「Sphere joint -変調-」 (Henchou)

As great as the mystery element in this series is – and it’s the best of any series for quite a while – I think the character interaction might just be even better.

This was a funny sort of episode in some ways. For the most part it was actually quite low-key by Another standards, focused as much on character building as horror, but it opened with one of the most grisly scenes I’ve seen in anime. Kubodera-sensei’s demise certainly didn’t shock anyone after the cliffhanger last week, but the manner in which Mizushima-sensei brought it to life – slow, clinical, with no heavy BGM to drown out the mechanics of the situation and very little censoring – was appallingly effective. I can’t help but think of his work on Blood-C, where the violence was so cartoonish and silly as to lose all emotional impact, and contrast it with this scene – and it cements the notion in my mind that he was merely a hired hand on that abysmal disaster of a project. I suppose there was some question as to whether Kubodera might turn his rage onto a student but I never thought so – the only surprise for me was how much this shocking scene contrasted with the rest of the ep. Perhaps it might better have been placed at the end of the last one, but that’s a small and debatable matter.

Some thoughts stand out as regards to the nature of the phenomenon. First, there’s the matter of Tatsuji. I think he believes what he’s telling Kouichi and Mei, but that there’s a fundamental flaw in his logic – i.e., he says he has “no direct connection to Class 3” and seems to consider himself somewhat immune to the effects of the phenomenon, but I don’t buy it. I think his original connection to the event still holds, and if nothing else he was the first to enter the classroom after Kubodera performed the deed he did. Tatsuji is connected, whether he thinks so or not – his judgment thus suspect, and maybe at risk as a result. His connection with Mikami-sensei is also interesting – “she knows my history” – and he was obviously actively involved in the strategy of taking the class to the shrine the group visited 15 years earlier that might have managed to stop the curse. As for Mikami-sensei herself, she’s a figure of much mystery for anime viewers – even down to her identity – and is clearly deeply intertwined in whatever is happening with Class 3 past and present.

On the question of Kouchi being the Another, I’ve never felt it likely – it just seemed too obvious – and I still don’t buy it. There’s a tremendous amount of trolling in both directions on this question, with broad hints that he might be dead (even a full-on dream on his part) but I still think the phone calls to his father refute the logic of this. If anything, the categorical denial this week by both Izumi and Mei makes me question whether the possibility of a “double-troll” exists and he might actually be the dead one – but I still doubt it, and it seems likely the anime is setting aside this rumor and moving on. If that’s not the case and he is the Another, the whole notion that Mei might have deep sight in her special eye is pretty much bogus.

There were plenty of hints dropped this week, some subtle and some gross. There’s the matter of Mochizuki’s sister Tomoka (death flagged?) whom Yuuya has tipped off to everything that’s happening. She tells the group that one of her regulars at her cafe, a man named Matsunaga Katsumi, was a Class 3 survivor who claims to have stopped the curse ‘ “I knew I had to tell them – so I left it there.” Left a clue, for future classes? Izumi implies that Reiko was in Matsunaga’s class (not confirmed) but it makes sense. I also wonder if Mochizuki’s T-shirt of Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” is a clue – it’s been speculated that the painting was inspired by Einstein’s Theory of Relatively and the collapse of our fixed notion of time, but Dali later said it was “an image of camembert cheese melting in the sun”. The conversation between Izumi and Kouichi that preceded the group meeting at the café seemed full of significance for me and not just for her denial that Kouichi might be dead – there was the matter of Izumi stating her feeling that she’d shaken his hand before, and how “similar” their hands are. That last line especially has a weightiness to it that makes me think it might be crucial – could they be somehow related? I even get a slight vibe here that Izumi could be the Another, and her comment that the rumor of the dead person’s hands being cold is likely bogus because “it couldn’t be that easy” sounds right to me, and doesn’t refute the possibility that either of them could be the one.

