This series pretty much has “merchandising windfall” and “fujoshi bait” written all over it. Is that why I decided to give it a watch? Sure. As much as I generally get bored of anime series that are formulaic, occasionally there would be a series that would rise up from its meager roots and be that series that everyone can’t stop talking about, so unless I watch as much anime as I can, how would I know? Also, I feel that I’m only qualified to hate on anime if I’ve actually seen some of its episodes. That seems fair, doesn’t it?
I don’t actually hate La storia della Arcana Famiglia. I don’t love it either, but it’s a rare anime that I love after seeing three episodes. Love takes commitment and passion — two qualities that I don’t think I have the inclination to devote to this series.
Felicita is your typical cute girl. Her father’s the head of a mafioso-ish group and he decides that he’s getting in age so instead of having to make the decision himself, he sets up a tournament that will determine who will be the next “Papa” of the family. By the way, the winner gets to marry Felicita as a bonus, yay!
Enter your bishounen harem (a phrase which I infinitely prefer to “reverse harem”)* — oh, did I forget to mention that each male competing in the “Duello” has a specific power based around a carot in the tarot. Because, hey, that totally worked in X! How else would you keep your cute boys apart otherwise.
Which is to say, the competing males aren’t necessarily boys. Liberta and Nova seem to be in the same age group, followed by Pace, Debito, and Luca, then Jolly and Dante. I mean, all’s fair in love and war, and age is nothing but a number, but Jolly and Dante are a bit too old for the mafia princess, isn’t she? You’d have to be pretty blind not to notice that the anime is skewing for a love triangle between Felicita and the two boys Liberta and Nova, anyway. But maybe I’m wrong; since this is based off an otome game, anything could still be possible, I suppose.
While I found some initial bits funny and could essentially stick around for the seiyuu and bishonen eyecandy, I think I’m going to give this show a pass. Even in the three episodes that I watched, it was too heavy on the forced drama (mostly on Nova’s quasi-emo hangups and overall prissiness) instead of focusing on the romance! or action! that the first episode promised. When I saw that the “chasing the cat” sequence was lined up for the second episode, I began to worry. At least Code Geass and Night Raid waited a bit in their run before using that gag.
Mi dispiace, Arcana Famiglia. We just weren’t going to work out.
* I think I should start drafting that post where I write down all the phrases used in anime/manga blogs which make me nuts.