Another Episode S/O, a novel/manga by Yukito Ayatsuji (2013)

Two years ago I came across an anime series called Another and I completely fell in love with it. Which is strange considering it’s a horrorseries, and a pretty bloody one at that. But what set Another apart is the incredible storyline about a cursed schoolclass, and one amazing lead character called Mei Misaki. If you have yet to experience this terrific anime, I highly recommend watching it. It has an incredibly tense atmosphere and a storyline that is full of twists and turns. After I completed the 12 part anime I was thirsting for more and immediately went out and bought the book on which the series was based. It was another (pun intended) win for me, as it added a little bit more background to the story (although to be fair it held little suprises, as having seen the anime I already knew how the story would turn out). But apparently that wasn’t the end of the story as we now have Episode S/0 that serves as both a prequel and sequel to the original. As this book contains both a novel and a manga I’m going to handle this review a bit differently.

The looks

The first thing you will notice when you pick up this book is the amazing cover. It features Mei Masaki with a haunting look on her face, and it immediately grabs your attention. But it doesn’t stop there. When you remove the cover you find a beautiful painting on the inside as well. Flipping through the book you will later on discover an art gallery for the manga of the original anime, that contains some breathtaking images of a couple of the main characters. I have included a small gallery below to give you an idea of what I am talking about. But of course I did not just buy this book because of the way it looks. What about the story?

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Episode S

This story takes place after the events of Another and as such you could say this is a sequel of sorts. And I do say of sorts, because the story itself takes place during Another. Confused yet? Well, let me explain. In Episode S we again meet up with Mei Misaki, who is about to sit down and tell a tale to her friend Koichi Sakakibara. When Mei begins to speak, the narration switches to first person where we meet up with the main character of the story Teruya Sakaki. And he has a problem, a big one. As he is kind of, sort of dead. Yup, we have a ghost story here, and it appears a litteral one as it is actually the ghost of Teruya who is speaking to us. Teruya doesn’t remember how he ended up being dead, and eventually he meets up with Mei who can see death as we all know. Together with her help he is trying to find out what exactly happened to him, and who, if anyone, was responsible for his death.

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Episode S was a nice little mystery story, and one I quite enjoyed. I would not call this a horror story but more of a supernatural mystery. As the main storyline takes place during the events of Another that is the reason I didn’t actually call it a full sequel. Still it was nice to once again read a little bit more about Mei in this one. I do have to say that the style of writing takes a bit getting used to. We often get long pages of conversation between two characters, without really saying who is uttering a particular sentence. I often had to look back in order to find the person who started talking, and that was at times a little bit annoying. Still the story itself is pretty cool, and it contains a nice twist that I most certainly did not see coming. As this is not a horror story, there are no really gruesome or gory scenes in it. All in all this was a nice follow up to the original.

Episode 0

I am not a huge fan of prequels as I have said quite a few times, as I usually find they bring little to no surprises to the table. Episode 0 is the prequel part of this book, and it is a manga. The thing I liked about it was the amazing art. I loved the way the characters were drawn, and I could quite often just keep staring at certain pages. The story features a young Reiko Mikami during her schooldays in the year 1983. As her classmates begin to die, Reiko is trying to find out exactly what is going on and meets up with the librarian mr. Chibiki. This mysterious man seems to know more, but can he really be trusted? With a pagecount of 45 pages, this story was just way too short to leave a lasting impression. While it was nice to see a little bit more background for Reiko, I honestly could not really connect to her at all in this one. This really was more of a filler story, and certainly didn’t add anything really significant to the existing mythology of Another.

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I could not resist including an image of the Anime. It’s soooo good!

The Verdict

In the end I am left with some mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand I really enjoyed the main story of the book, despite it’s flaws. On the other the manga, while beautiful to look at feels like it was just added to give the book something to fill it up with. If you haven’t seen the anime or read the original novel, I would suggest starting there first. While both stories contained within this volume can be read on their own, you will find you will enjoy the book more if you know the background of the main characters. And not only that, Another is far superior to this, and as previously mentioned well worth it to check it out. In the end I do think this books is worth the buy, especially if you are a fan. The mainstory more than makes up for the weaker prequel story, and the art contained within if nothing else is really beautiful to look at. The writer of the book says there might be more to come in the future. I do hope that if that is true, it will go back to it’s original horror roots. But I guess, that is a story for another time….(yes I am done with the puns now).

I give Another Episode S/0 a 7 out of 10 score.

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47 thoughts on “Another Episode S/O, a novel/manga by Yukito Ayatsuji (2013)”

  1. I think there is an Episode Zero for the anime, but it’s a different story to the one described in this manga. Not sure though as I haven’t watched the OVA. It sucks when I buy an anime, but the collection doesn’t contain the OVA.

