Reverse harem meets the mafia
|Ah, this was late on my part due to my internet acting absolutely retarded all week, but I somehow managed to actually get this finished. Yay! So if you didn’t already pick up from my incessant ranting, this is the summer show I’ve been looking forward to the most. I can’t say that I absolutely love J.C. Staff’s take on this, but at least they didn’t ruin it completely.|
Why do people hate the leads of reverse harems so much? It’s because they NEVER DO ANYTHING. Not that you can tell from this episode, but Felicita (game) actually does things. Felicita (anime) doesn’t seem to. Why? Her harem seems to do everything for her. Yes, it was probably because they wanted to introduce the harem first, but there is absolutely no harm in letting her actually win a battle once while the harem gets the fuck out of the way. I understand that she needs to appear weak now, to make the ending more satisfying (I figure they’re going the best route) but still. I liked the game BECAUSE Felicita wasn’t just some blank slate female figure for silly fangirls to project their image onto. She actually had a personality and a storyline to her. Most otome games focus on the male leads, but Arcana didn’t. J.C. is being counter productive here by making Felicita like every other female reverse harem lead ever. Hopefully this improves later on in the series. Again, I believe that they may be purposefully making her look weak now in order to have Felicita look like she’s growing stronger as the series progresses, but there’s always the off chance that they’re trying to conform with the standard that other otome games turned anime have set before.
…This episode involved a lot of exposition of the characters. Sure, it was necessary to those who are new to the whole franchise, but I imagine it was still confusing. The number of main characters alone is daunting, but having this episode entirely dedicated to dumping info on the viewer will (probably) be helpful later. There was really no need for them to introduce everyone’s Tarocco at once though since if this is following the main game plot, it will gradually be covered again anyways. I imagine they could have just left it off until they progressed further into the story. It also felt like they were pushing certain aspects of the characters too hard as well. An example being Liberta’s position as the Fool and rushing into absolutely everything head on. They also even randomly added the fact that despite being part of the family for years, J.C. suddenly had Liberta clueless as to what the other member’s powers were. Sure, they needed to get the explanation of Felicita’s ability out there, but that could have easily been done by a narrator or something. Having Liberta completely clueless just seemed silly since he’s been around there for about 10 years. As for the humour, I guess it’s up to taste. The game is extremely over the top and the anime looks like it will be living up to that. On the other hand though, since they’re putting so much emphasis on the characters and their personalities, I can see some of this growing old fast. Pairing-wise? I actually can’t see Felicita ending up with anyone really, but I’m okay with that for reasons you’ll find out later if the anime follows through with the best ending. Though it’s blatantly obvious from the OP that the anime will probably be focusing on the Liberta-Felicita-Nova events more. …I could ruin SO MUCH here, but I will restrain myself.
Anime (left) Game (right)
This was probably just the staff being too lazy to come up with a new way of animating things (or they were catering to the fans), but having the art look extremely similar to the game was fun. They even included side characters who have in game sprites in the background like that woman who was explaining who the family was at the beginning of the episode and when Mondo was walking in front of the family, the generic members were posing like they do in the game during the same events. The anime might not have copied the game’s art style completely, but the awareness of how the game presented itself is there at least.
So while I can’t comment much on J.C.’s take on the storyline yet since this episode was all about introduction, but I did notice that they added a fair bit of yaoi fangirl fodder between the males. …I don’t know what to think about this yet, but I’m kind of sick of animation studios doing this in general (I’ll probably rant on this if J.C. decides to pull this often). On the plus side though, it doesn’t look like this will be a complete sausagefest since all of the guys accepted Felicita as marriage material right from the start (minus Nova and Liberta, but Nova has his reasons and Liberta doesn’t want to force her like that). Also, they threw in a bit of fan service for the guys via Felicita’s power of looking into hearts. I’m sure the action helped make this interesting for the male viewers as well. Actually, that point is interesting to me since it looks like J.C. is making a conscious effort to cater to both genders out there. Male viewers out there, is this watchable for you? Why or why not?
Even though it’s out, I wanted my first impressions to be separate, so episode 2 should be out soon provided that things don’t go to hell again.