I have to admit, Occult Academy is losing me. We finally get a somewhat Ami-centric arc, but the direction felt haphazard, Maya out-of-character, and we keep losing the main plotline for monster of the week type of stories.
Ami’s dad tries to rekindle the love that Maya used to have for the occult by recruiting JK and Smile to lead them on a wild, fake goose chase. Unfortunately, Maya catches wind of the scheme and unloads on Ami’s dad which leads to her getting a bitchslap from Ami, and the cycle of violence continuing with Ami’s dad bitchslapping her for slapping Maya.
Episode 8 picks up the plotline with Maya and Ami seemingly coming to apologies, grudgingly at least, when a major chupacabra attack leads to Ami getting kidnapped by the lonely chupacabra prince. Unlike those pussy vampires in Shiki, the chupacabra prince unveils his massive 6 inch fangs and takes a nice chomp out of Maya, before running away with her.
One highlight of the episode is seeing Maya get all deredere for the occult, letting everyone know that it was the chubacabras who ensconced with Ami. After a nice uplifting montage, the gang track down Ami and save her when Ami’s dad nail guns the chupacabra prince in the face, which leads to its head popping off like a champagne cork. A couple snaps from Bunmei reveal that none of this is the Nostradamus key, but it doesn’t stop the Vice Principal from burning the house down to "get rid of the evidence." Whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Overall, this was by far the weakest arc of the season. While the gag comedy bits remained good, the overall storyline was boring and the drama between Maya and Ami felt forced. Also, what the eff is up with the chupacabra prince? Someone spent about 15 seconds thinking about how to escalate the drama and picked the worst choice possible. But whatever. Now we’ve seen episodes on Maya, Kozue, Ami and Bunmei. It’s time to move along to the main story. I like the comedy, but no more Scooby Doo mysteries of the week.
There were a few redeeming parts about the last couple episodes though:
- Listening to Hana Kanazawa as Kozue. At first, Kozue annoyed me. I even preferred the serious, occult sucks, neko-mouth-less version of Kozue. But then I listened to Kozue. Really listened to her. And realized what a marvelous job Kanazawa’s doing in hamming it up. From hearing Kozue getting tossed around in a truck, raeped by chupacabras or tossed off cliffs, I just get this picture in my head of Kanazawa going bonkers in a studio and it just cracks me up.
- The gradual manification of Bunmei. He was still somewhat cowardly when he thought it was a real alien (although his reaction is understandable, considering his experience with aliens = massive destruction). But he unleashed some pretty cool lines when they were out fighting the chupacabra. He is slowly getting to the point where you’d count on him to not run away.
- Maya in varying stages of uber kawaii.