The trade island of Regalo is under the protection of a vigilante, mafia-like organization known as the "Arcana Famiglia". Members that rise through the ranks of the organization are gifted with supernatural powers. They forge contracts with Tarocco, tarot cards based on the Major Arcana, to gain use of these powers, enabling them to deal with all threats to the island.
The story of Arcana Famiglia begins with Mondo, the leader of the organization, declaring his retirement. His successor will be determined by the Arcana Duello, a tournament between the various members possessing Arcana powers to see who is the strongest of them all. The winner of the tournament not only succeeds in becoming the head of the family and having a wish granted, but also possesses the right to marry his daughter Felicita. Not willing to accept this, Felicita decides to enter the Arcana Duello herself alongside Liberta, her friend, and Nova, her cousin, intending to win the freedom to forge her own path.
I'm a huge fan of shoujo, romance, and reverse harems; my absolute favorite is Ouran High School.
So I really, REALLY, wanted to enjoy this.
The art is beautiful, the characters are beautiful and all each unique in their own way.
The powers are very cool; very unique and original in concept.
The storyline seemed promising.
Everything, seemed promising, everything has so much potential.
"So what's the problem here?" You may ask.
The main character, is the problem.
The story revolves around one girl; named Felicita, she does not speak, does not have a personality, all she really honestly does is stand in the background of every scene and look pretty while the male characters do all the talking.
When she does occasionally talk, it's "eh?" or "What's wrong _____?"
She only talks at appropriate times, when needed.
She just makes sounds, you find her character, very VERY, flat and robotic.
All of the male characters have more personality than her, SERIOUSLY.
Even the side male characters that you know won't get the girl, talk more than her, they all have more personality than her.
Her reactions to things and situations are either too downplayed, where it's as if she didn't or doesn't react to things at all, doesn't notice things around her, doesn't care almost.
But when the story forces her to care, it's overblown, and she suddenly cares SO much, it's unrealistic.
I wanted to drop the show after the second episode was ALREADY a filler, it was an episode, about a cat, just some random stupid cat, and really would you spend an entire day looking for an owner of a cat. I was hoping that the owner of the cat would be someone important, but in the end it was just some random lady that had nothing to do with anything.
A useless filler episode.
There wasn't any romance in the episode either, it was just honestly, a time waster.
But I kept watching anyways.
Episode three seemed like another filler, but it became potentially good at the end when the mystery child returns to Jolly, and a part of Liberta's past revealed.
Giving us a thought that this might get darker and more serious, with Jolly's "shady research" and the strange child returning to him.
With Liberta's mysterious power, the episode left me wanting to know.
Fourth Episode, reveals liberta's past, but I felt as though it was all rushed and down very shabbily.
It just seemed half assed, it was good, but shown half assedly.
It just saddens me because this anime has SO much potential, so many wonderful characters, so many good ideas, but it's shown very lousily.
So with potentially good plots and ideas already wasted, and the main character's flat personality.
I have sadly decided to drop this Anime.
Plus, they make it too obvious that she will end up with Liberta.
Also a note: I understand that this is derived from a game, and since in the game you get to pick how you talk and interact with the characters, you basically choose the girl's personality, I do not understand why they chose to leave the main character's personality blank in the anime as well, you can't just imagine she has a personality, she has to have one if she's interacting with the other characters on her own, so leaving her quiet and blank most of the time, does not work in an anime.
They should have given her more personality, interests, quirks, dislikes, they should have just made her more human, and not just a blank pretty doll that's important because she's the daughter of a very important man, and very attractive, in my opinion.
Like if you want to make a huge group of attractive men like her, then you have to sell her to us too, give us reasons as to why she's so likable, why do all the men want her as their wife?
So far the only reasons I've been able to notice is that she's attractive and the daughter of everyone's boss.
And basically the only available girl in the anime; an attractive bachelorette with looks, money, and power.
Nothing actually deep like other than shallow attraction.
Yes Liberta likes her, a lot, but why, why does he like her so much?
Is it just because she's the only girl his age in the anime?
Instead of wasting episodes and production on filler stuff, why didn't you use those episodes to develop the main story and to tell us why the main character is so desired?
Story - 7/10
(Story is good and has potential but not presented well.)