So now we have a plan crafted by Mikami-sensei and Tatsuji, where the class is repeating the class trip of 15 years ago(and it’ll be interesting to see what the show does with the beach episode). This was the class Reiko was in, it was the year Ritsuko died, it was the supposedly the only year the phenomenon was stopped in the middle (August – most likely connected to Matsunaga and his clue) – in short, this is obviously the key year in the entire history of the phenomenon. The trip is being repeated on the same dates – 8/8-10 – and on the original trip two more students died, but the phenomenon seems to have been halted. We’re also told by Tatsuji that “It never became clear who the dead person was that year” – and if that’s not a major clue I’ll watch Blood-C again, that’s how sure I am. Maybe that Another never disappeared at the end of the term, and has been in our world ever since? Clearly something unique to that year happened that stopped the phenomenon – or could “delayed” be a better word? If “The Persistence of Memory” is indeed a clue, my guess is that it relates to how that class is connected to the current one. There’s a string of fate tying that class to this one, of that I’m certain.

Of course with the reality that ignoring Mei and Kouichi is no longer effective now obvious, the need to do so is gone – and they “exist” again. But that doesn’t mean that the connection between them has lessened – in fact, we saw a lot of development there once again. A telling moment was when Mei said she “didn’t feel as if a weight had been lifted” when the isolation was ended– seemingly a confirmation that isolation was nothing new to her(and were those blood stains on the roof during that conversation?). She’s certainly “weird” as Teshigawara says, but she seems to have recognized a kindred spirit in Kouichi. When she gives him her cellphone number, she’s making a pretty strong confession of affection – especially given her visceral aversion to the device. With her family going away to their summer house, we have not just a pretext to exchange numbers but a seeming confirmation that her father – not just unseen, but unmentioned – is alive. She also reveals to Kou-kun that the doll he thought was modeled on her was in fact a representation of what her sister – stillborn 12 years earlier – might have been. Weird and creepy – but is it a clue? Is Kirika connected with the phenomenon of 12 years ago? I still feel as if the weirdness with the dolls and Mei’s family is important to the story, but not directly connected to the phenomenon.

I loved the subtle signs of growing intimacy between these two awkward adolescents this week – so much of the character detail is on the money with Another. While there might have been a clue in Kouichi’s phone call with his Dad – at least we know that Ritsuko left the “creepy photo” at her parents’ house – what I most enjoyed about the call was Kouichi’s panicked reaction when his father was about to broach his defenses against emotional intimacy by telling him he loved him. It was so authentic for a 15 year-old boy – as was his involuntary smile after he hung up, relief at knowing his father still loves him despite their physical distance at the moment. This series is full of small gems like this – another one was the stunning imagery during Kouichi’s dream, as he walked down the school hallway passing in and out of the light from the windows – and it’s these small and profound moments that elevate what could be just a fascinating intellectual exercise into something that truly connects on a gut level.

Think you know who the Another is? Stop by LiA and vote in the poll.




  1. I thought the teacher was being a “martyr” and killed himself so that the class was going to be cancelled and the students would have that year off or they would be move to a different class…guess he just a psychopath

  2. I was expecting the teacher to kill at least one of the students, but it seems that he just was under too much pressure.

    Also, I thought that they were instantly blame Misaki and Kouichi, so I was a bit surprised when those two started to talk to them again. And for those that have read the novel, is the beach part there as well?

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

  3. Base on the information given so far, my guess as to how to stop the phenomenon Show Spoiler ▼

    Exactly how to find out who the Another is, I don’t know as I’m hoping the get a clue when the group either talks to the guy who claims to have saved the class or during the school trip.

      1. I was hoping for a kiss as well! But that would have been out of place since their relationship has not progressed enough. Although when he got the call from the other guy and asked him if he was “going on a date with Mei,” I was expecting him to deny it, etc. In a way that should be a hint that we should not expect a lot of romance in this. But I could be wrong.

      2. Totally. I was expecting that. He got so darn close to her face. I bet the writers are trolling us…lol

        This episode pretty much shut down any more progression of Mei x Kouichi “two of a kind” thing going on. Oh well. We still have hope!

