The story revolves around Maya, the daughter of the former Headmaster of Waldstein Academy, and a time traveling agent Fumiaki Uchida. In the year 2012, the world had been invaded by aliens and time travelers were sent back to the year 1999 in order to find and destroy the Nostradamus Key, which Nostradamus Prophecy foretold as what would bring about the apocalypse. The series then turns to the year 1999, where Maya returns to the Academy with the intention of destroying the Academy by superseding her late father's position as the principal. Her plan was interrupted when she meets Fumiaki and learns of the forthcoming destruction. Despite being distrusting towards Fumiaki, they form a pact to look for the Nostradamus Key.
In order to find the Nostradamus Key, time agents were provided with specially created cell phones. When a user finds an object of interest, by thinking of destroying it and taking a photo, and if the resulting image is that of a peaceful world, then the subject is the Nostradamus Key. Conversely, if the subject is not the Nostradamus Key, then the photo displays destruction. By using the phone, Maya and Fumiaki investigates occult occurrences as they occur in the town.
One of the biggest problems with anime is that all too often what you're watching just doesn't hit the mark. There are a number of shows that have been great conceptually, but when it comes to execution they simply do not fulfill their potential. This could be due to the oversimplification of the plot, an uninteresting storyline, dull or overly stereotypical characters, or even just pure laziness on the part of the writers (or something else entirely). Whatever the case may be, there are far too many anime out there that simply do not cut the mustard because they don't do enough with what they
And then there's the shows like Seikimatsu Occult Gakuen (End of Century Occult Academy).
Originally developed as part of Anime no Chikara, a project run by TV Tokyo's anime department in conjunction with Aniplex, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuen is the third release from that stable (the previous two being Sora no Woto and Senkou no Night Raid), and marks the full directorial debut of Itou Tomohiko.
Set in the fictional Waldstein Academy which sits atop Mount Minakami in Matsushiro, Nagano Prefecture, the story begins with Kumashiro Maya disembarking from the bullet train. She is the daughter of the academy's principal and founder Kumashiro Junichiro, and has returned to the city to attend the funeral of her estranged father. Along the way, her taxi driver tells her about some of the strange rumours surrounding the academy because of its focus on all things supernatural.
On the surface Sekimatsu Occult Academy has a fairly reasonable set up. The plot is, initially, pretty straight forward, and there even seems to be some signs of an intelligent story at certain points during the first episode. Unfortunately, all of that promise quickly goes out of the window during the rest of the series.
For some reason the writers thought there wouldn't be enough going on in an academy that focuses specifically on the supernatural, so they decided to add other things to it. In a sense, Occult Academy has pretty much everything in it that Suzumiya Haruhi wanted, from ghosts and witches, to time travellers and dimensional aliens.
The problem is, it's simply too much for the series to handle.
Occult Academy starts off reasonably well, but the rapid addition of so many threads to an already burgeoning plot ends up giving the series less focus, and it seems that this was simply too much for a rookie series director to handle. The numerous and disparate aspects of the story all begin to come together towards the end of the series though, but the story has an inherent predictability that seems to be an offshoot of adding too much.
In all honesty, if the series had added one or two more supernatural aspects, then it may very well have collapsed under its own weight. The plot has a certain fragility because of the amount of information in the anime, and this makes it difficult to take the story seriously (especially with those little comedy scenes thrown in for good measure). That said, some people may find the show enjoyable because of the oddness surrounding Maya and her crew.
Talking about odd, while the series looks pretty good overall, one can't help but wonder at some of the designs in the show. A-1 Pictures and Xebec have made Occult Academy look pretty good for the most part, but looks are only skin deep. The characters are designed reasonably well and have their own individual attributes, but there's a certain amount of stereotype at play in this department. The short haired girl is a jock, the glasses girl is a geek, etc, etc. It would be nice if the creators put more thought into the character design as personally I'd like to see some of those stereotypes finally put to rest. One other problem is the level of fanservice involved in the show as it really isn’t necessary, and it makes one wonder exactly who the target audience is supposed to be.
That said, the facial expressions are usually pretty well realised (althought it is sometimes difficult to tell if Maya is tense or constipated).
In addition to the design, the animation is of a pretty decent standard as well, except for certain occasions where the character movements seem ... odd. Thankfully these occasions are fairly few and far between, but they are noticeable when they occur. One also has to wonder if Maya likes the short dress she generally wears as she has one with exactly the same design during the flashbacks to her childhood.
