Monday, 23 August 2010

Occult Academy - Episode 8

After the slap-o-rama which added some surprising emotion to an episode which seemed like little more than light-hearted fluff, things still haven't returned to normal between Ami and Maya as episode eight of Occult Academy kicks off, with the two of them continuing to ignore one another at school the following day.

Things only look set to get worse when Ami invites Maya rather coldly to meet her at a nearby shrine after school, an appointment that the latter almost misses as her focus turns to something rather troubling - for all of the attention to detail lavished by Ami's father upon his little trick last episode, surely he didn't go to the trouble of mutilating an entire herd of cattle? Further investigation reveals that the blood has been sucked from all of these beasts, and we soon discover by who as a bunch of little green men appear on the scene to kidnap Ami and whisk her away.

However, these are no aliens but rather chupacabras, a fact which Maya of course knows without a second thought. After informing Ami's dad, a crack squad featuring said father, Maya, Kozue, Fumiaki and Smile are formed to deal with the problem.... except they don't actually know where they're going. Thank heavens then for JK and those trusty divining rods, which also turn out to be pretty handy at being down chupacabras, as the whole affair turns into something of an action movie leading up to Ami's rescue before dumping us into a muddy puddle of conspiracy as the episode comes to a close.

While it looked as though this episode was going to play things straight for quite a while this week, I should have known better than to be lulled into that false sense of security, as the brief and knowing training montage was followed by that wonderfully funny moment where Ami's father realises he has no idea where he's actually going to rescue his daughter. Throw in some actually pretty stylish action, and another great moment which happily pokes fun at its own predictable dialogue and how it fits into pop culture, and you have another wildly entertaining episode. It still doesn't bring us much closer to the central plot of the series if we're honest, but once again when it's this fun to watch then who cares?

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