Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin - 12



Another action packed episode of Occult Academy is in the books, and another outstanding series creeps towards conclusion. These season ends are always a little sad - Seikimatsu, Mitsudomoe, GK - you will all be missed.

We were certainly treated to a terrific battle between Chihiro and Mikaze, which finally turns in the black witch's favor as she gloats over having kissed Fumiaki. Things are looking pretty bleak as Maya flees with Chihiro's familiar, now in the form of a giant black panther. Fumiaki remains paralyzed and the others are fighting off killer obaa-sans in Ami-san's truck. But in her last act (apparently) Chihiro summons her strength to free Fumiaki, tells him Maya's father is alive and whispers a secret in his ear. He runs to Maya and she (apparently) expires. Maya is being pummeled by Mikaze on the roof of the school, but Abe-sensei turns up just in the nick of time and it turns out the secret was the spell hidden in Maya's notebook - her real notebook - which is a spell to banish all demons. It works on Mikaze, Chihiro's familiar and Chihiro herself (apparently) all of whom disappear. But not before Maya has snapped a photo of Mikaze which shows she is (apparently) the Nostradamus Key. Bunemi reports his success to the future and all should be well - except it isn't. The future still sucks.

I'm definitely getting "bad end" vibes for Fumiaki here, though I certainly hope I'm wrong. There are all kinds of possible reasons why the future might not be fixed - not least of which might be that it was Fumiaki, not Mikaze, who was the Key. They were both in the picture, but the problem with that theory is that in principle Maya would have had to have been wishing for Bunmei's destruction for the trick to work. Or, just possibly, would wishing for the destruction of the other party in the frame (Mikaze) have been enough?

The revelation that the Principal was alive certainly was telegraphed at the end of 11, but judging by the PV Chihiro might be, too. That was a very disturbing PV and so is the episode title of 13, "Maya's Bunemi". I think he's going to need to sacrifice himself one way or the other to save the future. But the mere fact that we're still on edge wondering with one episode left is testament to how effective this show has been at building up both its mysteries and audience identification with the characters. Things have been revealed consistently but never too much at once - and there were always new questions raised when others were answered. Mitsudomoe is definitely the funniest series of the summer, and Shiki the scariest - but Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin is the full package. Top to bottom it's the best and most consistent show of the season.

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