Another aspect of the show that's odd is the acting. Hikasa Youko and Mizushima Takahiro are pretty good as Maya and Fumiaki (or Bunmei, whichever name you prefer to call him by), and the rest of the cast deliver some perfectly decent performances throughout. What's odd though, is that even with some decent acting the characters just don't seem to work. The audience is given nothing to sympathise or empathise with, and while some may believe this to be due to poor acting, in actuality its down to a poor script.
The sound quality is decent throughout the series, but one of the problems with Occult Academy is the music, or rather, the choreography. The tracks on offer are well chosen but there are several scenes where they just don't seem to mesh with the on screen action. In addition to this the OP, which is a fairly typical J-rock track called "Flying Humanoid" by Nakagawa Shouko, works well as an opening theme, but the opening sequence itself doesn't seem to work with the music. As for the ED, "Kimi ga Iru Basho" by Takagaki Ayahi is a decent enough song as well, but again the ending sequence makes no sense (unless images of a girl and boy lying in grass are your thing).
It's not that the music itself is bad, but rather its implementation is a bit strange.
As I mentioned before the acting is decent enough, but the characters lack any real depth for the entirety of the series. One of the biggest problems with Occult Academy is that there is simply too much going on at any one time, and because of this the characters seem like nothing more than by-products of the plot. The overly complicated storyline precludes any real growth or characterisation, especially for Maya and Fumiaki, and it's not until the final few episodes that they actually start to develop. Even then the storyline gets in the way, which is a shame as some of the characters, especially Fumiaki, had some very interesting histories which really warranted more of a look.
Sekimatsu Occult Gakuen is a decent enough series that toys with some interesting ideas, but doesn't really go any further than that. The problem is that the story is far too complicated for its own good, and because of this everything else in the show seems to have been thrown off course. It may have seemed like a good idea on paper, but like so many other things like that, the result is nothing more than a decent looking anime with no real substance.
That said, there are several interesting plot points that even I found distracting, but they're not enough to support the weight of an entire series and all its characters. Granted there may be viewers who don't mind that the plot seems to have been hammered together from one of Haruhi's delusions, but it just wasn't enough for me as there is little in the way of justification for anything that happens in Occult Academy.
It's a shame really, but the quality of releases from Anime no Chikara seems to be dropping by degrees, and Sora no Woto remains the best title from that stable so far.
You know when you have to find something and how it's the highest priority to do so? Well, Occult Academy for 13 episodes is looking for something, but it isn't the the highest priority. Time Traveler Fumiaki "Bunmei" and Prinicpal Kamashiro Maya are looking for the illusive "Nostradamus' Key" in order to prevent the world from ending in 1999.
Anime no Chikara is a project designed to create "original" anime series. Which, they have no problem in doing. The major fault of these series is that everything building up to the climax has little to nothing to do with the actual story. Taking example of Sora
no Woto, in my opinion the best of Anime no Chikara's projects (not because it was K-ON! with guns). But it had this same ordeal, but the earlier episodes always had that looming threat of war just beyond the border. Most people we're too distracted by the cute. But Occult Academy suffers greatly from this problem.
The show isn't terrible, it's enjoyable. But other shows have done the occult idea better and have expanded upon what this show only touches. I know when people usually see my reviews the show is usually terrible. But this show also lacks some common sense in the way the story is played out.
Onto good points. The art of Occult Academy is something I love. It's this nice, crisp, refined style that is truly original. It truly matches every character's traits.
Which lead me into characters. The character traits are just kind of blasted at you the moment they come screen. Maya's character is the only character that truly jumps out at me when I think about Occult Academy, all the other characters are enjoyable, but I was kind of hoping for some more. Some characters are just kind of there for the ride and to fight things. Which is "all right", I suppose.
Music. Music is sometimes occult stuff and sometimes it's not. When it's not something chanting or something dark or spooky to get you into thinking "occult" you get this nice traditional folk to bring you away from everything occult. I couldn't handle this show if everything was occult. That's an overload.
There's some issues with how the story plays out though. There's that ten episodes of introduction and build-up and it's swiftly all explained in about five seconds? Oh. Kind of a bummer, I was hoping it had a greater purpose then just being an obstacle.
