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REVIEW: Occult Academy Episodes 8-13 Streaming


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Great Rumbler



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 209
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:17 am Reply with quote
The final episode pretty much saved this show for me, it was better than I really thought it had any right to be. The two episodes leading up to the finale were just so off-the-wall and out of nowhere that I had to laugh a bit at how ridiculous they were.

It was clear to me that the writers messed around for two or three episodes too many and then realized that they were quickly running out episodes, choosing to cram everything at the end and hoping that everything got wrapped up.

For me, Maya's character final crumbled to pieces when they started hinting at her having romantic feelings towards Bunmei and being jealous of Mikaze.
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ikillchicken
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7037
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:30 am Reply with quote
It's such a shame to see what was initially a very pleasant surprise in an otherwise lacklustre season degenerate into such an utter mess.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 6337
Location: IL

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:44 am Reply with quote
I really enjoyed the episodic/slice-of-life episodes, but once the... errr "plot" started, my enjoyment of the series went down dramatically. And the ending was just... stupid.

spoiler[Bunmei, you know your mom is a b*tch. Why do you want to see her? Why not just go back to the future (Great Scott!) instead of risk having to meet your mini-you]
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Otaking09



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 614

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:09 am Reply with quote
Personally, the first 2-3 were not bad. Not REALLY good, but... not bad.

As SOON, as they mentioned the spoiler[let's find the apocalypse key ]... my stomach started to hurt.
Empty entertainment hurts the most when you're enjoying something that you KNOW things won't work out.

Granted, the last episode allowed me to walk away with it, feeling lesser pain, but...
A-1 Pictures really screwed up their Anime no Chikara.

So-Ra-No-Wo-To, looks like you're the best one.
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CareyGrant



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 451

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:36 am Reply with quote
I had hope for this series after the first ep., especially with how Maya was played... And it went downhill after that. *sigh* "Cutting its own throat" is a 100 percent accurate description for how this gem of possibility fizzled out, like a wet fuse.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 759

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:37 am Reply with quote
I for one wasn’t surprised with the direction Maya went. No matter how tough our Anime heroines are, they are always either softened at the end or shown that their toughness is nothing more than a mask for their vulnerabilities, because apparently that's just how women are as a rule. So considering everything, I actually don’t consider the handling of Maya to be quite as bad as other things I’ve watched. At the very least she didn’t break down and cry at the end like how it usually happens. She did cry during the Ghost Girl arc, but that’s more understandable.

I never decided what the tone of the series was, considering it was a mishmash of everything to begin with, so I took the last three episodes as is and was entertained nonetheless. I was somewhat absorbed with the dark turn it took with everything, Mikaze turning seductively psychotic alone being right out of the blue, although spoiler[ I wish it didn't set itself up for the cruelly bittersweet conclusion it had.]
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Gasero



Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 366
Location: MI, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:39 am Reply with quote
I watched the first half of this series. The first 3 episodes were decent, but the 4-6 episodes gradually turned me off of the series. Glad I didn't waste my time trying to finish it.

Lately Japanese animators just haven't been able to do anything great with anime (in my opinion). At first I thought Occult was going to be a new type of heroine and narrative structure, but nope. Things quickly got convoluted, contradictory, and cliche.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3370
Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:40 am Reply with quote
See, to me it wasn't so much character derailment (it was implied from the start that Maya's hatred of the occult stemmed from daddy issues, and while her dealing with them happened far too quickly, it at least made some sense) as it was series derailment.

True, there were hints of darkness early on, hints that often felt out-of-place with the rest of the story. But rather than gradually segueing into the final arc, episode 11 abruptly switches into the finally story mode, an extreme mood swing embodied most by Mikaze (spoiler[who I totally had called as a villain, but the switch again was too abrupt]). 11-13 felt like a completely different series grafted on at the last minute. Sure, there was a lot of epic magical awesomeness, but it didn't feel connected to the previously fun, wacky adventures of the main characters.

In other words, Maya's transformation was symptomatic of the entire show switching gears so quickly it out to have blown out the transmission (is that the correct car metaphor? whatever). It left the finale devoid of the emotional impact that something that cool should have had. Overall, it's a C- in my book. It wasn't a total waste of my time, partly because the earlier stuff was delightfully silly, partly because there wasn't much else this summer to watch. Confused
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utawoutau



Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:19 am Reply with quote
I think you guys are all on crack. It seems as though you are judging the entire show on how you think it "should have been" instead of how it actually was.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3199
Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:46 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
...But rather than gradually segueing into the final arc, episode 11 abruptly switches into the finally story mode, ...
Huh? Each pair of episodes had its own mood, loosely connected to the kind of "occult" / fantasy-sci-fi series it was referencing in that two episode arc. Episodes 11/12 was the magical girl arc, and you got to admit that the collection would have been incomplete without a magical girl arc.
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 15127
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:55 am Reply with quote
Well, this is one of those situations where I can acknowledge that Carl K.'s comments - when stripped of their repetitive hyperbole - constitute fair comment. However, it doesn't change the fact that I really enjoyed this series. The chaotic mish-mash actually worked for me, although I completely understand why it didn't for others.
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Leebo



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
Posts: 660
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:45 am Reply with quote
I really liked the series... right up until the last 3 episodes. The ending dropped the series considerably for me.
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geishageek
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 418
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:32 am Reply with quote
I loved the show until episodes 11 and 12. I am not a huge fan of the magic and mage shows (magical girl is something completely different) and was sorely disappointed when Occult went there. For an otherwise B series, imho, it dropped to maybe a C because of the abrupt change in tone for those 2 episodes. They just did not match the tone of the previous 10 episodes, or the final episode.
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fireaxe



Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 489
Location: Quebec City, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:20 am Reply with quote
geishageek wrote:
I loved the show until episodes 11 and 12. I am not a huge fan of the magic and mage shows (magical girl is something completely different) and was sorely disappointed when Occult went there. For an otherwise B series, imho, it dropped to maybe a C because of the abrupt change in tone for those 2 episodes. They just did not match the tone of the previous 10 episodes, or the final episode.

I find it odd that everyone who makes that kind of comments (not aimed at you specifically, geishageek) seems to forget that the Ghost Girl arc didn't match the tone of the previous 8 episodes in any way either....


Last edited by fireaxe on Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Robert Frazer



Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:22 am Reply with quote
I don't sympathise with the reviewer here at all. Maya wasn't a "strong" character in the initial episodes, except in the mere physical sense - she was neurotic, obnoxious, petulant, bullyingly violent and juvenile; nothing to admire. This is the character, let's not forget, that at the start of the series was deliberately encouraging sexual assaults on pupils so she'd have more ammunition to close the school down. Real classy there, Maya. A credit to heroines everywhere. Rolling Eyes

Over the series, we get to see Maya work past her jealousies, reconcile with her father, succeed in defeating her own self-harming wilfulness, open her mind up to the world's mysteries and actually meet the world with a smile instead of a scowl. She grew up from a sullen teen with a chip on her shoulder into a balanced young woman with a broader perspective. It had range beyond a one-note caricature and was sensible, positive and appropriate character development, and this review really does it a grave disservice.


Last edited by Robert Frazer on Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:15 pm; edited 4 times in total
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