Monday, 13 September 2010

Occult Academy - Episode 11

After allowing itself to get sidetracked well and truly with a rather pointless side story over the past couple of episodes, this eleventh instalment of Occult Academy throws us right back into the serious business of Nostradamus' Key. What, you didn't really think they'd forgotten all about it, did you?

While Maya is already planning their next potential target from the world of the occult which could be the key they're looking for, Fumiaki finds himself once again at the mercy of the ever-more seductive Mikaze. Indeed, as she turns the flirting dial up to eleven we finally get to the crux of her interest in Fumiaki - she (and her band of like-minded individuals) want him to kill Maya, claiming that she is in fact the cause of all the odd goings-on, which in turn points to the fact that she is, in fact, Nostradamus' Key herself.

This claim leaves Fumiaki torn as he beats himself up over what to do about Maya, before eventually revealing to her what he's been told before changing his mind again and refusing to let Maya photograph herself with his camera again as he can't bear the thought that she could be the key.

From here onwards the entire episode goes, to put it bluntly, batshit crazy - Maya is murdered, seemingly by Chiriro, except she isn't actually dead as the whole thing was staged by Chihiro, who is really a white witch protecting Maya from harm at the request of Maya's father, who still appears to be alive and well in the future incidentally. Oh, and Mikaze is a dark witch who wants Maya dead for her own nefarious ends. There, did you get all that?

After the drab story-telling of the past two instalments, this was certainly a very different Occult Academy once again, even dumping its unique blend of humour in favour of a rollercoaster of twists and turns aplenty which would probably have taken up half a dozen episodes in other shows. I can only really commend this outing for not pulling any punches, be it sexually, emotionally or in terms of its plot, to make for a breathless viewing experience which certainly doesn't come along very often. While I will admit to preferring Occult Academy when it was being funny and zany, we had to move on to the "proper story" eventually, and judging by this episode the series is ready to do so with aplomb and a crazy spark of insanity in its eye.

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