      3. Agreed, except i wasn’t hoping for them to kiss. I was expecting it. Since Mei lead Kouichi to a secluded spot. I thought that she was going to give Kouichi some words of reassurance then kiss him or vise versa.

        Though the fact that they didn’t isn’t a huge deal.

    1. I think that you’re exactly right there. My guess as to why his aunt has so much problem remembering is that during the class trip Show Spoiler ▼

      . That knowledge alone would make you want to forget.

      1. Well, it sound very plausible.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Lastly, I hope Mei isn’t that certain Another, (and not ’cause I like her character). If she is… “dead”, than this series will turn into romantic-drama and much less of the mystery-horror that I like in this.

    2. I agree with that method being most likely. Show Spoiler ▼

    3. That’s exactly what I was thinking, and Matsunaga left a clue about it. Between the two students that died on the trip, one of them would be the Another. Did anyone happen to catch the names of the two that died at the shrine on the roster?

    4. I’ve been thinking the same thing.
      And also, this is me wild guessing, I don’t think Kouchi is the another just cause it would be too obvious. It would be totally ironic if Izumi were the Another so i’m putting my money on it just for that reason.

  4. Sorry Akazawa, you can joke and flirt as much as you want, but Kouichi’s 95% taken, and Mei’s a hell of a lot cuter than you 😛 The cellphone part was sweet, and her little frown when she found out someone else had alleviated Kouichi’s worries was priceless. For a split-second I thought we were gonna get a kiss when Mei showed Kouichi her doll-eye, but the intimacy was still very much there even without it.

    Speaking of her doll-eye, she mentioned something in passing of it showing her unpleasant things a few episodes back, right? Can she see “death” with it, I wonder? The way she assured Kouichi made it seem like she was referring to her eye being important.

    Really surprised me that Akazawa had a kinda morbid sense of humor… if she really was just teasing him she might actually be a good friend! The handshake might refer back to whatever happened 18 months ago, but regardless she seems to be more with Kouichi than against him.

    1. Well you made an interesting point. But if supposing Mei can see “death”, doesn’t that mean she knows who the Another is since the beginning of…. well everything. So why did she still scribble “who is the dead one” on her desk?

      Oh Mei, you are full of mysteries, guess that’s why we all love you.

    1. Will work IF the school IS decommissioned, permanently. Changing it’s location will not work. You have to really erase the school from existence. The classes, the staff list everything must be erased. That is how curses work.

      The Moondoggie
    2. Honestly, I’m surprised an attempt to destroy the school hasn’t been mentioned yet. 26 years with about 6 people dying every year? You’d think someone would’ve lost it and tried to torch the place…

  5. Just so you may want to know, those are not “blood stains on the roof”, they are just very old rust. My old house also has them, and the color looks just like that.
    Also, this may just be my imagination, but the bird is really, really bugging me…….

  6. I do agree with you with that slight feeling that Izumi might be the another. The whole joggled memory is definitely raising some suspicions. It also brings up that curious moment when his father “slipped” about him being in this town before.

      1. Don’t worry, I’m refering to Enzo. As for how things go right now, we might pretty well have an anime-original Another (given several parts of this episode is not in the novel). Interesting speculation should be coming up soon.

  7. My question is how far the shine is. It has to be within the town otherwise they would be away from the radius of effectiveness of the curse. If the phenomenon is within a restricted area. Then i believe the dead one should not be able to leave the town.

  8. I think the time 18 months ago when Kouichi’s father said he was is Yamiyomi that Kouichi doesn’t remember would probably be the time that he shook hands with Izumi. The music they were playing when they showed the beach clips was completely off, and I couldn’t help but laugh. I wonder if anyone drowns? The KouxMei ship is still sailing.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Hehe, tell me about it. They have the whole horror preview music playing, while showing a preview for a beach episode. My preconceptions of a beach episode and the music were clashing.

  9. I think this has to be the longest episode review on all of RC, way to type Enzo.

    Also that was probably the goriest scene I’ve ever wached in an anime, usually it just happens off screen and all you see is the blodd splatter.

    I was thinking the reason that it stopped halfway 15 years ago was that during summer brake the “Another” was killed off somehow, that might explain why who the dead person was that year wasn’t revealed.

