Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, episode 6: Bunmei’s redemption

I really should just refer to this show as Occult Academy, like everyone else in the English speaking world does.

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So in addition to a major breakthrough in the one-sided fight between Maya and Bunmei, we also get the return of the occult otaku, megane version of Kozue (sadly, because I loved the non-otaku version a lot better). But what everyone really cares about is the many awesome faces of Maya. Of which, we continue to get a steady stream of new gems to add to the scrapbook. Like the "uh oh! I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar" Maya face, in which Bunmei in a surprisingly ballsy move catches Maya passing notes Ami, in which Ami suggests enlisting Bunmei’s help to try to get Kozue back to normal. But why Bunmei? Well, because he’s the teacher, of course.

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Or how about "Aww man, I can’t believe I’m actually doing this and I got caught" Maya face, in which good Kozue scolds Ami and Maya for trying to turn poor Mr. Snake into a Tsuchinoko. It’s just another reason to prefer new Kozue over old Kozue, because old otaku Kozue would’ve gone right ahead and split that snake’s head into two pieces.

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Or Maya’s "maybe I’m just a little tiny bit deredere for the supernatural, but I can’t really act" face as she and Ami continue to try to spark the "occult rabu" within Kozue by making up false supernatural occurrences.

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Bunmei after reading Maya and Ami’s notes in class, decides to call her using at her future phone number to see if there’s anything he can do to help. Although Maya initially rejects him, she decides to take up his offer as she unleashes her "shounen fighting spirit!" face to keep Bunmei from possibly chickening out.

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We, of course, get the old favorites as well. Like Maya’s "why is Bunmei so fucking stupid?" face of disgust after seeing Bunmei fail spectacularly at faking the spoonbending trick. Although Bumei showed off some nifty spoon twirling skills, he needs a little more practice when it comes to the the slam and bend finish. Although Kozue is unmoved at first, something within her stirs and she breaks out into tears when Maya disses the occult and The Little Prince.

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This is Maya’s "WTF is Bunmei doing here, I thought he would’ve run away by now" face when Bunmei intrudes on Maya and co,’s illegal break into the professor’s lab to bring Kozue back into the Near Death Experience dreamworld and find the other half of her heart (that is to say the lesser half). Seeing Maya in a suzumiku is an added bonus. For someone who only seems to have one dress, we do still get to see her wear a variety of costumes.

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In a reverse twist of the "through the girls’ legs" camera view, this time we see Maya’s "I can’t believe this jackass is flashing me his pecker again face of shock, surprise and disgust" through Bunmei’s unclothed legs. Apparently, in addition to restoring the souls of your students, flashing them is part of the job description for teaching at Occult Academy.

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This is Maya’s "oh man, I’m concerned" face. And a key moment in the episode, and the series actually. After Bunmei jumps into the NDE machine in place of Maya to save Kozue, we get to see his dreamworld and his life flash by his eyes. The warm memories he had of his mother back in episode 3? Probably misremembered to some degree. Instead of a warm, caring mother. The only one in the world who refers to Bunmei as Fumiaki. We see your typical tyrant Hollywood child actor mother. Obsessed by fame at the cost of her kid’s happiness. Seeing Bunmei get slapped to the floor by his mother, sparks similar memories for Maya, as she recalls her occult obsessed father doing the same. Even with all the different directors directing each episode, one thing this show somehow has done well (and maybe credit to the writing) is be able to seamlessly turn on a dime to go from slapstick to series and back again, without it feeling awkward or abrupt.

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Maya’s "holy crap, it’s for real" face (notice the sweat bead). When Bunmei’s memories then change to the oncoming alien invasion, displayed to a great degree of detail, Maya finally believes that the threat is for real. The alien invasion was a short scene, but remarkably well done. Great colors, really ominous scene.

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And back from series to funny again. As we see Maya unveil her "OMG, Kozue might be as stupid as Bunmei" face after Bunmei finds a forlorn Kozue and recovers her glasses… which were just resting on the top of her head.

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All’s well that ends well. With Kozue returned back to normal. And Maya having a bit more understanding and respect for Bunmei, Maya offers a truce and her support in finding the Nostradamus key (yes! back to the story!). With that Maya also unveils her "I rarely smile, but when I do the world lights up like a Christmas tree" smile of all smiles.

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Of course, Bunmei being Bunmei (and under the spell of the bad bread baking succubus), he earns the ire of "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned by employee misconduct" Maya, when she catches him selling bread for Mikaze in the schoolyard.

All in all, a great episode. And a surprisingly strong finish to a side story that I thought was headed into a complete dead end. Instead, we jump back on track and should be in line to focus on the Nostradamus Key storyline (which has basically been left for dead since episode 2) moving forward. Which was all I really wanted in the first place.