Arcana Famiglia OVA

April 18, 2014

What? There was an OVA for Arcana Famiglia and it came out more than a year ago back in March 2013? Probably I wasn’t too impressed with the very filler-like TV series and thus didn’t have the interest to find out more whether it had any OVAs or specials or even any sequel. Nobody even subbed the OVA till recently and that’s when it got my attention. After all, I get to hear Mamiko Noto’s voice again… So people, if you could swap bodies, how would you want to be for a day? Unluckily for our guys here, they can’t choose that…

Capriccio – Stile Arcana Famiglia
Jolly has concocted something devilishly good and you know he is going to put it to devilishly good use. Next morning, all the guys received a letter from Felicita to meet. They can’t refuse, right? I mean, it’s from the milady that they love so much. To their delight, they see chocolates on the table and without giving much thought, they munch them down. Then they start to feel strange and pass out. When they wake up, they realize their bodies have been swapped. Nova = Liberta. Luca = Debito. Dante = Pace. And they know this was a trap set up by that no good Jolly. For the rest of the blog, I will name the characters as their original self and not their swapped body. It avoids the confusion. Or enhances it. Pace will find a cure for it in the library and suggests that everyone should act as their swapped bodies to prevent Jolly from finding out. Or else he will know that the drug works. This means Debito gets to make tea for Felicita and be with her all day long. Oh, Luca. Better hurry in finding the cure. Nova and Liberta get to experience what the other feels now that they’re in each other’s body. They can learn a thing or two too. Like Liberta’s patrol watch from the rooftop is so that he could cover a large area and head to where trouble is quick. Or Nova’s way of doing it on the ground is to interact with the people and nip the problem in the bud.

As they go patrolling, they fall off a roof and crash into somebody’s tent. They are made to repair and help him sell his stuff as compensation. To Nova’s horror, some kids come up to him (thinking he is Liberta) and want him to tell them stories as promised. Yup. Now he has to babysit. Liberta hears a customer accusing a store lady of selling stale fish. When he goes check the problem, he panics and runs away. The crowd cheers over his arrival. What just happened? Meanwhile Luca can’t concentrate in finding the cure because his thoughts that Debito might do something vile to Felicita. True enough, Debito seems to be flirting with unsuspecting Felicita. Luca interrupts their adult time (horrified after seeing Debito holding Felicita’s hand) and brings that playboy away. Elsewhere, Dante is so happy that he has hair on his head that he is washing and scrubbing it in the public fountain! Heavenly, hair-venly… Hah. Feels so good to have hair back on his head again, eh? Then some guy comes up to him and wants him to pay his (Pace’s) tab. Since that guy is broke, he is forced to do clean the dishes and to add insult to injury, Pace is there in the same restaurant ordering plates after plates of food. And whose money is he using to pay off his bill and even his own debt? Oh Dante, if you’re getting this mad, please be warned that you may lose some hair…

Luca relays the bad news to everyone. He can’t find a cure. There are none in the books. The only way left is to sneak into Jolly’s lab and find it. Nova and Liberta are tasked to guard the door if Jolly comes back. But Debito, Dante and Pace are seen trying to distract him. Debito goes up first and of course you can sense that Jolly already knows what’s going on so he badmouths and mocks Debito about his womanizing ways and that he is like a dog satisfied in seducing every woman he could. Debito couldn’t stand it anymore and gets rough with him. Pace bumps him away before their identities could be busted. And then his stomach starts to growl… What a coincidence. Jolly has some lasagne. Dante and Debito take it away but Pace couldn’t hold on any longer. He becomes a rampaging demon to get the lasagne. Meanwhile Liberta and Nova end up fighting with each other over their differences and this disrupts Luca’s search. Weren’t they supposed to guard the door? Then they calm down and compliment each other as they have seen from each other’s eyes how the nice people treated them. Of course when Liberta makes a comment that Nova isn’t impressed about, he is about to be cut when Luca has found the book. The book is sliced in half.

Pace is feeling sorry he ate the entire bowl of lasagne. So Jolly wants an explanation of their weird behaviour. Because he observed them throughout town today and found them acting weird. ‘Luca’ serving tea to Felicita, ‘Pace’ washing his hair in public and ‘Dante’ devouring loads of food. That’s when Luca signals the rest to escape. He has made a drink that will return them back to normal when they drink it simultaneously. However Dante seems to be the only one who is not willing to do that. Because he can kiss his hair goodbye. So he purposely spills his cup many times but Luca has made lots of extras. Jolly sitting elsewhere is smiling… The real book is with him… This could mean… Yup. They didn’t swap back but further swap to another body. Looks like another trap from Jolly and he had it planned out so well. I’m so confused. I don’t know who is who anymore. But I know Dante is one happy guy because now in Nova’s body, he’s acting like a host guy. Nice hair, smooth skin, youthful appearance, puns aplenty… Smooth operator? Creepy…

Chocolates Are Good For The Soul!
As usual, this OVA wasn’t anything but another one of those random silly stuffs and the antic of body swapping isn’t something that is new or original anyway. It’s a good thing I didn’t have my hopes and expectations up but the series never told us to have them anyway. There are some funny bits here like Dante having fun with his newfound hair but I figure this is the only amusing stuff in this OVA. I don’t know how to put it about in the character development segment because despite you don’t really see any here (just like in the TV series), the body swapping has the characters learn about each other especially Nova and Liberta. But that doesn’t mean that they will understand or like each other better. Jolly’s mysterious and odd character perhaps is the reason that gives rise to this randomness. What does he plan to achieve by observing them? Trying to catch them with their pants down? The biggest gripe is the very limited appearance of Felicita! Which means not enough lines for Mamiko Noto! Because of that, it makes this OVA feel like a guy movie. So remember, think twice before putting something suspicious in your mouth because sometimes the bitter aftertaste can be really hard to wash off, hard to wash away. Unless they’re chocolates that I cannot resist…

Arcana Famiglia

February 17, 2013

The last time an anime about a group of Italian mafiaso was Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn. I thought it would be more or less the same with Arcana Famiglia but the only thing they have in common is that the family is Italian, though it is odd that they’re speaking Japanese (for convenience of course) and they look like your typical Japanese anime characters. Well, that’s anime for you. Also, this anime isn’t based on a manga but a game of the same name. Calling this Arcana family a mafia group isn’t exactly right as they are more of a vigilante group that protects the fictitious island of Regalo and its inhabitants. But the storyline as I read is something like this. The head of the family is about to retire and is to marry his only daughter off to the guy who wins in the upcoming battle to determine who will be the strongest family member. Of course as the daughter of the boss, she is not one who would like her father to decide the path she walks especially about her love life. And so it begins her journey to be stronger so that she can defend herself and null the marriage proposal in a family that consists of mostly half-siblings and cousins. It must be tough to be the only girl in a family dominated by men, eh?

