Out with the old, in with the new. And with that, the new summer anime season has arrived!
I’ll start out by saying, Arcana Famiglia, short for La Storia della Arcana Famiglia, was one of the shows that immediately caught my eye on the season chart. And I was so very excited for the show, until Judge brought up that it was bound to be reverse harem. Unfortunately, Arcana Famiglia is indeed an otome game adaptation. If you haven’t read my post on Uta no Prince-sama, well, I’ll just summarize what I think about otome game adaptations with three words: they usually suck.
So you can imagine my disappointment here. However, I still held on to some hope. Maybe Arcana will be different. Maybe it’ll actually be good! Maybe, maybe. Ah, well. You’ll see my verdict, but before anything, let us partake in another delicious post. Itadakimasu~!
So as usual, I’ll start with the premise. Basically, on some Mediterranean island called Regalo, there is a mafia family that keep the peace. Most (?) of the members have made a contract with the Arcana… whatever that is, and this contract grants them supernatural powers based on the tarot card to which they are bound.
The story starts on the night of the boss’s, er, Papa’s birthday. Arcana Papa decides he wants to retire, so he proposes a competition in which the winner will receive the title of new Papa… and his daughter’s hand in marriage. Apparently the second part is a family rule. Well hot dangit, whatever shall happen?
No girl wants to be sold as a prize, right? Even if she’s a fine piece of work. Yep, those sleek twintails, those lusciously long legs, those breasts, that butt… hnnnngh her suit! She’s so hot! Meet Felicita, Arcana Papa’s daughter and contractor to Arcana VI, the Lovers. Her Arcana gives her the ability to basically read people’s minds. However, because she’s still quite young, she hasn’t mastered her skill very well.
However, what sets Felicita apart from most reverse harem protagonists is that she can and does fight; there shall be no damsel in distress here! Upon hearing about the competition, Felicita challengers her father to a fight for her freedom. Of course, she loses, but we’ll see in the later episodes, she doesn’t give up and instead takes part in the competition herself to fight for her freedom. Her personality is really quite refreshing.
Well, onward to everyone else. Who are mostly very attractive, as to expected of an otome game adaptation.
Liberta: (Fool Arcana) Your typical energetic and emotional nice guy. He’s a bit shounen-protagonist-esque.
Nova: (Death Arcana) The stiff. He’s prim, proper, and a real stickler for rules. It’s a little weird that he uses a katana. He looks a lot like Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler, but more grown up.
Debito: (Hermit Arcana) Definitely a pervert, kind of a psycho. His ability is invisibility.
Pache: (Strength Arcana) A real glutton, but otherwise a carefree guy, it seems. His ability is super-strength.
Luca: (Arcana unknown) Felicita’s caretaker/childhood friend (?). Usually gives off the “useless guy” vibe. He looks a lot like Gilbert Nightray from Pandora Hearts.
Dante: (Arcana unknown) He’s bald, and he admits it. I’m… not very sure why he’s a love interest. He looks old enough to be Felicita’s father.
Jolly: (Arcana unknown) A real slimy and stuck-up guy, but certainly gives off the badboy charm.
Mama: (Arcana unknown, if any) Papa’s wife. … silent supporter of her daughter’s strife?
Suits and more suits, yay! Anyways, Liberta and Nova seem to be closest in age with Felicita, so the show will probably focus on them the most in terms of love interests. But to Liberta and Nova’s clashing personalities, they have a pretty interesting rivalry. However they both care about Felicita (as a friend for now!), so both of them want to become Papa to repeal the rule that binds Felicita to marriage. This definitely raises the bromance flag, as they’ll have to learn to put their differences aside to fight for Felicita’s freedom.
Speaking of fighting, I was actually surprised that there was already a couple small fight scenes in the first episode, and they were both pretty good! For the most part, the plot moved pretty smoothly and the exposition was only a little forced. The music was… well, the OP was decent! However, the ED was a little too generic boyband pop musicky, since it sounded like most of the show’s voice actors chimed in for it.
So my conclusion? The episode had plenty of delicious eyecandy, but what surprised me the most was that both the plot and the characters weren’t that bad. They really weren’t! Sure, the plot wasn’t great, but my expectations for it have definitely been surpassed. But more than anything, Felicita blew away my expectations for the female lead. Hopefully, she can continue to carry the show for me, as I’d really look forward to enjoying this show. Gochisousama deshita!