La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia Episodes 7, 8, and 9

Sorry for not posting, guys! I was out in the wilderness of Pennsylvania fighting off bears and mountain lions. I had no time to post. D: I’m back now, after also starting school and being very, very, very lazy.

The Secret

Friendship is an important thing in life. The two knuckleheads Nova, and Liberta need to work on that a bit. Since, you know. They’re a little hot headed at times d: They are friends, but technically not the “Best” of friends so I an understand why Mama wants them to learn to like each other since it will also help them control their Arcana powers.

Mama is a very clever person to set up the “event” with the older kids. The entire time I thought Luca kidnapped Felicita xD You never know with people. Especially how they interpreted it in the first few minutes! Luckily Nova has the brains of the two. He solved the riddles while dragging poor little Liberta along. Handcuffed~

When the day was over, I found it adorable that Nova was reading to his parents. He seems like the person that wouldn’t do such a thing. Even though he dislikes them he still cares about them. Felicita getting all shy about what Mama had told her, and that Liberta was training to become stronger to help save his friend in the Duel. Though, one person that has me thinking “What”, is Debito. I have no idea what’s his problem, and I do hope they explain it the next episode.

The Moon In The Dark

Jolly, such an interesting character. Alls we know is he’s an Alchemist, a part of the family, while also being the person mostly everyone hates. He knows everything about everyone, yet we hardly know anything about him. I’m not sure if he’s trying to get on Debitos bad side, or trying to help. I’ll assume he’s trying to help, but also agitate Debito. Since Debito is having a problem with his eye, he may not be able to control his powers soon if it keeps like that. He’s being a little rude, in my opinion. :L

Interestingly enough, we find out quite a bit from the little trio we have. Pace, Luca, and Debito. I thought they were pretty normal, but apparently they aren’t. They’re one of Jollys experiments. They were granted a contract with the cards, and weren’t chosen. Though, because of that they weren’t able to really control their powers, I’m guessing?

This episode didn’t really interest me all that much. It was nice to watch, but it just seemed like a filler. We did learn more about them, especially Jolly. After watching it, I’m not really too sure what to think of it. I mean, we’ve got family experiments, and the some Full Metal Alchemist stuff. Elmo, a homunculus? I thought he was a puppet! but, really. I was not expecting that to happen.

The Wheel Of Fortune

Wow, very interesting episode we’ve got here. We’re told Mondo is sick from doing extra work, yet that work is from his card, “The World”. Sucking his life out of him basically because the other cards haven’t been taken up. That’s why Luca, Pace, Debito, and Elmo is there. Who would of thought?

With Mondo being sick, Jolly tells Felicita something she probably would never want to hear. Telling her Mondo doesn’t have much time to live and she is the only one that can save him the fastest. As well as the “Duel” is just a set up so Felicita has someone to comfort her in her fathers passing. Along with gaining a new Papa. I do hope I wasn’t the only one that cried. I know what it’s like to lose someone close to you, and I feel her pain. But not knowing the consquences for her actions? She sure as hell is a trooper!

This episode has really pumped me up to watch the next one. It’s getting very very interesting now~

I do apologies for my lack of writing, I need to get it back in my system after having my vacation time.

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La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia Episode 6

On Board! – The Final Battle!

What kind of foul people prey after a man in a comatose state? Oh, yeah. Pirates. For whatever reason they’ve done that it’s just weak praying after a man who can’t do anything to defend himself. I mean seriously. At least take someone that can give you information about people instead of just grabbing a guy in a coma.

This was a very interesting episode though. To think up a mission that everyone knew the three kids would go on without any orders. To test their abilities, and see how strong they really are. Why mess with Nova’s head though? If I was Nova I’d be pretty pissed if I found out they made up this mission, using my father as bait, then locking me up in a cell. Sheesh. It was definitely a made up mission to show them how weak they are, that they can’t take on such missions. They had no idea really what they were getting themselves into. They’re pretty strong to street thugs, but when it comes down to the three of them, against trained people? Not really…

Though, the episode was very entertaining, and was very enjoyable. The series is looking very promising from episode 6. I still can’t wait to see the Duel, and I’m interested to see if Nova’s parents ever wake up. I also never really watch after the credits. This time, I decided to see if there was anything after them. And boy, whatever Jolly gave Liberta, that does bring out his perverted side~ and Nova’s reactions were pretty priceless xD

La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia Episode 5

Childhood Friends

Today’s episode was pretty standard. Nothing really flashy, but we do learn a bit more about Nova and Felicita. Throughout their childhood they were both raised differently. Felicita, with love, and Nova was used as a tool. We now know why Nova is a bit more reserved and quiet than everyone else. I knew he didn’t have much of a childhood, but now they finally tell us the main reason why. If they never hinted at his childhood, I’d of just thought he was raised with proper manners and just isn’t very sociable.