Episode 1
Nova is apprehending crooks for trading contraband goods but they resist. Liberta comes to his aid though they don’t really appreciate each other’s help. The baddies run away via car so the duo use a shortcut to catch up by foot. Felicita is annoyed by Luca’s pestering about tonight’s birthday party when the car dangerously closes in. Liberta does a dangerous stunt by leaping off a rooftop onto the car. Debito fires his gun to throw some of the goons off and it ends with Dante firing his bazooka into the vehicle! Thankfully everybody jumped off by then. Liberta into the arms of Pace. The crook thought he could fight back till Nova slashes his clothes till bits and he instantly gives up. A couple of new traders wonder what that ruckus was all about so the local lady tells them they are the vigilante group that protects Regalo Island, Arcana Famiglia. Back home, Luca is disheartened that Felicita decides to wear her suit instead of her dress for the birthday part of Papa Mondo. Even her maids blame Luca for not raise her properly seeing he was her attendant since young. So I guess every other guy too had hopes seeing her wearing a dress. Till Liberta came along and Felicita gave him a good kick. What gives? As Jolly explains, it was because he was thinking bad thoughts. All of them received Arcana powers when the made a deal with Tarocco (tarot cards). Each of them has powers corresponding to a card. Like Liberta holds the starting card, The Fool. Nova holds the thirteenth card, Death while Felicita the sixth card, Lovers. This allows her to peek into the heart of others and so she accidentally saw his unholy thoughts. Since Arcana powers use emotions as their foundation, this means Felicita doesn’t have control over powers yet. Mondo makes his appearance to the rousing welcome of his men. In his speech, he surprises everyone that he is going to retire. Therefore he seeks a successor. In 2 months time, there will be an Arcana Duello and all those with Arcana powers will participate to determine the strongest Arcana. He assures on his 21st card, the World that he will grant the victor the title Papa to lead this family and any wish he desires. Also, the winner gets to marry his daughter Felicita. Surprise?

Felicita can’t accept that but Mondo reminds her she when she joined the family, she must follow his rule. Felicita is bent on walking her own path so Mondo challenges her to fight and beat him here. Felicita only had her kicks so Mondo easily overpowers her. The ‘deathblow’ is when he tells her choosing her own path is a right she has not earned. He even mocks her like a child and to cry to gain pity from the men. Liberta didn’t like it and tells Mondo off he is robbing Felicita’s freedom and should be ashamed he calls himself her father. So if he doesn’t like it too and can’t follow orders, feel free to fight and beat him here. He is going to do that but Nova stands in the way. He reminds them Mondo is still their Papa. As they are about to clash, they are broken up. Nova is tripped by invisible Debito because he holds the ninth card, Hermit while Pace who holds the eleventh card, Strength holds Liberta down. Mondo tells Liberta if he wants to free Felicita, then participate in Arcana Duello. Because he will grant any wish to the winner. Mama Sumire hints to Felicita since she wants to walk her own path, there is also a way for her to win. While we see some of the guys dreaming of becoming Felicita’s bride, Liberta talks to Felicita outside and assures her he will win and gain her freedom. Nova doesn’t believe he can do that because he could hardly control his power. Liberta thought Nova can’t use his Arcana powers because he has never seen him done so. Nova tells him off not to put him in the same group as him. The guys calm down as Nova also assures Felicita he will prevent her forced marriage should he win. That makes 2 of them, right? Yeah well, if Nova only had confidence in Liberta. Which he doesn’t of course.

Episode 2
Luca drives Felicita to her new home where she’ll be staying. I guess she ignored him when he started talking about his fourteenth card, Temperance. She is greeted and introduced once more to the familiar guys who are heads of their respective division such as division leader (Dante – he holds the fourth card, Emperor), intelligence/diplomacy (Liberta), coin (Debito), audit (Pace) and defence AKA Holy Grail (Nova). Felicita is made in charge of the sword division. No prizes in guessing what this division does. Next morning, Felicita and Liberta spot Nova looking around searching for something. He didn’t want the duo to get involved so Felicita accidentally peeks into his heart, much to his dismay. Seems he saved a white kitten from being run over by a carriage. Felicita and Liberta want to help him find it. Liberta finds it first but it runs around causing him to break an expensive vase. The kitten made a fool out of the guys. Getting Luca stuck in a tree and having Nova and Liberta banging each other’s heads when they try to corner it. I know they’re loggerheads but… The kitten seeks solace in Felicita who chide the guys for trying to be too rough. Nova suggests returning it to the street where he found it but there is a chance it might get run over again. Felicita suggests returning it to its owner so they try to look for hints on its expensive material collar. Felicita couldn’t make out of the flower perfume the kitten has so Jolly pops up to advise her the perfume mix it has on. The guys are surprised this alchemist left his lab so he mentions even though he holds the eighteenth card, Moon, he isn’t confined to just coming out at night. As the family’s advisor, his job is to advise those who are in trouble. The trio try to find the owner but end up disappointed. Pace thinks he knows of a person who can help: Debito. At his casino, he can think of 15 women who have that smell of perfume but knows none who owns a cat. Felicita accidentally peeks into the kitten’s heart and sees a blonde. Well, that narrows it down to 8. Debito notices the expensive material collar and knows who the owner might be. They return it to Federica and as reward, she gives her a dress. On the way back, Nova reminds her it is bad for her to peek into hearts of others without permission. Due to the upcoming Arcana Duello, it is all the reason why they must strengthen their Arcana powers and control them at their own will. He believes she can do it. Meanwhile… Luca is still stuck on the tree! I’m not sure what the end part is all about because Dante and Liberta by majority find Nova guilty about the thought of returning the kitten to its original spot. As repentance, he is made to sing some song.

