Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin – 01

Find out the mystery of Maya and her connection to the Occult Academy…

The moment I finished watching this episode, I wanted to blog about it. However, if only circumstances were so good to me! I had the 3W constraint: Work, Weather and Worldcup! My laptop died for a day too so there was a lot of vacillating at my part on what-will-happen-to-my-animu! Huhuu~ Well, my data was all good and I patted my 1TB external HD for being such a good boy in keeping a backup of all my want-NAO stuff. I will not talk about the listed titles I wanted to watch in summer because most of it has been a disappointment excluding the one I’m reviewing, Highschool of the Dead and Kuroshitsuji II (I know, the latter is not everyone’s cup of tea! =P). Also, I’m somewhat following a pattern here with supernatural theme anyway (I love supernatural btw, not only the genre but TV show too—I miss Dean! /random).

This one had my attention from the get-go and let me warn you one last time; I’m an avid reader/viewer of supernatural, horror and unexplained genre. Also, if a story has time travel, I jump on it like a moth to flame—forget about being burned, I’m just too fascinated with the subject. No wonder, I picked it up in college and wrote a lengthy paper too. Though, I don’t want to bore you with the refined details of Einstein’s theory of general and special relativity. But, I will say this that according to experts, travelling back in time is riskier than into the future. One has to travel with a speed greater than that of light to do this and well, if you have watched Contact (which accurately described the theoretically proven time machine chamber) even future traveling is not so hot.

Nice product placement shot, Sony!

So, time traveling starts things rolling this episode with the usage of a specific machine to transport a live object back in time. The journey back seemed more like Star Trek’s “Beam me up, Scotty!” but the quick death was disturbing indeed. The sixth “Abe Minorus” (agents of change?) is the last hope of seven oyajis sitting in a wired-up room in 2012. The fifth couldn’t survive after being hunted by a bat-shaped monster that he couldn’t overwhelm with pyrokinesis (a term coined by Stephen King in “Firestarter”). The main aim is to prevent an incident that occurred in 1999 and change the future events; most probably something related to world ending on millennium as per Nostradamus prophecies. The OP breaks in with a mind-boggling array of colours and symbolism, “Flying Humanoid” by Shouko Nakagawa (youtube link removed).

Now, introducing the tsundere-chan of this series: Maya Kumashiro, who likes her getup so much that she has a zillion copies of the same. I don’t have the foggiest why, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. She’s the daughter of the deceased Headmaster, Jun’ichirō Kumashiro (due to a heart attack) of Waldstein Gakuen AKA the Occult Academy.

Welcome to Hogwarts, Muggle!

Old school: How big mobiles used to be when they were first introduced

Turn right for the White Witch’s castle

Maya seems cold and distant at first glance and the defiant air actually compliments her persona of who-cares? Nonetheless, she didn’t come to attend her father’s funeral only to face a travesty of his body being taken over by a demon “Lamie”, catalyzed by an incantation in her father’s last message to his students. It’s quite clear from how she handled things (like bashing the demon) that she’s a pro when it comes to anything occult. Even when she states that it is simply an excavation of different religions, she knows that it exists and can’t do much about it.

*Please insert the appropriate K.I.S.S hand gesture here*

Hello, little girl, did you miss me?

7/10 for that dive. Better than Villa any day! =P

Daddy’s little girl

All grown up

The possessed body of her father escapes but not for long, as an unlikely group is gathered by her childhood fried Ami to trace out the demon: Kozue, JK and Smile. They soon encounter the demon and Smile deals with the possessed megane-chibi but everything boils down to Maya dealing with her past pain in the cruelest way: beheading her own father (ridding everyone being possessed by destroying the original host). Of course, it’s not really her father but the flashbacks shared of many moments missed and bitter parting of her childhood was really touching.

After taking care of things, Maya contemplates on how Occult has always destroyed people’s lives. No wonder, she hates it to her bones and would do anything to destroy the Academy before it causes any further ruin. Though, she’s momentarily distracted by a beam of light, transporting a butt-naked man from the sky.

Maya knows it’s no angel but wow, what silhouette! >.>

“Hola, baby!” Damn! I wanted to use “Hasta Lavista, baby!” (Maybe next episode, hmm?)

ED is in live action and sung by Ayahi Takagaki with the title “Kimi ga Iru Basho” (youtube link removed).

