I’m generally not the kind of person who tends to discriminate on anime based upon genre so I had no problem watching something labeled as shoujo, however, I became somewhat hesitant when I learned that it was based of an otome game aimed at young girls. (Please note that I have not played the game; I have only watched the anime.) Despite my hesitation, I watched the first episode and found it to be enjoyable. The concept of the Arcana powers and the characters seemed interesting based off the the first episode. There was a lot of action in the first episode and the premise of a family-wide contest for the position of Papa (the big boss) and the protagonist’s, Felicita’s, hand in marriage was interesting as well. It provided a dilemma for her that would allow her to develop as a character while defending her right to choose who she marries. It had potential- in fact, the entire series had potential. Unfortunately, the series never comes close to fulfilling the potential it initially held with the protagonist remaining static and boring throughout and the event that I expected to span most of the series, the Duello, only spans the last episode and that itself was a disappointment, much like the rest of the series.
The story, which is supposed to be a love story with Felicità, and one of the male characters in the series never seems to advance. Most episodes aren’t even slightly connected to either Felicità or romance at all, and the typical rivaling struggle between the two male protagonists grows to be nothing but annoying over the course of the series. (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻Felicità remains more as a background accessory, whilst non of the male characters seems to be interested in her above the point of cheering her up when she is depressed. Which she happens to be in all the later episodes. This depression is also the only real emotion she expresses, which is kinda sad considering this is supposed to be a love story.
However, the main factor that brings this series down from what it could have been is the way they neglect to explore any character. In most of the episodes we are introduced to a new characters personality and background, which could have become very interesting, had it not been for the fact that we only ever get to see the surface of every characters life. Not one single character throughout the whole series is properly explored. We are only shown enough to know that “There is a lot more to know”. Not even the main characters are properly explored, which leaves us at loss as of what pasts all these people share.We are only shown glimpses of their pasts, and it is never properly explained what really happened between any of them.
Luckily, there is some minor good flavors for this disappointing anime so far. The soundtrack, namely the opening song of the series seems to play well in this series.
“Magenta Another Sky” by Hitomi Harada is well orchestrated and depicts the Arcana-users showing off some of their abilities in the sequences. The music is also catchy and as one of the first series to watch on Sundays, it’s a pretty damn good way to start off the week, at least in the music department. The art is also colorful in this series. It gives off an Italian like atmosphere and overall, demonstrated well with the cool looking characters, some backgrounds, and the mansion where the family stays at. Overall, to enjoy this series, you’d have to be a real brave fighter, one that is very patient and ignores the fillers but instead concentrate on other aspects of the “story”. The first half of the series isn’t one of the best ways to start off this originally hyped series.
All in all, Arcana Famiglia starts out with a great potential, and the very interesting character gallery, which end up being completely wasted due to the lack of progress the characters make, and non of them being properly introduced or explored.When this series ended I honestly felt a little angry with the producers, having wasted a lot of potential, and made what could have been a super cool action/shoujo/romance into just another series nobody will remember in a year.