Episode 3
Felicita reports that one of the maids, Isabella had sighted a ghost in the kitchen. So of course they go check it out just in case. Liberta has some accidentally perverted mishaps with Felicita. She tries to kick him and he falls through the kitchen door. And what did they see? IT’S A GHOST!!! Soon they realize it is just a white cloth and a hat and put up by Luca as a Pace repellent. A repellent? You see, there was this sleepwalking incident whereby Pace ate all the cakes he baked. Yeah, Pace looked a lot spookier and freaked the hell out of Luca. Luca is making them for the piccolino, an event they hold at the church to entertain the island’s children. At the church, the children weren’t impressed with Luca’s dove magic (only Liberta was) while Debito scares the children with his made-up tale of a child ghost in this church. Felicita notices despite Debito’s scary looks, he is good with children. Pace and Luca are his childhood friends and can attest to that. After lunch, they play football with the kids and Pace I’m not sure accident or not, his super kick sent the ball right into Luca’s face. Nova as the only one sitting out is visited by Sumire. She is here to give him a ‘scolding’ for sitting out this event again. Though he says he is busy with work, he notes that he doesn’t know how to interact with children. The storm is picking up as the Arcana guys suit up the children and escort them home. Sumire knows Nova is worried about them but he shrugs it off. She notes he is kind and should go to them but he thinks kindness is a weakness. She disagrees because there is nothing to be ashamed of. To be kind and weak, both hold great powers. He has imprisoned himself within an amour though she and Mondo felt heavily responsible for taking away his childhood. He is afraid of hurting others or being hurt himself. All she wants is for him to enjoy life the way he desires. So out Nova goes to the church. Liberta is trying to keep a couple of kids at the church company before Debito comes back with his last round. He remembers in the stormy seas sailing with Dante. The crates fell off and he his powers were activated. After Debito returns to take the last of the children home, they check the place and are ready to leave when Nova busts in. He learns all the children have been sent home. If so, what is this last one doing here? Didn’t notice this Elmo kid sitting on the chair? Elmo wants asks Felicita a question. He doesn’t know this feeling, the kind of thumping pain in his heart all of a sudden. And he’s not sick. Can you guess what it is? The next lightning flash, Elmo disappears from his spot and is seen close to the door. He thanks them and will go home by himself. Nova goes after her but to his surprise and the rest, he’s missing. Don’t tell me Elmo’s a ghost! The repentance corner has Pace and Luca finding Debito guilty about his talking manners at the church. They make him drink some ‘magic tea’ that will refine him. Sure, he becomes polite to the point it is so creepy that they want the original foul mouth Debito back!

Episode 4
A short flashback sees how Dante brought young Liberta into the Arcana family as they sail into Regalo. Liberta and Felicita are tasked by Sumire to give a scarf to Giovanna but since the map Nova drew had too many detours, Liberta takes the shortest cut which is via roof to roof. They stop to admire the ocean view as Felicita notes how close Liberta is to Dante. They’re like father and son but something bugs Liberta. He can’t seem to remember his past nor how long has he known Dante. As they make a move, this thought continues to bug him so he became careless and falls off the roof, dragging Felicita along. Thank goodness the tents broke their fall and though they are all right, it’s not all right for the shop owner. As compensation, they are made to help sell his stuff for the day and coincidentally Giovanna was there so they gave the scarf. The shop owner is grateful that his sales doubled today so he has them take anything he wants. Liberta is looking at the masks and has interests in them because when he was at an orphanage, a mask man busted him out. He picks up a rare mask in which the shop owner mentions this mask is from Nord Country and legend has it a masked hero saved an orphanage that was doing bad things to orphans. Liberta goes back and happily shows the mask to Dante but he is not pleased reading Nova’s report that he endangered Felicita’s safety earlier in the day. He chides him to put more effort in becoming stronger. I guess he didn’t take that well and runs out. Felicita accidentally reads Dante’s heart and saw a horrifying past. Later she goes to talk to Liberta but he assures her it’s not Dante’s words that put him down. He made a vow to live by the sword and needs to be stronger. When he becomes strong, he might be able to remember his past and the guy in the mask. Felicita still worried goes to ask Nova but unfortunately he doesn’t know. Even if he does it is a problem between them and if she is still really concern, she should go ask the person herself.

That night Felicita calls Dante to talk so he knows she already saw his heart. Dante relates he was in Nord Country and there was an orphanage that looked like normal from the outside but on the inside they are doing horrible experiments to children. Because Liberta had special powers, he was treated even more inhumane. That’s when Dante, who was the masked hero broke in to beat up the bad guys and save him. However one of the villains held Liberta as hostage. Liberta just said “Burn” and everything in the orphanage exploded into flames. Dante says Liberta has the power of words. Whatever he says becomes true if he wishes so. When Dante brought him back along with him, though Liberta was able to get along well with others, there are times the wound of his heart would cause him to lose control of his powers and go berserk. Dante used his power to seal his memories while Mondo used his to seal his power. If he doesn’t grow up and become stronger, he will not undo the seal. He hopes she will keep this a secret from him. Meanwhile Liberta is being picked up by Pace and co for dinner. They suddenly hear a fire nearby. Though everybody tries their best to evacuate the building and put the fire out, Liberta is just stunned and paralyzed in fear by just looking at the flames. Then he walks home and remembers his lost memories. How could he have forgotten such important memories? He goes to see Felicita and tells her he remembers bits of his memories but some parts are still blur. He hopes she could read his heart to see those parts. She apologizes she can’t. Next he goes to confront Dante and knows he is the masked hero. Dante wonders if Felicita had told him but from the way he said it, Liberta knew even Felicita knows. He was the only one who didn’t. He wants to know why his memories were sealed. Was it because it might go berserk again? Dante feels he hasn’t become strong enough to accept his past. Not the answer he’s seeking for. So as Liberta is moping outside, Nova ‘kicks’ him and reminds him how worried Felicita was and his promise to become stronger so that others won’t have anything to complain. The repentance corner sees Sumire and Jolly finding Dante guilty for having Felicita being able to read his heart. As punishment, they have Felicita read it again. He takes up the challenge and what she sees is the sun rising… And it turns into Dante’s shiny bald head! WTF?!

Episode 5
The much awaited and delicious Limone Pie made by Felicita and Luca is here. Though it tastes good as usual, they complain the portion is small. Liberta is still feeling awkward with Felicita so he takes his early leave and once again Nova had to ‘talk’ to him. Felicita and Nova deliver Limone Pie to others and while eating with Sumire, they remember how Nova first joined the family. He was to be Felicita’s future husband and even get to eat Felicita’s first attempt at making Limone Pie (poor Papa lost out). Felicita agrees to follow Nova on his patrol shift (as part of their plan to get fertilizers for the flowers). She praises him doing a good job in his department and the need for herself to work harder and stabilize hers. She accidentally bumps into a suspicious guy who is acting nervous. She peeks into his heart and realizes he is a thief who had just stolen a lady’s wallet at Debito’s casino. They corner him at an alley and the thief thought he had the upper hand surrounding them with his friends. They see Nova’s Japanese sword and start mocking the family (since Sumire is Japanese) that they are doomed to fall with a woman like that as the head. The duo don’t let their emotions get to their head and easily take them out. In the aftermath, the wallet is returned to the lady and Debito hopes Nova should properly praise Felicita because of her powers that this case is solved. A woman blooms when she’s given praise. On the way home, Nova passes her a bag of fertilizers he had his subordinates go buy while they’re dealing with the thieves. Felicita mentions she gets along well with Mama although she treats everyone nice in the family. However Nova says she doesn’t understand. Great things are expected from her, the reason why Mondo brought up Arcana Duello is to make her, the family heir stronger. Nova wakes up from a dream whereby his original parents try brainwashing him to get into the good books of Arcana family so that they can replace Mondo and take control of Regalo.

