It has to be said that I wasn't overly impressed with the previous episode of Occult Academy, nor was I particularly thrilled to seeing the story of ghost girl Akari run into a second episode. Still, what's done is done, so can it it win me over for the second half of this particular story arc?
Although Akari's dad is plain unhelpful (and understandably so, really) to Maya's requests and queries regarding his dead daughter, Maya is determined not to give up, and thus arranges for her band of friends to meet again after school the next day to consider their next plan of action. An apology from Fumiaki about his behaviour the previous night is soon wasted by the appearance of Mikaze, as he chooses to follow that particular "route" once again, earning him a (probably deserved) punch from Maya.
As for Maya herself, sheer tenacity in camping outside Akari's father's doorstep all afternoon and evening finally gives her what she needs - the story of how and why Akari died, out in the cold one Christmas while waiting to see Santa while her father worked. To allow her to move on, Maya arranges an impromptu Christmas party for the following day, allowing Akari to enjoy the Christmas that she missed that year, complete with a very important red-suited guest.
While the ending to that particular story was all very touching and all, it still really didn't fit in with Occult Academy's raison d'être, to the point where it almost felt forced into a series which has relied more on comedy and zaniness than emotional tales of loss and the like. Sure, come the end of the arc it tied into Maya gaining a new understanding of her father and his reason for founding the academy, in turn giving her renewed vigour to find Nostradamus' key (which I thought we'd maybe forgotten about), but surely this could have been achieved in a far more entertaining way that was more in keeping with the rest of the series? I'm not going to rag on this show overly for a couple of dud episodes, but with the series coming close to wrapping up I have to wonder if this also signals a close to the fun and frolics we've enjoyed earlier in the series. Personally, I hope not - I'd rather have an utterly daft ending if it means more of the genuinely funny humour we've been presented with here previously.