So, first of all, a question to everyone and anyone who might come across this little post. I feel like dropping this series. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about it, since I always have something to write, be the subject what it might. But I’ve been unable to find any enthusiasm or motivation for it like I always have for the rest of the series I’m covering. My question is: do you think it’s worth keeping it up? Do you follow my coverage of this series? More importantly, seeing as there are hardly any developments worth analyzing, do you think blogging it will enrich anyone’s viewing experience? (It doesn’t enrich mine, that’s for sure.) I hope I can get some answers, as I will make my decision based on that.
After last episode, which sported the amazingly exciting theme of looking for a car, Arcana Famiglia shows us an even better achievement, with this fantastic third episode that focuses on the wonders of looking after kids and making them happy.
I’m going to be honest here – I probably wouldn’t mind this type of episode if I enjoyed watching the character interactions. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Felicita has proven to be a completely bland character, and none of the guys is anywhere near likeable to me. On a more positive note, Nova and Liberta both got some relevant development. It wasn’t too much, and they’re still quite annoying, especially when they’re together, but at least we got some hints to their past experiences and traumas, which can definitely not be said about everyone.
Nova’s conversation with ‘Mama’ mentioned he had his childhood taken away, which probably means he was given big responsibilities by her and Mondo from a very early age. That’s supposed to explain his closure regarding others and his strictness with both himself and those who surround him. It was an interesting conversation, though I hope such issue will be further explored in later episodes.
Liberta remembered one episode of his life when telling the children a story, one in which he was working in a cargo (as usual) in the middle of a big storm. Dante (much better looking in his younger days) ends up being endangered by falling boxes but is seemingly saved by Liberta’s Arcana powers. What I fail to understand here, is why it seems to be a painful memory for him, as he seems to have unconsciously (or maybe even consciously) shut it in the depths of his mind. Either way, it seems I was wrong about Liberta’s power being that of nullifying other Arcana powers. It still seems like that kind of power to me, especially when considering the Fool Arcanum is the number 0. Either way, that incident seems to be related with Liberta’s reluctance in using his Arcana powers, setting aside whether he can, indeed, use them or not. He seems not to desire to do so, swearing to win the tournament “by the sword”. Same thing with Nova, who from the first episode didn’t even want to disclose what his powers consisted in to the others. What powers those two possess and why do they resent them is definitely something I look forward to discovering.
Uninteresting developments aside (such as the story of Pace, Debito and Luca playing in the church and the supposedly scary – yet unimaginably boring – horror story told by Debito with the intent of amusing the children – read “scare the hell out of them”), after taking all the children home in the middle of a storm, something rather strange happens: a boy, named Elmo, appears in their sight at the church. Nova points out the boy seems sick, though the others don’t share his idea and think he’s worrying too much. Well, I don’t think he’s as sick as he is creepy, for his description of what he was feeling to Felicita was rather disturbing. On one hand, he seemed to be genuinely confused about it, on the other, it was liking he was totally infatuated with her, yet simply joking around. When you put those expressions in a little boy’s face, things do look disturbing.
But the boy doesn’t stick around too much, soon walking to the door and saying he’d go home by himself. Nova tries to follow him, but only finds an empty road in front of his eyes as he opens the church’s door. The last few seconds of the episode probably shed a light on this boy, as Jolly greets someone with a “welcome back” and a suspicious grin. My bet is an obvious one – that boy is either being controlled by Jolly, or is wholly an experiment created by him. So far, we’ve had little to no world-building besides establishing the Arcana Famiglia as an organization that protects the people and business of Regalo. We know there are different powers that come from the contract with the Arcana cards, but the characters keep mentioning things like alchemy, so one can’t be sure about how much this world resembles ours. That’s a point that doesn’t help too much in speculating about the boy, and is also one which has constantly evoked my displeasure with this series.
It is still early though, and excellent world-building could still occur, but one should be wary that this is a one-cour series, not two-cour, and once one thinks about it, we’re already at one fourth of the show. I get the feeling they’re just filling up episodes before the tournament starts, which is totally ok since I wouldn’t care for the tournament if I didn’t care for the characters anyway. The problem is I still don’t care for one single character. The character development has been poor, and all the motivation for winning we’ve seen in the three protagonists in the first episode seems to have completely vanished, as so far we have two episodes of trivial matters and zero of training. Furthermore, the ridiculous comedy bits after the ED in the second and third episodes only strengthen my feeling that rather than going slow, they’re simply trying to fill up the episodes. I have no idea what the game is like, but is there so few content that 12 episodes are too much?!
I’m looking forward to see where the mystery of the little boy and Jolly gets us, but from the next episode preview, that seems to be taking a back sit for now. Let’s hope it doesn’t become a completely dropped matter, as I’d definitely not enjoy that.