It's two unrelated hentai series, adapting the same adult visual novel (i.e. a porn game). Completely different plots and premises, but roughly the same characters and a similar dark, horrifying tone throughout. The 2009-10 series is supernatural, with magic and naughty tentacles, while the 2017-18 series is real-world and all the more horrific for it. It's just people being people. Terrifying people.
- Tentacle Hell (2009, 27 minutes)
- Tentacle Dressing (2010, 27 minutes)
- Another ep.1 (2017, 17 minutes)
- Another ep.2 (2017, 16 minutes)
- Another ep.3 (2018, 18 minutes)
- Another ep.4 (2018, 17 minutes)
The show has two goals. Firstly, hardcore sex scenes. Secondly, to creep you the hell out and show bad things. The main characters are, oddly, different but the same. They'll often have different abilities, plot roles and/or personalities, but they'll look the same, wear the same clothes and end up serving similar story functions.
KOUJI = the male protagonist. In 2009, he's so bland that he's annoying. In a show full of extreme story choices, our viewpoint character is recycled cardboard. In 2017, though, he grows backstory and a (bad) personality. He's done wrong things that will come back to bite him.
"It was storming that day too... the day my mother was killed by a drunk driver. She was my only family, as my father had divorced her and left us. That made me the man of the house, so I was the one the driver apologized to. It was a good experience. Before me, stood my mother's killer. Beside me, a bat."
MINAZUKI AJISAI (black hair, cool-looking) = the most important girl, always at the disturbing sexual heart of the plot. In 2009-10, this involves being offered as a human sacrifice to a tentacle demon. In 2017-18, this involves being a knife-wielding schoolgirl prostitute. 2009-Ajisai likes Kouji romantically, while 2017-Ajisai has ice in her veins.
KIRISHIMA KAEDE (red hair with yellow ribbons) = is almost desperately forward when offering herself to Kouji. He likes her too and she's a much more straightforward person than Ajisai, but there's always something wrong. She'll be involved with evil (e.g. the human sacrifice), or else will get found hanged and dripping her own urine in a classroom. (That's not even a spoiler. It's the first thing that happens in Another.)
NEZU SUMIRE (red hair, older) = the only cast member who's unambiguously, out-and-out evil. (Sexy, yes, but in a scary way from which you'd be well advised to run like hell.) She'll drug and rape her sexual partners, order a gang rape and be involved in death. Naturally, she's organising the demon sacrifice.
NOT ENTIRELY SURE (orange hair) = might be two characters. There's an angel in 2009-10 who tries to stop the sacrifice. Yes, an angel. With wings and everything. In 2017-18, she's a perfectly nice girl who's mostly interested in her pencil case. At one point, though, she does say, "I've never had a meat stick like yours! It's even better than dad's!" (Yes, her sexual partner's startled too.)
The tone's so dark that it could easily have become self-parody, but with an intensity that makes it work. It also has some quite effective music that's shared between both series. Both also have not dissimilar endings, e.g. who lived and who died.
TENTACLE SERIES (2009-10)
"We don't have to let the others live, do we?" "No, kill them in front of her." (That's her parents, incidentally, and there's no last-minute rescue.)
"I won't stop until I've destroyed the entire village." (And, yes, she could do it and the results would be a 100% death toll.)
Surprisingly, has a happy, romantic ending. (With sex.)
Manages to go even darker. A garrotted, hanged schoolgirl is more horrifying than hentai tentacles, although the latter were extreme too. The killer's just an ordinary person, doing it for pathetic reasons. Every single character is touched by killing, sometimes on both the giving and receiving end. There's no rape this time, but that doesn't mean the sex scenes tend to be even remotely nice.
I'm not sure that Another is entirely coherent. There's so much to digest here, including backstory and revelations, that I think you'd need a twelve-episode series to pull it together. However the tone carries it. It's like a fever dream.
Which series is better? Well, Tentacle feels more complete. It has a fairly straightforward (if depraved) plot that's easy to follow and has a clear resolution. Another, on the other hand, is more like surreal fragments. It's less clear where its plot is going, or indeed how much of the big picture we're seeing. It's interesting to compare them, though. They feel artistically similar, despite being completely different in almost all measurable ways.
They're still both very hentai, though. There's enough explicit sex that even a sleazehound will probably end up fast-forwarding through it.