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[Occult Academy]
AKA: 世紀末オカルト学院 (Japanese)
Genre: Occult, comedy
Length: Television series, 13 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Nippon Ichi Software America, but also still available and streaming on crunchyroll.
Content Rating: 13+ (fan service, animated blood)
Related Series: None
Also Recommended: High School of the Dead
Notes: Third anime in TV Tokyo's Anime no Chikara series, a series of anime made for TV (not based on pre-existing manga, novels, or video games).
Rating:
 

Occult Academy

Synopsis

July 1999. Kumashiro Maya, the only daughter of the late principal of Waldstein Academy, known to all as the Occult Academy, have returned to attend her father's funeral. The otherwise solemn occasion was shattered when the deceased principal was possessed by a spirit. To put an end to all the trouble that Maya believed was caused by the school's unorthodox curriculum, she intends to shut the school down. But a being from the future appeared before her and told her that he needed help in finding Nostradamus' Key to save the world... So. How much credit do you give a naked time-traveler?

Review

I confess: I'm an X-phile. Long ago, I would relentless devour all information available about my two favorite Agent Mulder and Agent Scully. I love the 2 main characters and the standalone episodes. We know there is a main unseen, lurking and sinister danger that is always present to suck our 2 heroes into the unknown if they let their guard down. There are a lot of similarities that I could draw to the X-Files and but you'll soon see that not all of them are good.

Like X-Files, the standalone episodes of Occult Academy takes on a supernatural theme and Maya and co. are given a space of 20 minutes to resolve the mystery - or not, be it moth men or lamies. The episodes are rather highly paced and charged and the creators did a rather good job of drawing the audience to feel the tension and dangers faced by our main characters. But sooner or later, the show will return to the, I would say, main "evil" plot in the storyline. In X-Files, that invariably meant dealing with the Smoking Man, which is a pain. In Occult Academy, finding Nostradamus' Key meant side-lining supernatural investigations and dragging the audience back to a not-so-interesting plot.

Maya does remind me of Agent Scully. Highly intelligent, realistic, courageous and no-nonsense in her way of dealing with problems - supernatural or not. Yoko Hikasa (Mio from K-On!) is fast becoming one of my favorite voice actress. She delivers the best one-liners in the series. Her counterpart, Fumiaki Uchida, resembles Agent Mulder. Sometimes, Agent Mulder can be rather head-strong and irritating. In fact, Fumiaki is so irritating (in the beginning, at least) that even I want to hit him. He will slowly grow, throughout the series, no doubt. However, I can't help but feel gratifying joy when Maya gives him that swift kick he know he deserves.

The series has a very back-hand way of sliding in parodies with a straight face (read: Initial D). If you like subtleties, then you'd enjoy the show immensely. I can't recall the number of times I re-watch certain scenes and it never failed to provoke me to laugh each time. The animation is excellent and clean, as I would expect from the same studio that brought us Kuroshitsuji.

Like X-Files, the main drawback was the outlandish ending and the revelations behind Nostradamus' Key. I'd be spoiling the (somewhat limited) plot but suffice to say that while I can sort of accept the loose link behind Nostradamus' Key and world destruction, but the final battle leading up the climax was rather out of place in the built-up of the storyline. It felt rather forced, as though the creators needed to have some reasons to throw some light shows around.

A rather entertaining series, I would say, backed by some very good cast and hilarious moments. Just don't expect any mind-blowing revelations. — Diane Tiu

Recommended Audience: There are a couple of nude scenes, on the part of Fumiaki mainly, of course with his privates cleverly hidden. There are some violent bits when the cast are attacked by monsters. Of course, the theme of the show is occult, so if you find it offensive, you'd have no reason to be watching it in the first place.



Version(s) Viewed: Pre-license fansub
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Occult Academy © 2010 A-1 Pictures/Aniplex・TV Tokyo