Monday, 12 July 2010

Occult Academy - Episode 2

The end to Occult Academy's first episode ended with a naked man being beamed down from the sky, Terminator style (well, okay, it was a little less stylish with that) - Of course, that might seem unusual to you, but let me tell you it happens down here on the south coast of England all the time.

Anyway, Maya's reaction to said random naked guy was the expected and understandable one - Scream and run, and despite this nude man giving chase eventually she makes her safe escape. With that little oddity out of the way, Maya returns to her plan of taking over Waldstein Academy from her father as laid out in his will, so that she can run the whole thing into the ground and put an end to this crazy occult academy.

At least that was the plan until a new history teacher who goes by the (false) name of Abe Minoru shows up - A teacher who also happens to be a renowned spoon-bender as a child (Japan's Uri Geller if you will), and more importantly the guy that dropped out of the sky wearing nothing but a vague smile. Of course, this isn't the most happy reuniting of these two characters, but it does let us learn both Minoru's reason for appearing and who those futuristic looking figures at the start of the first episode are. In short, it all boils down to Nostradamus' prophecies (doesn't it always?) of the world coming to an end in 2012, which takes in an alien invasion and Abe travelling back through time to 1999 to try and prevent this cataclysmic event. Throw in a mobile phone that can take pictures and translate them into that object's appearance in 2012 (take that Eden of the East!), and you're pretty much up to speed.

With all of that backstory out of the way, the rest of this episode is really just an enjoyable romp to bring Maya and Minoru's goals into line, making the most of both the occult setting and Maya's violent tendencies to kick things into life. It has to be said that after not being entirely convinced by the first episode, I'm now absolutely in love with Maya's character - Never mind that white dress or having her running around in nothing but a towel, she's a hilarious bundle of contradictions that is brilliant to watch, largely on account of her ever-changing facial expressions which is set off perfectly by Minoru's own demeanour. Despite its rather "heavy" plot of impending apocalypse and hints of decidedly unfriendly factions at work, Occult Academy still seems determined to have fun with its setting, bringing about a few laughs in the process while also managing to actually put together the odd moment of classic horror "what's going to happen" tension.

So far so good then - This has been one of the most enjoyable episodes of a summer season show I've watched so far, and although it's early days I'm already feeling a little pleasing with myself for picking up on the Ghostbusters-esque vibe this show holds; I really hope it can keep up that blend of comic action as the series progresses.


cecil04 said...

This seems like a must watch for me. Like you said this anime has elements from terminater. I think the nude guy will start loving the main character as time goes on.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting episode. Certainly opened up some new story opportunities. I like both the main characters so far. The blending of real suspense with comedy was good.

Rob said...

I was going to give this one a miss, but then I read "naked man being beamed down from the sky, Terminator style".


I liked the comedy in the first episode, especially as I didn't know what to expect.