Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, episodes 11-13: The three episode test in reverse

I combined the post for the last three episodes of Occult Academy for artistic and narrative purposes, not because of laziness. I swear.

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The last three episodes of Occult Academy were basically a microcosm of the whole series: part nonsensical, part silly, part compelling with an occasional flash of brilliance. The show ends on a great note with a fantastic finale, but it’s as frustrating as enjoyable, because it just reminded me of the potential that the show blew with unnecessary fillers and randomness.

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Case in point, in episode 11, we see that Mikaze is the big bad (ooh, big surprise), but in a twist of ridiculousness, it turns out both she and the Vice Principal are mahou shoujos. We also learn that the VP wasn’t a conniving backstabber but was actually working behind the scenes with Maya’s dad (who also faked his death and turned out to be leading the back-to-the-future brigade) to protect Maya. Ultimately, her loyalty costs her her life. The death scene should’ve packed a little more punch than it did, but I suppose that’s what happens when you turn characters into jokes.

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Bunmei and Maya team up to defeat Mikaze, but are stunned to learn that she’s not the Nostradamus Key, Bunmei is. Actually in what was a nice twist, it’s not necessarily Bunmei who’s the Key, but the event in which Bunmei meets his younger self that serves as the catalyst for the key. The smart route would’ve been to say goodbye and head back into the future, but both Bunmei and Maya work to keep him around for an extra day or two, so he can at least meet the mother he remembers so fondly, even though she treated him so coldly.

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Obviously, he does end up meeting himself and the aliens invade. But in a stunning show of courage, Bunmei fights back with his there-is-no-spoon spoon.

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The fight scene while utterly preposterous (what turn of events gave him the super spoon powers except that the writers decided to power him up?) was intense and Bunmei’s sacrifice was pretty heart wrenching.

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So we end on an optimistic but semi-bittersweet note. Future Bunmei may have sacrificed himself, but because his child self still exists, it’s not as if he’s been completely killed. The world is saved, Maya reunited with her dad and Bunmei forges himself a better future.

In the end, I rated Occult Academy a 6. Although fun and enjoyable, there was too much fluff and emptiness for my tastes. I never looked to OA as a really, heavy series, but they just didn’t balance the tone well at all. What could’ve been a fun but substantive show actually not unlike The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, ended up just feeling like a b-movie. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I will never trust A-1’s pulling off a great original ever again.

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Kozue hotness. Come and get it.

5 Replies to “Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, episodes 11-13: The three episode test in reverse”

  1. I’m not quite as down on this series as you are. I completely agree that there were times (mid-series) when they were just drifting. I don’t know if the writing or direction is to blame, but it clearly damaged the series as a whole. But, given that it rarely took itself seriously, and didn’t seem to aim for more than light entertainment, I don’t see how Occult Academy could have ever been considered more than a “B movie”.

    Perhaps the real culprit here is the mis-nomer of “anime no chikara”. As a bit of summer fun, I think Occult Academy was good. It certainly (IMHO) was the best of the “anime no chikara” series. But did it truly show the “power of anime”? No, there have been many other series that had a deeper impact on me. In the end the “anime no chikara” brand turned out to be a pompous advertising gimmick.

    Still, I had fun watching Occult Academy, and wouldn’t mind seeing portions again some day (although I’ll be tempted to skip portions of the middle of the series).

  2. I think the premise of Anime no Chikara was good, but the execution was poor. Do we blame the marketers or do we blame the producers for producing sub-par shows? I think Occult Academy initially had the potential to be much more than a B-movie. It had an interesting premise, a great lead character, interesting and quirky supporting characters, but then turned into a meandering mess for half the season.

    But if you took the first 2 episodes and then took the last episode and maybe an episode from the middle, it might actually be a very good 4-episode OVA.

  3. Dunno about the whole ‘power of anime’ business, but the show’s best and worst quality was probably the multiple-directors idea. Given the flashes of quirky brilliance and how strong that opening and ending were, I agree that this could have been a fantastic series. As it stands, it was just above average. Yet, given how most anime series (not even including the really crappy ones) are pretty forgettable, those characters and that ending will stay with me for quite some time… As will those wacky theories of yours (and others) that I’ve had the, er, pleasure of reading over the last few months… As will, unfortunately, that last screenshot. *Goes off to rest her eyes.*

    1. I think it had more to do with scriptwriting than the directors per se. I imagine they were just directing the material they were presented, although if I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to jump on that bus with you.

      I want to see a Maya and Kozue fanservice spin-off. 😈

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