OP Sequence

OP: 「Magenta Another Sky」 by 原田ひとみ (Harada Hitomi)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「La notte del compleanno」
“The Night of the Birthday”

Hello and welcome to a new show of the season! I am glad to take on a more fast-paced show to spice things up, yet still keeping in line with the romance stint. If you haven’t read up on Famiglia’s premise and preview as written by Divine, I would highly recommend doing so, as I will avoid repeating anything said there. Also, for those of you new to my writership, please take note to the alt-texts I will do for this show’s images this week and hover your mouse over the images to receive lighter, more casual commentary! With housekeeping out of the way though, onwards to the actual show!


Arcana Famiglia is opening up exactly as its description says, without any surprises. The setting unravels in an Italian-inspired trade/port city, protected by a Mafia-inspired organization, the Arcana Famiglia. The townspeople generally accept this group as the de facto police of the commune, with criminals being disarmed and subdued by the family’s skilled members, rather than flat-out killed. There’s classiness in that brand of justice that makes it easier to watch than the alternative. Mafia-types that have a strict code of honor, while still playing by their rules, have always been a cool dynamic to watch. However, this show doesn’t look like it’s going to be about the action. Specifically, Famiglia will most likely focus on interpersonal issues of development, true to its otome game roots. Some major developments I (and the ED) predict are…

  • Felicità’s (Noto Mamiko) own growth to become a suitable sole head of the Arcana and…
  • …deciding whether or not she needs a husband to lead with her. It is inevitable that she will head the group, but how she will do so is still up in the air.
  • Resolving tension between Libertà (Fukuyama Jun) and Nova (Yonaga Tsubasa), both in terms of their philosophies but also in terms of their inevitable love triangle with Felicità.
  • Debito (Yoshino Hiroyuki), Luca (Nakamura Yuuichi), and Pace (Sugita Tomokazu) resolving their own conflicting interests invested in Felicità and by consequence, their conflicting approaches to her. One sees her more platonically as a caretaker, one sees her as an interesting companion, and the other an eternal playmate.
  • Dante (Kosugi Jurota) and Jolly (Yusa Kouji) being shady.

No, the above list wasn’t an excuse to list out all the seiyuu :P.

These developments will probably be spearheaded by each of the member’s emotional developments, conveniently connected to signature magical powers: their Arcana. Two such Arcana caught my eye this episode, though all Arcana’s will serve their development eventually.

First, Felicità’s Arcana, the ability to see into people’s hearts, will undoubtedly be a key catalyst, revealing deeper layers and alternate facets within the various members of Arcana Famiglia. Hers, out of all of the others Arcana’s revealed so far, is the only one not obviously combat-geared, further creating the divide between the ojou-sama and the male elite troop.

Secondly, Libertà’s Arcana, which as hinted in the conflict scene, has the ability to negate or deactivate all other Arcanas used against him. He seems like the archtype to be the idiot having wisdom to impart on the superior. Even he said himself, “I have no need for Arcana powers,” hinting at a possible conflict match-up between Libertà and one of the more Arcana-heavy–and by extension possibly cocky–characters.

However, more importantly than Arcanas this episode are the true intentions of Papa and Mama, Mondo (Fumihiko Tachiki) and Sumire (Inoue Kikuko), for instigating this Brave x Hitman Reborn type of competition. We can safely guess that the couple has no malicious intentions towards their daughter, but they sure like hiding them. Just below the surface, it looks like a demonstration of tough love to strengthen the resolve of their daughter in preparation for her inevitable ascension, but just slightly below that, we can safely deduce they wish to break a grounded idea within the family. Specifically what that entails is still up in the air, but strings are being pulled to reveal the hidden potentials of most of these (currently) stereotypical and arch-typical characters in order to break that ideal. We can guess at their goals as a hazy gut feeling, but the path ahead is still completely black.

As for aspects outside of the plot, I can say this. The backgrounds are fairly well drawn, though the fact that the background extras don’t react to the havoc around them indicates either lazy quality or the most jaded citizens ever. The character designs are cleanly done and attractive, though the creativity of the art is standard. Fans of male seiyuu will surely squeal with such an expansive and experienced male cast, as well as fans of Noto Mamiko. The music is currently hard to judge from a lack of scenes to appropriately judge them on, but so far I have no qualms. The fight scenes are alright, but without much context to them, that opinion may get better or worse as more meaningful battles play out.

