Occultic;Nine Volume 2 REVIEW

Occultic;Nine Volume 2 REVIEW

0 comments 📅05 July 2018, 15:39

The second half of this A-1 Pictures-produced paranormal mystery sees the Occultic Nine become ten with the introduction of school-aged FBI agent Asuna Kisaki. The gun-toting Asuna is gifted with powers of psychometry – which she mostly employs to check in on the last moments of the recently-deceased.

There’s certainly no shortage of corpses for Asuna to investigate. Stop right now if you don’t want spoilers for the first half of Occultic;Nine, but the big reveal of episode six was that the show has been pulling a Sixth Sense on us, with teen blogger Yuta and the rest of gang sussing out that they all died in the lake mass suicide and are now ghosts.

This revelation understandably sends 17-year-old Yuta into something of a funk. However, the excitable, motor-mouthed high schooler will have to snap out of it swiftly if he’s to thwart the power-hungry Society of the Eight Gods of Fortune, whose sinister global conspiracy Yuta and his fellow ghosts have inadvertently become embroiled in.

Cue a buttload of beyond-the-grave sleuthing, a tonne of fast-talking technobabble and another big twist – this time concerning Yuta’s absurdly buxom best friend Ryoka. Even pop culture’s pet inventor, Nikola Tesla, gets a hat tip. Yes, it’s pure hokum, but the plot – which comes courtesy of Steins;Gate’s Chiyomaru Shikura – is pretty gripping nonetheless.

But while Occultic;Nine deserves plaudits for platting its plot strands into a coherent storyline, the series as a whole doesn’t quite live up to its initial promise. The ‘global conspiracy’ hook that ties everything together also pushes the horror-tinged creepiness of the earlier episodes to one side (although the body part-collecting albino kid does make a welcome reappearance). Abandoned too is the mystery-enhancing non-linear structure of the first half, with the show becoming a much more conventional affair as it nears its finale.

Which is not to say that Occultic;Nine isn’t worthy of your time. A-1 Pictures does a stand-up job as far as visuals are concerned (although we do wish that Ryoka had been given a slightly more realistic character design); director Kyōhei Ishiguro squeezes the most out of Yuta and Co.’s ghostly nature; and new girl Asuna is a welcome addition to the cast. Just don’t go in expecting a sci-fi thriller of the calibre of Shikura’s more famous Steins;Gate.

Release: Out Now
From: Manga UK
Format: DVD & Blu-ray
Age Rating: 15

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