It was quite possibly the worst thing I have ever watched (in terms of adaptations). The games though, the games are alright, hell I want to play them now.
THE INTRO and first episode had more action than the rest of the 11 episodes combined.
Arcana Famiglia was quite the flop. The opening sequence boasted off some action sequences, and with the main characters all holding weapons, you would naturally expect that this would be filled with fights. The first episode resembles another anime based off a game where a character would romance a certain character from set of them, Majikoi.
Much like Majikoi, the first episode of AF started out where they introduced every character in an action sequence. Unlike Majikoi though, most of the episodes of AF didn’t feature a lot of action, more of storybuilding and origins of the characters. Like many of the games that derived its content from VN/eroges, the anime series ends with the “open ended” choice, essentially making all of the character development null and void and going back to square one. So Majikoi and AF’s anime series ended the same way, albeit I enjoyed Majikoi a little bit better. Before I go compare the anime to the basic gist of the game, allow me to talk about the characters.
- Felicita: I’ve always complained about how every harem lead seems to be a complete dolt. Even if that harem is filled with guys and a lady is in charge of choosing, idiocy is a disease that cannot be cured easily. Feclita showed some sort of personality in the beginning when she snapped at Luca for a split second, but she instantly became boring as she showed little intelligence of the “syndicate” that she will inherit sooner or later, yes there are more reasons to why she is boring but why elaborate on something as trivial as a harem main lead? Essentially, she’s just there to look sexy, and indeed dem legs and dat ass. As much as I do not want to objectify women here, Felicita is just so boring. Concerning her tarot card the Wheel of Fortune was only for essential plot devices that were both present in the game and the anime. Her other ability the Lovers card was actually the gimmick in the game to see how much a certain character liked you. So its importance is more prominent in the games than in the anime.
- Liberta: Liberta fills the quintessential role of the “spunky, energetic, hot headed, other synonyms” character who would be the first to the fight (if there ever was one). Because of how over-used Liberta’s character was, I had no sort of appreciation of his character. His ability makes him the most powerful character in the entire series as he can literally make things a reality.
- Nova: Nova fills yet another cliche role in the “character archetype wheel”, with him being the male tsundere/kuudere (quiet one) and the main competitor to the loudmouth. Nova’s ability called Death only puts people to sleep, not as intimidating as I thought it would be but what did I ever expect.
- Luca: Luca acts as the servant for Felicita and is a fan favorite due to his loving nature (or so I have heard when I scoured the web for summaries). The last episode was so boring that I didn’t even catch his tarot ability. Luca was an alright character, it was funny watching him freak out and cry over things, one of the very few who actually entertained me.
- Pace: Even with the voice of Tomokazu-san, Pace couldn’t salvage a harem series with no definitive end. Pace’s happy go lucky attitude and his love for lasagna (that rivals Garfield) was unfortunately not as entertaining as Luca. Pace’s ability is very straightfowarad, he has super strong and thats basically it.
- Debito: Debito was an interesting one. He’s the only one who looks fit to be in the mob scene and talks with a very noticable slur, which I find fitting of his character. The very fact that Debito’s voice, job at the casino, playboy attitude, and the only one using an acceptable ranged weapon made him the character that I found really likeable. Out of the three childhood friend trio, Debito had my attention. His ability is to be able to stealth himself, a useful tool for a womanizer like him.
- Jolly: Jolly was the ENTIRE reason why I watched this thing post episode…I don’t remember. His voice and the way he talks pisses off every character that isn’t Dante/Felicita/Mondo. In the end, he’s revealed to be a nice guy while his views and priorities and ethnics might be off, Jolly is still a winner in my book and the only reason I didn’t drop the show faster. Ability to force out memories through the mark on his eye, which he always conceals with his sexy sunglasses.
- Dante: Believe it or not, even the bald Dante has his own route in the game. Dante’s only there as an auxillary character for Liberta’s route and other than being a top grade member of the syndicate, he doesn’t do much. Dante’s ability is somewhat the same as Jolly, it conerns memories.
From the very beginning of the series, Mondo promised us a fight at the end of the series called the Duello, where everyone would duke it out and the winner would be crowned the new kingpin of the organization and marry Felicita. Even in the game, the duello is held as the final event as the person Felicita was closest too will either forfeit the match against her or beat Mondo and become the boss. The reason why shows like this should find a definitive end is because of the sole fact of “focus”. If AF focused on one character route, then the game players probably wouldn’t like that because the producers didn’t focus on their particular character, but that’s where the question comes in. Is it better to single out the crowd that will love the anime because it focused on their favorite character or try to please everybody by going through the common route (route in the gamse where no partner is chosen). Hell, the common route wasn’t even used in the anime, the game’s common route ends with Felicita becoming the boss, but in the anime the duello ends in a draw and nobody wins. So you can really consider the anime’s take on the series a seperate “route” compared to the game.
In the end, no character development could be done through the anime’s progression. The characters in the game at least got a whole game’s worth of development through their routes but fact that no one has been focused on and no character ended up with Felicita basically means that this show was a complete waste, both as a romance story and an action story (comedy was alright). The producers had the choice to either win the favor of one legion of fangirls by focusing on one character (thus having the risk of alienating other fangirls) or try to please everybody by making their own route. The latter of course ended as a big failure.
The game actually was favored by a lot of the people and because of the characters, of course the anime couldn’t cover all of that. The anime was rushed and it definitely felt like nothing would happen in the end. I question why I watched it when I knew no good would come out of it. I guess something in my head said that it might have ended like Mashiro iro symphony, one adaptation that actually ended properly.
Verdict: I’ve had more fun watching Billy Herrington scold his fictional brother. Just take solace in the fact that the game is infinitely better so if you liked the characters but hated the series, then read up these awesome summaries of the character routes 😀 After I read the game summaries, I actually really like all the characters, they seem to be a fun bunch…too bad the anime can’t really portray too much of the depth that made the characters good. In terms of numerical value out of 10, it’s a 5/10
Anyways links at right below.
Either go play the game or read the summary, it’s a lot better than the anime. Thank you and good night.
EDIT: I actually enjoyed the starting 4-5 episodes (especially the omake at the end when they penalize the “sinner” especially when Debito becomes a gentleman….I should go play the game….) but yeah, I’m outta here