As you can see, I’m more a fan to talk about the intricacies of the story rather than the logistics. I apologize if I brushed over something you absolutely loved, but if any of those aspects jump out at me in future episodes, I will be sure to talk about them in greater detail.

Overall, I felt the episode was fairly standard (read: not bad) in terms of an introductory episode. It could’ve spiced up its way of introducing the plot elements and characters, but overall it brought out an intriguing premise. Here’s to hoping that Kon Chiaki, director of such classics such as the Higurashi series and Junjou Romantica, can surprise us with this fairly under-the-radar series (correct me if I’m wrong).


ED Sequence

ED: 「Pieces of Treasure」 by 福山潤 & 代永翼 (Fukuyama Jun & Tsubasa Yonaga)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼



  1. The exposition on the arcana powers was just so… clunky…

    They could have found a better way of explaining things than having people stop what they’re doing to give a brief lecture into the basics of a system all the characters should have been well aware of already.

      1. uh… in the manga, magic was just there. Didn’t needed any explaining for it, but what type of magic a person had; when the time was right. I think this anime is too cliche for me though… still gonna watch it, but that obvious anime cliche lingers way too fast way too crappy.

  2. I find it really dissapointing that they reduced Felicita’s badaasery here, she was more like “I will win this thing and choose my fate” in the game, here she seems more like “hey please win this thing for me ok.”

    This seems more centered about showing of the bishies than any other thing and this is at the cost of stealling Felicita’s badass screen time, I hope this changes in the next episodes.

  3. A good start… but the reverse Harem theme isn’t clicking with me…

    The heroine’s seiyuu, in particular, didn’t really fit my “twintail, knife-weilding, high-heel wearing, and round-kicking girl/princess” personna ._. Cheerio~ would have been better, IMO… maybe she’ll grow on me… but she’s annoyed me ever since Zero no Tsukaima as I hate hate HATE Tiffania and her frilly-nilly personality.


  4. It was an interesting first episode. Im definitely interested in seeing more. One though i want to point out though is the linked image for Debito is wrong. Debito is the darker skinned guy with an eye patch. The image linked is for Jolly 😛

      1. “Debito (Yoshino Hiroyuki), Luca (Nakamura Yuuichi), and Pace (Sugita Tomokazu) resolving their own conflicting interests invested in Felicità and by consequence” The link there is the one im referring to. Since it seems like you think im the one confused here lol. Unless somehow its only messed up on my end which is just extra weird

  5. I went to Rome and the Isle of Caprice once. REALLY special, breathtaking places! Almost like walking in the middle of a dream. I would never think it would be the right place for a game or anime but anime is usually outlandish to begin with.

  6. It too reminded me of Hitman Reborn. Nice touch referencing Brave there too. One of the draws of this series will definitely be hearing Mamiko Noto in a role unlike her usual shy, timid characters, though this isn’t the first time she escaped typecasting.

    1. I agree. Noto Mamiko’s roles has been more of a timid princess type. That’s because her voice is unique and fits that type of role greatly. Here she’s still an Ojo, though more aggressive in nature. It’s unlike her usual roles and some might say it doesn’t fit her. But that’s also the selling point, you’d want to see how well she would act the part.

  7. Absolutely loving Liberta, Luca, Pace and Jolly’s character design, although I’m SO. NOT. feeling Yusa Kouji’s shady rapist ossan mode. But maybe I’ll erase his role in ZETMAN with Arcana 😛

    Nova though… I had to double-check that I wasn’t watching Kuroshitsuji lol.

    Exposition, as someone already mentioned, is a little clunky, but if it makes room for other developments, I’m for it. … My Sundays are going to be so packed…

  8. Blimey. Another bloody shonen show with girlish looking boys. About bleeding 1306th one and yet, people gobble it up like there’s no tomorrow. Really. André seems to get it, though.

      1. It’s an Otome game like stated above. There’s hardly any blood and if I remember correctly, the game routes were more based on emotional terms. More of a shoujo than shounen.

