Arcana Famiglia – 11-12 [END]

“So how about choosing someone out of your harem to give us romantic closur-”    “LOLNO.”

So Arcana Famiglia, the anime I was looking forward to the most over the summer, has finally ended. What do I think of all of this? …I don’t even know how they managed to screw up on of the greatest games I’ve ever played this badly. Though with that horrible adaption of Bread: The Animation, I really shouldn’t be surprised that these things can go really downhill fast. Anyways, my thoughts.

Episode 11:

…I only ever really noticed the statue outside and the one in Mondo’s room, but there are likenesses of Fel everywhere. Why. Anyways, this was an okay episode in terms of Nova and Liberta since they both finally got over their problems and such. As for the rest of the members… PFFT AHAHAHAHA character development? What’s that?

Liberta… hasn’t really changed as a character. The beginning of the anime, he was The Fool through and through with rushing into everything head on without thinking. He’s still like that. It’s only been toned down by an extremely small amount. Sure, he says things that are more mature now, but it looks more like it’s because he’s not just throwing insults at Nova all the time as opposed to any actual character growth. Also, he can use his Arcana power. Now, when it comes to his power, I find it INCREDIBLY overpowered in terms of what he can do. Yes, it makes sense with The Fool tarot card symbolizing unlimited possibilities, but as far as anyone knows, he could say just about anything and it could come true. Perhaps it’s a good thing that Liberta is an idiot when you think of it like that. Imagine if someone like Jolly had that power. Now as for him using Felicita as a role model… it made a lot more sense in the game since she actually did things. Yes, she used her Arcana powers without thinking twice, but she had no real reason to be afraid in the first place since she wasn’t all that aware of the consequences. Her one traumatic childhood experience with it was completely erased and nobody bothered to warn her. I don’t think her decision would have changed otherwise, but she had no reason to be afraid, so of course she used her power recklessly.

It wasn’t exactly the most successful wet t-shirt contest ever

Speaking of ineffectual, Nova revived his parents, but at the same time… didn’t. I’m okay with the result of his parents not waking up, but there’s just something missing here that the game had. It made his struggle to use his power seem like… less of a struggle, so where the result of his parents on the road to recovery felt really hard fought and a huge accomplishment in the game (the scene was way longer, Nova needed Mondo to boost his power beforehand, he almost collapsed/ needed Fel to physically keep him standing, the list goes on), here it just felt like he only needed to be emotionally stronger and that he could have done this at any time. …Maybe this is just me since I have something to compare it to.

“Don’t worry, guys. I’m sure standing completely still with my glowing neck powers will heal my comatose parents”

One last thing that irked me was the fact that they wasted our time announcing pointless things. Why bother mentioning that they’re throwing Fel a party for her recovering, and then not bother showing us anything? That scene had no purpose other than once again pointing out that everyone has unusually high affection for Fel for no adequately explored reason. They could have used that scene for a million other things and just had Nova and Liberta come up with doing something for Fel on their own.

Episode 12:

Believe me, I don’t know how you lost either.

Dear lord, where do I even start with this episode? They coped out on the battle sequences for one thing. Here I was expecting, I dunno, actual fighting, but instead they left us with: “Oujo, I’m going to fight you now” -sudden scene change- “Well shit. I lost.” …Not only does this further lower Felicita’s credibility as someone capable (hell knows how she won, it doesn’t even look like she moved between battles), but they’ve been building up to this last tournament for the past 11 episodes. They could have left us with something more memorable. Not only that, but the fixing of Mondo’s problem was also offscreen. Sure, that’s how it was in the game (Mondo’s recovery, not the fighting), but I feel cheated somehow. Pretty much every reason why the story even happened is all resolved offscreen. The only things we saw resolved had nothing to do with the plot.

*Insert cheesy line about how he used the blunt end of the sword here*

…So Fel amazingly won the whole thing and we weren’t given any romantic conclusion. That was within my set of predictions. I figured where they’d go with the best ending where Fel becomes the family head and a complete badass, but I guess that would be too much for anime Fel to handle. Looking back, I don’t think we ever saw her do anything for the division she was assigned either. I still don’t understand how she won against Mondo. Nor do I understand how Liberta and Nova won their fights since they both sat there for a couple of moments staring at their swords halfway across the arena in the middle of them while their opponent stared off into space. LOL ANIME CONVENIENCE.

