[Review] Arcana Famiglia episode 4; Enough is enough…

Okay, I’ve been really lenient on this anime for the past two episodes, but now I have to wonder, what was the point of introducing the tournament if they’re not planning to build on it? The first episode was so different from how this anime apparently is. Felicita at first seemed like an independent tough chick, but she’s done nothing impressive in these past few episodes. If she doesn’t want to get married, why isn’t she training to win the tournament instead of doing pointless things like running errands and returning kittens? Even though none of the characters have cared about the family duel since episode 1 (with the small exception of Liberta training in this episode, but that was more about getting stronger than the duel), Felicita of all people should have the most motivation to win. I mean, she could get her freedom taken away! Why is she so unrealistically carefree despite that?

Also, Arcana powers aren’t explained well. From this episode, it seems like they’re born with the powers, but didn’t they have to make a deal with a card to get powers? It’s confusing.

The character development has so far been okay, particularly with Liberta’s backstory this episode, but come on, the plot needs to get going already.

Episode rating: 6 / 10 (Fine)

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[Review] Arcana Famiglia episode 3; I didn’t know this was a Slice of Life anime!

It’s kind of weird that all the characters look so badass, but the storyline is… relatively normal. I mean, the first episode got me all pumped up to see some Arcana power action in the big tournament, but then episodes 2 and 3 switch genres into Slice of Life! The mood, plot, and gags are all very, well, slice of life-y. It’s not that I mind it, but with everyone suited up all the time, I really want to see some action in this anime!

The character development in this episode was fantastic. Now, we can link Butler, Creepy Cyclops, and Hungry Hungry Hippo together (Luca, Debito, Pace), which makes the character cast that much easier to remember. Liberta and Nova get their moments, and now Nova’s not just a broody guy, and Liberta’s not just some kid who can’t control his powers. It’s probably just the hair colors, but they remind me very very very slightly of Sasuke and Naruto. But seriously, I liked the character development in this episode so much that I’ll even go so far as to say it redeemed the terrible character introductions in episode 1.

What was most interesting to me in this ep was the mysterious new kid on the island, Elmo. I liked him immediately, even though it was kinda hard to take him seriously after he said his name was Elmo. The episode ended rather suddenly after he disappeared into the rain, but Mr. Dark Glasses (sorry, forgot his name and too lazy to go look for it) looked up at someone off-shot, so I guess we can assume it was Elmo? Gosh, I wanna know more about this kid than any other character right now. Like, why hasn’t any of the other children seen him around? Why didn’t he join the other kids at the party? Does he have a crush on Felicita? (because it sure seemed like that was what he was talking about with that whole i’ve-never-felt-this-pain-in-my-chest-before talk)

Crossing my fingers for some action next week.

Episode rating: 7 / 10 (Good)

[Review] Arcana Famiglia episode 2

After getting some info on a huge tournament involving everyone with Arcana powers in the last episode, I thought we’d jump right into it. Turns out, we don’t really see any action in this episode, not unless you count the bit of action they do jumping to grab a kitten.

I’m Nova. I gotta look cool and serious even when I’m saving a fluffy white kitten.

Yeah, a kitten. That’s the focus of this episode, first capturing a lost kitten, and then trying to find its owner. It’s exactly as slice-of-life as it sounds, and even the comedy in this episode felt like one out of a slice of life anime, which was a direction I never expected Arcana Famiglia to take. It’s really simple stuff, like Liberta holding onto Felicita’s hand for too long, Nova and Liberta crashing into each other when they leap for the kitten, and Luca getting left up in a tree with no way to get down. The first episode made me think that this would be a much more serious anime, so this episode was a really big surprise. It’s not exactly what I wanted to watch, but it did help us understand Felicita and Nova better.

Also, this episode showcased some really great background art. I loved the Victorian-style dress on the lost kitten’s owner, and Felicita’s dress was cute. I hope there are more female characters in the story so I can see more of these styles. 😀

Am I the only one who’s really creeped out by Debito? For some reason, he reminds me of a big, scary wolf, and the fact that he calls Felicita “Bambina” doesn’t help the fact that he always looks at her like his prey. (Bambina… Bambi… deer… wolves eat deer… ) I hope Felicita doesn’t end up with him, though it doesn’t seem like she has romantic interest in anyone right now, not even Liberta.

No hidden meanings at all, nope.

There was still some information-cramming that happened in the beginning of the episode, but hopefully we’re done with that now, even if next to no one bothered to remember who has which Arcana power and who’s in charge of which division. I don’t care much about these little bits of information, since it doesn’t seem like they’ll be a huge part of the plot, but I want to know more about Liberta. Why does he have such difficulty managing his Arcana powers? Is he’s undisciplined? Is he inexperienced? Or are his powers extremely powerful, but hard to control? There’s been a huge focus on him, so I’d like to get the basics answered.

Hopefully, the big tournament will next week and we’ll see some action.

Episode rating: 5 / 10 (average)

[First Impressions] Arcana Famiglia episode 1

What I expected: A fun reverse harem with interesting, quirky characters, decent action, and nice looking artwork.

What I got: Too many characters being introduced nearly simultaneously and 22 minutes of them explaining their powers to each others. Also, it’s nowhere as grand as its fancy title suggests.

Seriously, this is one of the worst first episodes that I’ve watched, as far as information-introducing goes. In the action scene that the episode starts with, the characters come in like boom, boom, boom, followed by everyone unnecessarily repeating each others’ names at every available opportunity. Two words: slow down. Later on, the main characters name off each others’ Arcana Powers for no reason at all except to tell the audience, which is just flat out sloppy writing.

Even so, I still have some hope for this series. It is adapted from an otome game, so some information squeezing is to be expected. The characters aren’t that interesting to me as of yet, but there was clearly no time for any character development in this first episode anyway, so I’ll wait for next week and hope for the best.

Episode rating: 4 / 10 (needs work)

Reviewing status:
Most likely episodic if it redeems itself.