      2. It’s based on an Otome game, but the way they treat the characters are too shonen to my taste. I haven’t played the game or read the manga, but I didn’t like this first episode. I feel like it’s made for guys instead

      3. So it’s a reverse harem shoujo anime. Didn’t we have one before? Ah right: I can compare my initial impression like this:

        Ouran High Host club meets The Godfather meets Vampire Knight.

        I say 8/10 for originality.

        The Moondoggie
  9. I love Mamiko’s voice, but it doesn’t seem to fit with Felicita’s character design. Personality wise, I guess it fits. Felicita’s mostly calm. (The way I’ve seen her so far.)

    Haven’t played the game, but I’m totally rooting for Liberta! <3

  10. I love characters like Liberta. The idiot who always keeps things funny and interesting yet always ends up doing something unexpected (Negating Pace’s Arcana) Pervy (Naughty Thoughts of Felicita) Justifiable (Standing up for Felicita) or Outrageous (Taking on Mondo). For me characters like these never seize to amaze me. He reminds me of another blond haired knucklehead ninja we all know and love (hopefully).

    Decent episode. The characters are entertaining. I don’t hate Nova but he’s just too serious. But I’m looking forward to the next episode. I can’t say much about this though since I never played or reviewed the game. Nor do I actually have any intention to. So I’m just gonna treat this as an anime original and take what I can out of it

  11. Alright first episode, definitely getting some Katekyo Hutman Reborn vibes from it. I like the Blazblue style Arcana symbols. Hopefully the characters are developed well and the story keeps it’s charm.

    Mike F.
  12. Well so far this show if pretty typical though it would look a bit fresher if not for the fact that I watched Champione before this which also has an italian setting.

    I too had suspicions of ulterior motives from Mama and Papa, but what I like most about that scene was that they didn’t make them appear evil like is typical of these sorts of situations. Papa especially proved to be a fairly respecable man. Do I believe Felicità should be allowed to make her own choice as to whom she will marry? Yes of course however there’s more going on here that meets the eye so we can’t make any judgements on the parents just yet.

    I want to see more of the culture of the Famiglia as I’m sure it will come to play a greater part in the plot as there are no doubt abundant traditions that will come into play in the future. No doubt Mama and Papa will dust off some old and obscure one that will put our herione in a tight spot.

    Well I don’t know how invested I am in this show at the moment but I’ll be sticking around for the 3 episode rule.

  13. “Arcana Famiglia is opening up exactly as its description says, without any surprises.”

    Mediocre, well, without much surprise either, is how I found this first episode. The usual moral nonsense is spouted very early, so the series remains true to what one could expect from its demographic. The tone is thus set. The viewer has to endure, right from the introduction of the series, one of the protagonist lamenting because his crush has to marry a person she’s not willing to– but he forgets that both he and she agreed about obeying to “Papa”, and from such a social milieu, it’d be rather inconsistent to assume that they aren’t given much more revolting orders all the time. And I doubt the terms of the contract were any unclear. Add to this the immaturity of the protagonist, letting his emotions dictate how he acts instead of doing what is smart thus embarrassing himself, and you have the perfect definition of a series aimed at anime fans that have still to wait a handful of years before being allowed to frequent YouPorn.

  14. I really love the opening, I like the setting and overall style buuuuuut thinking about the upcoming episodes with the otome origin in mind I am kinda creeped out. :/

  15. The episode is good, though this isn’t really what I expect for a first episode (I expect big quality show-off and things that will attract new viewers who are not playing the game like me hahaha). The explanation of the characters’ arcanas is a bit silly, not to mention the graphic is rather dry compared to the rest of the episode. This will be really annoying if they keep doing this to introduce all the arcanas :/ The characters’ voices also sometimes sound off, which is weird since this is an otome-based game with lots of good VAs. I can find awkward movements and timing here and there although most of these are minor stuffs.
    My favorite parts are the art style and character designs. It’s rather surprising to see a otome-based anime heroine with really good and showy appearance (and personality!). Her zettai ryouiki, suit, kicks, and twintail are a real critical hit. While the boys are generic, I find them very likable as well. Overall I’m optimistic with upcoming episodes.

