Occult Academy (世紀末オカルト学院 Seikimatsu Okaruto Gakuin, "End of Century Occult Academy") is a Japanese anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures and Aniplex and directed by Tomohiko Ito. The 13-episode anime premiered in Japan on the TV Tokyo television network on July 6, 2010. Occult Academy is the third project of Anime no Chikara. It was simulcasted by Crunchyroll an hour after the Japanese broadcast. A manga adaptation of the anime is currently serialized in Media Factory's Monthly Comic Alive. A series of DVD/Blu-ray releases are made over six volumes. Volumes one through five each contain two episodes from the series and comes with extras, such as bonus songs sung by various voice actors for the characters. The final volume covers the last three episodes There are also four spinoff episodes, the first of which is included with the second volume. A manga adaptation of the anime is currently serialized in Media Factory's Monthly Comic Alive.
The story revolves around Maya, the daughter of the former Headmaster of Waldstein Academy, and a time traveling agent Fumiaki Uchida. In the year 2012, the world had been invaded by aliens and time travelers were sent back to the year 1999 in order to find and destroy the Nostradamus Key, which Nostradamus Prophecy foretold as what would bring about the apocalypse. The series then turns to the year 1999, where Maya returns to the Academy with the intention of destroying the Academy by superseding her late father's position as the principal. Her plan was interrupted when she meets Fumiaki and learns of the forthcoming destruction. Despite being distrusting towards Fumiaki, they form a pact to look for the Nostradamus Key.
In order to find the Nostradamus Key, time agents were provided with specially created cell phones. When a user finds an object of interest, by thinking of destroying it and taking a photo, and if the resulting image is that of a peaceful world, then the subject is the Nostradamus Key. Conversely, if the subject is not the Nostradamus Key, then the photo displays destruction. By using the phone, Maya and Fumiaki investigates occult occurrences as they occur in the town.
However, it is later revealed that the Nostradamus Key is not a particular person or object; it is actually the meeting of the future Fumiaki with his younger self. Realizing this, the future Fumiaki attempts to avoid contact with his younger self, but the two ultimately met at the Academy. As the dimensional rift opens, the future Fumiaki sacrifices himself to banish the aliens and protect his younger self, successfully destroying the Nostradamus Key and ensuring a peaceful future. Following this, the year 2012 is shown to be rid of the alien invaders.
- Maya Kumashiro (神代 マヤ Kumashiro Maya)
- Voiced by: Yoko Hikasa
- The daughter of the Waldstein Academy's late headmaster, Junichirou Kumashiro. She hates the occult despite her vast knowledge about it. Her hatred stemmed from her father's obsession with the occult thus causing a strained relationship between his wife and daughter. After her father's death, Maya becomes headmistress of the "Occult Academy" and vows to destroy the school. However, as the series progresses, Maya's hatred for the occult lessens. Eventually she regains her former love for the occult, promising to keep it safe rather than to destroy it. Later, it is revealed that the Academy was Maya's Christmas present from her father. Maya realizes that she turned her back on her father when he was only trying to fulfill her Christmas wish. She then makes a promise to her dead father to save the Academy and the World. With the arrival of Fumiaki Uchida, she forms a partnership with him in order to find the key of Nostradamus which will cause an alien invasion on July 21, 1999.
- Initially, Maya thought of Fumiaki as a coward since all he could do is run in fear. However, when Fumiaki undergoes a near-death experience, Maya sees parts of his life and realizes that he, like her, was a lonely child. From then on, Maya begins to respect Fumiaki and promises to help him find the Nostrodamus key. She even starts to develop feelings for him, which is made apparent by her discomfort in him being around Mikaze. When the future Fumiaki sacrificed himself to the aliens to close the dimensional rift, Maya was left alone with the younger version of Fumiaki. In 2012, it is mentioned that the two live together.
- Fumiaki Uchida (内田 文明 Uchida Fumiaki)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima, Sayuri Yahagi (young)
- A time traveler from 2012 who is sent to 1999 to find the key of Nostradamus. He was forced to be #6 after the agent before him, #5, was killed. In 1999, Fumiaki was a little boy with special psychic powers. Dubbed "Uchida Bunmei", he appeared on many television shows, demonstrating his psychic powers by bending a spoon. His popularity grew quickly, but it came at a heavy cost. As he became more popular, his mother became obsessed with his fame, to the point that she refuses him a normal social life. Fumiaki eventually loses his psychic powers, and by 2012, he was considered a fake. He is also known as "Abe Minoru", which is the collective identity for all of the time agents.