    Also the preview for next episode was the most unominous for any horror/triller. It reminded me of those “While I play unfitting music” videos on youtube.

  10. “Think you know who the Another is? Stop by LiA and vote in the poll.”
    1° place = Kyuubey
    LOL I knew it!!
    God, I must watch this episode right now!!
    I ship SakakibaraXmei >.< that's a kiss isn't it? … seems like it isn't T_T
    and that preview 😮 beach episode!

  11. From the way she kept sharing her theories, it looks to me like Izumi believes that the “Another” actually knows that he/she is already dead. Which means that the “Another” only altered the memories of everyone else, but not his/her own memories. For everyone else, it is like he/she was always there. Hm… I got it. The “Another” is Tsukishima!

    But wait… how did Tsukishima change the record books so that the names disappeared and returned the next year. Maybe it was never changed, but the others just see something different than what was written on the book. Like a hallucination or illusion. Hm…

    I got it. There are two “Another”. It fits perfectly! The other one is Aizen! =D

  12. So in the next episode are we going to be hearing the Jaws theme and getting some great white action on? Wow, that sounds much worse than it did in my head.

    I’m just hoping that at the end of all this the two MC’s will still be alive – I could see Mei biting it in the last episode for some reason.

  13. Lol beach episode next. I’m now reminiscent of Sena’s eroge game from Bokutachi wa Tomodachi sugunai.

    “Is that a shark?”
    “Haha you’re joking. There can’t be a shark here”
    “Ahhh save me Kouichi-kun!!!!!”
    cut in bloody scene and main character being ripped to pieces

    The End

  14. ‘Another’ question popped into my head.
    If Misaki’s eye can see whether someone’s dead or not, why doesn’t she just look around the class with it?
    Or maybe she already did? :0

  15. Time to compare it with novel and manga 😀

    Show Spoiler ▼

    The preview, WTF. Beach episode? Not even a horror show escapes from beach episodes??

    1. Akazawa is the most attractive anime character I’ve seen in a very long time. She also has a voice I enjoy listening to. Therefore, I second the wish for some Akazawa X Koichi shipping.

      Interesting to hear about her counterpart in the novel and whatnot. Perhaps a spoiler tag would have been warranted, though. Not that anything that happens later is “spoiled”, but some hints can be taken from that… heheh.

    2. Akazawa’s role Show Spoiler ▼

      Seiyuu trivia: Akazawa is voiced by Yonezawa Madoka, if you’re a self-confessed K-ON “moeblob-tard” (according to the K-ON haters anyway), you’d know her as Yui’s caring “yandere” sister Ui.

      Here she uses a more serious voice, which is totally unrecognizable from her more lovable voice as Ui. I do hope to hear more of Yonezawa in future roles.

      Kinny Riddle
  16. HA! I think I finally figured it out. It ties the beginning of the anime together rather nicely, so I think I’m on to somethi…AAAARRRGGH

    Joke aside, I think Mei’s the Another. Why? Because Mei is not, in fact, the girl we thought she’d be. She’s the stillborn sister. Akazawa made a big deal about how Kouichi may have died while his mother was still pregnant, and that opens the possibility that it doesn’t have to be someone who ever visited the class. That would, of course, mean that someone in the Misaki family was in Class 3, most likely her mother or her father.

    The main reason why I think this might be it are some of the first scenes in the anime, likely forgotten by some viewers: We see Misaki Mei visit someone in the hospital, but never learn who it is. I think that was, in fact, the real Misaki Mei, the first victim of the phenomenon. That would also explain why not!Mei can interact with her mother: The phenomenon changed her memory as well, and she thinks that she had two daughters, one still alive (the sister) and one recently deceased (the real Misaki Mei). Or maybe her sister took her place…

    tl;dr: Mei is the dead one.