Luca has been Felicita’s attendant for so long that he knows something is bugging her. So he goes to confront Nova to have a word that he was too hard on her. She wanted to get closer to him but he pushed her away. Nova feels it’s unacceptable for her to be content in her present state. Luca understands his past and his engagement to her voided but this doesn’t justify him being cold on her. He wants him to be friendlier. Luca calls Felicita in and has him taste a pot of soup she made. Taste good? Now make sure you finish everything. Everything! Nova has a favour to ask of her. Because there are reports of high research funds, he suspects Jolly may be misusing them. She is to enter Jolly’s lab and gather information and see if he’s doing anything suspicious. Even if she’s caught, she’ll get some information without bringing too much suspicion to herself. Felicita can’t seem to enter Jolly’s lab and is caught red handed by Jolly. He changes the locks every now and then and even knows Nova sent her to find out about his improper fund usage. He gives her a stack of documents as proof. Of course that’s just a distraction because he notes he can’t let them know of the real experiment he is doing behind those curtains. While Nova goes through the documents, he is surprised to see clinic charts of his parents. Why does Jolly have them? Felicita thought he is researching a way to cure their illness. But Nova says their illness is a cover up. They have been ‘asleep’ for 7 years and he made them so with his powers. He doubts Felicita would understand because she grew up with Papa and Mama’s love whereas his own parents used him as a tool to try and take over the family. He couldn’t forgive his parents and his powers went berserk. Felicita feels so sad that she cried for him. Nova talks to Sumire about this and she asks if he remembers what he gave her and Mondo when he voided his engagement with Felicita. He can come for it whenever he wants and believes Felicita will be there for him. He doubts she will understand. Rather, he doesn’t want her to. The repentance corner has Luca being the sinner. Why? Because he made Limone Pies too small! His punishment is to make 20 more of them!

Episode 6
Jolly summons the other heads for a meeting except for Dante who is out at sea for ‘negotiation’. Seems pirates have landed on Regalo. They have kidnapped Moreno, Mondo’s older brother and Nova’s father. However their motives are not clear and will wait for their next move. Till then, nobody is to make any move till instructed. Liberta becomes upset that Nova is calm about the whole thing and thinks he should go save his father. If it was him, he will regret it if he doesn’t. Felicita suggests the three of them should go rescue Moreno so I suppose Nova can’t say no. Well, I guess it’s easy spotting the pirate ship off the coast. Because it’s the only ship there! The trio sneak onto it and find it suspiciously void of people on the deck. As they tread deeper, they try to hide from the pirates but because Felicita’s boobs are pressing onto Liberta’s back, safe to say their cover is blown when they take a tumble. And here comes the pirates. Erm… Masked and caped pirates? They fight them off but their numbers are overwhelming and no end. Nova decides to use his Death power and tells the duo to go look for Moreno. They see Nova recite a spell that puts them all instantly to sleep. He is weakened though he tries to fight to stay conscious because if he falls unconscious, the effect goes off. His parents are still in coma because his powers went berserk. The duo find Moreno and reunite with Nova. Before they could get off, they are confronted with a familiar masked hero. Liberta fights him alone but he is too skilful. Nova goes unconscious so Felicita joins in the fight. Even so, they still can’t beat him. A few ‘accidents’ involving one Liberta’s face was shoved into Felicita’s boobs has her beating him up instead.

Liberta comes up with a plan to hold him off till there is an opening for Felicita to take advantage of. That opportunity comes as Felicity tosses her knife right into his mask and Liberta sending him back with a kick. Amazingly his kick must be so powerful that it cracks the mast! OMG. The mast is falling! And it’s going to fall on Felicita! Liberta gains confidence to use his power and wishes the mast to shatter to bits. He loses consciousness after that. Felicita is knocked out by the masked hero. Of course as we all should already know, the mask breaks to reveal Dante behind it. Also, the ‘pirates’ are his men and they were putting up an act to help them realize how weak they are in controlling their powers. When they awake, they find themselves locked in the underground cellar. Jolly reports Moreno has been secured but no reports of any masked man. Besides, the pirate ship had already left when they arrived. Because for going against orders, they should’ve been severely punished but their job well done means they just get to stay a night in this cellar. He hints that the entire incident is a test for them to use their Arcana powers. Felicita is glad because they’re able to save Moreno and return safely. But they realize something off. How did Jolly know what happened on board the ship? For the repentance corner, Liberta is the sinner because the idea of rescuing Moreno came from him. He is made to drink some weird potion made by Jolly. Don’t worry. He won’t die. Maybe that’s what’s worrying. It turns out to be a confession drug that reveals everything what happened back at the cellar in an erotic way fuelled by his carnal desire. Sounds like he is narrating like an erotic book on his views of Felicita! Nova can’t take anymore of this and knocks him out. I guess he is going to get punished too.

Episode 7
Liberta and Nova are being tasked by Sumire to hand a letter to Felicita personally. Most of the family members don’t know where she is and even Dante only knows she went somewhere with Dante. They try going to the restaurant to ask Pace but he’s not there and was made to pay for his tabs. They try going to the casino to ask Debito but ended up chasing a swindler girl. Worse, she somehow escaped from her cuffs and put it on the duo! Now they’re stuck together and Debito’s key is the only thing that can free them. By the way, he’s not in too. Jolly spots them ‘holding hands’ and he notes that somebody has used up caraway herbs he uses to make medicine. Love potion? The only other person who can make this is Luca so he suspects him why all the caraway is gone. Liberta rushes to go find her but Nova wants to calm down and look for clues instead of looking blindly. So happen they are in front of a fortune teller’s tent and she offers to help them out. Nova deduces her riddles and this leads them to seek Federica’s help. Sumire tells Mondo about her scheme that she made for Liberta and Nova because she wants them to get along. By spending time together, they will understand each other better and respect each other while improving their Arcana powers. Meanwhile Felicita tags along with Luca, Pace and Debito to Luca’s secret garden. Seems a bit far, don’t you think? Because Luca grows herb in his yard for alchemy, Jolly often takes and uses them without his permission. So he made a secret garden out here where he can’t find and this is like his secret base. Every year, Luca drags his best friends to help harvest the herbs. Inside a cave, Pace nearly became a victim to the traps Luca set for Jolly as emergency measure. He didn’t learn from last year and made the same mistakes again. Felicita thought Luca went too far but he mentions despite Jolly being his alchemy teacher, he cannot admire him and advises her not to get too close to him. They arrive at the secret garden which looks like a giant green house. I wonder who maintains it if they only come here once a year. Everything looks beautiful and kempt.