- Upon arriving in 1999, Fumiaki encounters Maya, who at first thought of him as a coward, since all he could do is run in fear. However, he eventually earns some of Maya's respect, as Maya sees part of his life in a near-death experience and realizes that he, like her, was also a lonely child. He and Maya form a team to find the Nostradamus Key and prevent the alien invasion.
- Mikaze Nakagawa (中川 美風 Nakagawa Mikaze)
- Voiced by: Chihara Minori
- Mikaze is a cute teenage girl who works at a local diner. Her cooking skills are extremely outstanding, as Fumiaki Uchida eats at her diner everyday. However, despite her cute and cheerful personality, Mikaze is not a normal teenage girl. She is actually a black mage whose main goal is to open Hell's gate and allow supernatural beings to take over the world. However, despite her demonic powers, Mikaze is not the Nostradamus Key. Mikaze is shown to have a wide range of powers, notably being able to summon creatures to do her bidding.
- Chihiro Kawashima (川島 千尋 Kawashima Chihiro)
- Voiced by: Kobayashi Yu
- Chihiro serves as the vice-principal for Waldstein Academy. She is depicted as a stern woman, although with a penchant for keeping a love diary. She is very much infatuated with Bunmei, and develops a hatred for Mikaze because of that. Despite numerous attempts, she was never successful in courting Bunmei. Initially, Chihiro is hinted to be an antagonist, but she is eventually revealed to be a white mage, whose goal was to keep Maya safe under Junichirou's request. Chihiro is said to be a very strong white mage and her abilities very much reflects this. As a white mage, she is shown to be more defensive oriented than Mikaze, such as being able to erect powerful barriers and reversing Mikaze's spells.
- Ami Kuroki (黒木 亜美 Kuroki Ami)
- Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki
- Ami is Maya's childhood friend as well as classmate in the Academy. She genuinely cares for Maya and tries to mend Maya's relationship with the occult. Ami is often seen with Kozue, JK, and Smile.
- Kozue Naruse (成瀬 こずえ Naruse Kozue)
- Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa
- Kozue is first shown to be a Ami's friend and classmate at the Academy. She is deeply embracing of the occult, shown through her endeavors to prove to Maya that the occult is very real as well as agreeing to go through a near death experience for a class demonstration. Kozue is portrayed as a being very clumsy, often being the first to fall victim to demons.
- Smile (スマイル Sumairu)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi
- Smile acts as the mechanic for the Academy. He first meets Maya and the others when Ami requested his and JK's help to find the possessed former principal. Smile is shown to be very adept at physical combat although he often carries an enormous wrench as a weapon. He is usually shown to be with JK.
- Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu
- JK is an occult dowser who specializes in using dowsing rods to locate individuals. Like Kozue, he is also an occult manic and often accompanies the other characters when occult-related events occur. He is able to engage in combat using his dowsing rods, but usually calls for Smile when in trouble.
Anime News Network's Zac Bertschy sees that the "animation and character designs are gorgeous, with some really nice background work" and "an incredibly strong start to a show with huge promise". Theron Martin says that the series "is one of the best-looking series of the new season (maybe the best), including some beautiful background art, nice animation courtesy of A-1 Pictures, and character designs that certainly won't bore". Carl Kimlinger finds that the series "is, if not the best, certainly the most entertaining of the series to emerge from Aniplex's Anime no Chikara project" and "is more Sam Raimi than Tite Kubo". Hope Chapman comments that "it's still incredibly entertaining in a pure, enchanting way, a little reminiscent of the most humorous bits in Mamoru Hosoda's films".
- ^ "世紀末オカルト学院 :: 作品紹介 :: A-1 Pictures" (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. http://www.a1p.jp/works/works_occult.htm. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- ^ "世紀末オカルト学院" (in Japanese). Official website. http://www.occult-gakuin.jp/. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- ^ a b "Crunchyroll to Simulcast Occult Academy, Tono to Issho". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-07-05/crunchyroll-simulcasts-occult-academy-tono-to-issho. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- ^ "Occult Academy Official Site" (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. http://6109.jp/occult/?cate=1157. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- ^ Bertschy, Zac (July 5, 2010). "The Summer 2010 Anime Preview Guide". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- ^ Martin, Theron (July 5, 2010). "The Summer 2010 Anime Preview Guide". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- ^ Kimlinger, Carl (July 5, 2010). "The Summer 2010 Anime Preview Guide". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- ^ Chapman, Hope (July 5, 2010). "The Summer 2010 Anime Preview Guide". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 29, 2010.