Monday, 20 September 2010

Occult Academy - Episode 12

After paying at being a kind of zany Ghostbusters-esque affair for quite a while before drifting off into goodness knows what territory for a couple of episodes, Occult Academy enters its finishing stretch as some kind of magical girl series on crack, complete with Mikaze now unmasked as some kind of dark witch while Chihiro gets to play at being the heroine somewhat after seemingly railing against Maya all series.

What this boils down to is largely a non-stop cavalcade of action that this series certainly hasn't seen up to this point before, with Mikaze and Chihiro duking it out in the sky above the town while Maya makes her escape from the onslaught before drawing Kozue, Ami, JK and Smile into the chaos; cue that latter pairing using their spanner and dowsing rods to fend off evil demon grannies from Hell.

Although Chihiro finally succumbs to Mikaze's sheer power, she doesn't wilt before freeing Fumiaki from his frozen state and telling him something very important... something which is revealed as we reach our bit climax at Waldstein Academy itself as Maya is left facing Mikaze alone until Bunmei's appearance turns the tide in their favour. So, that's it - Nostradamus' Key has been discovered and destroyed, and the world is saved forever. Except this isn't the last episode is it? Things are rarely that simple...

While I was expecting this episode to step up to the plate somewhat to brings us toward's the shows climax, I wasn't expecting this much of a breathless roller coaster - set piece after set piece that could happily have adorned the most-actioned packed anime or Hollywood blockbuster with ease while still fitting effortlessly into the zany and often light-hearted feel of the show that has served it in good stead throughout. Quite simply, this was a minor masterpiece in all sorts of ways, telling its story well enough via utterly compelling visuals and developments. Colour me well and truly impressed; this was certainly a million miles away from that lacklustre story arc of a few weeks ago, and hopefully it can retain some of this energy to give Occult Academy a fitting send-off.

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