  16. I’m a big Noto Mamiko fan, and I love it when she does roles that aren’t stereotypical Noto Mamiko roles, (especially as Mutou in Moyashimon!) but I don’t think I can sit through this for 3 eps, let alone a whole season.

    The directing was bad. There are a lot of good seiyuu in there, and they all sounded too wooden, heavy, and forced. That’s on the director.

    And what was up with the mush-mouth talking with heavily accented Japanese? If they’re in their own country, don’t make it sound like they just stepped out of JPN101, (which is kind of offensive in its own right), make it sound like they’re locals. You know, people who know how to speak the language. That was painful to listen to. (Especially the eyepatch guy. I’m not going to waste neurons trying to remember his name.)

    Oh well, those who liked it, enjoy. I just had to get that off of my chest. Continue with your enjoyment.

  17. Throughout the episode, I was trying to figure out which guy would be end-game, if any at all. My personal guess is either Liberta (they certainly gave him a healthy deal of screentime) or Luca (personal bias here). All of the characters have potential and, like all otomes, are made to appeal to different people, so I only have an interest in about half the cast, but half the cast is good enough to keep giving this a shot for at least a few more episodes. Its premiere definitely wasn’t outstanding, but it was far from as bad as it could have been.
    I’ll keep watching since it seems to have potential compared to a number of other recent reverse harem shows, but I’ll be cheering for Luca (anyone else incredibly reminded of Gilbert Nightray from Pandora Hearts in more ways than one?)

  18. Doesn’t seem too bad, I’m not expecting a masterpiece but it could be a good ride, let’s see how it goes, with battle anime it’s not what they do that sells the product, but how they do it.

    PS: As an Italian, I found the names a little “alla cazzo di cane”

  19. > Debito (Yoshino Hiroyuki), Luca (Nakamura Yuuichi), and Pace (Sugita Tomokazu) resolving their own conflicting interests invested in Felicità and by consequence, their conflicting approaches to her. One sees her more platonically as a caretaker, one sees her as an interesting companion, and the other an eternal playmate. -Zanibas

    By “one sees her more platonically as a caretaker”, I hope you’re not talking about Luca.. Because I’ve already decided on my favourite shipping this show and it’s Luca/Felicità (Lucità?).

    Then again, it might have something to do with the fact that I find Nakamura Yuuichi to be the most amazing seiyuu of all time and I just always find myself rooting for whatever character he voices, be it an alien prince who attempts to kill his own sister or a rebel leader who comes back from the dead to cut off his best friends arm.

  20. I would say, so far so good. At least for an introductory episode. I like Noto Mamiko’s voice but in this case it doesn’t really fit Felicità imo, but maybe i’ll change my mind after a few episodes.

  21. Like others have said, first episode suffers from the heavy-handed and clunky exposition. It’d probably would have been better if these plot points were introduced gradually than dumped all at once here, since I’m already having trouble remembering who has what…and I have a feeling this info dump is going to happen throughout the course of this show (as I feel, from what I’ve seen, that JC Staff has this tendency of either literally animating adaptations to the letter or making liberal changes in the story/presentation without quite understanding balance).

    It makes me wish that they had made Felicita into the narrator, so we would hear more of her internal thoughts instead, especially during the fountain scene. Right now, she may wield knives or stilettos, but she acts/comes off like a damsel-in-distress, which I hope they rectify soon.

    Also, I really hope that they don’t only focus on Liberta and Nova, as they seemed rather dull (in terms of complexities hinted at so far) in comparison to the rest of the cast. Although I’m probably a little biased toward Luca (Gilbert Nightray + Houtaro’s voice = win!)

  22. Honestly I am hoping the Kon Chiaki can pull through but I have a feeling that the source material won’t lend itself to that. I have no clue what portion of the content is being adapted as I am not familiar with it myself but the reason Higurashi was so great was because the source material itself told a great story. It lent itself to the mind-fuck that show was. It shows all the signs of being a cut/paste show and I hope that it actually is not. The one thing I worry about is that with such a short season will they series have enough poise to give enough screen time to the cast and not let the rest of Felicita’s suitors go to the wayside. Some of them actually look potentially interesting.

  23. How is the superpowered main cast supposed to look badass fighting small time smugglers without any weapon ? That first show of strength looked like the killing of a fly with a bazooka. It was lame.


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