Mimi: Annnd the supernatural scifi award of the year goes to none other than Occult Academy! This anime plays around with all sorts of themes, such as monsters, aliens, spirits, magic, and time traveling. That’s a lot to pack into just thirteen episodes. Does it manage to pull them off? Well, yes and no. The monsters aren’t that great. They’re just giant moths and green goblins. The episodes dedicated to them are definitely the lesser ones. And while the aliens are cool and all, not much is ever known about them. I’d have to say that OA pulls off the magic and spirits (including the out-of-body experiences) the best, resulting in a few beautiful episodes and an epic finale. The time traveling tops it all off with an awesome twist.
One of the first things you’ll notice about OA is that it’s a funny show. It has a peculiar sense of humor that successfully builds off the eccentricity of the characters and their appearances. For example, the character’s facial expressions are so detailed that whenever a funny situation befalls them, I always get the greatest amusement out of how they look at each other. Even when the situation is serious, someone is bound to break the mood by showing that certain face or by acting out of character.
Much of the series’ charms are attributed to the setting and characters. The academy itself is an enormous, beautiful place full of haunting mysteries, though surrounded by a pretty normal city. The characters really have their quirks and interesting personalities there. Maya in particular is very engaging because she acts the polar opposite to everyone else. She doesn’t tolerate any nonsense and hates the occult right off the bat, and I was genuinely curious to see how she’d get along in such a supernatural environment. The episodes spend a surprising amount of time developing her character rather than the plot.
I do think that OA could have been a little more though. There are few plot holes and questions still lingering around by the end of the series. And considering its short length, it feels like the lesser episodes take up a larger chunk than they actually do. If only those episodes could have been used better, or if only the series was longer. A premise like this that only pops around once in a while should be more careful, in my opinion. But going back to the positive, OA is much more original than anything else we see in anime these days. It is truly a breath of fresh air. I would be happy to blog another show like this in the future.
Mimi’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)
Alex’s Score: 9 Meeps out of 10 (Great)