The biggest thing that will bother most is the search for the Key itself. Maya and Bunmei will purposefully hold off looking for it. Let's go over what the characters don't know. They don't know what the Key is. They don't know where the Key will be located. They don't know what will happen with the Key when they find it. They don't know any of this. Yet, they hold it off until a couple of weeks before the world ends. You can't just put that off to solve over things. I don't get it. They could've made this series one long adventure to finding the key. Instead you get this? It's kind of disappointing. The storytelling was alright, but it had so much potential.
Maya's spell book bothers me. In one episode, Bunmei says that she has her father's spell book on her person all the time. If that's the case, why doesn't she ever use it? It's a book full of spells and they use it twice. Her father left her the spell book to protect her from evil and to use against evil. The most she uses against evil is a crossbow and she doesn't use the spell book to figure anything out; or learn about her father. Just some important things that would've been better if used correctly. Maybe Maya was afraid of getting tongue tied in the middle of fighting. That would be embarrassing to the viewers.
Also, disregard for the fact that other humans might be in the same situation as Akari. They never look for anyone else that might've been captured. Just a "grab your friend and run" deal. It's sometimes obvious too, because there are bones and cocoons and stuff. Yeah, it's just something stupid, right?
If you like occult stuff, you should give this a try. It's a neat concept. It's just average.
'Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin' (Turn of the Century Occult Academy) is the third and final installment of 'Anime no Chikara' (Power of Anime) Project by TV Tokyo and Aniplex, following 'Sora no Oto' and 'Senkou no Night Raid'.
As the title suggests, the setting is in an Occult Academy in 1999, a school notorious for study of the pseudoscience. Series of paranormal incidents have been observed in the academy in recent months, including the one where the dean was killed. Soon after the dean's daughter returns, a psychokinetic 'time agent' descends from the sky, and together, the duo seeks Nostradamus' Key, which supposedly was the cause
of the apocalypse as predicted in the prophecy.
The show started off very strong, quickly introducing the main characters, the premise, and the mission.
The story gets episodic after a while. It seems the producers are more interested in introducing occult trivia than actual development of the story.
The team encounter various paranormal events, so much at one point that it bothered me how they so conveniently and easily came across occult mysteries, which by definition should not be so easily found. To my surprise, all was explained by a dark magician as the culprit. At first, I was turned off by seemingly rushed sum up, but after a second thought, it was extremely appropriate since magic is the most well-known occult mystery.
There were still a whole bunch of plot holes though... why does Ramachandran-Fischer conjecture result in alien invasions anyway? Not to mention all the time travel paradoxes of the ending.
The story overall was nothing out of ordinary and sometimes even predictable, but the pacing was good enough to keep me interested throughout the series.
Maya is a tsundere, oh wait, that word didn't exist yet... she's just another girl who's not honest with her feelings. Toward both Fumiaki and the occult. Fumiaki on the other hand is a typical loser whose incompetence knows no limit, and easily gets carried away. In fact, he's practically Nobita from Doraemon series. Despite this, both characters come with a dark past that they eventually learn to overcome through their adventures.
All the side characters though, are grossly underused. We know absolutely nothing about their pasts, and their characters were flat to the end. Perhaps they gave the leading couple more screen time to develop, but I can't help but feel they existed simply to advance otherwise impossible plots.
JK pops up whenever someone goes missing and needs to be found. Smile just follows JK and beat the crap out of bad guys. Mikaze turned out to be a villain behind all the occult incidents around the academy, but it was never explained what she had to gain by letting aliens rule the world...
Background art was extremely detailed, just like in 'Sora no Oto'. It was also noticeably lacking motion, but had far better texture and engaging.
Unlike 'Sora no Oto', character design this time was very original, with unique faces, hair, and signature stockings + heels, suits + ahoge, and accessories (dowsing rods, wrench, glasses/blindness etc) that made each character memorable.
Characters really lacked details, especially compared to the awesome backgrounds, but made up for it by incredibly realistic face/body expressions that seemed to flawlessly convey their state of mind.
Animation in general was decent, but occasional 3D-CG-assisted camera movement was absolute disaster.
I really liked Mikaze's voice. It sounded like an ordinary cute girl voice, but there was a certain cold, eeriness in her speech that worked very well for her character. Rest of the cast was average.
