He'll later realize it is Keiko Numata gathering things to set the fire.

25) The eleventh anime episode is almost completely made up of an original storyline.

a) The conversation between Izumi and Sugiura comes from one of the "Interlude" chapters, but was between unnamed students. It did not play a role in the main storyline.

b) Teshigawara does go to Mei's room to tell Kouichi and Mei that he may have killed Kazami by mistake. However, in the novel, Kazami does not wake up and venture into the building. Mei and Teshigawara go to check Kazami, who has a broken leg. This is where Mei and Kouichi become separated in the novel.

c) A seriously injured Maejima does grab Kouichi's leg asking for help. This is also when Kouichi discovers the fire in the dining hall, but the urgency is to get Maejima out of the building and alert everyone that there is a fire.

d) In the novel, the fire spreads quickly and there is a lot of chaos with the students getting out. In the anime, even though there is a fire, it's a low priority to increase the death counts.

e) In the novel, Mochizuki and Teshigawara do not look for Ms. Mikami and are not attacked by Keiko Numata. Mochizuki's whereabouts are unknown during the fire chaos, and Teshigawara was outside with Mei and Kazami.

f) In the novel, the contents of the tape were not played over the intercom system. Only Kouichi, Teshigawara, Mochizuki, and Mei listened to the contents of the tape. The students did not suspect or attack Mei. Thus, the deaths of Ogura falling out the window, Ouji dying in the fire, and Sugiura accidentally hanging herself were only in the anime. Sugiura is the only death the coincides with the novel, but at the hands of Keiko Numata (probably right before Izumi is killed).

g) Ms. Mikami is not hit in the head by a student. Her whereabouts are not known until the climax of the book.

26) The first half of the twelfth and final anime episode is almost completely made up of an original storyline. The rest of the episode follows most of the original novel.

a) Kazami does not go on a murder spree. In the original novel, he was outside with Teshigawara after falling out the window.

b) No students were killed in the escape from the building. There were some injuries, but the only deaths were at the hands of Keiko Numata.

c) There was no fight between Izumi and Mei/Kouichi. Izumi died, not from glass, but from falling out the window and breaking her neck from an attack by Keiko Numata. Kouichi witnessed the fall from a distance, outside the building.

d) Kouichi never met Izumi during his visit the previous year. Also, Izumi never had a cousin that died in the previous year. This is only in the anime.

e) Chibiki did return to the Sakitani Kinenkan, but he did not kill Keiko Numata. He caught and tied her up, but she committed suicide by biting off her tongue.

f) The anime follows the novel closely beginning with Kouichi calling Mei's cell phone to find out where she is. The climax scene with Reiko trapped under the logs is almost exactly like the novel, including Kouichi remembering Reiko's words of keeping their home life separate and the clues to why she is the "Dead." Some of the dialogue is almost exactly the same, including Kouichi's hesitation and saying "Good-bye Reiko, goodbye mother" at the end. The only difference is that Mei never saw Reiko being killed. In the novel, Reiko was found in the river, but most likely due to an accidental drowning, not murder.

g) The final scene of the book doesn't happen at the Mikami graveplot, but in the hospital. Mochizuki and Mei visit Kouichi, who is still recovering after collapsing. Chibiki never appears either. The discussion between Kouichi and Mei in the anime is a very similar discussion in the novel, including the photos from Mochizuki and Mei discarding her phone (although her mother will buy her a new one soon). One discussion not covered in the anime is that Kazami forgives Teshigawara for pushing him out the window.

h) In the anime, Chibiki mentions that Keiko Numata went crazy due to the death of their grandson. In the novel, the reason for her murder spree is never explained, since she committed suicide before she could be questioned.

i) The final scene of Mochizuki and Teshigawara taping an MD disc message for future students is an anime original scene.

27) There are four “Interlude” chapters that are conversations between different characters. The majority of these chapters were not animated, but explain some reactions to the events that happen in the story. The first interlude is a conversation between two Yomikita students from another class about how they believe the curse has started with Sakuragi’s death, while other interludes include conversations between other students in Class 3-3. One of these interludes explains why no one tells Kouichi to avoid Mei. If they did so, they’d be acknowledging Mei’s existence and thus breaking the countermeasure.

List of DeathsEdit

In the novel, for the class of 1998, there were 15 deaths. There were 22 deaths in the anime. Anime only deaths include Aya Ayano and her family, Yumi Ogura, and Makoto Ouji.

  1. Misaki Fujioka (April – complications with kidney transplant)
  2. Yukari Sakuragi (May – fall down stairs at school, impaled by umbrella tip)
  3. Mieko Sakuragi (May – car accident on a rainy day)
  4. Sanae Mizuno (June – death in an old, rarely maintained hospital elevator)
  5. Ikuo Takabayashi (June – heart attack)
  6. Kubodera-Sensei (July – suicide with a meat knife in classroom)
  7. Kubodera’s Mother (July – murdered by son)
  8. Atsushi Ogura (July – crushed by a runaway tractor that crashed into his house)
  9. Kensaku Numata (August Proprietor of Sakitani Kinenkan, Takabayashi’s grandfather – killed by Keiko Numata)
  10. Keiko Numata (August Proprietress of Sakitani Kinenkan, Takabayashi’s grandmother – suicide by biting off tongue)
  11. Izumi Akazawa (August – killed by Keiko Numata, fell off second story veranda, neck broken)
  12. Manabu Maejima (August – killed by Keiko Numata with knife)
  13. Shigeki Yonemura (August – killed by Keiko Numata with knife)
  14. Takako Sugiura (August – killed by Keiko Numata with knife)
  15. Junta Nakao (August – killed by Keiko Numata with knife)

Overall ImpressionEdit

Reading the novel often feels like watching the anime. Very similar, although there are mostly minor changes made. The most noticeable differences are:

1) Izumi is a much less significant character.
2) The events of episode 8 do not occur, and Katsumi Matsunaga is only mentioned, never met.
3) Takako does not become deranged, and none of the deaths which occurred as a result of this happen in the novel. Likewise, Tomohiko doesn't go on a murder spree.
4) The fallout of Takako's death and Tomohiko's rampage are not present, as neither even occurred. However, the events from Izumi's death onward are in line with the novel.

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