However, since this is the last episode, I feel I should explain my reason why I’m declaring it so in more detail.
To say ‘where did it all go wrong’ is to overstate how good the show was at any point during its airing. The episode formats themselves rarely made much sense, but it used to have an extremely sharp sense of humour. Occult Academy was self-aware without pointing out that it was so. It had wit that seemed to entirely dissapear at the end because the ‘plot’ appeared once again, not that the wit was exactly in great shape in the earlier episodes. It had been steadily dropping as the series went on.
Oh Maya. Your endless array of facial expressions, from tsundere to shocked to repulsed to absolute angel, were the highlight of the anime. Beyond that, you weren’t really that interesting of a character but I’m more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt with that face of yours. Oh, and your one-piece, figure hugging, zettai ryokai outfit that you modeled for the majority of the show.
Anyway, where Occult Academy went wrong was the total disconnect between episodes throughout the series. This last episode wasn’t actually that bad and had a quite cool twist to it that I probably should have seen coming, except I was too baffled and annoyed at how stupid the series had gotten. But the whole inter dimensional alien thing was one plot and the magical witches was something else entirely. It was as though the entire middle arc had nothing to do with the rest of the show. I can sorta forgive that though. In fact, it’s kinda cool the way they worked them together in the end. Argh what am I doing? I’m trying to meticulously critisize this show and I keep coming back to things it did well.
But again, each episode felt so disconnected from each other. One episode would have a certain tone, whether it be witty or self-aware humour, only for it to jump to totally serious flying magical panthers and the POWAH OF LOVE. It feels like the creators thought that the end would justify the means. That they could put in whatever nonsense in the middle so long as they stick in a few key points that connects the plot. It doesn’t work like that goddamit! That’s not how you construct a story! You don’t stick in a few key points and then fill the rest with whatever director you decided to hire today felt like filling the space with.
Some of the interim parts were good, mainly the parts where they flaunted their wit or had a barrage of Maya reaction faces. But for most of the rest of the series it was jarring. It was a mess. But most of all, it was stupid. Because of the lack of connections between these parts, stuff would happen that made no fucking sense whatsoever. You can’t just call everything the occult and leave it at that. You set your own universe rules and you live by those rules. Stuff happened here just for the hell of things. These two are actually magical girls all along. Oh, and her bodyguard is a flying magical panther. Or maybe Chihiro is going to summon a spirit and then have no idea why she did that, which may or may not have had any connection with her being a white mage or not. It was as though the writing staff didn’t talk to one another. I read here that the original concept to Occult Academy involved Maya being framed for something and being on the run. Not sure how much you can read into that but it gives yet another sign how little the show was able to stick to the same theme throughout.
And so the show ends off with Bumnei being able to fly and his psychic powers being powerful enough to destroy an inter-dimensional invading fleet, despite the fact all he’s done so far is bend friggen spoons. Whatever.
Disconnect is the buzz word for this series. Disconnect between episodes, between scenes and apparently between the writers too. There was a underlying plot. The anime was really all about Bumnei manning up. But the way it was done was a mess, so much so that any predicting you could have done throughout the series was an impossible task, as I tried to prove many times with my episodic posts. It was an absolute mess. Fun at times, I’ll certainly give it that. But my patience dissipated with this series at episode 12. If this had been a 24 episode-long production, I probably would have dropped it around now.
Anime no Chikara ends for now. Power of Anime? Surely these guys could have made a better effort to produce more solid series. I wonder if this is down to anime often being created by a commitee. One man’s story is what anime companies usually adapt, but are often left with no room to express themselves creatively, lest they draw the wrath of the original fans. But when you finally hand them the reigns, what anime producers throw up are total messes. Solid concepts at heart maybe. Sora no Woto was a damn fine series when you got to the heart of the anime. Senkou no Night Raid had an interesting concept. But when it comes to writing the actual series itself, you end up with commitee created messes.
This is all some guesswork on my part, but it looks to me that they’ve gone totally the wrong way about making these original anime productions. The greatest original productions you can generally place down to one mans dream and everything else stems from there. Become a committee and you get disconnects. It’s still a while before we see whether Anime no Chikara makes a comeback, but I don’t think any of the three series were well-received. If they do return, I hope they put their faith in one man to create the anime. But that’s a bridge we’ll cross when we get there. For now, it’s bu-bye to Occult Academy.