BGM was nothing remarkable and sometimes even hard to notice. Although the sound effects were pretty good.
OP/ED were catchy songs, though ED animation was a head-scratcher... Mannequins? 3D-CG? Photoshopped picture?
The message of this show was great, that we should always keep an open mind, that we should stand on our own feet and walk our own path.
I feel this series would've been a huge success to younger audiences if they made skirts couple of inches longer, toned down Mikaze's seduction, and broadcast in daytime.
'Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin' is a horrible show if you watch it as an occult anime because it attempts to deal with too many occult mysteries in too few episodes and technically filled with flaws, but it's fascinating if you watch it as a fantasy/adventure anime. It's got dreams and shows the allurement of existence of the supernatural.
I dropped 'Senkou no Night Raid' after 2nd episode, but I think it's safe to say that 'Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin' is the best series in 'Anime no Chikara' Project, because well, it's the only one that shown me the power of anime.
"[The Occult] do no exist in reality... As long as you don't believe in them." Watch this series with an open mind.
Actually more of the people are way to far from getting the meaning of this anime. I'm not saying that is the best thing out there, but it's actually pretty good on his own way. Please, read everything, is worthily!
Let's start with some probable obviously things. Bunmei is coming from the summer of 2012, like we all know in the moment that I'm writing that this is the very famous "end of the world", on 21 December. And where is going Bunmei? In 1999, to stop the prophecy of Nostradamus for 21 July. Actually till now there was many endings of the world, but 1999
together with 2012 are really big ones. The prophecy of Nostradamus was something real in "our world" and many people believed in it, but we are still kicking asses as ever...
Let's talk a little about the best writer right now, Steven King. Did you read his book "The Dark Tower". It's a strange adventure horror with a lot of strange things like cowboys and shits. In this book he use many things from movies, other books, songs and shits... Not only like parody, but actually he create an complete other thing from them. Actually many people believe that the prophecy was for King. Near 21 July King almost die in incident, but he didn`t. This people think that the "The Dark Tower" is like a reflection of an other world, probable parallel to our. They think that King is important connection between the worlds and if he couldn`t write the book the balance of the universe would brake and the world would end. One of the bad guys in the book come in our world trying to kill King, but he was stopped from the good guys and the prophecy of Nostradamus was stopped and King finish his book.
Why I'm writing all this? Because in "Occult Academy" they use things like that too! For example, the future that they show us is like something that is come from "War of the Worlds" and "Terminator". They didn`t just use movies things, but a lot of anime stuff, like some typical anime characters and even things like magic girls. But it's maybe kind of hard to take everything like parody? This is because not everything is parody, but there still there is a lot of from it, but it use in other way too (kind of confusing xD). So... For exaple think about all shity animes that you watch... Now thing about "Occult Academy"... Isn't it something kind of wrong? All of the characters in this anime are actually maturate people! Yeah! This animes is good exactly in this, by using many stereotype things making something complete new from it that actually is even full of philosophy, but it's not easy to find.
In many animes the names of the heroes have some meaning, but here they are really, really important! They are include in every name of the episodes and if you switch there place with there meaning they make something new! I will give you there meaning replace them on your own, Bunmei - civilization, knowledge; Maya - illusion; (ka)Mikaze - divine wind, Kozue - treetop(check on google for more info); Ami - net, friend; Akari - light.
I'm an assohle so I will give you many keys, but I will not told you which one is for the door and which door, because this way is more good and more interesting. Think well about the name of the episodes and what happen in them, and while doing that, remember "What important are the things you can`t see with your eyes" and try to see the things that it one to tell us about the humans, the occult and the society.
But still i give him 8/10, because I'm fan of the real goods scary/horror storyies and that wasn`t horror at all, but it's not even on the genres even. Still they could do it way more seriously and to use the occult for really scary things and to can say to us the same thing. And the "not seriously" seriously of the anime in some moments was going a little to far and was even a little annoying.
P.S. Sorry for my poor writing skills on this language, and of course you always have the right to think about me like an idiot, because i believe that this animes is actually good. But you are human too, therefore you are an idiot too.
P.S.2 The end was kicking fucking asses all over the place!
Sifting through the dark, forgotten recesses of My Anime List like some sort of anime hipster, our writers have brought you 15 of what they consider to be the most underrated anime out there. Under appreciated masterpiece or stinker that got the reception it deserved; you decide.