Art - 9/10
(The art is quality.)
Sound - 10/10
(The voice actors are superb.)
Character - 7/10
(All the male characters are good, but the main character's mother and father has more personality than she does herself.)
Enjoyment - 5/10
(Almost all the episodes except the first seemed like fillers to me, very boring, with attempts at making it more exciting.)
To start my review, let me say that I don't necessarily hate Arcana Famiglia.
I simply hate the payoff I got for watching it. Which was absolutely nothing.
The entire series looks as if it is building for this tournament that has been set to decide who will be the new leader of the Family and marries the boss' daughter.
In the first episode, you get some immediate development in the relationship between father and daughter plus daughter and coworkers. To add, there are some pretty nice powers being used and an awesome mysterious character with an awesome name looming in the background (Jolly). So, when the series starts, you know where some people stand and how things are going to go.
The only thing is, it never goes there.
Arcana Famiglia gives you the build for this tournament that's soon to take place. Every episode is wasted on character development and character interaction. You see everyone's past and you even find the origin of the family. For a build-up, this is great, it helps strengthen character connection so that you root for a particular character to win when the fighting starts.
The fighting doesn't start. Ever.
Watching the entire series would be worth it if it led to some awesome battle royal conclusion. It would even be awesome if a bunch of pirates just came and ruined said battle royal. Neither happens. All of the action is skipped and the powers aren't expanded on any further than episode one. They're explained, but they aren't expanded on.
Another thing, this has to be the only series I've seen where I think character development was a bad thing. The characters lose any finesse that they had when their lives are explored. The only exception was Jolly, who barely got any screentime in most of this series. And he didn't even participate in any real fighting. However, I can tell you exactly what his past is like and why he's so cold. That's absurd and just plain ridiculous.
The anime takes so much time in explaining every single character and having them fight their demons that we don't even see what their demons really are. They never come across any serious conflict and the only climax to look forward to is the tournament that's supposed to be the motherload of all battles.
The battling is non-existent. Chances are I said that earlier in the review, but I must emphasize how bad it was. For one, it was minimum. There was no intricate fighting nor any type of personalized moves. The tournament that the series builds up to becomes absolutely pointless with every new episode. The winner was even pointless and so was their "resolve" once they won. You really feel like a major butt for even watching the entire series for a climax that could've been the length of an average youtube video.
And to make matters worst, it doesn't try to cover its flaws. Maybe a little fanservice or some nice cop-out scenes. Nope, not once. It burrows a reverse harem shtick that it can't even fully deliver on. You don't feel like these guys (with the exception of two) are all that into her.
There were no antagonists. There was minimum fighting. The romance barely showed and was ended on the weakest of terms. The characters don't live up to their reputations. The story blows major chunks.
When La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, or just Arcana Famiglia started airing, I was first surprised over how entertaining I found it, considering it was based on a dating sim visual novel for girls. The quality of the art and animations where good, the story appeared interesting, but most of all was the character gallery and their hidden powers very appealing.
After watching the whole series I was saddened to see it was only the first episode that showed true potential of what this series might eventually have become had it not been for certain downfalls that I will try to explain bellow.
The story, which is supposed to be a love story with Felecità, and one of the male characters in the series never seems to advance.
Most episodes aren't even slightly connected to either Felecità or romance at all, and the typical rivaling struggle between the two male protagonists grows to be nothing but annoying over the course of the series.
Felecità remains more as a background accessory, whilst non of the male characters seems to be interested in her above the point of cheering her up when she is depressed. Which she happens to be in all the later episodes. This depression is also the only real emotion she expresses, which is kinda sad considering this is supposed to be a love story.
However, the main factor that brings this series down from what it could have been is the way they neglect to explore any character.
In most of the episodes we are introduced to a new characters personality and background, which could have become very interesting, had it not been for the fact that we only ever get to see the surface of every characters life. Not one single character throughout the whole series is properly explored. We are only shown enough to know that "There is a lot more to know".
Not even the main characters are properly explored, which leaves us at loss as of what pasts all these people share.
We are only shown glimpses of their pasts, and it is never properly explained what really happened between any of them.
All in all, Arcana Famiglia starts out with a great potential, and the very interesting character gallery, which end up being completely wasted due to the lack of progress the characters make, and non of them being properly introduced or explored.