Nova and Liberta follow Federica’s cat and this leads them outside the cave. They almost got done in by the traps set off by the cat and borrowed each other’s sword to fend off threatening traps. They think Luca is serious in setting traps of this calibre when they hear Felicita’s scream. They make haste and the guys welcome them for making it. There’s a bug on her apple… Luca reveals Sumire asked him to make a potion that is only effective on cats. He left a trail that’s why the cat led the duo to them. The guys also reveal that they are accomplices with Sumire in setting all this up. So did they have fun? Nova doesn’t think it’s that bad. Finally free, they hand over the letter to Felicita who suddenly flusters upon reading it. It ends with them having taking a group photo. Pace puts that photo on his mother’s grave and assures her they’re all happy. The fortune teller turns out to be Giovanna and also Sumire’s accomplice. And the contents of the letter reveal to be Felicita having to kiss the brave men as their reward. Pace is the sinner this time because Luca didn’t get to take a picture with Felicita only. If only Pace’s plates didn’t break. WTF. As punishment, Pace is tied up while they torture him making him see them eat his favourite lasagna. You think ropes can hold him down? The monster breaks out and…

Episode 8
Jolly checks up on Elmo and records his terrific growth. Elmo has a request and wants to go out to town with Jolly. Felicita thought she saw Jolly with a child and tells Luca but he rebuffs it because he is a person who cannot be affectionate with a child. Though he admires Jolly for his techniques and research, his character is a different story. One day, he’ll be able to tell her the true story. Oh great. She is now even more worried. Debito notes the pain in his right eye too pain for him to sleep. Even if he does sleep, he only gets unwanted nightmares. Felicita is surprised to see Elmo playing with Liberta and they chat. Soon Jolly picks him up and assures them he is not his illegitimate child. Jolly requests Felicita to send a letter to Debito and to come see him in his lab since that guy refused to listen to what he says. Pace talks about his worries about Debito to Luca and the latter will make a medicine to sooth his pain though Pace thought it would be better if they ask Jolly himself. Luca doubts that since lots have happened and their hatred for that guy runs deep. Debito’s scary story during piccolino had some truth in it. Looks like he was that child. He wakes up from that dream only to see Felicita next to him. She heard his voice and was worried. I’m sure he had other ideas but upon reading the letter, he becomes upset. It is only because Felicita is a signorina (Italian for woman) that he didn’t kill her. He wants her to relay a message back to Jolly that his right eye is fine. So fine that he wants to kill him. Pace goes to see Jolly and wants him to stop torturing Debito. He understands that his research is for the family but stop making people suffer. But Jolly points out he understood that fact too. For the family. So suck it up and deal with it. Pace leaves and comes into Felicita. She wants to know if something happened between them with Jolly. Since he can’t tell her, she gets even more worried and talks to Nova. He points out her bad habit of wanting to know everything and sticking her nose in other people’s business despite being the heir of the family she needs to know her family members well. He states they can’t use normal methods to deal with Jolly so Felicita suggests something that they all can do when Liberta comes in requesting help from family members to clean the church.

The Arcana family helps the priest to clean the church as Felicita wonders if Jolly will come since she invited him too. Luca, Pace and Debito see their initials inscribed on a chair when they were young. Brings back nostalgic memories when they were living in this church with Pace’s mom. Luca notes they hardly get any cleaning done because the duo always played around. Then here comes Jolly. Though he can’t refuse Felicita’s invitation, it’s a good chance to check up on Debito since he didn’t come. Debito notes his face makes him sick so Jolly dares him to strengthen his heart if he wants to kill him. He provokes him that if he makes Felicita read his heart and point out all his darkness and weakness, it may make his Arcana powers stronger. Then he wouldn’t have to rely on the amethyst he planted in his right eye to control them. Jolly lets Felicita in on a little secret seeing she wants to get along with everyone in the family. Luca, Debito and Pace’s stigmata are the result of his experiments. He experimented on many subjects on how Tarocco chooses its host and only the trio were successful in establishing a contract. It also was the reason why they as complete strangers were able to stay in the family. They should be thanking him instead. Debito goes crazy and points his gun at Jolly’s face, threatening to kill him. Jolly dares him but questions if he can defy him. He then subdues Debito and notes there is no way he could kill him. Pace couldn’t take any more of this and punches Jolly, only to be blocked by his barrier. He wants to settle their fight now and uses his strength to break the barrier and send Jolly crashing into the window. But Jolly remains cool. He says doing this has changed nothing. They only have more cleaning up to do. I guess Felicita is indeed worried now. So Nova and Liberta had to talk to her that the trio would have eventually fought Jolly. But she wonders why he conducted Tarocco experiments on them. No use moping around so they go talk to him in his lab. Since he is not in, they let themselves in and to their shock, see Elmo floating in a giant tube behind the curtain. You could say curiosity killed the cat, eh? Then Jolly pops up and explain Elmo is a homunculus, an artificial human he created.

Episode 9
If it’s not bad enough Felicita is worrying about the homunculus, here comes Liberta and Nova with emergency news. Mondo is unconscious in bed and… So he’s just exhausted from excess work? Sumire assures them things will be alright and to continue their duties as usual. After the young ones leave, Jolly notes Mondo’s knack in pretending to be asleep. But this is something he wants to do. Because Felicita is still hanging around and wanting her curiosity satisfied, Jolly is going to do just that even if Dante protests. Bringing her to his lab once more, he explains Elmo holds the sixteenth card, Tower. Elmo’s birth is due to the fact he created a homunculus to contract with Tarocco. Why? Long ago Mondo undid the seal of Tarocco and contracted with the World card. But there is a major consequence. All the cards of the Major Arcana exist by consuming emotional strength of its host. There are cards that are not contracted and without a host and they survive by receiving power from the host of the World card since that card has the power to unite the other cards. This is the ‘excess work’ Mondo had to do and if this goes on, he’ll eventually fall into a coma. One way to prevent that from happening is to ensure each card has a host. The reason why Jolly conducted experiments on Pace, Debito and Luca and they were the only ones successful. Felicita thought it was the reason why Jolly created the homunculus but he notes that kid is just trash. However there is another way to save Mondo and that is, Felicita has to use her other Tarocco power, the tenth card called Wheel of Fortune. This card’s power is to change the relationship of the host and the Tarocco. She did use this power once to save Sumire 13 years ago. Back then Sumire used her Judgment power to heal Mondo but that power backfired on her. Felicita waltzed in and unknowingly used her power to heal Sumire and saved her. Felicita of course couldn’t remember. Well, she was too young and passed out soon after that, right? Jolly then reminds Felicita about Mondo’s intention of sending her away from this mansion and only allowed her to interact with a small group of people. It’s because so she won’t unconsciously use that power again. Also, Mondo knows he doesn’t have much longer to live and summoned her back to spend his remaining time with her and decided to hold the ridiculous Arcana Duello to find an heir. That way she’ll have someone to support her after she loses her Papa.

