“The Arcane Duel”
La storia della Arcana Famiglia brings us the long-awaited duels in the form of a spectacular finale, and I must say, this conclusion really surprised me! All this time, I believed this anime would be longer and lead to sequels, but no – the story was completely wrapped up so I can’t see any ahead. I expected Luca, Pace, and Debito to have their own arc like Libertá and Nova did; it turns out they weren’t important enough. When last week’s episode’s preview showed us that the duels were coming up, I was preparing myself for a messy finale, so I was really surprised to see such a spectacular ending. Yes, spectacular. I found this finale very fun to watch. I think my disappointment prior to this episode was caused by my interest in the other characters, but at the same time, I ignored the fact that this isn’t just about the males – it’s all about Felicitá’s fate!
Felicitá as a heroine has been quite plain. She didn’t have many lines throughout the show, so to be honest, I haven’t noticed her as much as the other characters. But now we can finally see her as the amazing girl she is. Watching everyone around her grow helped her find herself, and eventually, she solved the “riddle” given to her by Gli Amanti. Even though Libertá and Nova had most of the screen time in this episode, I thought Felicitá stood out more than anyone. The two boys may have gone through a lot throughout this anime, but in the end, it all comes down to their powers and developing them. Felicitá on the other hand has, as a character, developed more than anyone. She is definitely a worthy winner of this tournament.
The tournament itself was entertaining. I do wish that Pace, Luca, and Debito’s battles would’ve been shown to us, but the way it was illustrated was quite hilarious so I’m not disappointed. Something that seemed quite odd to me was Sumire’s participation in the duels. Why was she there? Everyone with Arcana powers is supposed to participate, yes, but she has nothing to gain here. As the leader’s wife, she already has a huge influence on the family. It’s possible that she was there for the sake of Nova proving his newfound strength, but still, she is quite an unnecessary participant.
It’s very interesting to see how weird the duels were. Aside from Sumire’s participation, I thought a lot of the combat was a bit peculiar. It’s hard to tell who is the strongest in these duels because everyone is using unique methods to fight, so in a way, this tournament is very unfair. I do think Felicitá was the best winner, and I’m glad she won, but the other participants’ battles looked too weird. I’m not sure when it’s logical to fight someone wielding a sword with a bazooka or a fan. I can see why Felicitá won. Her powers allow her to read people’s hearts and by using it, she probably found out about their tactics. Also, she fought only with sheer physical strength, so her winning this tournament was the only foreseeable outcome to me.
Now that Mondo’s life has been saved, and the duels are over, everything is returning to normal. It’s actually a proper ending for an otome show, i.e. the heroine didn’t end up with anyone, but many possibilities still lie ahead of her. So in a way, this isn’t a happily-ever-after kind of ending. It’s more the beginning of a new story.
- I thought the final battle was quite anti-climatic because Jolly totally ruined it by giving away the result before the match was shown.
- It was obvious right from the beginning that Libertá and Nova’s duel would result with a draw.
- I can see why Luca and Debito lost, but Pace’s loss surprised me a bit. Does this mean that Felicitá’s physical strength is greater than Pace’s, which comes from his Arcana?
- Felicitá would make a great leader. I find this picture to be very fitting, and I’d like to see this future.
- I thought Luca would be using alchemy, but I guess that’s not necessary with such a strong Arcana power.
- Why were Debito’s powers not revealed to us until this stage? His powers are so impressive, and they’re definitely my favorite powers from this show!
- I’ve never been a fan of songs performed by seiyuus (there are some exceptions), so I died a little bit inside when the ending theme could be heard in the middle of the show despite being entirely appropriate for the situation…
- Yoshino Hiroyuki’s squeal…
- Full-length shots: 16, 31, 32
So La storia della Arcana Famiglia reached its end with a very unexpected conclusion. When I read about this show, I thought it seemed quite unique for an otome anime. While I did have in mind that it wouldn’t be an action show about mafia, I did expect this anime to be slightly different from the other reverse harem titles I’ve seen.
When the summer season started, as you might remember I didn’t blog anything but FAIRY TAIL. I thought it’d be better if the other writers would cover the shows I’d intended to choose because some of them might’ve ended up without any shows if I would’ve been given my picks. This anime was definitely one on my list, so when Zanibas decided to cover Oda Nobuna no Yabou instead of La storia della Arcana Famiglia, I took over its coverage.
