Occult Academy - Season 1 - Episode 1 - Review: "Ep 1"

An original series from the Anime-no-Chikara block that's being produced by Aniplex and TV Tokyo using the A-1 Pictures animation studio of Aniplex's, Occult Academy is a thirteen episode series directed by Tomohiko Ito who has done some single episode directing in the last couple of years with shows like Stitch!, Kobato and Monster. While Ito doesn't have a ton under his belt, the series is being put together script-wise from Seishi Minakami who has done some interesting titles, such as some of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brortherhood, Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Sugar: A Little Snow Fairy and parts of Boogiepop Phantom. It's a pretty diverse mix just scratching the surface of what's familiar in the US and it gives indication that this seemingly serious series is in pretty good hands.

Occult Academy takes place, at least initially in 2012 where we're introduced to Maya, a young woman who has come to the Waldetein Academy which has a very unusual aura about it as it feels very out of the ordinary because of its heavy bent towards the occult. Maya's arrival comes at a time when people are feeling like it's the end of the world since it is 2012 after all and Nostradamus' prophecies are on everyone's mind. Maya's arrival at the academy is awkward at best as she's come to the funeral for the principal who just died and she's actually his daughter. In a moment of true awkwardness, while the students are all lined up for a ceremony to remember him, they play a cassette that has him talking from beyond the grave about the importance of the school and all that it means in regards to not looking away from the occult, but rather to face it full on. He intends to show them something of the occult by summoning a spirit from beyond but instead awakens the long dormant dead instead, which includes a spirit that posses his recently deceased body.

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