Tuesday, July 3, 2012

La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions--She Kicks High

La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 1

It didn’t blow me out of the water, but it works for what it is.

La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 2 La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 3

I went into this episode with moderate expectations and I got a moderate episode, so I’m satisfied. Arcana Famiglia does have an interesting premise; a mafia boss (I have no other way to describe the “family” at this point) wants to retire, so he decides to hold a contest to decide who the strongest member of the family is. The winner gets the title of “Papa” and will marry his daughter. However, his daughter isn’t happy about this. At first I thought that she had Disney Princess Syndrome™ (“I don’t want to wear a dress! I want to be ~FREE~”), but she does put her money where her mouth is and fights her father after he makes this announcement. Apparently she’s going to decide to compete and take control of the family herself, but that wasn’t made clear in this episode. Those high kicks and knife skills were awesome. At the very least, this show has an interesting heroine.

La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 4 La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 5
The “powers” bit is interesting too, although the exposition used to explain it was strange, since the characters were stating things that everyone present should already know. It would’ve been far better to show this in the action; for example, they say things like “And you, Angry Blue Haired Anime Kid™, made a deal with the card representing Death, and so on and so forth” rather than something like “He’s using the power of Death!” An even shorter version would've been "We stole the battle system from Persona." Anyway, that was easily the weakest part of the episode overall, but I am interested in seeing how the powers play out, especially the heroine’s ability to read minds. That should come in handy later on.

La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 6 La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 7

Another weird spot was the fact that this show can't seem to decide what time period it exists in. We've got swords, guns, bombs, rocket launchers, cars from the 1900s, and fashion from the present day (with the exception of the main character's mother, who wear a kimono for some reason). Rather than creating a unique atmosphere (which I'm assuming was the point) it's just confusing. I hope that the show will set some ground rules for it's world soon, because in the first episode it feels like a free-for-all. Isn't this supposed to be somewhere in Italy?

La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 8 La storia della Arcana Famiglia First Impressions Screenshot 9

Overall, this show is pretty solid in setting out what it wants to do. It’s a reverse harem show, it knows it, and it doesn’t try to put on any extra frills about it, so I do like it in that respect. If the genre in general isn't to your liking, then you should give this a pass since it doesn't look like this is a genre-changer.

This is a J.C. Staff show, so the animation is consistent and nice to look at--or at least a lot more so than the average reverse harem tends to be. I hope it’ll continue that way throughout the season. As I've already pointed out, the show does fall into some stereotypes and a lot of individual parts are not very original, but as a whole it presents itself pretty well. For what little we see of the characters, they’re likable enough at this point. If a first episode is indicative of how a reverse harem show will play out (like a certain show from last season), then this one passes so far.

Images from Crunchyroll.com.

4 comments:

  1. YOU'RE BEING FOOLED, FOOLED I TELL YA--

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  2. I like the setting and I really like Felicita, but the entire concept feels clunky and the explanation left a lot to be desired. I havnt given up on it yet and hope that it does pick up though.

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  3. @illogicalzen

    I feel the same way. I see a lot of promise, especially with Felicita, but the presentation leaves a lot to be desired at the moment.

    ReplyDelete