First Impressions – La Storia della Arcana Famiglia

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.36_[2012.07.01_11.42.56] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.21_[2012.07.01_11.51.39] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.35_[2012.07.01_12.00.53]

If one were to guess a trend for the new season based on this weekend’s premières, it’d have to be “Viva Italia”.  The Spanish are hoping, I’m sure, that it doesn’t carry over into football.

OP: “Magenta Another Sky” by Hitomi Harada

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.44_[2012.07.01_11.48.02] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.50_[2012.07.01_11.48.08] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.07_[2012.07.01_11.48.25]
[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.16_[2012.07.01_11.48.34] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.49_[2012.07.01_11.49.07] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.57_[2012.07.01_11.49.15]

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.57_[2012.07.01_11.43.17]I would say that I liked this premiere a bit more than the other Italian-themed opener this weekend, Campione!, though it’s a near thing and neither one of them knocked my socks off.  There are a couple of pet peeves with Famiglia for me right off the bat.  The first of them is characters bringing the action to a screeching halt by stepping back to explain what’s happening – effectively, to the audience.  Seriously – you don’t think the characters would know the deal themselves without having to be told?  I really wish series would find a more elegant way to do their exposition, but at least this problem is usually limited to the first episode.  In a way, Famiglia and Campione! took diametrically opposed paths when it comes to this – this show explains everything up front in narrative-halting asides, and Campione! just throws everything at the audience in terms of action and lets them figure it out.

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.35_[2012.07.01_11.43.55]I’m also not that crazy about a premise in which the ending seems very obvious right from the beginning.  Obviously Felicita (Noto Mamiko) is going to participate in the “Arcana Duella” herself and it seems inevitable that she’ll win – though of course I could be wrong about the latter point. But Famiglia seems to be going for clear-cut and straightforward, and there’s a place for well-produced anime that don’t make you think too hard to interpret what’s going on.  The target audience for this reverse harem seems to be fujoshi (having the bishounen sing the ED is a good tipoff) and I’m not sure how much crossover appeal it’ll have – perhaps Felicita will appeal to otaku as Inu X Boku’s Ririchiyo did – but I like what JC Staff is doing here with the visuals – while it’s somewhat generic, as their work often is, the art and animation has a brightness and fluidity that’s appealing. 

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.55_[2012.07.01_11.44.15]The premise is pretty transparent – we have what appears to be something like an organized crime family with Tarot-based arcane powers acting as protectors of the small Mediterranean isle of Regalo.  The family revolves around the Godfather “Papa” and the daughter Felicta, around whom orbit a solar system of bishies who fill all the designated Otome Road niches admirably.  Foremost among them seem to be Liberta (Fukuyama Jun) and Nova (Yonaga Tsubasa) who are closest to “Bambina” in age.  When Papa declares the Arcana Duella, a magical battle to determine his successor and her husband, they both pledge to grant her freedom from arranged marriage if they win – though as they haven’t mastered their arcana powers that seems unlikely.  There’s a big “Brave” factor in the plot, too, as Felicita doesn’t want to be the blushing Princessa in dresses, but fight her own fights and lead the family herself.

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.00_[2012.07.01_11.44.20]My overall complaint with the Summer schedule is that it appears exceedingly heavy on formula, and these Italian-themed premières have certainly been no exception.  Like Campione!, Famiglia seems very generic, exactly what it is and no more – though I did enjoy it the more of the two, and it’s well-done.  There’s a huge cast of big names here including Nakamura Yuuichi and Sugita Tomokazu among others, though for me Noto-san and Yonaga-san – both of whom I like – are miscast.  Noto’s breathy femininity seems too demure for a tomboy like Felicita, and Nova could use someone with a harder edge than Yonaga.

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.43_[2012.07.01_11.45.03]With so many Spring shows carrying over into the Summer and my desire not to have such a crushing workload this season, my threshold for the new series making the rotation is going to be higher than normal.  That’s especially true on the weekends, which have most of the good series both old and new.  Both Campione! and Famiglia are definitely interesting enough to keep under consideration, but both will have to show me more in the next episode or two if they’re going to make the cut.

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.59_[2012.07.01_11.45.19] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.48_[2012.07.01_11.46.08] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.07_[2012.07.01_11.47.25]
[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.10_[2012.07.01_11.50.28] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.55_[2012.07.01_11.51.13] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.07_[2012.07.01_11.52.25]
[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.05_[2012.07.01_11.54.23] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.03_[2012.07.01_11.55.20] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.06_[2012.07.01_11.57.24]
[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.42_[2012.07.01_11.58.00] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.57_[2012.07.01_11.59.15] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.09_[2012.07.01_11.59.27]
[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.38_[2012.07.01_11.59.56] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.01_[2012.07.01_12.01.19] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.38_[2012.07.01_12.03.56]

ED: “Pieces of Treasure” by Jun Fukuyama & Tsubasa Yonaga

[HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.17_[2012.07.01_12.05.34] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.35_[2012.07.01_12.05.53] [HorribleSubs] La storia della Arcana Famiglia - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_23.20_[2012.07.01_12.06.38]


  1. I

    Everything that could go wrong went wrong Italy. Bar a red card or penalty that was just bad kuck with the injuries.

