Anime blogging? That phrase didn’t exist in 1999!
(Shame on anyone who doesn’t watch the next episode previews)
It was pretty much as you were for Occult Academy, which is a good thing. The humour is still extremely clever, focusing on sight gags without having the usual ‘straight man’ to point them out for you. I can’t stress enough how great this is. When the punching mechanic Smile came onto the scene, there was nobody around to exclaim loudly that he had just punched someone. The very idea of having someone point that out sounds stupid, but that’s exactly what so many anime have. It’s a thought ingrained in Japanese culture so thank you Occult Academy for bucking that trend.
Speaking of clever humour, I love this touch they gave to Uchida (had to look up on MAL for his name. I’m terrible with anime character names unless they show them all in the opening song). In every instance of the character when he’s away from the wrath of Maya, he’s a pretty cool dude. Appearing on TV as a kid with girls kyaaa~~ing over him. Sitting on some Hawaiin beach with a cigar. His laid-back introduction to the class before he saw Maya down the back of the classroom. But toss Maya into his world and he instantly looks like a bumbling idiot. Probably best of all was his attempt at seeing through the tsundere attitude of Maya. ‘Yeah, you really love the occult, I can see through your barrier’, as if he was the coolest dude on earth and could figure out any women instantly. Sorry mate. You may appear in all the promo footage with Maya but that doesn’t mean the flags of romance will start being hoisted anytime soon. This show is too smart for that.
Speaking of ‘as you were’, Maya continues to be the real star of the show (at least, whenever Smile isn’t on screen, which is far too little). She is one of those characters that provide fanservice by default, what with that one-piece, figure hugging, zettai ryouki outfit of hers. A-1 is even kind enough to throw in a wet, see-through version of that dress, a shower scene and a towel-clad version of Maya all in the one episode. Maybe it’s because I’m watching the ever-boinging breasts of Highschool of the Dead this season, but none of this ever felt unnatural or forced.
The plot is a bit ho-hum though. It’s just a mash up of various different blockbuster movies. War of the Worlds meets Terminator with some Matrix logic with a dash of Ghostbusters. Yup, the plot isn’t the strongest point of Occult Academy. I don’t think it was ever meant to be though. This is definitely a show that lives off the humour, which is far from what people were expecting of it before it hit the screens monitors. That doesn’t mean a poor plot can be forgiven so readily though. Bringing it back to Highschool of the Dead, you might say that the aim of that show is violence and boobs so doesn’t need engaging characters, but the show would still be far better off with them. Same for Occult Academy. I hope it has some nice plot twists up its’ sleeves somewhere along the line. We’re still setting up the plot so far. From here on in I guess we’re looking for that Nostradamus Key.
Highlight of the episode? Well, Smile’s punch was pretty epic. So was Uchida’s cool-dude pose on the beach because of how it contrasted to the Uchida in the above picture. Oddly, I don’t think any of Maya’s scenes were quite as good as last week, mainly because the girl punching guy gag gets kinda old very quickly. Maybe the highlight was Uchida’s frantic waddle after Maya, before deciding to throw decency away and stop cupping his privates. It’s certainly not a comfortable feeling to run through the woods naked. Your thing flies all over the place in a quite painful manner.
…not that I would know or anything…