And..What?! They’re cousins that were practically engaged since age 5? What type of incestory is this. I find that quite baffling. Oh, boy I used a big word! But, man oh man. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought they were just friends. Thought, the duel cancelled the engagement, so it’s different now. I also doubt Nova would marry her, but who knows?

The episode was interesting, that’s for sure. We learn a little bit more about everyone and hopefully some action will start out soon. I can’t wait to see the duel myself. Though, there still are a lot of questions to be answered about the characters. Luckily we have some character development going on. Hopefully those questions will be answered soon enough~

La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia Episode 4

Confessions Of The Mask

I guess the infamous Liam will now be blogging Arcana Famiglia~

The series is starting to focus on the characters and get some character development goin’ on~ So exciting! As for that, we know Nova hasn’t really had much of a childhood, as the lovely Dusk has mentioned. Liberta also, didn’t have much of a childhood as he was experimented on. Because this happened, Dante had to seal his memories so he can control his emotions better. As he has problems controlling his frustration and anger. He’s a strong character aside from all the running away.

When Liberta and Felicita were off to give a scarf to an elderly lady, they tried taking a short cut, which really turned out bad. Which lands them in a position to be working on marketing things all day to pay for the damages they caused to the poor shopkeepers stand. Though, by the end of the day the Elderly lady showed up uncoincidentially, of course. When the Shopkeeper offered them a free item, and Liberta saw that mask. I was wondering. How does THAT mask, show up at that shop? It’s a silly question, but did Dante just throw it away, or sell it to someone? Boy, what a coincidence that was.

Overall, this had to be an interesting episode. We learn a lot about The Joker, Liberta and his past. It may not have been quite as entertaining, but it definitely kept my interest. He definitely needs to get stronger, and only then will he have a chance to figure out what happened.

La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia Episode 3

Piccolino

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.

La Storia della Arcana Famiglia Episode 2

Il Comandante della Squadra Protezione Animali

This is what you call wasting one episode. With the plot introduction from the first episode out of the way, one would expect at least a little development, but the majority of the episode is spent searching for a cat, catching it, and searching for its owner. When a series only has 12 episodes to make the most of, this is a serious issue.

I see what they tried to do here, though. They wanted to dedicate an episode to developing the main characters, who are now certain to be Felicita, Nova and Liberta, since the rest of the Arcana users haven’t got anything to add to their looks and stereotyped personality. However, even for that purpose, it didn’t work out as well due to two main reasons.

First of all, they could have used another (more exciting) event to that effect. In fact, I guess I’d be happier with anything other than the whole cat issue. Secondly, and most importantly, while they did try to show a different side of the characters with Nova’s not-so-cold action of saving a cat and Felicita’s more girlish side, they utterly failed at that purpose. The change felt sudden and forced. It’s not something that usually works without having the character personalities well established in the first place, nor was it satisfactorily executed. Their actions felt completely contradictory to what we’d been presented last episode, which makes for really inconsistent character behavior. The worst example of this is Felicita, who went from tough girl to a girlish one.

On the other hand, the best part of the episode was actually related to her, being the little flashback at the beginning, showing how she had decided to join the Arcana Famiglia, believing to be following her own will, and how she ironically is unable to do the same now, exactly due to that one decision.

As for the other characters besides the main trio in this episode, I’m not the slightest bit eager to know more about them, for besides Pace and Dante, everyone else is rather annoying with their personality and manner of speech. In fact, and while I like both Nova and Liberta quite a bit, even they annoy me when they’re together, for their bickering with each other is too loud and pointless to my taste. I do believe their interactions will become better over time.

And if the episode was already bad without the ridiculous post ED scene… Well, I had decided to simply ignore it but seriously, what kind of punishment is that, singing such a ridiculous song? Why does someone have to be punished in the first place? Also, suggesting returning the cat to where it was found isn’t exactly a sin, as much as it is a reasonable suggestion.

If my point hasn’t gotten across yet, which I’m pretty sure it did, I didn’t like this episode at all. However, I will regard it as a fluke for now and wait for next week to make a more accurate judgment. I really do hope I can enjoy the rest of this series, though.