  17. “and if that’s not a major clue I’ll watch Blood-C again, that’s how sure I am”

    oh god. lol

    and those “rusts” were on the roff since the beginning no? :/
    Maybe the guy “left” someone in their class to death or something during the trip? So no one knew who died? O_o
    So confused now lol

  18. I wonder if Matsunaga Show Spoiler ▼

    I don’t know if speculation should be spoiler tagged or not, but I figure its safer.

  19. Though I comment little, I always look forward to reading your posts after I finish a new Another episode, Enzo. Great analysis yet again! I think this might have been my favorite episode yet since it just had such a great blend of scariness, build up, and character development.

    Man, I literally had trouble keeping my eyes on the screen during Kouichi’s dream sequence because it was freaking me out so bad and I couldn’t scream or be loud about it since my roommate was sleeping asdfghjkl.

    Anyway, what I want to bring attention to, just as Tumblr brought to my attention, is this. MOCHIZUKI IS A GIRL??? Could it be misdrawn art? Because he was flat as board in the second episode, not to mention that despite his girly appearance he even has a male seiyuu…

    1. Watch the preview again. It’s clearly a photoshop.

      Even the novel goes into great detail describing Mochizuki’s femininity, that if he were to dress up as a girl and wander around town, he’d get picked-up by numerous men in no time. But he is unequivocally a boy.

      Kinny Riddle
  20. -Izumi X kouichi flag!? Harem is possibility! feel like kouichi will became the new misaki that really popular 26 years ago,with ow populra he is maybe there connection? with all that happening is centerd around him ,
    -if this matsunaga really end the cycle , maybe kouchi will take the task to end its this year
    -and whats up with that big europan building that showed in this EP? is its the place marsunaga left his clue or the conclusion will be held?

  21. Inb4 someone dies during the trip. I hope Akazawa dies, cause Sakakibara’s taken. Another(lol) thing, I guess the way to stop the curse is to actually kill the “Another”? MASS MURDER INCOMING.

  22. No question to it. The Another is Mei. PERIOD. They’re doing the ol’ so obvious it’s not possible. I got nothing to lose though. I’m go’n with Mei for now. Still there’s slot of mystery surrounding her sister and those pesky dolls. Something is there. I hope for some romantic development next episode as well. Maybe EVEN a shark attack on the beach?! Talk about gruesome.

    1. I don’t think it’s Mei. I just have this feeling it’s not her.(In-Denial-I-Dont-Want-My-Fave-Chara-To-Actually-Be-Dead)

      I mean, there has been absolutely no hints dropped that it is her. Even though everyone suspected her to be a ghost, turns out she’s not, so yeah. The only hints that has been dropped so far in the anime is Reiko and Sakakibara, IIRC.

  23. I think that :

    -from the strange guy saying he left something
    -to the unknown Another from the year where the phenomenon stopped
    -to the ED

    Show Spoiler ▼

  24. I like how the writer does the story. He/She creates hints that Kouichi might be the dead guy then refutes it using Mei, yet the audience has to weigh whether Mei’s words has any weight to it or it is simply consoling Kouichi. Because of all the red herrings, the entire story maintains its strong sense of mystery.

    I still have doubts that it is a totally supernatural series though a number of characters’ testimony seems to point it at least has some supernatural elements or its liks Higurashi’s reasoning. The fella who left the clue seemed to have done something terrible and was rationalising his actions. Possibly he killed someone during the trip? Maybe permanently removing the extras will rebalance the class?

    Zaku Fan
  25. Hmm. Well, they didn’t identify the Another in that year. Could the “it” that the mad guy in the bar be the Another of that year? And that he left “it” behind during the trip?

    Well, looks like we will find out soon. BTW, that FREAKING FISHING ROD in the preview…. OMG I have a bad feeling that it will be used to kill someone. Like you know, the rod’s hook hits someone in the …. and he gets ripped off? Grisly….

  26. I have a feeling that the sudden bomb that Mei had an older sister is crucial to the identity of the Another, but all that information is still too chaotic to deduce anything.

    With that aside, twintails-chan in swim wear next week, oh why isn’t it Tuesday yet!