Felicita has heard everything and goes to talk to Sumire by Mondo’s side. Upon touching her hand, Felicita is given a glimpse on how Mondo contracted with the Tarocco. When the island was ravaged by soldiers trying to eliminate every Arcana family member, Mondo established a contract with the World card so that he could protect the ones he loves, not caring what happens to himself. Felicita wants to save Papa and use her Wheel of Fortune so Sumire asks her if she has been able to control her Lovers power with her own free will. Since she doesn’t, it means her heart isn’t strong enough to use the Wheel of Fortune either. She promises to find a way to save Mondo so she hopes Felicita won’t ever mention that power again. Felicita sees Nova and Liberta sparring together. She uses her power to peek into their hearts and sees how determined they are in achieving their goal. I guess she’s going to do something about it. Sumire notes how Felicita is truly Mondo’s daughter because she doesn’t care what happens to herself to help others. Dante wonders why Jolly didn’t tell Felicita about the consequence of using the Wheel of Fortune. Simple. If she had known its consequences that it will cause her to lose her memories again, she won’t be willing to use the power.

Episode 10
Disaster strikes. Felicita has used that power and is unconscious. You can understand why Mondo is frantic calling out to her daughter. Alas, thank heavens she comes back to life. But wait! She doesn’t remember everybody! No! And Mondo continues to feel the pain. Physically and his heart. Nova wants to help out but Sumire says that this is best left to matters of the family. Isn’t he part of the family? Liberta talks to Nova and finds out about her second Tarocco power. They discuss how they were born with the powers because they never made contract with Tarocco directly. Nova thinks they are all related because one has a higher possibility of contracting with a Tarocco if you are related to an existing contractor. Liberta thinks it’s just coincidence. Could it? But what Liberta understands is that he doesn’t want to lose another family member so for a rare moment, they both agree on wanting to retrieve Felicita’s memories. First they bring her back to her old place in hopes the nostalgia will trigger her memory. Not working. Liberta finds an engagement ring in the drawer and is surprised to learn it belongs to Nova. But he says he was just merely holding on to it and had it returned. Because he used his Death powers on Moreno, he has no right to be called their son despite Mondo giving it to him in hopes he will give it to Felicita and be her husband and his son. Meanwhile Elmo wonders where Felicita’s memories went and his statement hit Jolly. He never thought of it that way. Perhaps the memories aren’t destroyed and just sealed in her heart. With the other family members hounding Dante for answers, Jolly tells them the truth about Felicita using her Wheel of Fortune power to save Mondo and losing her memory as its consequence. They get upset that Felicita was used as a tool and Debito is really going to blow his brains this time. But Jolly remains cool because if he kills him, their chance of regaining Felicita’s memories will be zero. That’s because his Moon card forcefully retrieves memories. Mondo won’t rely on him too but still he can’t forgive he used Felicita. Liberta begs to Papa to seek Jolly’s help to save her and that it’s their duty as family to bring her back. Though Luca doesn’t approve of this dangerous procedure, there is no guarantee that even if there are other ways to save her, that method would endanger her life. They’re merely taking a calculated risk with Jolly.

Jolly uses his power to enter Felicita’s heart. It’s dark, gloomy and taking too long. He’s about to give up and lose it all when Mondo intervenes. He will help out by amplifying his power. They see her being attached to a large thorny vine. I know they have to pull her out before she is forever sealed away but tearing the vines with their bare hands? Furthermore, once they’ve pulled out, it regenerates. It never ends. They’re not making any progress. Mondo is bleeding and couldn’t care less about his life because he’s here to retrieve something important. Then here comes Nova and Liberta joining in, slashing their way through the vines. I guess this beats pulling out the vines with your hands. And much faster. Duh. In the end, Felicita regains her memories and returns back to normal. Yeah, it was that easy. Mondo is grateful to Jolly but he says he should be thanking Nova and Liberta instead. He thanks the kids and is grateful for having the best family. Sumire apologizes to Nova she said those words but it was precisely that why Nova realized something important. The reason they have Arcana powers is to protect those dear to them. Luca and the rest also have their thanks to Jolly but he notes he’s just cleaning up his own mess. Felicita thought it’s over but then… Yeah, she had to overhear this important dialogue between Jolly and Dante. The relationship between Mondo and World card hasn’t changed. So what Felicita did was futile. It means that she was not able to fully utilize its power in her current emotional state. Now she’s worried she didn’t get to save Papa. Suddenly she hears the voice of her Lovers card. It tells her it can provide emotional power needed and negate the effects of the Wheel of Fortune. However to establish this, she must have someone else as love cannot be completed with herself alone.

Episode 11
The card also tells her she needs to have sufficient strong desires to share with it and that other someone to share those desires too. As because true love cannot be found alone. Felicita asks Luca’s opinion about love but he’s going crazy. Yeah, she might have asked the wrong person. Felicita goes to see Jolly and he knows what he is going to tell her that her Wheel of Fortune had no effect on Mondo. This means if this goes on, he’ll fall into coma again. She also tells him how Lovers talked to her and he finds it an amusing research subject. He suggests choosing either Liberta or Nova to be her lover since they are the reason why she is sitting here today. He doesn’t care what decision she reaches since she is the only one who can save Mondo. Liberta and Nova feel ashamed that they weren’t brave enough as Felicita to risk their life to save someone dear. They want to do something for her and invite her out to sea. They also give her a butterfly hairpin as a gift they got from Federica. While they have fun throughout the day, she tires out and falls asleep. Liberta takes this chance to explain his past to Nova and that the masked men they encountered on the pirate ship was Dante. He is always chasing his back and wants to surpass him. Nova believes he can do it. Because if he doesn’t believe in himself, who will? A storm picks up and as Felicita helps to pack up, the wave rocks the boat and throws her off balance. She loses the hairpin and tries to save it. Though successful, the result is that she falls over. The guys rush and dive to save her. They got the girl but the boat drifts away. Thankfully they’re near the island and the waves aren’t that violent enough so they made it onto shore. Inside the cave, they see her holding onto the hairpin. I wonder how she could hold on so tightly for so long when she’s unconscious. Her body is getting colder and they need to warm her up. If you’re hoping to see naked body warmth, forget it. There is a nearby wood and Liberta uses his Arcana power to burn it. He can do it now because they believe in him. So now he believes in himself. Felicita dreams of talking to the Lovers card. It is telling her if she chooses one to get close to, it would be easier to determine the nature of the relationship’s feelings. She still doesn’t understand what love is but the card points out she must hurry as they’re running out of time. It tells her they have found their answer while she still hesitates. Felicita wakes up and Nova explains Liberta uses his power to burn the wood to make fire.

