Burn, baby, burn.
In episode nine of Arcana Famiglia, more plot complications are added to a storyline that already seems to be ignoring the primary matter set out in episode one – the Arcana Duello. With three episodes to go, its pretty obvious we’re not going to get to that damn thing. What’s worrisome is that we also have had nary a peep about a second season being in the offing. I spotted an announcement related to AF a few days, only to find that it was about an OAV episode, which if anything just makes me worried, since an OAV release feels like the production staff wants to have some more material but isn’t going to get a second series to do that material in.
Of course, I may just be worrying unnecessarily – Hiiro no Kakera didn’t get a second season announcement until its first season ended, and Uta no Prince-sama didn’t get a second season announcement until well after it had ended (of course, in Prince-sama’s case, there isn’t much a need for a second season, as the finale was conclusive).
Anyway, in episode nine Mondo is bedridden, and Jolly and Dante are very worried. We also find out that Elmo, the homonculus that Jolly’s created, has contracted with the Tarocco. Jolly reveals that he made Elmo as part of an effort to reduce strain on Mondo, because all the Major Arcana cards not contracted with someone are sucking him dry. If they can get other people to contract, he’d have less of a burden on him.
It feels a bit like the show is trying to justify and humanize Jolly, but after seeing Debito going crazy last episode, it doesn’t really work. He’s trying to save Mondo, ok, fine, but he still tormented a few kids to do so, and a couple of them still haven’t been able to get over it.
Of couse, maybe the largest issue at the moment is that the entire Tarocco set-up makes absolutely no sense. So, Mondo is contracted. As is his wife. And their daughter, who contracted at a fairly young age. Nova is a nephew to Mondo and has contracted. I don’t have to go any further to indicate that this means a bloodline theory cannot be correct, as Sumire isn’t a blood-relative. And when we see how Mondo contracts with the Tarocco, Nova’s having the abilities doesn’t make sense from the bloodline stand-point either – Mondo directly makes a deal, after all, so why would it then pass through his brother to his nephew?
Then we have Liberta, who apparently was just farting around an evil orphanage with Arcana powers of his own. We know Pace, Debito, and Luca were experimented upon and basically forced to have contracts. Finally, Jolly and Dante have contracts.
Its Pace et al. that make the entire thing baffling. Why must they be experimented upon in order to get contracts to stick with them? We’ve got enough folks who were just friends or people discovered by the family who have contracted successfully, and with little indication of trauma involved in the process, that this bit is nonsensical. Maybe people who can contract are rare, but they are out there. Why conduct human experimentation, especially when the success rate was so tiny?
Oh well. I likely am devoting much too much brainpower to this matter.
The revelations about Mondo and the Tarocco aren’t all that we learn this episode. No, we also learn that Felicita is contracted, too, with The Wheel of Fortune in addition to The Lovers! Well, of course! She’s a reverse harem lead, she’s got to be a special snowflake in some way.* Felicita could save her father with her power – but no one warned her that she’ll lose her memory! Dun dun dun…
Whatever. We all know a handwave will make it all better.
Oh, and if you were wondering, Regalo is in ruins in that picture above because in the past Mondo made a deal with the Tarocco and fought off an invading navy that wanted to kill Arcana Famiglia members and then saved the island or something. No, we don’t get to see him take on the entire navy; we just see him making the contract.
Even if the episode wasn’t that great, the beginning of it reminded me that Sumire has slowly become one of my favorite characters. I like watching her in action – she’s definitely been scheming quite a bit in pursuit of strengthening Felicita, Nova, and Liberta. Mondo might be the head of the family, but we see him so little on-screen that the impression we get of Sumire’s power is stronger. She’s a pretty sharp lady.
* Where harem leads are aggressively bland (for the most part), reverse harem leads are frequently special in some way, shape, or form. Sure, sure, some of the bland male leads end up being special in some way, but let’s face it: most of them don’t. Its a curious difference between the two genres, even when one knows why the difference.