Anime Review: Occult Academy Episode 2

(Originally published on Livejournal on 8/6/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Occult Academy Episode 2

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about.

About the Series: The head of the Waldstein Academy has suddenly passed away. His daughter, Maya, returns to the school with a singular purpose in mind: to close down the academy. With a reputation for studying strange and supernatural events, the school has a nickname of ‘The Occult Academy’ — something that Maya absolutely loathes. Out of nowhere, a strange man descends from the sky; he tells Maya that he’s actually from the future and was sent back to prevent the Nostradamus Prophecies from coming true. Together, the reluctant duo team up to find the Nostradamus Key.

ep.2 tl;dr review: Enter Bunmei, the spoon-bending time-traveler; Maya is less than amused.

In this episode: Descending from a vortex in the sky, a strange naked man arrives on the school’s roof in front of Maya, freaking her out, and she runs away. The next day, as Maya asserts her position as the new head of the academy, the vice-principal introduces Abe Minoru, the new history teacher…who turns out to be the naked guy. He explains to her that he was sent back in time from a future when aliens control the planet, to help prevent the Nostradamus Prophecies from coming true. The key event happens at Waldstein Academy in July, 1999…that very month. A doubtful Maya throws his ass out, seething with hatred of All Things Occult. Later that night while showering, Maya is attacked by a watery spirit; Minoru crashes through a window to try and act like a hero, but only ends up getting in the way. They uncover a secret passageway and a then her father’s secret diary that saves them from the spirit’s deadly attack. Reading his diary, Maya realizes that her father was actually murdered over his delving into Nostradamus’ secrets. The next day, she offers to team up with Minoru to help track down the Nostradamus Key to solve the mystery, while still refusing to give in to acknowledging the existence of the occult.

My Thoughts: Let me reiterate was a said during the first episode: This. Show. Is. Awesome. Granted, it’s unfair to really judge a show based on two episodes (after all, I still had good vibes about SoRa No WoTo at this point, and look how that turned out), but I got a feeling that The Occult Academy could be the show of the season, if not the year.

Oh, earlier did I say this show was a comedy? Hell, it’s not just a comedy, it’s a romp! I had half-jokingly compared it to Ghostbusters, and to be honest that’s not too far off the mark in how The Occult Academy show is in tone. Don’t take anything too seriously, just sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s all so ridiculous…because it’s supposed to be that way.

In a world where practically every female lead character is either a tsundere or moe trope, it’s refreshing to see Maya as a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails alpha female. There’s no “dere” in her, she’s “tsun-tsun” through and through, cool as ice down to her cold heart. Minoru/Fumiaki/Bunmei on the other hand, is a little harder to figure out at this point. Sometimes he runs around like some silly comic relief character, other times the confident hero.

At only twelve episodes, this show has to move fast to get the ball rolling, and now we have a pretty clear picture of where the rest of the episodes will be going from here, with a defined purpose, established plot and conflict. This is going to be fun. Love the animation and the art style, too.

For more info:

Random Curiosity Anime Review:
Seikijitsu Review:
THAT Anime Blog Review:
Project Haruhi Review:
Hyper Parfait Review:
Anime Diet Review:

The Verdict:

Second episodes up for review next: Black Butler II, Nurarihyon no Mago

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