For this episode I had finally discovered a way to set up an auto-screencapping machine so I wouldn’t have to use my usual method of fast-forwarding through the episode and having a trigger finger on the screencap button. However when I let it run I was left with 1700 pics to filter through, all of which were terrible quality. I blame the occult.
The narrative of Occult Academy continues it’s usual ability to change without warning between episodes. As I said last episode, it ultimately isn’t that important when it continues to provide quality entertainment and laughs, but I had a slight change of heart this episode. Comedy still can, and does, benefit hugely from having direction and a semblance of plot beneath the comedy. Arakawa would have still been a thoroughly entertaining show, but it was the concoction of the story and themes that made me really fall in love with the show. I guess the main reason Occult Academy leaps around so much is the method of changing directors with every episode. A quick look at the ANN page shows a different episode director for each episode so far. While this can keep the show fresh and innovative, it can also result in the lack of direction and tone in the show overall. Ultimately I prefer having the entire show being one persons creation.
This episode suddenly decided that Megane-girl, Kozue, and her obsession with the occult would be the centre of attention. Did her obsession with the occult come from her abduction by the moth people in a part of an elaborate scheme to get her to go into cryogenic stasis in order for her to lose her mind, or did the director of this episode simply think it would be a cool idea to randomly introduce highly technologically advanced equipment in 1999? God only knows, but I did find the whole sequence extremely funny, mainly for the classmates reaction to the whole thing. The guy wondering whether he would see his grandmother through Kozue’s vision of the afterlife was a particular favourite of mine.
The afterlife sequence was all a bit odd because I hadn’t a clue what it had to do with the rest of the show. What happened to the Tengu anyway? Maybe she should have brought the phone down with her and photographed the balloons. Maybe it’s another dimension or something? What got me thinking that was the chord holding her in there looked like those blue line things from Noein. A more likely answer is that this director didn’t get a spot as an episode director in Kaiba and is using this opportunity to animate the world he wanted to do then.
She’s still eeeeevil. Oh sure, she hasn’t done anything remotely evil in this episode on the surface. But her plan to sell bread at school is actually an evil scheme in order to poison all the bread with micro machines in order to turn the students into a cyborg army to take over the world an fight the oncoming aliens. This is because she’s actually a cyborg from the distant future herself, a different future than the one Uchida is from (but not the future alternate universe Kozue visited). The reason she looks so much like Uchida’s mum is that she’s actually his daughter! From the short-lived romance he had with the vice-principal.
What? It makes as much sense as anything else in this show. And oh btw there’s also an alternate future in which JK and Smile elope to California and lead the plans to overturn the gay marriage laws years before it has in this dimension. The yaoi doujins write themselves.
There was actually plot this episode. Maya has Uchida’s phone and received a call from the future peeps. Although I distinctly remember them saying in episode 2 that the phone was a 1-way caller and that he wouldn’t be able to receive any calls from those in the future. But hey, that was three episodes ago. The plot has totally changed since then! I sure as hell didn’t see any Tengu in the future. Or maybe the future is all a dream of Uchida’s and he’s actually in purgatory? Or in a coma and this is all a projected reality?
(Angel Beats was easier to predict than this show)