Occult Academy episode 9: We see dead people…

…and they’re really cute.

This week’s Occult Academy was a surprise. Oh yes. With only 4 epis to go, it looks like they’ve actually found the Nostradamus Key. Okay, maybe not. Instead, with only 4 epis to go, they’re actually in the middle of another completely unrelated two-parter. Hrrmm. But does that mean this epi was a bad one? Well, surprisingly, no


Episode Summary:

The epi begins in the Principal’s office, with Uchida somehow getting Maya to agree to let the annoying waitress sell more dodgy snacks at the school. Next, we see the Vice Principal actually teaching something, that something being no less than spirit summoning, and something about ectoplasm. Soon, the V.P. is confidently promising Maya’s class that she is about to call forth the spirit of their very own former Principal. Only to call forth the spirit of a mysterious little girl instead. Said little girl soon decides to follow Smile and then the rest of the gang around, while they try and find out more about her, or rather Akari-chan, in order to help her get her wish, which is to ‘go home’.

Meanwhile, Uchida, noticing what’s going on, wonders why Maya is getting so involved when this clearly has nothing to do with the Key-hunting, but nonetheless offers to help. Only to be side-tracked by the annoying one. At this point, Maya gets irritated and basically tells him not to bother. So, while Uchida goes off to eat more curry, Maya and the Scoobies eventually discover that Akari froze to death in front of her house while waiting for her widower father to come home from work one snowy Christmas Eve, the same house that Akari’s spirit now refuses to leave despite the efforts of Maya to reach out to her. The gang then track down Akari’s father, who has since moved and switched jobs. However, despite clearly feeling guilty about his daughter’s death, he tells Maya and co. to back off. The epi ends with Akari’s spirit still sitting huddled on the doorstep of her old house, with her head on her knees, waiting.


Thoughts:

Well, after my initial feeling of what-the-hell-are-they-doing-introducing-another-two-parter-that-is-blatantly-completely-unrelated-to-the-Key, I thought this was a pretty good epi. Sure, there were no new occultish beasties, or giant spanner-swinging action, or crazy car chases, etc. However, there was some rather impressive spirit summoning, which basically triggered a pretty emotionally dramatic episode, with some very funny moments mixed in too. And what is possibly the cutest loli of the season.

I’m sorry, I know this probably makes you want to cry with her, but it’s the best puppy dog eyes I’ve seen. Ever.

Despite appearances, this is no ordinary extraordinarily-cute-for-the-sake-of-being-cute loli. Rather, continuing the rather cheerful abused-child motif that this show has got going on, Akari’s sad story allowed the show to maintain its let’s-introduce-a-new-occultish-phenomenon-every-other-episode-or-so-as-a-way-of-slowly-developing-the-main-characters-for-our-non-hardcore-horror-but-nonetheless-horror-fans-who-also-like-a-bit-of-drama-and-comedy-with-some-occult-stuff-thrown-in. Literally. Speaking of which, I almost forgot until I just wrote this sentence how little occult stuff Maya has been throwing about lately. Though, I’m guessing that this is probably because Uchida has been spending more time with the annoying one. Either that, or maybe Ami slapped some of that tsun/ yan(dere) out of her.

So, props to little Akari-chan for using a less slap-happy (or should that be happy slappy) method of getting our favourite tsundere of the season to open up her post-paternal-emotional-abandoned heart to both the occult and to others around her. Though, I’m guessing it’s probably not that difficult to have such a heart melted when faced with such a well-behaved and utterly adorable little girl.

Your reward for putting up with the sad pic. ‘Heee!’ :D

In addition to the adorableness and the darkness in this epi, we the comedy moments, though less slapstick/ dramatic than in some previous epis, didn’t fail to deliver either. I particularly liked the series of fast-cut ant’s-eye-view shots where the Scoobies were looking at the map, including, of course, the moments when everyone else started screaming for no reason other than JK was doing so. Just because he remembered something about the way local elementary schools look. Ah, JK, your intuition’s one thing mate, but your epiphany-face is on an entirely different level. Though, I’m guessing, it was probably all that pent-up frustration of being the only gang member not able to see Akari. Also, I thought it was a nice, or rather hilarious, touch to have our resident occult detector being the only one who couldn’t actually see Akari. Another visual gag of many things I love about this show.

Lastly, some more thoughts on another thing I love about this show. Smile. If this guy isn’t husbando/ bf/ bbf material, then I don’t know who is.