“How about now? Now do you feel like actually making a decision?”              “Sure”

“REALLY?!”                       “Yeah! ….Wait, no. Nevermind.”


…What can I say? This was a complete and utter disappointment. They took out the depth of the characters/ any romance that would have appealed to the female audience, and they skipped out on SO MUCH of the humour/ action which would have appealed to the male audience. …That doesn’t exactly leave anyone wanting to watch this. I can’t even come up with a reason someone would want to watch this unless they played the game (in which case, they would be severely disappointed). Arcana Famiglia had so much potential, but it was undoubtably wasted.

My biggest issue with it was how drastically they changed Fel’s character. I’ve talked about this countless times, but I do believe that it was a huge issue. I can see them toning down her character in order to let the other characters shine through, but the other characters never really did anything either. Nova and Liberta had quite a bit of screen time, but looking back, their characters leave a lot to be desired unless there’s romance to distract from that. Even looking at the game, there’s not much there (which I would have never noticed if not for the anime). The animation was pretty bad for ‘quality’ as well. Anime like this is supposed to promote the game, but I can’t see why anyone would bother playing it after watching this.

What I did like though has extreme spoilers in it, so I’m warning you now, even though it’s already under the spoiler tag. …Read at your own risk. …If you even care enough at this point.

Show ▼

As for other things I liked, sure they botched 90% of the characters, but I thought they did a pretty great job with Mondo and Sumire. I vaguely remember mentioning this in a previous post, but in the game, Mondo appears at the beginning of the game to announce the tournament and then he disappears pretty much until he falls ill. Seeing random scenes with him and Sumire actually acting like a couple was nice. I’d say that Sumire had about the same amount of screen time as she did in the game and she had about the same amount of depth(which is to say, next to none), so nothing felt off there either.

Also on the plus side, this is the most fun I’ve had with screencaps for a while.

Now there is an extra episode coming out, but I have no idea what it would even cover. …Nor do I have much hope that it will be any good unless the story gets a complete remake. In better news though, the game is getting a sequel and since the fan disk was (apparently) really good, I have hopes that AF 2 will also be great. Now I WILL be putting out a game review (which I planned to do… 3 months ago) …eventually. Then you’ll see why I was so excited for this adaption, only to have my hopes shattered beyond repair into a million pieces and then had those pieces stepped on and thrown into a bottomless black abyss. …I may or may not be exaggerating there.

Thanks for sticking with me until now (…or thanks for just reading this one post, in which case, I can guarantee that you didn’t miss much)~! Until next time!


University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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29 Responses to “Arcana Famiglia – 11-12 [END]”

  1. Highway says:

    Yeah, I found this series to be an utter disappointment as well. They just didn’t do ANYTHING. They said a lot of things, but they didn’t actually go do anything. It was like “Hey, I’m glad you are *telling* me you’ve all gotten stronger, because we’re sure not seeing any reason why you should”.

    All the stuff you mention them leaving out, if they’d put any of it in, it would have made this series more interesting. It’s like they took extra pains to bland it up. It really seems like they had to work hard at it too, because they did a really thorough job making sure that nothing that would make Fel look cool and capable got in, nothing that would make Liberta or Nova look responsible got in. As sleazy as he was, Jolly ended up being the most interesting character just because he was the only one we found out anything besides “Hey, he’s got a special power” about. Of course it was mainly that he was a scheming jerk, but in a cast of stand-up cardboard cutouts, the scheming jerk is the king… or something.

    But yeah, pretty bad. The best part of the show was the OP song.

    • Karakuri says:

      YES. THANK YOU. From the beginning from where she lost the exact same fight to the end, I have no idea where or how Felicita got strong enough to beat her dad. Hell, we never even saw her beat him onscreen.

      It’s like they took extra pains to bland it up

      AHAHAHA its funny because that’s exactly how it feels. I agree that Jolly felt like the most interesting character. Mostly because they took pains to make his character seem like one thing, only to show that he has a good reason for that, so he’s not so bad. Nobody else really had any deep reasons for how they seemed. Or if they did, the anime didn’t do a very good job of explaining it. Like Nova. He had the compassion of a rock because his parents were kind of abusive. However the anime took that abuse out, so in the end, he looks like he has a stick up his ass just because.

