Anime Review: Occult Academy Episodes 7, 8, and 9

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

Anime Review:
Occult Academy Episodes 7, 8, and 9

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.7 tl;dr review: Crop circles and UFOs and aliens, oh my! Ami’s father leads everyone on a snipe hunt.

Episode 7 Synopsis: Ami’s father notices that Maya appears to be a bit depressed, and decides to try and cheer her up. Convincing Ami to invite her over for the day, they all notice a newscast about a crop circle appearing on the edge of town. They all head out to investigate, Maya gets all serious wondering whether it may be related to the Nostradamus Key. Everyone returns later that night hoping the aliens may reappear — and a lighted craft does show up. Following a wild ride through the countryside, they chase the phantom craft to a cow pasture, where it is ultimately revealed that JK and Smile were behind the the alien craft, as well as the crop circle. Ami’s father set the whole thing up to try and provide an adventure for Maya, but Maya is furious that she’s been duped and takes it out on Ami’s father. Ami, in turn, slaps Maya in anger, and storms off.

ep.8 tl;dr review: Chupacabras kidnap Ami; Maya and crew mount a rescue.

Episode 8 Synopsis: Maya and Ami remain at loggerheads, and Ami tells Maya to meet her after school at a local abandoned shrine. Maya is ashamed and angry at herself for being duped, but learns that an outbreak of cow deaths and mutilations appeared in the cow pasture from the previous night. She investigates with Abe, but with a newly-gained veneer of pessimism. Later she meets up with Ami at the shrine, but she is kidnapped by a giant chupacabra monster before they could do anything. Maya runs to Ami’s father, and everyone teams up to mount a rescue mission. At the shrine they suppress a huge herd of mini-chupacabras; Maya saves Ami and they make up; everyone escapes alive but the vice principal sets fire to the shrine to cover up the chupacabra evidence.

ep.9 tl;dr review: During a seance the spirit of a little girl is summoned; Maya decides to try and put the spirit at ease and take her home.

Episode 9 Synopsis: The vice principal holds a demonstration seance session to try and summon Maya’s father, but ends up summoning the spirit of a little girl. For some reason the girl gravitates to Maya, who sees the little girl as a kindred spirit. She decides to try and put the spirit to rest by taking her home, and everyone sets out to find out where she lived. Abe offers to help, but gets waylaid by Mikaze and his own hormones, much to Maya’s great annoyance. They find the girl’s home, but when she gets there she curls up in a corner by the doorway and everything becomes freezing cold. Maya investigates further and learns that the girl had frozen to death waiting by the doorway on Christmas Eve. Determined to help her no matter what, Maya pushes on, finds the girl’s father to try and ease the spirit’s pain and put her at rest, but her father flatly turns them down in anger, mostly at himself for allowing his daughter to die.

My Thoughts: Chupacabras. Crop circles. Unidentified Flying Objects. Greys. Cattle Mutilations. Near-death experiences. Time travel. Mothmen. Poltergeists. Nostradamus. Seems like they are trying to cram as many occult-related themes into the show in as few episodes as possible — one quick hit after another like a cliff-notes tour of the X-Files. I realize it’s just a twelve-episode series, but do they really need to try and cover as much ground they can? Then again, I suppose that’s sort of the point as Maya and Abe are reaching out in all directions to try and find the Nostradamus Key (without even a clue what it could possibly be) – a desperate dash before time runs out and the aliens invade.

A few quick hits:

– I understand that the vice principal is part of some secret organization that is in opposition to Maya, and she’s running around covering up events (like the den of the mothmen and the chupacabra corpses), but I don’t understand *why*. I expect it to be explained soon enough, but so far it’s little more than a sideline nuisance.
– I *still* think that Mikaze is more than the moe-cute love interest for Abe. Why else would she be trying to get so close to Abe and the Academy?
– Kinda amazed at how easily everyone seems to take various occult events in stride. Normally getting attacked by a horde of chupacabra would have most people freaking the fuck out, instead they barely seem to bat an eye at the notion.
– Why, when asked to summon Maya’s father, did the little girl’s spirit emerge? Sort of an odd connection there, if there is any at all.
– It’s quite clear that Maya sees a bit of herself in the lost spirit of the little girl, understanding how she felt as an alone, abandoned child at her age. I have a feeling the next episode will be as much about Maya getting a better understanding of her own self, through the analogy of helping the little girl.
– We have an episode to wrap up the little girl storyline, then just two episodes left after that. I foresee a frantic mad dash to wrap up the Nostradamus Key story.

The Verdict:

Up Next: Shiki, Legend of Legendary Heroes, Shukufuku no Campanella (second chance), Kuttsukiboshi, Aki Sora: Yume no Naka, MonHun Diary, Armored Trooper Votoms: Phantom Arc, Hen Zemi

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