Why not?

Need reasons? I have at least five:

1) Looks bishie enough without making you worry that he appears more girly than you;
2) Can express endless emotions with a single badge;
3) Is good with his hands;
4) Is good with kids;
5) Has a big spanner. And knows how to use it.

In short, he is my honorary bishie of the season.

In shorter: I loved this epi. :D

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13 Comments

  1. Jo
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Did they kind of imply that the aliens were about to land very very soon? When Fumiaki said ‘See you tomorrow’ to Mikaze after getting off the phone with Maya, he seemed to have had an ‘oh shit!’ moment, ‘tomorrow?!!’.
    The previews didn’t show much of it, but it just seemed odd.

    • Posted September 6, 2010 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Ooh, well spotted/ remembered. No idea exactly what that moment was about though, but I’m assuming you’re right and that it’ll be picked up on in the next epi. Though, I’m also assuming the next epi will mainly just be about the laying to rest of Akari’s spirit. Am looking forward to the promised confrontation (finally!) between Mikaze and the VP!

  2. ReddyRedWolf
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Akari uses Smile as her replacement dad while Maya is motherly. Anybody else thinking these two should be a couple and in some years make their own Akari. (Akari probably reincarnated by then)

    Its starting to look for me that Mikaze is purposely distracting Fumiyaki from the mission. Next ep preview has her meeting with the VP.

    Maya sees herself in Akari much like with Fumiyaki. The significance of Akari wanting to go home also relates to her selling her old home. Something tells me Maya’s old home has clue to the Key of Nostradamus.

    • Posted September 6, 2010 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Yes, Smile would make a good daddy, wouldn’t he? I see him as more Ami’s type than Maya’s, though. Seeing how, as I said to Scamp, she already knows how to persuade/ bribe him so well.

      I still don’t know what to make of the annoying one, other than the fact that she is extremely annoying. Only time, or rather 4 epis, will tell, I guess.

      Yup, it’ll be interesting to see the significance of Maya’s old house in the future epi(s); it would certainly be in keeping with her daddy’s character to have something hidden away in it (like he did in his new place with his journal – er, which we’ve never seen again since the mothmen caves, have we? Grr) that might help them with the Key…

    • Posted September 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Noooo, Smile X JK 4EVA!!!

      (also wtf happened Maya’s face in that last face. I mean, she pulls some pretty strange faces over the course of this show, but what on earth is up with that one?)

      • Posted September 7, 2010 at 5:43 am | Permalink

        Forget Maya’s face, wtf happened to that charming young Irishman persona of yours?! Bloody hell – Scamp is actually a yaoi obsessed fangirl??!! :-O

        • Posted September 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          I’ve always been a fujioshi trapped in the body of a hetrosexual male

      • Posted September 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        +1 for Smile x JK. Bros before hos (but not Mayas)! :-P

  3. Posted September 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    IMHO Bunmei works better as well as ‘the guy sent from the future to help fight the occult’ rather than ‘the guy from the future sent to protect the earth from an alien invasion but instead works at a high school, gets caught up in his students’ dramas and otherwise accomplishes little more than eat curried… things after work.’

    If the core story i this unimportant — deserves this little screen time — then it doesn’t need to be here. Duh, if the characters barely acknowledge it as a ‘plot’ IT’S NOT IMPORTANT :(

    otherwise, yeah, good episode :)

    • Posted September 7, 2010 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      Lol, I think that’s a pretty good sum-up. :)

      Regarding the ‘main plot’, though, I assume things will get back on track in epi 11 onwards…

      • Posted September 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        I guess returning to the main plot would annoy me almost as much… it just points out how unimportant it actually was OR how poorly the season integrated it.

        Kinda a lose-lose for me as a viewer at this point

  4. Posted September 6, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    LOL hots for Smile? Point #2 is great btw.

    Akari was so damn adorable! It kinda freaked me out when she went cold, but still cute overall; her method of running around and vanishing into snow was rad.

    I do wonder what this series is doing. Seems we’re completely off the Key searching, just odd direction maybe. Oh well. ^^

    • Posted September 7, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink

      He is my Shizuo replacement [edit: I mean substitute. No one can replace the freaking awesomeness that is Shizuo]. Nuff said.

      Yeeah, me too – I think for once Kozue’s reaction, rather than being OTT, perfectly expresed my feelings at that moment too! :(

      And yeah re: the wondering wth’s going on – aren’t we all…

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