Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Arcana Famiglia Ep. 1

Initial impression – the cards say that things look good

Summer 2012 (12 episodes) (title literal translation from Italian – Arcana Family) (more info)

Having played Persona 3 & 4 extensively and studying a lot of the mythos in those games I’ve become quite familiar with tarot.  It usually doesn’t get the service due for its complexity the way Persona gave it, so I’m interested to see if Arcana Famiglia can do something similarly respectable with its source material.

Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic about it because right off the bat this appears to be an anime that’s going to be centralized on a tournament to determine the successor to this mafia-style family.  Back when Naruto was young and Flame of Recca wasn’t ancient history, I made the discovery that pretty much any anime whose plot becomes entangled in a tournament has run out of ideas.  To lead in with that sort of catch as the story’s driving force isn’t encouraging to me.

The cast is already pretty big, but if there are presumably twenty-two or more characters, (one for each of the major arcana and side characters) I fear things will be spread too thin before long.  So far it has a style that is showing some well-planned fight sequences and the powers granted by each major arcana—while sometimes a bit too obvious—are being used creatively enough so that it doesn’t feel too drab.

The soft-spoken but authoritative voice of Mamiko Noto is a great fit for Felicita.

Putting the story’s heroine in a situation where she needs saving, but has the potential to save herself rather than having to rely on the two young men who have pledged themselves to her is fresh and reassuring.  It indicates to me that everyone is going to have a strong role to play, which ought to keep things interesting.

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