  2. AllenAndArth says:

    they kinda rushed the ending and whatever

  3. Foshizzel says:

    Did they run out of money to animate the final fight scenes?! WHAT THE HELL! I WANTED TO SEEEEEEEEEE The fighting in the tournament T__________T although we did see Fel fought her dad…so…that was cool…right?

    I watched every episode and found it amusing at times and also very annoying as well! I sort of knew in the back of my mind that Fel wouldn’t end up with any of the guys…I guess JC Staff has a sequel in mind? Because we all know that is what they are famous for!

    Truth be told I watched this series as a JC Staff fanboy and Fel’s character design! Dem twin-tails and DAT skirt? Very nice <3 I guess that is how they reeled the guys in huh? High five~

    Will I watch a 2nd season of this? I have no idea...probably...we shall see...

    • Highway says:

      I’d guess the fight scenes being entirely cut out would be due to 1) not wanting to show them and 2) not having any time left to show them. If they had made the Duello a couple or 3 episodes, maybe they’d have had the time (and also had more happen during the series, it’s not like they’d have cut out anything else good).

      • Foshizzel says:

        Trueeeeee they could have done a great arc about that huh? I suppose going into something like this I should have known better because it is aimed for the girls right?

        Anyway I always like trying something new each season so I took a chance with Arcana, but hey there are a few characters that made every episode interesting! Along with the voice cast of course ahahah

        • Karakuri says:

          The stupid thing is that the fights are ALREADY CHOREOGRAPHED in the game since it reads like a comic book (it’s amazing). JC could have easily taken what the game gave them and worked with that. I don’t even know where they came up with the BS fights that happened in the last episode.

          I still agree that the voice cast was amazing. The storyline? Not so much.

    • Karakuri says:

      …I wouldn’t doubt that they ran out of money to anime. Nobody wants to buy this crap. xD …Actually, the only reason that fight with Fel looked decent was because I’m pretty sure that they recycled the same sequence from episode 1. AHAHAHAHA.

      …Do they even have enough money for a sequel? The animation budget probably sucked to begin with. Though they could since the game has a fandisk and a game sequel in the making.

      Ahaha the game actually brings up that point with Fel’s skirt since she likes high kicks and the would generally show some pantsu~. …Again, I wonder in vain over why JC bothered taking that out. They really weren’t trying to appeal to anyone with this anime.

      I’d watch a second season. …Provided that the same director isn’t in charge.

  4. Overcooled says:

    I’m just here to say I’m sorry that your beloved otome game didn’t get a good adaptation. My poor imouto *pats head* D:

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, I wanted to pass on my condolences also. I watched this show mainly because Karakuri was so up on it, and it’s a shame that it was treated so poorly. By the time I realized it was crummy, I just wanted to keep watching to find out how bad it was gonna get.

      It sucks to have a world you love treated like this (there is NO Starship Troopers movie, you hear that?).

      • AllenAndArth says:

        the major problem is… it had potential i mean especial arcana powers are kick ass, everyone that watched or played persona 4 knows

      • Karakuri says:

        LOLOLOL it was like a car crash. It was terrible, but you just couldn’t look away. xD

        Yes, let’s all pretend that this never happened.

      • Zaphan says:

        What do you mean? There IS a Starship Troopers movie dude.

        • Highway says:

          You are certainly mistaken. There was a Paul Verhoeven “Bugs in Space!” movie, and maybe some people thought it was called Starship Troopers, but it certainly had nothing to do with the book.

          (Seriously, the movie was being written as “Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine” and most of the screenwriters didn’t know about the Heinlein book. They managed to license the title late, but didn’t actually use the story, just some parts. Verhoeven says he never even finished the book, or even half of it. So there is no Starship Troopers movie, just a movie with that name tacked on.)

    • Karakuri says:

      T-Thanks Onee-sama. OTL

  5. Liza says:

    I was very disappointed by the series too. So much stuff left out. Of course I didn’t realize it until after the final episode when I felt a lot was missing and then found game spoilers and read all of them and it made the anime even lower on my like scale. I’ll probably end up playing AF2 when it comes out to make up for the bad taste this anime left behind.

    • Karakuri says:

      Ahaha even with all of the stuff they left out, it was still pretty bad. You should, since the terrible anime seems to have had no effect on the game series.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Sorry you didn’t get all what you were expecting, Kara. I will admit the OP and ED were great.

