With the broadcast of the first episode of Another right around the corner, it’s time to take one more look at what we learn from the preview. Last time, our main character found out more about Mei than he bargained for. But Mei sure knows how to get even…
“You’re Sakakibara Kouichi, right…? Nobody in class told you? Your name makes them think of death. And no ordinary death. Cruel and senseless death surrounding a school.”
Kouchi’s family name happens to overlap with the alias of the real-life homicidal maniac Sakakibara Seito. The murderer’s resume includes beheading a child with a hand saw… but then again, Sakakibara himself was no more than fourteen when he committed his crimes. There should be no surprise that the incident shook Japanese media and society, and it will undoubtedly still be fresh in the mind of those watching Another.
Notably, the killer’s alias was something he made up himself, and it’s writing does not match that of a normal family name. In fact, the characters used (酒鬼薔薇聖斗) can be interpreted as “a demon drunk on the blood spilled through his holy fight”, which tells us a lot about the murderer’s mind…
The main character of Another has his name written in the standard kanji meaning basically “a field of sakaki trees”, so there’s no risk of mixing the two up on paper, even if the phonetic similarity is disquieting. This way, the precise kanji writing, which indicates both meaning and reading, saves the Japanese language from its numerous homophones.
Except that Mei plays around with that paper-thin defense. As she walks away, she pronounces Kouichi’s family name one syllable at a time, tearing away the rhythm associated with a kanji word and bringing it to the fair playing field of simple sounds. Somewhere where there is no way to distinguish between demons and innocents. The producers join in on the sadistic fun by displaying the word in the phonetic katakana.
The first episode is coming to our screens soon enough, let us hope for a great ride.