Was the effort worth it? To be honest, I must say that while this anime has its ups and downs, it was definitely enjoyable. Many readers have been quite negative about this show, and I believe the cause for that is the fact that many people ignored the primary genre of this anime. Yes, this show’s premise promised something related to action. Yes, all relevant characters are in the mafia. Yes, interesting powers are involved. But the main fact here is that these are all only small details in an otome show. While watching an otome series, you should be prepared for almost everything to be slow: pacing, story development, character development, clichés, and the most important thing that all otome shows share – the heroine’s development. This is not an action anime, nor does it have anything special to do with mafia. La storia della Arcana Famiglia is an otome show where the characters just happen to be mafia. The story itself involves what typical reverse harems do. I wanted to make people realize that, and that’s why I covered this show here on Random Curiosity. It bugged me that people disparaged this anime for being different from what they expected considering that the source material was written out clearly on the summer preview. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to judge, but why judge something for the wrong reasons? For example, would you judge a shounen show for being a bad romance anime? I think it’s okay to judge as long as you do it to something for what it is and how relevant it is to its genre. While I did face a lot of complaints for covering this, I want to thank everyone who has supported me with kind and heartwarming comments. As a blogger, I find my motivation to keep doing my thing when I read your kind words. So thank you, really, it means a lot to me!
As I mentioned earlier, I did expect this anime to be slightly different from other otome shows, and I must say – it really is different, especially in the romance aspect. Unfortunately, most otome shows end without the heroine picking one of the males and that happened here as well. However, all otome shows have romantic clichés everywhere in every episode while La storia della Arcana Famiglia lacked those. There were some romantic moments, but they were there for the sake of comedy rather than hinting at any possible romance.
Aside from the romance, the most unique thing in this show, to me, was Felicitá’s status. Unlike other reverse harems, she was on equal footing with her fellow family members. She was in no need of protection; she protected everyone else instead by saving Mondo’s life. I really liked that about Felicitá. Independent heroines are very admirable, and Felicitá is beyond that. She is capable of taking care of herself and others. While I do think it was nice of her to wish for her father to continue leading the family, a small part of me wishes to see her as a leader because she was born to be one.
Felicitá is not the only likable character however, La storia della Arcana Famiglia’s strongest point story-wise is that it has so many of them. I really do think I like all of them. Libertá and Nova are overdeveloped I admit, but I still find them likable, and while I like Luca a lot as well, I must say that Libertá and Nova are the most suitable guys for Felicitá.
Going back to the fact that some characters were overdeveloped – this anime, like many others, wasted a lot of episodes developing certain characters while ignoring others. Unfortunately, that leaves me very unsatisfied as I have many questions left unanswered. Jolly’s situation has been explained, but he as a character is still an enigma to me. Also, Libertá’s past wasn’t fully wrapped up, we still don’t know why Dante saved him. Priorities in anime will always be an issue and unfortunately, that affects my view of the entire show.
Libertá and Nova were featured in every episode. They stole time from other characters, yet, their stories still have too many plot holes. This is the main drawback of this show – it has an entire menu of various characters but only few of them are served to us. The plot holes that remain don’t affect the main story about the duels and Mondo’s life, but they’re still there and that irks me. All this time, I was thinking that we’d have two seasons for this anime: one for character development, and one for the duels. I didn’t think the duels would be so short. To be honest, this anime might’ve fared better if things would’ve gone the way I expected. I think that would have left us a lot more satisfied and we’d be able to understand some characters better.
Basically, you can watch the pilot and the finale of this anime and then you’d have seen it all. The character development in the ten episodes in between is interesting but very unnecessary, considering there were flashbacks in the finale, showing everything you needed to know about Nova, Libertá, and Felicitá’s powers.
So to sum it up – La storia della Arcana Famiglia is definitely an enjoyable otome show with very likable characters, but it leaves you slightly unsatisfied because of some loose ends and some people being too overdeveloped at the expense of other characters. As an otome anime, I think this did very well; its unique heroine and the Arcana powers are definitely enjoyable and memorable. I’d like to thank everyone again for the kind and supportive comments – those were my motivation! Having said that, I’ll probably cover the upcoming unaired episode, but for now I guess it’s goodbye to La storia della Arcana Famiglia.