Main Characters Roundup (As per appearance):

  • Main Lead: The tsundere, Maya Kumashiro (Voiced by a fairly new seiyuu, Yoko Hikasa – Mio from K-On!)
  • Maya’s father: Jun’ichirō Kumashiro (Voiced by Masaaki Yajima – narrator of Samurai Champloo)
  • Maya’s childhood friend: Ami Kuroki (Voiced by Ayahi Tagagaki – Karisawa from Drrr! <333)
  • Vice Principle, Occult Academy: Chihiro Kawashima (Voiced by Yu Kobayashi – Shizuko from Kaichou wa Maid-sama!)
  • Anri-chan, Oops… Ami’s classmate: Kozue Naruse (Voiced by Kana Hanazawa – yeah, typical megane-girl with a trembling voice, Anri from Drrr!)
  • The Occult dowser: JK (Voiced by Takehito Koyasu – Sister from Arakawa Under the Bridge – love him already!)
  • Mechanic and a good fighter: Smile (Voiced by Hiroki Takahashi – Harima Kenji from School Rumble – Oh, I should’ve know from the GAR! <333)
  • Main Lead: Meet Tsubaki-kun! Ah, gomen~ Fumiaki Uchida/ Number 6 (Voiced by Takahiro Mizushima of Giant Killing fame)

End Thoughts: Rather than Maya’s Ehh?! I went, Naaandaaa koriyaaaaaa~!

This was amusing indeed! I’m happy to post that being an original anime, it would be fun to actually guess what was going to happen rather being spoiled or to secretly leaf through available material. This is the first anime that has really captured my attention out of the summer titles aired yet (Highschool of the Dead and Kuroshitsuji II get special mention). Not only the world is scenic but animation is beautiful and highly detailed. Character designs do follow a certain pattern but is pleasing to the eye with a human touch rather than typical-animu huge eyes and triangle chins (always a plus for me). The OP and ED are nothing to write home about but the psychedelic and colourful symbolic animation of OP was definitely something.

I really liked Maya as a character, not only because she’s a total tsundere but there’s this air of confidence about her. She gets surprised and flabbergasted, yet her come-back time is like in seconds, which makes her totally awesome! Usually, every girl is daddy’s girl and not getting that needed attention could’ve been the cause behind her overall coldness. Though, her wards do fall when she’s near Ami, her one and only close friend. She wishes the destruction of Occult Academy but to her dismay knows almost everything about it. I would look forward to how her character is fleshed out along with the supporting cast with time. Would love to see her dere.

Something about her that’s more than meets the eye!

Also, another interesting link to Maya is her name, which I remembered while conversing with gwern in FMA’s last post. It’s a Sanskrit word meaning illusion and the concept is taken from a Hindu belief that world is something that is just one ripple in an unbounded sea; thus, a collective and the world we experience is simply an illusion, “Yeh dunya tau maya hai”. Is her appearance and impression an illusion? Is she an agent of change for a bigger design, another side of the coin like Number 6? Who knows, but we’ll have to keep watching to find out.

Supporting cast seems interesting as hell because of strong seiyuus and how they were introduced. Of course, I’m dying to know all about Uchida/Number 6, who has come to rescue the past. Would he accomplish it when Maya is all bent on destroying the Academy her father spent his whole life in building? Prediction one: the dude sitting in the center chair (beginning scene) is Maya’s father. He’s the headmaster of an Occult Academy after all; you can’t just expect him to shrivel up and die due to a heart attack do you? There has to be a catch and from the conversation Vice Principal had with her honcho, it’s quite apparent that nothing as it seems.

I would give this 8/10 as a first episode for surprising and entertaining us. Apparently, there will be 13 episodes as per ANN and I hope it’s one of those that leave an impression behind. This, Shiki and HOTD would make my inner horror/supernatural-loving fangirl squee in delight! Also, need to dedicate this to a fellow-enthusiast Flags, who put me up to writing this. I agree with his summation of this being a mixture of Harry Potter/ Narnia with heavy supernatural vibes and a dash of Terminator thrown in. ^^

Preview: The next installment is the Advent of Bunmei and from search I learned that it was a Japanese era that marked events of change after Onin. Literally it means change in culture and civilization or clearness of understanding. From the preview, it seems Maya deals with Uchida head-on and gets embroiled in a ghost-attack. Expect a Psycho shower scene minus knife.

