Title: Another 2001
Author: Yukito Ayatsuji
Release Date: December 13, 2022
Publisher: Yen Press
The first Another light novel became popular enough to be adapted into both manga and anime. Another 2001 is the sequel to the first light novel. It happens three years after the events of Another. This time we follow a fourteen-year-old boy called Sou Hiratsuka as he starts his third and last year of middle school. However, things take a turn for the worst when he becomes a member of the cursed class 3-3.
Let’s go back in time to understand when this curse called “calamity” started.
In 1972, Misaki Yomiyama, a student of class 3-3 of Yomiyama North Middle School, died. However, instead of mourning him, the students and teachers acted like he was still alive. For example, when the graduation picture was taken, Misaki Yomiyama appeared in the picture even though he shouldn’t have.
Since then, class 3-3 has had “on” and “off” years. During an “on” year, a dead student returns to life and becomes a class member. The memories of the town’s people are altered, and they don’t remember that this person is already dead. The presence of this dead student causes people from the class and related individuals (such as their families) to die in multiple tragic ways. During the school year, at least one related individual will die each month.
However, once the year is over, everything goes back to normal, and people forget the existence of the student that wasn’t supposed to be here in the first place.
Now, let’s return to Another 2001, which takes place in 2001. Unfortunately for Sou Hiratsuka, he becomes a student of class 3-3 during an “on” year, meaning that he knows in advance that deaths will surely happen.
As a countermeasure to try to prevent the calamity from starting, a student is selected to act as a “non-existent” student each year, meaning that both students and teachers will act as if he doesn’t exist. Sou volunteered for the role. But, one of the students acting as a “countermeasure officer” is scared that having only one “non-existent” student is not enough, so she suggests adding another one this year. Everyone agrees.
Even though Another 2001 is a sequel to the first Another light novel, there’s no need to have read the first one to read this sequel because all of the events of the original light novel are explained.
One thing to mention is that Mei Misaki and Kouichi Sakakibara, the original story’s main characters, are back in this entry.
The novel is separated into three main parts, which are also subdivided into chapters, and each chapter has multiple numbered parts. This makes reading easier since each part is never longer than three or four pages.
Another 2001 is written from the point of view of Sou Hiratsuka, the main character. It makes the narration feel more immersive since we follow him around and have access to his thoughts. I enjoyed the way Sou was written, he seemed a bit mature for a fourteen-year-old, but this can be explained by the fact that he had faced difficult events in the past. I thought that the writing of the other characters was also good.
Another thing that I liked was how the novel referenced multiple real-life events that happened in 2001, from the release of Jurassic Park III to the dreadful 9/11. These details help the story to feel more immersive.
My main complaint with the novel was its pacing. It was very uneven; the first part was prolonged and kept repeating the same information. I understand that a novel has to set the story. However, this was a bit over the top.
But, once the calamity starts, things get more interesting, and some scenes are well written, especially the death scenes. It made me want to continue reading to see how the events would play out.
Towards the end of the book, there’s a plot twist that isn’t very shocking. Unfortunately, I thought that the writer had given us too many hints making it easy to guess what the revelation would be.
Overall, I appreciated reading Another 2001. The story wasn’t significantly different from the original light novel, but I still found it entertaining. However, the narrative could have been shorter, but this could have also been mitigated with better pacing.
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