When this series ended I honestly felt a little angry with the producers, having wasted a lot of potential, and made what could have been a super cool action/shoujo/romance into just another series nobody will remember in a year.
Note that I have not played the game, but I sincerely hope and believe that it is much better than the anime.read more
Watching Arcana Familga is like reading an autobiography, you know..the sort of book a person writes about his or own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. In any case, Arcana Famiglia is a strange series from the start.
La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia details a group of people who have made contracts with the Arcana cards to obtain special abilities in his or her own rights. On the birthday of the head of household, the Father decides to host a tournament - a series of duels known as the Arcana Duello, between Arcana-users. It is every one for themselves because it's winner takes all.
Apparently, the series' promo depicts around a tournament but half way now through the series, what do we have?
- cat/neko chasing
- rivalries between two of the main characters in a boring love triangle that has little flavor
At any rate, this series is not exactly the smash of the season and shouldn't be especially with throwing in fillers at the very get go.
The series continuously avoid the major story of the series but instead throws fillers at your face like apple pies. But the story is not as tasty. It lacks flavor of an apple pie because they are all fillers from the beginning. Although later on, we do see some storyline development (chiefly flashbacks), the main story so far is avoided. Furthermore, it seems that the flashbacks are cliched and stereotyped. Honestly, who on Earth is planning on sitting through over four episodes to watch some flashbacks? We want to see some movement and drama with the main arc!
Luckily though, the character designs are cool. And of course, they need to be especially since everything up to this point has been focused on the characters of the tournament (you know, the one that hasn't yet officially begun yet). But towards the finale (yes the very last episode), the duel is finally presented. Even the duel itself has some problems though with one of the main characters actually withdrawing while other battles between our cute pigtailed girl being way too short and no flavor.
Felicità is the main heroine of the series, the holder of The Lovers arcana, which gives her the ability to read the hearts of others. She is spicy, she is cute, and she is to herself. And those little pigtails, who doesn't want to cuddle them? Beyond that though, she has some interesting interactions between two of the main characters, Libertà and Nova.
That brings to their rivalry.
It seems that Libertà and Nova often gets into fights like ying and yang. Just look at it. Every five minutes in the series, they fight out and competes sometimes over absolutely nothing. Libertà is depicted as the hot headed guy while Nova remains his cool. (most of the time) Regardless though, it gets old after watching it over 9000 times. Besides, there's already rivalries similar to this without the l for love in a certain ongoing series. Perhaps the Tail of the Fairies ring a bell?
The other characters of the series seem to be like background characters of a stage play so far despite their cool appearances. The bold headed guy who has the ace hands of a bazooka, the cool level headed guy with the eye patch, and the mysterious Jolly with his shades. I'm sure they will eventually get the opportunity to shine but so far, it's not happening. Besides maybe Jolly, everything seems so stale between the background characters. Yup, the apple pie is once again losing its flavor.
Luckily, there is some minor good flavors for this disappointing anime so far. The soundtrack, namely the opening song of the series seems to play well in this series.
Magenta Another Sky" by Hitomi Harada is well orchestrated and depicts the Arcana-users showing off some of their abilities in the sequences. The music is also catchy and as one of the first series to watch on Sundays, it's a pretty damn good way to start off the week, at least in the music department.
The art is also colorful in this series. It gives off an Italian like atmosphere and overall, demonstrated well with the cool looking characters, some backgrounds, and the mansion where the family stays at.
Overall, to enjoy this series, you'd have to be a real brave fighter, one that is very patient and ignores the fillers but instead concentrate on other aspects of the "story". The first half of the series isn't one of the best ways to start off this originally hyped series. The "story" moves like a turtle and the apple pie is losing its touch. It's not too surprising that J.C. Staff's expectations didn't live up to the hype.
With all the filler episodes going on and the "story" moving so damn slow, it's no surprise that some people have dropped it. There should be limits on how to start a potential series but in this case, Arcana wasted it. It brings up boring sequences from the get go and fails to deliver anything unique to the viewers. While the art and music/Op song does somewhat makes up for this, it so far is anything but special. J.C. Staff you disappoint. No one likes reading an autobiography and especially of a series that originally had potential.
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