Home > Episode Reviews, Occult Academy > Occult Academy Episode 6 – Tell Me Everything You Saw

Occult Academy Episode 6 – Tell Me Everything You Saw

It’s fairly easy to tell when a friend isn’t acting like themselves: they might lack their usual energy, or refrain form some mannerism that’s particular for them, or just generally seem different from how they normally act. But what happens if their actions and beliefs seem so utterly different that they could be a different person?

How would you react to someone you cared about undergoing such a sudden change in behavior? What would happen if they suddenly became a very different person? One might suspect some kind of psychological trauma. The more spiritually minded might suggest demonic possession.

It may have been really dull to watch, but Maya and Ami trying to create the supernatural makes for some great screens

That’s what happened to Kozue “Beaver Girl” Naruse at the end of last episode. Overnight she has gone from someone whose life is defined by her search for the occult to someone who mocks its very existence. Instead of an (often naïve) faith in the heart and things unseen, she instead seems cold and rational.

Despite her actually being possessed in episode 1, Maya and Ami don’t immediately jump to that conclusion, which seems unnatural to me. Then again, I don’t have the years of experience in Occult Academy’s occult world that Maya does, and I’m not the main character of a show less interested in investigation than general dicking around.

Ami is way too proud of her Mothman costume

Instead, they conclude that Kozue has left her heart in the netherworld after her near-death experience, which makes even less sense, but whatever. I come not to bury this episode, but to praise it.

Because, you see, after spending what seems like five minutes trying to remind Kozue of her love of the occult by making all the stupid occult things she thought were real last episode appear to come true, they decide to throw her back into the near-death experience tank to reunite her with her heart. Not only that, Fumiaki decides to man up and do something worthwhile for a change, volunteering to have his own near-death experience to guide Kozue’s heart back into her body.

I think this works better without explanation

Except, instead of being treated to the psychedelic aquatic playground that Kozue found, Fumiaki is haunted by nightmares of his past, which assault his senses and force a lifetime of unpleasant and painful memories to the surface for most of the three minutes he spends in near-death, until the end when he discovers that Kozue’s glasses were misplaced on top of her head, preventing her from seeing the wonderfully supernatural world she was in and thus believing in the occult. Except she had them on last episode and seemed to see everything just fine until just before she left, so it doesn’t really make sense that she would have just forgotten everything and so radically changed her beliefs.

But I’m getting sidetracked in negativity again, which is a bummer because this is a pretty decent episode. Fumiaki’s painfully lonely childhood, life micromanaged by a controlling mother more concerned with raising a star than a son, and his experiences of the pan-dimensional alien apocalypse are both intense and fascinating scenes, and seeing them back to back just makes them all the more powerful.

There sure is a lot of naked Fumiaki in this show. I guess it's cosmic balancing for all the half-naked catgirls in Asobi ni Iku Yo!

I generally consider any episode which features both deep-seated parental and alien robots invading the Earth a partial success, at the very least (I call it the Evangelion rule), and this episode has even more going for it.

Watching Kozue struggle with her off-handed rejection of something crucial to her concept of self, even to the point of a complete mental breakdown was fascinating, and wrung about as much pathos out of a character whose sole defining characteristic (other than her similarity to a certain large, semi-aquatic rodent) is her monomaniacal obsession with the occult. She might be a one-note character, but that note has been thoroughly and completely explored, for two whole episodes.

The other plus to this episode is that the first-hand experience of a post-apocalyptic wasteland ruled by terrifyingly alien nightmare robots from another dimension has finally convinced our main characters to give a crap about the overarching plot of the show.

At this point, I completely lost interest in everything about this show that wasn't pan-dimensional alien robots destroying major metropolitan centers

After studiously ignoring his sole reason for being abducted and forced back in time by a creepy bunch of freedom fighters in the future wasteland, Fumiaki actually seems concerned with trying to prevent it from happening. And, after seeing that his childhood was as messed up as her own, Maya is about to summon enough empathy into her withered heart to work together with him to find the MacGuffin and save the universe. Although that still doesn’t stop her from throwing things at him at the slightest provocation.

But whatever, at least this show once more has some semblance of direction. Next episode, our stalwart heroes may be distracted by Japanese Sasquatch or a touching two episode arc about the origin of the fat goth kid’s divining (and now lockpicking) powers, but for now, it seems like things are going to start moving forward. It only took half the freaking series.

Maya and Fumiaki agree to act like main characters again. On a side note, I feel like Carl Sagan should be narrating something during this crazy handshake

Watch this episode here.

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