  27. Damn, the most gory episode of Another so far… good thing I am not eating.

    Is there a translated ver. of the novel? Cuz I can’t waut for the series to reveal the “Another”…. And apparently Beach episode is a total requirement nowaday. Hopefully it not just 30 min of fanservice.

  28. Show Spoiler ▼

    Once again, thanks to Itou Noiji’s artwork, Mei reminds me of Nagato Yuki again, especially the way she hands Kouichi her cell phone number, if that isn’t a sign of affection, I don’t know what is.

    Kinny Riddle
      1. That’s the only apparition Tomoka, I wouldn’t consider it a spoiler since the story has advanced that point. But they didn’t mention it, making you thing there was a death flag.

        Unless, this is a change and she is his blood sister and actually dies. That will be original and the previous wouldn’t be a spoiler.

      2. Show Spoiler ▼

        For example, when the movie version of Harry Potter 6 came out, everyone who is discussing it should have seen it already and know that Snape killed Dumbledore, so when someone simply mentions how the novel version of that scene was different, it should no longer be counted as a spoiler.

        Kinny Riddle
    1. The hell?

      With all due respect, Enzo, how is the mere defining of whether a story is horror or suspense or what sort of violence audience would expect counted as a spoiler? Simply because I have the words “having read the book” you just assume that it must be a plot-specific spoiler that ruins everything.

      By your definition, posts such as “You’ll be surprised by how things developed.” or something like that ought to be spoiler tagged.

      Kinny Riddle
      1. Don’t play dumb – you know that’s not why I spoiler tagged the comment.

        It’ simple – if a fact from the novel has not been revealed in the anime, it’s a spoiler. It’s very possible the anime has made an intentional decision to reveal it later in the story for a reason.

  29. Looking at the preview, seems like PA Works just couldn’t resist giving this series its own Beach Episode, even though this is supposed to be a Horror/Suspense series rather than a Harem series, and was never in the novel. (Though Ayatsuji Yukito himself tweeted saying he was rather looking forward to the episode itself. lol )

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I love it how they had the same suspenseful next episode preview music playing despite the rather cheery tone of the preview itself. It is kinda silly how quickly everyone recovered from that incident in the classroom, though. “Teach stabbed himself in the neck! Let’s go on a field trip, LOL!”

  30. At least the class now started interacting with Misaki and Kouichi.
    Regarding the phenomenon – and possible countermeasures, I am still left in the wild, feeling somehow like Dallas trying to figure out how to defeat the Alien and getting “unable to compute” from Mother… We have so few data, and the memories of people involved are probably being altered anyway so the data is unreliable… Higurashi had us in the “outside observer” seat so we could witness what really happened, but here we are not getting much in the way of hints…
    Scratch that, I think I got a REAL clue. Just dont know where it leads, though. And it is NOT supernatural at all.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  31. The whole conversation with Tatsuji, especially the fact that they never found out who the Another was, made me think that one of the two students that died on the class trip was the Another and that was what stopped the curse.

    Just ‘re-killing’ the dead person seems like far too easy a solution, though…

    1. But if you killed off something that’s not supposed to exist in the first place, wouldn’t records and memories of its existence be gone as well after he/she is “killed”?

      In other years, the Another always manages to last the entire school year without getting detected, only disappearing once it reaches their “expiry date” i.e. after graduation. So it seems for the class of ’83, Matsunaga manages to bump off their year’s Another earlier than scheduled.

      Think of it as Matsunaga scoring the “Golden Goal” as in Ice Hockey or soccer (before the rule got abolished by FIFA a few years back) forcing the “game” to an early end before the regulated end time.


      Kinny Riddle
  32. Since the phenomena only exists in Yomiyama including the memory alteration, they should hold a class meeting where they use a phone on speaker and each call a relative outside of town and ask if they know of any of relative who died in Yomiyama, this should at least help in figuring out who the dead is.

    1. But they’re trying to keep the noise down. Sure the adults all know the class is cursed but the kids who will come after them seems clueless about it yet.

      Remember about the nurse before she died? Seems that before Kou talked to her she doesn’t have a clue about the curse.

      The Moondoggie

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