    On to anime I am a fujoshi, so I liked Arcana but disliked Campione. Some jokes were funny in Campine but the all star male cast playing off each other is so much fun to watch in Arcana. Animation is high level for JC (over average for IG though).

    I agree that the story willbe simple and straight forward with an episode a week dedicated to a single male character who I also think Felicita will likely fight in the tournament. Some subplot was hinted by her father and I expect the sunglasses guy to become an antagonist. Expecting an open ending as it's one cour I thnk.

    Still at least low quality boobs aren't shoved in my face. True story I watched the princess lover ova without knowing it was hentai. Puked two minutes into the first sex scene. Not joking.

  2. Honestly though, this wasn't luck. The injuries might have turned a 2-0 into a 4-0, but Spain were the better side from the opening whistle. Their combination play was beautiful, and with three straight megatourney wins, they're making their case as best ever. How many teams can bring guys like Pedro and Torres off the bench (and leave Navas and Negredo on it) and not even have a deadly finisher like Villa, and still dominate?

  3. L

    I might not know every player's style and abilities, but I got one thing from watching the game today: Spain was absolutely perfect, and their fast-paced, intricate passing plays were simply fun to watch. (I believe it's called tiki taka)

  4. What amazes me is that people are actually starting to criticize them for their possessions style (you may have noticed the whistling today). You don't have to root for them, but how can you not admire them? They play the beautiful game.

    Jordi Alba especially impressed me this tournament – he's going to be a superstar of huge proportions. I've rarely seen an outside back who can go forward with his pace and skill. The thing about Spain is, they often play without a striker but any of their 10 guys can be the striker at any time. They all play the whole field.

  5. F

    Let the italians have anime, we spanish have football! In UK they say Spain lacks control of the game, in Italy they say Spain's play is boring (for deffensive Italy to say that…), but let them talk, this team is already a legend.

    You're totally right about Alba, he shows great promise. Actually, he signed for FC Barcelona not long ago. I'm a Real Madrid fan so it's a bit scary how strong is Barça still getting…

  6. S

    Well, the spanish people sure stopped hoping and proceeded to celebrating.

    Regarding this show I was pretty sure that I won't bother with it. Your article reinforced that opinion even more. But then I saw the pictures of that bald guy. Guess what? He reminds me so much of my group leader back in my army days that I might actually give this a try purely because of the nostalgia factor.

  7. That's a unique reason to check out a series!

  8. M

    This is based on an otome game and fujoshi are not the target of it(they are fans of gay romance). Not all female anime fans are fujoshi. There is an entirely different audience that these shows cater to. That doesn't mean that a fujoshi wouldn't like this though.

  9. j

    This looks to have more life than Hiiro no Kakera, which just sat there for a season.

  10. I would agree that this seems livelier than Hiiro. I'm just hoping it isn't as predictable as it looks.

  11. S

    I expected to enjoy this more than than Jinrui, but this was pretty much what I expected it to be from the series summary. Though that summary was meant only for the first episode, so things will hopefully get interesting later on. I'll still be following this, while looking forward to Jinrui more.

    One thing I don't get is, this is based on a game aimed at female players, where I figure the player actually wants Felicita to end up with the players favorite male character/male seiyuu. Yet Felicita clearly isn't romantically interested in any of the men, and wants to choose her own future. Though I guess having a strong playable protagonist like Felicita is also appealing to female gamers on it's own.

    Either way, it's definitely nice having a strong female protagonist in general, so looking forward to seeing her in action. If I had one problem with this episode, aside from the forced plot explanation for the audience, it's I really felt Debito's voice actor didn't suit his character. Other than that, good episode.

  12. B

    The characters so far mostly seem like walking tropes and the main character especially seemed quite flat and boring. Overall I think this series is better than Hiiro no Kakera based on ep 1 but the main character was definitely worse, she sort of just sat around and barely said or did anything barring 1 or 2 exceptions. Hopefully this show has some reserves of depth that it hasn't shown yet because episode 1 did not wow me. The character design is pretty good thought and I like the animation. Hopefully when it gets into the tournament proper it will pick up with more fight scenes, so far I'm feeling like this show will be best served by focusing on the action.

Leave a Comment