Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Occult Academy 03: They're No Angels

EPISODE 03: MIKAZE Blows Through

People around the school and nearby areas are randomly disappearing and rumors point to tengu, the "dogs of heaven" from legends, as the culprit. But even the legends are conflicted about the tengu. According to one tale, a tengu appeared before a lord and told him that it is wrong to take a human life. In another, a tengu is said to have kidnapped a boy during the Edo Period. Kozue ( LOL I have a feeling she'd get along famously with Minori (ToraDora!) and Osaka (Azumangadaioh!)).wants to prove the tengu theory by catching one but her equipment (a fly net) is not exactly up to the mission. She ends up snagging Fumiaki instead, who understandably gets infuriated and reminds him that he is a teacher.

However, the rumors get the wheels inside Maya's head moving and predictably she lashes out to Fumiaki later while inside the Principal's Office. She believes that this new paranormal activity might be related to the Nostradamus Prophecies and if so, investigating the anomaly could lead them to the key. Maya being Maya who hates the occult, she then launches into a diatribe about how tengu actually comes from the Chinese text for "Dogs of Heaven" or shooting stars, which means that it could be a UFO or something, lending credence to the theory that the beak of a tengu is actually the oxygen mask of an astronaut.

After sharply (that means lots of yelling and throwing things at him with precision) reminding Fumiaki about his mission, Maya then orders him to investigate the matter, adding that the tengu could be an advance group of aliens, scouting their planet for possible hostiles. Well, if she puts it that way. Fumiaki immediately realizes that the tengu could lead them to the location of the key. Maya then mutters that no matter what it is, it might be responsible for killing her father. At this, Fumiaki gets serious.
err, to kiss your ass?
he has no chance

Later, Fumiaki runs into the Vice-Principal who proceeds to criticize his clothes. Then she gets suspicious over Fumiaki's frequent visits to the Principal's Office. In order to deter her inquiries, Fumiaki compliments her on her hair, which unexpectedly sends the Vice-Principal to cloud nine. Apparently, no one has ever complimented on her hair. The students even call them the "two dumpling brothers" after the song, which heee. Because of this, the Vice-Principal falls head over heels for Fumiaki and attempts to kiss him. At first, Fumiaki resists but after catching an ample glimpse of her sizeable cleavage, he considers the possibility for a moment. He takes a photo of her with his cellphone and sees his future if he hooked up with her: he'd be dead and she'd be old and haggard with two kids. With that, Fumiaki wordlessly leaves.
she might look pretty now
things have a funny way of turning out
that's right, move along, Fumiaki

Fumiaki finally arrives at his apartment where he is greeted by his landlord, which "creepy" doesn't even begin to describe. Goddamn, those eyes are HUGE. After that scary encounter, he lounges for a while in his room, watching taped recordings of his younger self on TV. The image reminds him of his childhood days when his mother used to dote on him (she's apparently the only person whoever called him "Fumiaki". Wait for it, this detail will haunt you later in the episode) and made him his favorite curry rice. He wishes he could go back, then realizes that he is back. With that, he hurries to a payphone and calls home. His mother picks up but Fumiaki also hears himself in the background and has no choice but to hang up. Even if he is back, he really can't go back to his previous life anymore.
And I thought my landlord was scary. he's like Yubaba's distant cousin twice removed
happy days

Fumiaki soon leaves his apartment and ends up at a shop. The shopkeeper turns out to be his landlord's twin sister, which explains the scary resemblance. Fumiaki orders curry rice and while waiting, he watches TV. On the screen, Bunmei once more displays his ability to bend spoons while his audience goes wild. Fumiaki thinks to himself that they like him only for his ability but he once he couldn't bend spoons anymore.... His thought is interrupted by the arrival of his order served by a cute girl, Mikaze. Like everybody else, Mikaze likes Bunmei, but unlike the others, she doesn't call him "Bunmei" but by his real name, Fumiaki, making her the only other person, aside from his mother, to do so. And just like that, Fumiaki is in love and begins to visit the shop night after night. On the third or so night, Mikaze gives him pudding as a kind of costumer bonus and offers to take him out on a tour around town. Fumiaki practically jumps at the opportunity, only to discover later on that Mikaze owns a zanny white car and is a bit of a speed demon.
a cute chick and Fumiaki has a crush
Take the advice, Fumiaki. She means it.
Maya in action

After a particularly stressful drive around town where they visited all sorts of historical places, Fumiaki and Mikaze's last stop is Matsushiro, which is one of the areas where victims of the rumored tengu attacks were taken. Deep inside the tunnel area, they find a bunch of colored paper cranes, which were made in memory of the people who died while making that tunnel. Mikaze is obviously disturbed by this and can't help crying while Fumiaki tries to console her. Meanwhile, Maya, who has been secretly investigating the area, finds herself being chased by an unseen creature.

Well, this was a random episode. Not as tight as the first and the second but I'm guessing this one is for purposes of building up the coming events in Episode 4. Mikaze could be a key figure. That's the vibes I'm getting. I'm glad that the tsundere violence is toned down a bit in this episode although I don't think it was done on purpose. After all, there is very little Maya in this episode, which is kind of disappointing. I like Maya's character. I like her character more when she's interacting with Fumiaki. But if I have to take either of them by themselves, I'd rather spend 22 minutes watching Maya investigate some scary creature or even just talking to her weird friends than spend the same amount of time watching Fumiaki's clumsy attempts at finding a girlfriend. Speaking of which, I wonder if Fumiaki and Maya are going to end up as a pair? I mean, I know there are probably fandoms about them but I'm asking if canon is eventually going to address the issue. There is no romantic chemistry between them, that's for sure, but I don't mind even just hints of romance in any series I'm watching. Just saying.