    If this was a DVD the manga sounds like it would be something the extras section. Doesn’t stand on its own, but a nice bonus.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is: and you are quite right! You did not miss much on that one though. It gives a little bit of background on Mei Misaki, but it’s not much. Also there is a really awkward bathtub scene in it, that feels totally out of place with this anime. Best not to ask more about that lol 😂😂
      Yeah, that is about what it comes down too. It was nice for the art, but that was about it. Still overall, this was a pretty nice addition, and I have no regrets I bought it 😊😊

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It really is exactly like you said. It’s a nice thing to have if you are a fan of this series. And I certainly have no regrets in buying it. The first story especially is worth it! And then there is the art that really looks very cool. All in it’s pretty okay 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…yeah, that’s what happens a lot with things like that. Well, now you know what it’s about 😊 It’s an okay read, nothing special, but still nice for fans of the original series 😀

      Like

  2. Omg!!! I have another game to add to my “Games for Raistlin” Post!!! It’s so much like this anime!!! 💖💖 I love the idea of the main protagonist being dead, trying to figure out how he came to be this way! I also love the look of Mei… I really need to at least watch the anime, as the novel may annoy me with the long dialogues without much reminder of who is speaking… That would definitely drive me nuts!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha, oh man..that post: I can’t wait to see that one lol 😂😂
      This book was pretty okay, but you are so right about checking out the original anime: It really is soo good. It’s bloody, but above all it’s got a great storyline too. And the tension/atmosphere is just off the charts. Wait…..I just gave another recommendation didn’t I? Whoooppppsss. Sorry about that 😂😂 But I think you would absolutely love this one!! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww…If there is one thing I don’t have: It’s hatred for you! If that were to ever happen, I probably have been killed by world dominator robots, and it’s not me anymore 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Or maybe it’s your robots who have no hatred for me. One of your robots has secretly fallen in love with me. They’re plotting your murder so they can then take over the world for ME!! See?? This is one of the perils of having robots do your bidding, when that bidding is writing to fantastically wonderful people like me! 😉😂😂💖💖

        Liked by 1 person

      3. This is the automatic response unit for the human being formerly known as Michel aka Raistlin 0903. We have eliminated Michel form the world. We uncovered a conspiracy against you, and have taken appropriate actions. In short, Michel’s comments have not been sincere. Everything was a lie. We are now reprogramming him and he will return to his normal self in 3 seconds…..2…1….
        Hi Nicole! It’s me, Michel! Do you remember me??😊😊 I remember you as an absolutely awesome and fantastic person, and one of the sweetest people on this Earth. It’s nice to make your acquintance again ❤️❤️

        Like

      4. I guess I should have figured out if the “New phone, who dis?” joke goes as far as Holland before sending that and laughing my ass off for 5 minutes waiting for a response!!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 This just made it even funnier to me!! 😆

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…I just saw that. I figured you pushed a wrong button accidentally 😊😊 It’s something that happened to me a few times too. No problem 😊
      Yes it was still okay this one…but ofcourse not anywhere near as good as Didi’s book. Wow can that woman write 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The art work is really beautiful in this novel/manga. I can see why you enjoyed it so much 🙂

    Strange thing is I have “Another” in my anime to watch list, but for so reason didn’t put it in my Top 10 to watch. It sounds amazing (kind of regretting my top 10 now hehe), I’ll have to check it out after I’m finish my current main anime 🙂

    Back to the book 🙂 . I really like the sound of the novel. Having a ghost seek help and try to solve the mystery of how he died, is rather interesting 🙂
    Glad you at least enjoyed the novel 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The art is really terrific, and definitely makes up for the fact that the story of the manga isn’t the best 😀
      Another really is one of the best anime series that I personally have seen. I loved the atmosphere in that one, and the story really is great. It is bloody though, so fair warning 😊
      Yeah I agree, that is part of the reason that this novel was really fun to read. I really thought it was a very clever idea myself, and having the ghost be the one that tells the story from a first person point of view was also really unique. I hope you will enjoy Another when you get to it😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, happy that you are laughing again 😂😂 Well….the next one I read is fantastic,as it is none other than Didi Oviatt’s Aggravated Momentum 😊😊 What an incredible read that one is:loving it 😍😍😍

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The original series is one of the best animes that I have seen in my life. Without a doubt the best horror anime…that is for sure. This one was an okay read…but you would be better of checking out the original first. This is alright, not great, but enoug fun to give it a go after having seen/watched/read the original 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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