Dante reprimands the duo for putting Felicita’s life in danger but Nova defends Liberta’s back and that he was the one who saved Felicita. Dante notes he has matured and he may be the one Liberta needs to surpass. Because of this, Nova now has the resolve to go try and wake up his parents even it is regretted that they plotted to kill Papa and Mama. However he doesn’t regret doing so because it was the only way to stop them. Liberta didn’t like the way he is lying and punches him. He wants him to be more honest himself and wants to help out too because he is family. Oh, Felicita too. The trio do research in the library but they’re not making any headway. Especially Liberta whose mind isn’t made for books. Feeling sleepy? But he wonders why those pirates on the ship woke up only after Nova had woken up then. It means they weren’t asleep forever. Then here comes Jolly. He doesn’t mind telling them if they tell him the results of this experiment (Nova’s parents are part of his ‘research’ too). Nova is told there is no way one couldn’t break the effects of his own Arcana powers. Because his parents are asleep due to his berserk power, then he needs to exert that same amount of power as before. Use them with more desire. The consequence is that he may fall into a coma. The trio make their way to Nova’s parents where they are sleeping. Nova mentions he always thought he envied Felicita for her parents’ for unconditionally loving her. But it is rather she has genuinely loved her family is what he envies. Nova starts using his power but lose consciousness. At least there are some fond memories of the good times they had together. When he wakes up, his parents are still asleep. I guess they’re going to try again tomorrow. The guys give their thanks because without them, they wouldn’t be here together or come to terms with their power. But Felicita is still pondering the meaning of love. Jolly and Dante report to Mondo that although Nova’s parents have not fully recovered, their condition is improving thanks to Nova’s strong feelings that reached them. And finally, tomorrow is the much awaited Arcana Duello.

Episode 12
The battle starts and in this knockout tournament, only the winner of it all will have the right to face Mondo. We start off with our usual protagonists raking easy wins against lowly unknowns in the preliminaries. The round proper begins with Felicita taking on Debito. He’s crazy not going to hold back and suddenly! He lost! What just happened? Next, Felicita fights Pace. He has some words for her and before you know it. He lost too! Then Felicita faces Luca. You know what her attendant is going to say about this and that. And yeah. He also lost. How the heck did it happen? Jolly who has withdrawn himself from the tournament thought the trio were having a loser’s party. The fact that they feel Felicita has grown is what constitute to their loss. Jolly says the correct answer is that she used the Wheel of Fortune. The trio realized that Mondo isn’t out of danger yet and Felicita’s previous state means she wasn’t able to change Mondo’s relationship with the World. However now she has found a way to save that with Lovers that will nullify the Wheel of Fortune’s effects. The trio understand why they lost. Because her fate is far crueller than anyone could’ve imagined. In the semi-finals, Liberta fights Dante while Nova takes on Sumire. Though the kids are seemingly overwhelmed and hesitating at first, after reflecting on their past, etc, they use their Arcana power to turn the tables and win their respective match. During the break, Nova shows Sumire the engagement ring they found by chance. But Sumire believes it is fate and it was destined to be back in his hands. Nova vows to win at all cost so he can give it to Felicita. And so the inevitable match between Nova and Liberta has come. They both fight with all their might as Felicita still undecided who to love takes a peek into their hearts. Same ol’ determination why they want to win. Enough said. I guess they’re so equally matched that the day is turning into sunset! What a long match. Isn’t anybody tired? Where’s the suspense anymore? They both are going to bet on their final swing and use their Arcana power.

The next thing they know, they are in bed. So what happened to the match? It ended in a draw. After all that fighting, the match was drawn? Well, that last blow knocked them both out. This meant Felicita advanced by default to face Mondo. Who won? Felicita! Her victory also assured Mondo’s prolonged life as the Wheel of Fortune changed its relationship with the World without any negative consequences. So flashback during Felicita’s match against Papa, she was kicking hard but has grown a lot. She reads his heart that he needed to show her his strength as she will one day succeed him. She cannot be stronger if she isn’t kind. If she isn’t kind, she can’t give each member an equal amount of love. She always had sufficient kindness but needed to become stronger so she’ll be able to become someone kind enough to love someone. Then Felicita realized. She was putting that feelings Nova and Liberta they had for her on a scale. Papa didn’t want her who picked someone she loves because of calculations. As the Lovers tell her, that which the Wheel of Fortune desires is the strong, kind heart that is able to truthfully reply the feelings of a loved one. Felicita rushes into the room to hug Nova and Liberta, relieved that they are okay. In the aftermath, Mondo and his family celebrate Felicita’s 17th birthday as well as her victory in Arcana Duello. Though the promise of marrying her off is voided, he will still grant her wish. And her wish is for Papa to remain as Papa for as long as he lives because she can’t accept that title yet. I know. It’s odd if a girl is being called Papa. Mondo accepts and grants her wish. Noting she has grown during the fight, there is no need to marry her off easily. This means anyone who wants to marry her has to step forward because Papa will take you on and see if you’re worthy! WTF?! He’s not going to give her away as long as he lives! My, how things have reversed. Looks like he is the one who has least grown from it. She’ll forever be Papa’s girl, I guess. Felicita and the guys jump straight into duty when they hear reports of some suspicious activity at the harbour.

We Are Family
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am disappointed with this anime but it somewhat fall below my expectations. You could also say that it somewhat failed to live up to its promising potential. Maybe it was partly my fault as I was hoping from reading the synopsis that it would turn into something like a fight to gain Felicita’s attention or woo her in their whatever ridiculous or underhanded ways. Didn’t turn out like that or even close to it. That would have been a comical farce and probably made everything even worse. What we see here is lots of drama and the bonding Felicita makes with the rest of her family members especially Nova and Liberta. We get a short glimpse about their sad past and come to understand how they grow up to be and would’ve walked on the wrong path had not for the Arcana family been there for them and save them from their fate being sealed.

I had mixed feelings whether this anime should have lasted more than a dozen episodes but from what I feel, perhaps everything there is to tell has been told. Sure, you can expand some of the flashbacks and past stories but how far can you stretch it? Like how Sumire did note she and Mondo took away Nova’s childhood. How did that happen? What did they do? Thus maybe it is best that they just end everything as it is for now. That’s why viewers won’t really know if Felicita had to ultimately choose between Nova or Liberta and even their fight ended in a draw. I guess this is to satisfy fans of both sides. Just like that Twilight triangle, huh? So we won’t have the pain to see which of the guys get to fight Felicita in the end (I suppose it would only show that the winner would mean being superior to the loser) and perhaps ending up losing against her because eventually the person that is best to take on Mondo is his own daughter.

