Melancholy Of Occult Academy, オカルト学院の憂鬱。
Yes, this is great! And I will tell you why this anime is great!
First, the concept is pretty interesting. It’s about NostraDamus Prophesy, which predicted un gran Roy d’effrayeur (a great King of Terror) would come down from the sky on July 1999. Some say George W. Bush was the one, but he announced running for office on June, not July 1999. He was King George of War on Terror, encroaching our civil liberties, from Glenn Beck’s perspective.
Next, the time setting is interesting. 1999. Eschatology, or moeschatology. Seikimatsu, the end of the century, the term used for the original title, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin. Hokuto No Ken‘s aka is Seikimatsu Kyuseishu Densetsu (the Legend of The Messiah of the End of the century). Ken-oh (Ra-oh) was un gran Roy d’effrayeur, and Kenshirou was a savior. There was a heavy metal band called Seikimatsu in Japan during the 80s, the model band of Detroit Metal City.
As I look back, the 90s was really terrible in Japan. In 1993, there was this post Bubble-economy romantic song, Romance No Kamisama, spewing, “Boy meets girl.” Male-initiative-dating. And girls went out with guys according to the dating manual laid out in the lyric. The song’s intro reminds me of two Borat clones dancing song. I can’t believe these songs were celebrated. Maybe different zeitgeist, but this is too much.
And 1999 was the last year of the 90s. I didn’t want to die miserably in Japan not experiencing any romantic pleasure, at least before the 1999 doomsday. I wanted to immigrate to the land of free despite the news of Hale-Bopp mass suicide. America was prosperous back then, but Japan was in the gutter, the lost decades. So, it’s 11 years ago. Wow, that’s a long time ago! Today’s much better, Sakakibara Yui sings “Girl meets Boy.” Ah, I wish I could be a teenager, especially 17 years-old right now. I was born too early. I wish I was born as a girl, so I would’ve been able to attain “Girl Meets Girl.”
Next, the location is interesting. The place is set in Matsushiro, Nagano. Ah, mountainous countryside…what an idyllic place, too bad I haven’t seen countries in Japan, and I left with a suitcase, crossed the Pacific, moexodus, sexodus, whatever the reason… My life’s been full of regrets. Anyway, during WWII, the Japanese Empire was constructing the underground city which was planned to be the new capital, because Tokyo had been getting carpet bombed by B-29s. So, that’s where Matushiro was. It’s the big power spot of the rancorous energy of construction worker ghosts who died there. A lot of Koreans were forced into slave labor and died there miserably. Simply a mad history, which I’m totally ashamed of. And Matsushiro is known to have a low gravity spot. That’s where Occult Academy is. So, it’s historically significant.
Yes, Japan has the powerful tectonic plate crushing points. Eurasian plate, Filipino plate, North American plate, and Pacific plate, these four are crushing together in Japan. And Nagano is the crossroad of Median Tectonic Line and Itoigawa-shizuoka Tectonic Line. Robert Johnson should have been there. Yes, that part of Japan is Fossa Magna. So, geologically and seismologically, Nagano is scientifically proven to be a strong power spot. So, it is scientifically backed. Nagano and Tokyo have the strongest power spots in Japan, so moving the capital from Tokyo to Nagano did make sense. Also in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tokyo-2 was in Nagano too.
Next, the humor. The main character, Maya, has a melancholic face of the Four Humors. This type of face is quite unique in Japanese anime. Really melancholic. She is cold, dry, distant, irritable, and very autocratic. Melancholy in Brazilian-Portuguese is “Saudade.” And saudade is the core principle of Bossa Nova music. Yes, that ED of Neon Genesis song, “Fly Me To The Moon.” So, she has a saudade face.
Next, the voice actor. Maya’s seiyuu is not Yoko Ono, but Yoko Hikasa, though they share the same given name. But the more amazing thing is that Maya’s father’s seiyuu is the famous narrator, Yajima Masaaki. He was the one always doing a narration if there was a special TV program for UFO/aliens, especially Yaoi Junichi UFO series (not that Yaoi!). Mr. Yaoi even worked with Tokyo Governor Ishihara to investigate Nessy, a UMA. I used to watch his UFO series when I was a kid, and got very scared of alien abduction. So, I watched Mutsugoro‘s Animal Kingdom whenever his program went CM break. Yajima also does narration for a very famous quiz show about world mystery, Sekai-Fushigi-Hakken. I grew up with his voice. So, it’s like, “Oh, that’s him!”
And moreover, the Mu magazine is in the Occult Academy production team. Yes, the Mu magazine! Its logo reminds me of the jacket design of the Dark Side Of The Moon. I used to read the Mu. I was a big fan of it! Yeah, but I lose interest in those stuffs. You know why? Since adolescent years, I had been desperate looking for romantic pleasure, but the world remained cruel. So out of frustration, I turned to occult. Yes, clinging to occult and religion. So, I prayed to Christ and meditated Buddha really hard. I recited magic chants that were supposed to attract girls. Mikkyo, esoteric Buddhism, has Maha Raga love spell, but it didn’t work. How many love spells had I cast…? My only hope was occult, which would make girls swarm all over me instead of ignoring me like an idiot. So, I figured occult was phony. Then, eventually I grew out of it and became atheist. That’s how I lost interest in occult.
Personal is political
Finally, Maya’s personal story. Maya hates occult and wants to destroy her deceased father’s academy. But the reason Maya hates occult is different from mine, not because she didn’t get boys’ attention, but because her father didn’t give her enough attention. Even though she is materially rich, her heart is poor. Yes, her bathroom has a bidet, which I’ve never seen in my entire life! She’s living a princess life. In turn, I have always been a proletarian, my little luxury is Yoshinoya! I’m poor at both!
Occult didn’t bring me happiness but only brought melancholy. Yes, Saudade. My face is not exactly a melancholic type like Maya, but yes, I have a face that I can’t look directly in the mirror. I’m an eisoptrophobic person. Or an enoptrophobiac. If you’re satisfied with the world, you exude happiness in the mirror, but if you’re dissatisfied, you can’t look at the mirror. At the same time, it’s discouraging to go outside and face the world that’s been mean to you, constantly lying to you, so yeah, looking at girls in the 2-D screen and having moe is the best way for a hikikomori. Instead of trying to destroy or change the world, I withdraw into my own cocoon like Haibane Renmei. I should go wear a halo and wings. Yes, my melancholy is will to moe. That’s what melancholy is. Just like from that Bossa Nova song under Cristo Redentor, Estou morrendo de saudade (I’m dying of melancholy).
Therefore, Maya and I have in common, we are both melancholic, and we both hate occult. I’m very interested to see how she’s going to destroy the myth that has duped us. If this school really existed back then, I would have enrolled, but probably disillusioned by its phoniness, and probably helped her destroy the academy.
Thus, Melancholy Of Occult Academy, or Saudade Da Academia Oculta.
If you want to see Maya’s melancholy, then check out Occult Academy at Crunchyroll!