First Impressions: La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia

La notte del compleanno

It’s finally the start of the new season, though this one is looking rather lackluster. The proof of that would be this very anime, as I would never imagine my second most anticipated title in a season to be a reverse harem. As I didn’t know that much besides that simple fact, I was a bit wary about this series, but I ended up pleased with its premiere.

It was a rather colorful and lively first episode, starting with the very first scene – full of over-the-top action, actually bordering on the ridiculous – which serves to showcase the characters’ fighting style, names and personalities. I won’t complain about the flashiness, because it worked, and it worked well.

The story takes place in Regalo Island, an island that seemingly lives out of commerce, and our protagonists belong to an organization which looks over and protects said island. Such organization – the Arcana Famiglia – is a Mafioso style society, which according to its leader, respectfully called “Papa” (which translated as “Father” to English), has protected Regalo Island through many hardships. Some of their members seem to have formed a contract with an orange, I mean, a Tarot card, having a special power related to the Arcanum they’ve contracted with.

Moving on quickly, they don’t waste time on presenting the plot, going right from that opening action scene to Papa’s birthday party. The current leader of the Arcana Famiglia then announces his intent on retiring, and the method he thought of to select his successor: holding a tourney between all of those who have Arcana powers, giving the title to the winner, as well as conceding him a wish and, the most controversial statement, the hand of his daughter in marriage. His daughter is Felicita, a teenage girl with an independent personality, who obviously doesn’t want her fate decided against her will, yet has no other choice but to abide by her father’s decision, not only as his daughter, but also as a member of the Famiglia, which apparently she decided to join of her own free will, being the only sightable female in that huge salon.

That means she’ll be participating in the duel as well, in order to earn her own freedom of choice, as will the other users of Arcana powers. The interesting part is seeing how their personalities and intentions differ, ranging from the hotheaded Liberta, who easily declares he’s definitely winning the duel and allowing Felicita not to get married, to the ruthless and arrogant Jolly, seemingly looking down on everyone, who may be shaping up to fit the antagonist role in this series.

The Arcana powers are themselves a potentially interesting point, and we are introduced to some of them. For instance, Felicita can “see” people’s hearts; Debrito has the power of invisibility; something I think everyone has always wished for at least once, Pace has got absolute strength. That said, the most interesting characters in this regard seem to be Nova and Liberta, whose powers have yet to be explained (in the former’s case, we didn’t even see them). Liberta seems to have a strange power, and from Pace’s reaction, I’d make it to be the negation of other powers. If my assumption is correct, it’s a really “niche” power, for it only works on a very limited range of people, but it may actually be the most useful one for the current situation. As for Nova, it was his reaction towards Liberta’s remark that he’d never seen him using his powers that itched my curiosity. It was a rather subtle reaction, since he seemed to already be thoroughly annoyed by Liberta’s words anyway, but when you join that to the knowledge that his Arcanum is The Death… It may not be that he can’t use it, but more like it is an ugly power to use. I also wonder if there are any more users of Arcana powers, as there are 22 Major Arcana and we’ve only been introduced to 9 characters so far.

While Nova is definitely the character that interests me the most right now, not only due to my curiosity regarding his power, but also due to his serious personality, which is always a charming character trait in my eyes, I’d also like to mention how I sympathized with the protagonist. This is a reverse harem and she’s supposedly the “princess that needs to be rescued”, yet she is joining the tournament and it does seem like she can kick some ass too. (Moreover, I actually like her fighting style.) On the other hand, she still fits her role as the one that needs to be saved and also seems to have a likeable personality (as long as they don’t go exaggerating on tsundere traits from now on, that is). This is something rather refreshing in such a premise, and I’m enjoying it so far.

Nothing more than a simple duel at its core, the plot is simple, yet harbors potential when one thinks of the huge cast of distinctive characters. The one-cour length is perfect for maintaining the pleasant pacing this first episode established, as two cours would drag it out unnecessarily. My concern is the character development. It seems like this will be a character-driven show, for I don’t see room for many twists or variations from a rather formulaic setup. On the other hand, we have a large cast of characters, and not that much time. They’re all looking great now, as the cast showcases a large variety, but most of them are also stereotypical characters. The success of this series will depend on their ability to break from the archetypes they fit in. So far it is looking pretty good though, a shounen-ish shoujo is something I can enjoy. I just hope it doesn’t rely too much on the bishounen aspect and ends up being a worthless series (like Brave 10 did). I can already see the fangirls all over Jolly, though… *sigh*

(I really enjoyed the OP, by the way.)