|Yay! I finally got this up! So the episodes have actually been improving for Arcana! …I don’t think this show would have survived a lot of people’s 3 episode test or whatever it’s called, but I’m really happy that the story is coming together now.|
They went waaaaay off the game script again, but it does seem like they’re briefly covering all of the mandatory events that happened. I’m less wary about the pacing since this gives me a better handle on how they’re going to animate this. The ‘flag’ for Debito’s backstory was completely skipped over, so I assume that none of the characters (minus Liberta and Nova) are getting huge character development. …I suppose that’s fair enough since there are 7 characters and it would be hard to fully develop all of them while simultaneously progressing the story in 12 episodes. (Though they did manage to shove in at least half of Liberta’s route in episode 4, so I could be wrong). Since they bothered showing Elmo, I think they might go more in depth in Jolly’s route as well as the ones I mentioned (plus his route covers part of the main story line where Mondo and the Duello are concerned).
For those of you upset over the tournament not starting right away… I don’t know what to tell you. The game was 99% daily life and then the veeeeeeery last day of the game, the tournament happened (and within that, Felicita only fought 2 battles per route). The game, there were plenty of in between fights that happened in the routes along the way to make up for it. Looking at the anime alone, which is skipping all of these side missions, I don’t really see how things like helping orphans and chasing cats is making Fel any stronger though. I can see why people are getting impatient. I can’t even remember there being any big events (minus a quick spar with Jolly and Dante) where Fel was shown training either since she was already strong in the game, so if they decide to have her power up, it’s going to look like it came out of nowhere. …Maybe that’s why they’re having the harem do everything for her? So she doesn’t look too strong from the start? …That’s probably wishful thinking on my part, but they could work that into an acceptable excuse if they tried.
Overall though, this was not a bad episode at all as far as I’m concerned. The characters remained in tact, Nova’s character is starting to be more dere, they hinted at Liberta’s backstory in a random place without messing up any of the canon and Fel’s newfound ignorance actually made the explanations much less awkward (I’m starting to see why they made her ‘new’ to the family). Now that they’ve finished with the awkward “My name is ___, I have the ____ Tarocco and it does ___” formula, the story is actually flowing. Sure, nothing exciting is happening, they wasted a rather large portion of the story on the fact that Pace likes to eat and Debito’s missing eye is never going to be explained, but the story looks like it’s back on track.
…This episode was like two steps forward and one step back. They spent an entire episode going into Liberta’s backstory and fleshing out his character, but they completely bypassed the parts where Felicita was important in it since her power is still uncontrollable or whatever. Instead, they just covered up where she helped by just having Liberta run around solving everything on his own. Fel still feels like a soft-spoken heroine, but at least she took initiative a bit here and asked around herself instead of just running after Liberta. She also seems to be getting a better handle on her power since she could actually see Dante’s heart at the end of the episode when she tried.
The pacing felt a bit fast since they covered a lot of Liberta’s route at once, but at least the plot is moving forward. …The downside to this though is that I don’t know how much more they’ll go into Liberta. Sure, I assume that he’ll show up at least once an episode like all of the other characters, and I think they’ll include the part where Liberta actually gets a handle on his powers but that’s probably going to be it. Nova will probably be next for character development (though the preview was extremely vague). I’m just happy that they’re actually following the storyline now and that the flow of the story is much less awkward. In any case, I’ve noticed a lot of QUALITY (or lack of) in the animation. …Nothing major, and the slower parts generally look okay, but it is distracting.
I still feel pretty restricted in what I can talk about since Arcana has a ton of plot points of varying importance that are hidden still (that they may or may not go into), but hopefully I’ll be able to go into the significance of each character’s Tarot soon. Liberta still has a bit of plot development to go, so I’ll see if he gets any more episodes or not before going into the Fool (though if you’ve read that Persona Tarot post I made with OC, you could probably piece it together yourself). It’s nowhere near as deep as Persona, but it still adds interesting insight into each character and their powers.