OCCULT ACADEMY #1 -- Watch & Learn

Topic started by No_name_here on Nov. 9, 2011. Last post by zaldar 3 years, 4 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (871 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Suppose they photographed this cel with a REAL wide lens.
Suppose they photographed this cel with a REAL wide lens.

Much thanks to darlin' Marlan Moore for bringing this show to my attention.

See, here’s a pilot that pulls off what a lot of other shows’ have tried to do. It strikes a far better balance between ghoulish black humor, serious occultism and the elusive kick ass super move than CORPSE PRINCESS did. It also demonstrates a much more legitimate understanding of the esotery it’s playing with, which BLUE EXORCIST didn’t really even bother to. More than that, in brings us in to this surely-complex world with a simple, but exciting teaser (the tragically-botched escape in the woods,) establishes the rules of its fantasy on the go through focused scenes (the resurrection/possession/infection of the principal and his followers) and then introduces us to the cast in an organic way by giving them something to do instead of just rattling off their life stories.

I’ll direct anybody who disagreed with my takes on those other shows to this thing, right here. What do I expect out of show when I go into it? I expect it to be as good as this. Hell, it even ended on a clear and simple cliffhanger (that naked dude dropping out of the sky with his cell phone) that’s enticed me to keep watching in a much realer way than any pile of expositional “world building” would. This is definitely in the “interested” pile of my sampling.

Man, it was just so much fun. The notion of these grieving students listening to this doofus summon some malignant entity from a tape at his own funeral made for some wicked black humor even while it was seizing my interest with some genuine tension. It almost played like a Cronenberg thriller scene played with some tongue in cheek. And, again, the humor was paced in such a way as to never gum up the mood, and the levity actually made me take all the serious stuff more, well, seriously than if this had been all dour about it.

This was a great pilot, in case you hadn't surmised.

Watch this episode, "MAYA’s Prophesy" below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Post by PenguinDust (1,009 posts) See mini bio Level 13

Maya Kumashiro is among my most favorite female characters in anime. What I find so appealing about her is her facial expressions. Literally every emotion she has is reflected on her face. She'd be a great one to have at a poker table. You'd win a bunch.

I find it humorous that this is one of the few first-episode shows that you've liked recently considering how the series as a whole morphs into some completely other genre show in its third act. As I said in a previous blog,

"Imagine you are watching a season of The X-Files but then Agent Scully reveals herself to be Wonder Woman and proceeds to fight the Hulk over the next couple of episodes. That’s the type of drastic turn of events that happens late in Occult Academy."

Some shows start good and end in disappointment, while others begin poorly but improve over time. Occult Academy is damned good until the last few shows, though and I enjoyed every second of Maya making faces throughout.

Post by arch4non (21 posts) See mini bio Level 9

This is another case of an extremely awesome character in a really bad show.

Post by Lurkero (431 posts) See mini bio Level 7

Occult Academy is another one of those shows that I started off liking and then it soon recessed back to typical anime tropes that make shows less exciting.

I don't recommend watching simply because of the disappointment it became for me.

Post by Sophism (3 posts) See mini bio Level 4

Oh God, this show...

The first episode is pretty solid, but it's only downhill from there. Animation quality and production value consistency in general just goes down the drain; the interesting characters aren't developed at all, whereas the unlikable male lead gets the spotlight and the plot... well, it doesn't fare any better really, what with string of filler episodes leading up to a "twist ending" that was half incredibly predictable, half pulled out of the scriptwriter's ass at the last moment.

As a suggestion from someone that like you, was really impressed by the first episode: Save yourself the disappointment and avoid it. Read up the wikipedia summary if you're curious.

Post by sickVisionz (4,332 posts) See mini bio Level 24

I watched and enjoyed this episode when it first came out but I didn't go any farther with the series because I figured that eventually the story would shift from cool ghost tales to having to explain the Matrix dudes running through the forest in the intro and the naked future Terminator guy who electric storm phases in during the end. Anime has a bad habit of abandoning what rocks about a series and going in some stupid direction and this one reeked of that.

Post by Wandering_Idiot (17 posts) See mini bio Level 7

Yeah, I found this series disappointing as well. I don't even remember why exactly, just that I enjoyed the first episode and was bored by the next few, and stopped watching.

Post by Sonata (36,396 posts) See mini bio Level 20

I agree wwith what most people said here already, I loved Maya's ccharacter, but overall the anime didnt really get me going.

Post by Om1kron (144 posts) See mini bio Level 7

very interesting anime, took me a long time to sit down to commit to watching it, but I definitely liked how it ended.

Post by metalsnakezero (698 posts) See mini bio Level 16

Really Tom? I, and many others, found this first episode to be mix of good ideas like the story and some odd choices of pacing and designs. Now I'm really worried about what you see as good.

Post by NuDimon (1 posts) See mini bio Level 3

Liked this show quite a lot tbh, worth a watch.

Post by Vortextk (13 posts) See mini bio Level 4
Listening to your complaints of pilots, and I mean that in a "they're valid" way entirely, it sounds like you must have a very hard time with a lot of anime, atleast the beginning. Too much bad exposition about cliched, stereotypical tropes they never do anything with is kind of...well anime's thing, when I think about anything with some kind of government agency, secret society, cult, powered up super dudes etc which covers a lot of anime. It's too bad to watch something interesting get lost in a confusion of "we need to explain everything RIGHT NOW or the viewer might be lost!" and then they add multiple minute long exposition scenes with a load of jargon and people you will never really care about. It's like they forgot they're in a visual medium; stop telling me and SHOW me.
Post by zaldar (1,368 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@sickVisionz: If done right the explanations for the sci-fi stuff and the philosophy they bring up can be the best part....if it does turn into what the spoiler above says it is though then this will not be good....

Isn't this show a little fan servicy though...i mean that outfit she is wearing in the wide angle picture...I mean come on...

Post by sickVisionz (4,332 posts) See mini bio Level 24

@zaldar said:

Isn't this show a little fan servicy though...i mean that outfit she is wearing in the wide angle picture...I mean come on...

I don't know man, goto a high school or a mall and you'll see way more revealing outfits than that. That outfit is pretty tame for a high school kid.

As for the "if done right." I don't mean to be snarky or haterish, but it's anime. I think there is a 1% chance of that being done right. None of it fit with the bulk of the episode so in my mind it's either going to make a sudden jump or they will slowly change the tone of the series from something that I know I enjoyed to the stuff that I thought was cheesy.

Post by sotyfan16 (1,342 posts) See mini bio Level 20

I got about half way through this series and stopped but I've been meaning to finish it. The show is a bit outside my viewing pleasure but I enjoyed this episode.

I laughed my ass off at this:

Shadow penis.
Shadow penis.
Post by Marshal Victory (2,973 posts) See mini bio Level 14
Good show great mix of dark comedy, mystic drama and um weird anime fetishism.Been on my favorite list sine watched the while series on hulu. Many tings can be said about it but one thats important it has a start an a end.
Post by zaldar (1,368 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@sickVisionz: Maybe the people I hang out with are to tame but I teach high school down here in NC anything close to that would be very much against our dress code.

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