Felicita may not be your typical damsel in distress but she is not perfect either. For most of the time, I observed that she worries too much because she truly wants to help out her family members and their problems. While this is a good thing, from my perspective it can be a little annoying since I am seeing Felicita’s worried face instead of her smile. Because she looks cuter when she puts that smiley and happy expression :). It also makes me wonder if she truly understands the meaning of love in the romantic sense. We see her pondering the meaning of it which is the source of her dilemma to choose between Nova and Liberta. Can’t she have both of them? She’s the future head, right? Unless you know guys, they really want to monopolize their woman. But that’s a different story. I won’t say Mondo and Sumire are the perfect parents but at least they give their family the most important thing: Love. Sumire departs lots of advices especially to Nova and Felicita whenever they are in doubt. That is why the family stays loyal and faithful to them.

Liberta and Nova are poles apart. One is the brash and solves things by doing them while the other is more reserved and would rather come up with a plan before jumping straight into action. Despite their different personalities, their goal remains the same. To bring happiness to Felicita and of course the family. Of course both didn’t start out perfect and can be considered ‘weak’ due being stuck with their past. Because of each other, Liberta now doesn’t fear to use his Arcana power while Nova has opened up himself more and would gladly receive or offer help instead of trying to do things alone. Although Liberta holds the Fool card, I feel that Luca is the one that is being made the comic relief among the characters. I won’t say he is overprotective over Felicita since he has been her attendant since young but sometimes he cares too much for her that his plan to do things for her backfires and it makes him look like a fool. I guess Pace just doesn’t have physical strength because he has quite a strong appetite too. If he is not serious, you would see him eating food. I wonder if he has a bottomless stomach. Debito may look like the craziest and mafia-looking guy among all the characters but he has a heart of gold especially towards children. His animosity is only towards Jolly but that is perhaps he doesn’t understand the implications of his experiments. The only thing that I thought Dante lacked was (no, not his hair, mind you) is his cool bazooka. He should have more screen time in using that piece of weapon instead for just a short time in the first and final episode.

Jolly seems to be playing the role of the villain because of his mysterious exterior. He is cool not to let his guard down. He is cool and never gets himself cornered. Even when his schemes are exposed, he coolly tells everything. After all, what is there left to hide? I guess sometimes playing the role of the baddie is also good because if there is none, the rest would become too lax and not being able to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Because of the cool and monotonous way he speaks, he gives off this air of mystery around him so it is hard to tell what he is thinking. Sometimes his actions are questionable but his ultimate goal has always been for the family and to save Mondo. It could have solved lots of problems if he just told it straight but like I said, if the rest found out about the truth so easily, they may not have that extra spark of determination to go the extra mile. So how does he have lots of information like Nova’s parents’ clinic charts is still a mystery. Maybe being the advisor to the head of the family, which is the second highest command position means he needs to know lots of things. Say what happened to Elmo? So he is just a homunculus not a ghost or an illegitimate child. A trash as Jolly considered. So? What was his role in here for anyway? Since he had the Tower card, shouldn’t he be in Arcana Duello too? Didn’t hear children below a certain age or those who are non-human aren’t allowed to participate. And now that Felicita has managed to change Mondo’s relationship with the World, does this mean Jolly doesn’t have to do any more experiments to see who can host the other Tarocco cards?

The fight scenes I won’t say are impressive but they are nothing to shout about. On and off in certain episodes we see the characters clash swords and the way the series was heading, I thought we would never see Arcana Duello at all. So when they reserved the final episode for this special event, I don’t know, I felt it was cheap and like as though they were cutting some corners. Not the animation. The fight scenes. It’s good that fights don’t last an entire episode because that will be tad too boring but seeing them in just a few seconds and just unleashing their powers for an even shorter period, that just feels like as though the fighting part was just to pass the time. Since each of the main characters had a particular Arcana power, we also don’t see them use it often and I feel there isn’t a variety if they are shown using it too much. Too repetitive and the feel of its specialness fades. So for example in the case of Nova and Liberta, they are shown more often clashing their swords but even so, they don’t really pull off any special sword techniques. Who am I kidding? Am I expecting some Bankai move here? What happened to that repentance corner at the end? It seems that almost every main character with Tarocco had their turn in becoming a sinner once (except Mondo, Sumire and Jolly).

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my main reason for watching this series was because Mamiko Noto was having a main part in this series as Felicita. After coming from a long way since one of my early animes featuring her like Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo, she’s still going strong and hasn’t lost that distinctive voice that I love so much. Jun Fukuyama as Liberta is suitable as the character since he did play feisty guy roles before like Kazuki in Busou Renkin. On the other hand, Tsubasa Yonaga’s boyish voice also fits Nova’s personality. He was the voice of Teiichi in Tasogare Otome x Amnesia and Jun in Special A. Hiroyuki Yoshino did an excellent job as Debito because the character really has that slang accent to go with. He was the voice of Firo on Baccano and Hibiki in Vandread. Other casts include Tomokazu Sugita as Pace (Gintoki in Gintama – since he was sounding serious instead of goofy characters, I couldn’t recognize this voice), Yuuichi Nakamura as Luca (Tomoya in Clannad), Juurouta Kosugi as Dante (Alan in MAR), Koji Yusa as Jolly (Gin in Bleach – since he wasn’t speaking in his usual kansai-ben characters, I couldn’t recognize his voice), Fumihiko Tachiki as Mondo (Gendou in Neon Genesis Evangelion), Kikuko Inoue as Sumire (Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama) and Misato Fukuen as Elmo (Yami in To Love-Ru). Magenta Another Sky is the opening theme and rock outfit sung by Hitomi Harada (if the series only had more intense fighting scenes, I thought this song would’ve fit the overall series as a whole) while Pieces Of Treasure as the pop ending theme sung by the duet of Jun Fukuyama and Tsubasa Yonaga. I personally thought they shouldn’t be singing together. Or singing at all…

The main emphasis of this series is the importance of being family (even Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn emphasized on this). Despite many of the characters coming from different backgrounds, they all blossomed thanks to the love shown by Mondo and Sumire. They could have grown up into adults with a traumatic childhood past but thanks to their undivided love, they are able to realize what is important and reciprocate it to others. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that blood is thicker than water. Anybody even strangers can be part of the family as long as they love and protect each other. Acceptance of your past and whoever you are, forgiveness and moving forward by becoming stronger as a whole. That is why the origins of the word ‘”FAMILY” is an apt abbreviation of Father And Mother I Love You. See how parents play an important role in shaping a child’s future?

Whether your family unit is big or small, dysfunctional or normal, nuclear or extended, you know what they say about the families that play/pray together, stays together. Yeah, so it’s that time again for me to reflect and be grateful for having such a wonderful family despite having certain flaws here and there but hey, no family is that perfect. We’re just happy and happy to stay that way. Just glad that we don’t have in-house fighting for power struggle and odd tournaments to see who gets the bride. I believe I can walk down my own path to find my own. Can I? Otherwise the dreaded arranged marriage…