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Final Impressions: Occult Academy

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I'm not mad at you Seikimatsu. I'm just...disappointed.

You started off so well, what with your nice animation, good soundtrack, bizarre sense of humor, different character designs, sci-fi/occult set up, you had a lot going for you. You did well through the first couple of episodes, but then you changed. You felt drawn out, the laughs went away and your animation took a hard hit. You never got offensive, but you did pretty much waste my time.

I can't be angry with you, but I just feel like you let me down.

First, the final episode recap. We start out with a flashback, having Maya's father give the vice principal the tape she showed to the school in the first episode as well as telling her the location of his notebook. We also see that the vice principal convinced Maya's father to make the jump into the future for the sake of the world. Back in the present, we see the remainder of Fumiaki and Maya's fight against Mikaze. Fumiaki tells Maya that her father is still alive and searching for Nostradamus' Key. As Fumiaki leaves the room, Maya gets a call from Fumiaki's mother, who has been asked to come to the school. As pleased as Fumiaki is to see his mother again, he realizes that he doesn't remember going to the Occult Academy as a lad. He collapses on the floor holding his head, trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Young Fumiaki is shown reading an astronomy book with his mother. He asks if he can come to the school as well, but is denied by his bitchy mother. Jumping into the future, the scientists try to figure out why the future hasn't changed with the destruction of Nostradamus' Key. Fumiaki calls into HQ and asks why he doesn't remember seeing Occult Academy even though he should. A scientist finishes a calculation and tells Fumiaki to not meet himself under any circumstances. After a bit of techno babble, they explain that if Fumiaki meets himself, he'll create a dimensional rift, meaning that he is in fact Nostradamus' Key. It's some serious 12 Monkeys business right here. Before Fumiaki can slump away defeated, Maya thinks of something that can be done so he can see his mother.

The next day Maya calls in Fumiaki's mother and cancels the performance. His mother is understandably pissed, threatens legal action and storms off in a huff. Maya thinks that this has saved Fumiaki, but he realizes that though he doesn't have many good memories of his mother, he loves her and will try and see her again. He'll have to leave to make sure he doesn't run into himself and, you know, cause the apocalypse. When his mother returns to her hotel room, she finds that her son has run away, presumably to see the school for himself.

Later, Maya forces Fumiaki to attend a farewell party with their friends. While that little shindig is going on, young Fumiakai runs amok at the Occult Academy. The little guy ends the day by passing out behind a statue. The next day Fumiaki makes the official announcement that he's leaving the school at the closing ceremonies. Afterwards Maya joins him up in the terrace that he arrived on. He goes to leave, but she asks him to not go. Of course, this leads to the Fumiakis seeing each other and all hell breaking loose. The sky gets dark, lightning starts shooting all over the place and a dimensional rift opens up. A couple of aliens land and start destroying the school. Fumiaki grabs a spoon off of his younger self and starts a psychic attack on the aliens. For whatever reason, he leaps into the alien's beam, the spoon he's holding shatters, all of the aliens are defeated and the dimensional rift closes. Maya reports his sacrifice to the future. All of the scientists run out of the room, followed slowly by Maya's father. When he gets outside he sees that everything is back to normal and he gets a call from Maya on his cellphone. She says that Fumiaki has just gotten back home and they should all eat dinner together. Her father agrees, sees that the stronghold they were situated in has disappeared and walks back home to his waiting daughter. The last shot reveals that Maya and Fumiaki live together and they all eat curry.

With Occult Academy now done, I can say that it has been a disappointment. While I didn't think it was the best thing last season, I did find it to be amusing, silly and a bit creepy at times. Early on it managed to keep a decent sense of humor with a fair amount of occult activity in. However, as time wore on plot development went on the wayside and inane episodes about Maya's friends took the stage. I honestly could care less about Maya's relationship with her friends, as it had little to do with finding the Key. Maybe it has something to do with Maya's cookie-cutter tsundere personality. If she were a bit more nuanced then I might care about her relationships. It also didn't help that Fumiaki's cowardly nature didn't endear me to him, especially after the decently touching episode about his past.

Another thing that severely disappointed me was the dramatic drop in the comedy. The first couple of episodes had some pretty legit funny moments, but those moments disappeared about five episodes in and never really came back. It wasn't that it took itself more seriously, it's that the writing just got worse. The budget also dropped, making things look very plain and animation got choppy and a bit blobby for my taste. The pacing was also pretty awful, starting off strong, petering off in the middle and picking up sharply at the last three episodes. The ending wasn't particular good either. Yeah it's happy, but it doesn't make immediate sense. The show has a bunch of plot holes that don't quite make a lot of sense. It's better for most people to just not think about it and try and enjoy the show at a superficial level.

In summary, Occult Academy isn't an awful show. You won't scratch your eyes out while watching it or bang your head against a wall. However, there are a metric ton of other shows that you should spend your time watching rather than Occult Academy. It's painfully average, and that's sad considering the possibilities that it presented. You can watch the whole shebang over at Crunchyroll.


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Pedro Cortes
Pedro CortesAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Pedro Cortes has been known to swoon at the sight of a robot. This is understandable, as robots are pretty awesome. more + disclosures


 



Filed under... #Crunchyroll #FAIL #Final Impressions #Summer 10 Season

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