Another is the Final Destination of anime. A blood bath for all those involved, that makes you wonder who and how the next person will die rather than who is the answer to the mystery.
Set in 1998, after moving in with his grandparents while his father is away on business. Koichi Sakakibara is enrolled in Yomiyama North Middle School, in class 3 – 3. Due to his own illness however, he is forced to start in May rather than the beginning of the term. He is briefly visited by students to give him some information, but after they leave, he stumbles across a girl in the same uniform. Pale skin, dark hair, an eye patch over her left eye and a sad expression on her face. The last time he sees her that day, she’s making her way down to the morgue. Upon starting school a few weeks later, he finds his classmates very friendly and begins to settle in well. However, the girl seems to be ignored by everyone, as though she doesn’t exist. As life goes on, Koichi is made aware of the curse that haunts class 3 – 3, that ever year the class takes measures to prevent the students and their loved ones from dying. That for the past 25 years an extra student always appears, one who had previously died, and once they show up, death follows. The question is, who is dead?
An interesting mystery and admittedly beautiful visuals are the true attraction to this series. Studio P.A. Works have certainly used their budget to great effect. In way of horror it does very little to scare the viewer. At most you may find yourself tugging at your collar during the first death 3 episodes in. The 12 episodes are adapted from a novel of the same name by Yukito Ayatsuji, and in many ways it feels as though the scares would work better in novel form. Allowing the reader to imagine all the gory details in their own way. The mystery itself is rather compelling, especially the more you learn, mixed with some rather clever casting choices in both the English and Japanese.
However, it feels as though an extra episode here or there to flesh out the world around Class 3 – 3 would have strengthened a defining point of the reveal. Allowing the viewer that extra opportunity to catch a point that was known to the lead, and not to us. Koichi is established to be a lover of horror fiction. Reading Stephen King in the first episode and Lovecraft a few episodes later. His visits to the hospital are also accompanied by the nurse referring to him as “Mr. Horror Lover”. This point is hammered in greatly in the early episodes and is largely forgotten by the end. Something that felt like a set up for a later point only to be dropped. While this does work to give Koichi some character, the more blatant and unnecessary references to it could have been used to flesh out the rest of the school and town.
The cast is very well defined. Each with their own distinct characteristic or quirk about them. Despite the blood bath that does ensue throughout, it’s made clear early on that despite Koichi due to main character immunity, anyone could die at any moment.
An enjoyable and eye-catching series despite the lack of true horror. It’s 12 episodes that nicely wraps up and leaves the viewer satisfied.