Occultic;Nine – Mid Season Review
Note: Due to injury, Linny will be taking a diminished roll through the Mid Season reviews. She will return for the full reviews at the end of the season.
Original Air Dates: October 8th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Yuta Gamon is a 2nd year high school student. He runs “Kiri Kiri Basara” a wannabe affiliate blog that rounds up occult forum posts all for a shot at quick and easy money. However, Yuta’s quest for an easy life and his blog acts as a catalyst that gathers a group of downright maniacal and insane comrades to hunt down the many supernatural phenomena existing in the world and analyze them from a scientific standpoint.
Mid Season (6 episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Occultic;Nine’s primary highlight is its animation, which faithfully captures its grim, yet silly atmosphere. Trouble is character designs gnaw away at that aesthetic. Namely the design of Narusawa, who bounces around and dances frequently in order to shake about her comically large bossom for the audience to ‘laugh at.’ But it’s bound to make audiences more uncomfortable than amused.
In fact, that’s a problem with much of Occultic;Nine: unintended affects. For starters Occultic juggles a plethora of characters, and for all intents and purposes does a decent job. The problem is now that we’re six episodes in audiences are likely familiar with all the characters, but attached to no one. We never get enough meat on each of these characters, learn enough about their past, their persona, what makes them who they are, to feel like any of them are truly real or compelling. Sure maybe we delve into someone’s history here or personal feelings there, but the show is so lightning fast, so focused on getting from point A to point B that the audience never has much time to breath and take it all in. That’s where more struggles arise: The narrative.
Occultic;Nine’s narrative is disjointed, constantly jumping about in time, between plot lines, characters, etc. It’s a mess, one already difficult enough for an unfamiliar audience to navigate, but only further encumbered by Occultic’s disinterest in holding the audience’s hand. Part of that trouble stems from Occultic’s break neck pace. Occultic has its characters talking a mile a minute, desperately trying to make scenes and sequences happen as fast as possible. It’s a problem I had with New Doctor Who, and is only exasperated here as animation already naturally plays faster than live action. There’s no attempt to let up for real thematic and dramatic moments, content to blaze through them with all the subtlety of a bulldozer. It’s as if the show thinks audiences will be content with how clever it is (although it’s not all that clever) and it doesn’t need to do any of the work to keep the audience’s attention. But it does.
Occultic;Nine isn’t all bad though. It has some generally interesting mysteries, although to call them that feels a bit unfair. It’s not as if you could actually solve the story ahead of any of the reveals. Everything comes out of left field, information withheld from the audience without a single clue peppered before. So instead I should say Occultic has some interest reveals, big ones, that could potentially keep you watching on, but with how hard it can be for less enthralled audiences to keep up, it feels like a rather thin silver lining.