Sunday, December 8, 2013

Anime Review :Occult Academy

Not much to talk about this week, other than the fact that tomorrow the most important decision about Mighty No. 9 will be decided: Which Call will be the official design. After that we just have to choose things like gameplay concepts and stuff like that, you know boring things. Personally, I am a Call F fanboy so I HOPE she wins. Other than that, not much going on except me watching the Persona Q trailer over and over again. How long will I have to wait for that game to come out? Anyway, this week's review is a fun little anime about Aliens, UMAs, Poltergeists, and the end of the world. This week I'm reviewing: Occult Academy.

What has been seen, cannot be unseen.
It is July of the year 1999, and during the height of Nostradamus' Doomsday prophecy craze, the Principal of Waldstein Academy has died. Waldstein Academy is infamous for it's classes focusing on all different aspects of the Occult, so much so that the academy is also known as Occult Academy. The Principal's daughter, Maya, despises the occult and claims that there is no such thing as the occult... even while fighting a zombie version of her own father. However, despite her hatred for everything her father's academy stands for, Maya is forced to face such things as Aliens, Ghosts, Unidentified Moving Animals, magic relics, witches, and Espers when a time-traveling Psychic from the year 2012 descends, naked, onto her school in search of Nostradamus' Key; the artifact that lead to the world's destruction in the year 1999 at the hands of a massive Alien force. Now Maya, the new student and Principal of Occult Academy, and Fumiaki, the time-traveler and new teacher of Occult Academy, must search high and low for Nostradamus' Key and save the world from Aliens, all while taking classes in Ghost Photography, Spirit Calling, and Near-death Experiences and fighting Mothmen, Chupacabras, and possessed students. All of which is just a daily occurrence at Occult Academy.

"People who say lines like that are usually going to die soon."
It's really hard to describe what Occult Academy is like. Every time I try to figure out how to explain what the series is about, the explanation quickly deteriorates under further inspection. There is just so many facets about this series that make it hard to just summarize to what it is about. Even figuring what genre it is is tricky as the closest thing I can think of to file it under is comedy, as there is a whole hell of a lot of that. But just calling it a comedy series feels incomplete as there are horror aspects to it as well as adventure, fantasy and even slice-of-life elements as well. But even lumping all those genres together doesn't quite capture what Occult Academy is like because while it has Horror aspects in it, it is hardly a Horror series. However, don't think that Occult Academy suffers from some sort of identity crisis or psychotic tonal shifts as neither is the case. Though it has elements of radically different genres, they all work well together and form a cohesive whole. Even through the set-up sounds like they threw together every occult idea they can come up with into a blender and hit puree, it all works together so amazingly well. And even viewing the series as a pure comedy (which it isn't but just for the sake of argument) it is a thoroughly enjoyable series with great character, hilarious moments, and most of all amazing facial expressions. So much of a character's personality and current state of mind is just conveyed in a half second reaction shot, making this series screen shot heaven.

Kumiaki makes his reflex save.
I really have nothing bad to say about this series other than the complaint I usually levee against great series that are only 13 episodes long, and that is that 13 episodes seem way too few episodes for such a set up. With such amazing characters and such a rich world to explore, this series could have easily been expanded to 26 episodes or more. Since most of the episodes are just small story arcs focusing on one aspect of the occult, more episodes could be made exploring different paranormal phenomenon or supernatural occurrences. However, it is always a sign of quality when a series just leaves you wanting more.

A series like Occult Academy doesn't come around that often, namely because it is such a wacked out concept that it is really hard to make it work. However, it does work and work very VERY well. I highly recommend watching it at some point in your life. The entire series is available on Crunchyroll, so even the poorest of anime fans can check it out. Occult Academy is a Must Watch!

Occult Academy on Crunchyroll:

Until next time.


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