The Passive Protagonist of Another

This post contains spoilers for Another. If you have not watched up till episode ten and don’t want to be spoiled it is advised you do not read this post.

I am enjoying Another for a variety of reasons. It has a great (not to mention creepy) setting that keeps me excited to see it unfold. I do get frustrated by the pacing at times, but it isn’t enough to deter my enjoyment of a good horror show. We are two episodes away from the finale, and with the recent developments at the end of the last episode, things are going to get a bit sticky. While I believe that Another has what it takes to pull off a good ending, I do want to see Kouichi finally take an active role in the story.

If there is any issue I have with Another (that isn’t some minor complaint), it would be that Kouichi, the supposed protagonist, has filled no real function within the story. Things occur around Kouichi, but he has done nothing to impact the way the story unfolds. This is especially true with Mei’s reveal that the curse started a month earlier than everyone assumed, which means that Kouichi didn’t accidentally cause anyone’s death by trying to confirm Mei’s existence. Looking back, I can’t pinpoint anything Kouichi has really done besides investigate and ask questions. I would say that he would help figure out who the “Another” is, but apparently Mei has known that from the beginning. Furthermore, this isn’t a story where the protagonist is characterized by inner monologues or deep introspection. Thus, we are left wondering, what is Kouichi’s role in Another?

Quite frankly, I’m not sure this is even an actual problem so much as it is a personal preference. One could argue that the real protagonist of the story is the setting itself. After all, the town and the curse is the most interesting aspect of the show. It could then be argued that Kouichi is just the method by which the writers introduce viewers to the story and the setting. We watch through his eyes as everything unfolds and as the story eventually comes to a conclusion. He is a convenient tool for learning about the world the story takes place in and the exposition of the show has often felt natural in the way it was presented.

That said, I really think that a protagonist should take a more active role in the story. It is fine if things are happening outisde of Kouichi’s control, but I do think that some of his actions should have an impact on the way the story unfolds. I can’t cheer for him if he does nothing. Likewise, I’m not invested in the outcome of the story currently so much as I am curious to see how it ends. In that way, Kouichi is very much like the viewer. Someone who is slowly unraveling the mysteries and passively watching everything occur.

What I want from this show going into the final episodes is for Kouichi to play a part in the way the story ends. Not just be a spectator as the curse is defeated, but an actual participant. Give me a reason to be invested in his survival and a reason to root for him.

So what do you think? Does Kouichi need to do more? Or is Another’s method fine the way it is? Let me know what you think in the comments down below.

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