JC Staff’s latest offering, Arcana Famiglia, is an adaptation of an otome game released for the PSP. This is my first time interacting with the franchise but with Chiaki Kon helming this project I’m hoping she shows her directorial talent. It’s undeniable she is a master at transforming a game into an anime because of her previous work on Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni.
The show focuses on the exploits of a mafia-styled vigilante group that protects the small Mediterranean island of Regalo. They utilize both their skills with weapons and, from what I could gleam, magical skills they gain from their association to tarot cards.
I can’t help but love the bright and vibrant palette. Everything shimmers and gleams in summer hues across the island. But that’s really all I can say about this anime. It’s pretty from a technical perspective.
Both the characters and their design were derivative to say the least. Liberta is the impulsive wild haired blonde that lacks common sense. He has an appropriately dark haired foil named Nova who is all about the rules. Coincidentally enough the daughter of the of Arcana Famiglia’s leader, Felicita, is between the two. The rest of the cast is filled out with fan favorites such as the one-eyed gunslinger, the tattooed bald man and the bi-spectacled boy with great hair.
This entire series just screams derivative. The crux of the episode is the announcement of the “Arcana Duella” to replace the current leader. The winner not only becomes the boss but gets to take Felicita’s hand in marriage. The Felicita/Liberta/Nova love triangle is clearly telegraphed in the following scene as both young boys promise to free her from her marital obligations if they win. I feel like I’ve seen this before: the prepubescent struggle between guts and discipline.
Also is it just me or is the sound production terrible. The opening theme is forgettable and the closing just sounds like it was recorded on a cheap microphone. The one-eyed gunslinger puts an odd Italian twang on his japanese thats just irritating, not sexy.
The pacing had a few issues too but that was only to explain the mythos of the series itself. I’m hoping moving forward that this won’t be an issue considering it is only slated for 12 episodes. Maybe Arcana Famiglia will surprise me and figure out a way to keep me around for that long.