    Overall, it was average yet passable in my opinion. It could have done a lot better with effort. 6 out of 10. When you look at it from a different point of view, this was just a story where Liberta and Nova are fighting each other to get Felicita’s approval while accepting the other’s existence and past and the other guys were just there for good looks and comic relief. Besides, the show was particularly focused on those three. The downside is the romance factor was pretty much non existant.

    Personally, it was a bad idea to cram everything into 12 episodes. That’s what kills anything that had a promise of turning out good. 24 is what you need if the material is lengthy.

    The character that deserves any mention was the notorious Jolly. He had a very threatening presence even though he didn’t do much. He easily outranked Rinne no Lagrange’s Moid.

    • Karakuri says:

      Ahaha yeah, I think the best of the animation was in the OP at least.

      Ehhhh. Yeah, Fel had nothing to do with it. It was all Nova and Liberta. I figured as much when I saw that the OP had their weapons laid out, but I never thought that they’d change Fel so drastically.

      Yeah, or I agree that they should have at least extended the Duello. That last episode might have been okay is there had been some actual fighting. They didn’t even try to redeem this.

      Ahahaha Jolly is awesome, even if he didn’t do much. Though I think Moid did less than him xD. All he really did was give Dizelmine a weirdly girly gem and things all went to hell.

    • Highway says:

      You know, I’d agree that it was ‘cramming’ stuff into 12 episodes if there had been anything happening. But there wasn’t. They did 12 episodes of zilch. Well, let’s call it 9 episodes of zilch, because there was the couple where Fel actually found out about the Wheel of Fortune and tried to save Mondo. They weren’t exactly hurting for time left over to show stuff.

      I’ll defend SAO’s decision to show 6 straight “side stories” at the beginning of the series, because in that case they had to 1) make it actually seem like 2 years had passed and 2) to develop Kirito’s character in how he deals with other people.

      But Arcana Famiglia didn’t do anything like that with the non-plot stories in the rest of the show. I think they just wasted a lot of time.

      • Karakuri says:

        Hmmm, how about I put it this way: The game has 2 months of ‘playtime’ and for the first couple episodes, they covered a single day’s event’s. Then we hit Nova and Liberta’s episodes where they suddenly decided to shove in 60 days worth of content into 24 minutes. I guess they didn’t cram stuff in so much as waste time.

        Yes, exactly what you said there.

  7. d-lan says:

    Hmmm i think this show s not even worth my time lol. Maaaybeee I would still watch when i am rly bored lol.
    In be4 ”there no arcana famiglia anime”
    Btw is the vn translated?

    • Karakuri says:

      Yes. Please. This never happened.

      …And no, none of the AF VNs are translated. I imagine it would be hard since it’s a PSP game.

  8. mistress_kisara says:

    I was very disappointed myself I love the game too!! They always treat otome game adaptations like crap. Hakuouki Reimeiroku had a better adaptation eventhough Arcana had the better source material. Now let’s see how Brain’s Base will do AMNESIA

    • Karakuri says:

      I have higher hopes for AMNESIA because:

      -it’s not DEEN
      -Each guy has his own ‘world’, so they could pull off an Amagami SS type thing where each guy has his own set of episodes
      – It’s not JC
      – They can’t mess up the heroine’s personality because she doesn’t really have one to begin with.

  9. Gecko says:

    I’m happy that they didn’t make her pick one over the other. Felicita never got closer to either Nova or Liberta. They’re better off as friends.
    The fights were lame, this tournament should have been 2 episodes long anyways, to give us a sense of the fight. Some of the scenes with Nova and Liberta were kind of funky, like the boat scene. I wanted to see them eating food at that party.
    Of course, I never played the game, so what do I know? (I mean, I did read the spoiler about all the weird relations, and goodness, I’m somewhat glad some of that stuff was left out. Although I was onto Jolly and Luca anyways.)
    But hey, the OP and ED were pretty great. The OP wasn’t my style, but I loved the ED.

  10. Namika says:

    Wow. I’m kinda glad I dropped this show along the way. I thought at least bishie stuff would make it bearable but it definitely didn’t. Meh ……
    Though I always feel sad when I see a storyline with a great potential that’s flushed down the toilet. That has to be illegal, I swear O_O

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