How would Uchida play up as a character and of course, the ensuing twists which has become usual for this series; I would be looking forward to it! So, till next time, Ja ne~ (For quicker updates, you can add me on Twitter)

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30 Responses to “Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin – 01”

  1. Joojoobees says:

    If you are a time-travel fan, and you haven’t seen it already, you should check out the film Primer.

    Regarding “prediction one”, I think you are right, although I can’t imagine how that will make sense after the axe scene.

    Although the OP had some interesting animation, I actually enjoyed the music in the ED more.

    • Kyokai says:

      I will definitely check out Primer. Btw, about the prediction, seemed to me the body that got possessed was a decoy rather than a real thing and I’ve watched enough supernatural to explain this away to closing, shafeshifters and transformation.

      Maybe the ED was live action that’s why I couldn’t really concentrate.

  2. gwern says:

    The video link do now be broken.

    • Kyokai says:

      They removed the videos… T_T At least it should be there on youtube for promotional purposes. Seems like I have to find another way of posting VDOs.

  3. mikuru says:

    i liked the episode :smile:
    the opening was good and i thought hikasa yoko would sing the opening or the ending because she sings so good! :angel2 but still i liked both the opening and ending :thumb:

    • Kyokai says:

      This has been a very good first episode. Finally a gem in the trough of summer’s average anime. ^^;

  4. Evelyn Ahmed says:

    Hinduism is a cool religion that is also oriented towards peace and prosperity.”~~

  5. berrish17 says:

    lol~yeah go Sony Vaio!its my laptop =]

    • Kyokai says:

      Lol! Nice. I’m surviving on HP. ^^;

  6. oplover says:

    One thing that i like most from the first episode :

    The OP and ED song!! Hope you post it when comes out

    • Kyokai says:

      Will definitely do. Both sounded really nice and very suiting too.

  7. umi_no_mizu says:

    loved the reveiw! the references brought more then one smile to my face (I also miss Dean btw! the day the next season starts is soo far away T_T)

    This series started out strong i think. Probably going to be one of the few I follow this season since it has that nice mix of the supernatural horror with comedy. I also thought it was much better than HOTD but that could be my huge dislike for ecchi talking >_>

    So far i’ve also thought Nurarihyon and Shiki were good, so those plus this one and kuroshitsuji are the ones I’m probably going to be watching.

    • Kyokai says:

      I am glad to find another supernatural enthusiast and let me tell you another nugget: Supernatural’s getting an anime by Madhouse, releasing in Jan 2011. http://wwws.warnerbros.co.jp/supernatural/#/animeTop

      Coming back to Occult, it’s a league of its own. I won’t compare it with HOTD that’s blatantly zombie and ecchi-ridden. I’m tolerating the ecchi just because of Takashi’s character and zombie bashing as I love such horror.

      Shiki, Kuroshitsuji II and Occult are definitely my favorite picks but I’m not sure about Nura as it seemed too kiddish. Next episode would decide it for me, I loved its OP though.

  8. quigonkenny says:

    Great first episode, and I enjoyed the review. But I would suggest thay Maya’s name may not be in reference to the Sanskrit term, but is more likely a reference to the Mayan civilization, whose calendar ends in 2012, a number that appears prominently in the OP and in preview material.

    Of course, it could always refer to both.

    • Kyokai says:

      Arigatou~!

      Btw, *facepalm* I knew I was missing something! Thanks for pointing out about the Mayan calendar. Her name could be hinting to any or both concepts actually. ^^;

  9. I also love the supernatural and THE SERIES!!!! I miss Dean too… and Castiel xD

    Interesting trivia on time travelling. I’m fond of such but didn’t really… errr… study it.

    I didn’t expect the Advent of Bunmei to be something Japanese. Pretty hard to find articles related to it. Guh.

    • Kyokai says:

      At least, now we have an anime to look forward to but I heard the next season from CW will be starting to air in September; whatever comes first I’ll jump on it.

      In case of Time Travel, I took up physics and pre-med in high school that pretty much had us studying the subject in-depth and then writing a paper at the end of term. Time Travel was my ending pride, even when it was more of a research paper than actual experimentation. ^^;

      I would be checking out your article on symbology. Looks amazing.

  10. Would that my hand were as swift as my tongue. — Alfieri

  11. This was a series i can definitely see myself watching, roll on next week. Nice post! ^^

    • Kyokai says:

      This is seriously the best out of Summer for sure. Thanks for the compliment! ^^;

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