Arcana Famiglia Episode 12: Some Things Never Change [Final Impressions]
The Arcana Duello tournament begins. It’s a knock-out style ranking to determine the one with the strongest Arcana, as well as to decide who will be Felicita’s groom. All the main Arcana- Luca, Pace, Debito, Nova, Liberta and Sumire- face off in the finals, with Dante fighting his protégé Liberta, and Sumire facing off against Nova. As expected, the two men advance to fight Felicita. Liberta and Nova’s duel ends in a draw when both are knocked out, and Felicita fights Mondo by default. Felicita realizes the meaning of the Il Amanti card’s words, and ends up winning the tournament. Since she could not marry herself, that was nullified, and she wished for her father to remain Papa, that nullified the other two prizes of the tournament. Mondo slyly asks if anyone still wanted to marry his daughter, and not one person dared step forward out of fear of him.
Naked Felicita AGAIN!?! Well, the Il Amanti had made the ultimatum about the controlling the effects of the Wheel of Fortune card to save her father, this time, I actually noticed she was naked when talking to the card. I mean, the episode with the vines and Felicita being saved again was gratuitous enough as is.
Ah, choice. From the very beginning, this show was about making choices- growing up, changing, choosing someone to love. All of it came to a close in this episode, and I have to say, they managed to tie up all the loose ends in one episode. If the last 11 episodes were the side-stories, than this final episode was the culmination of the 11 episodes worth of FEELS and emotions.
It was really obvious that Felicita was going to win, so I would call this the final “fanservice” episode. All the main characters- Debito, Luca, Pace, Nova, Liberta, and a little bit of Sumire- got a chance to shine in the episode and get their own personal motivations high-lighted. I never really liked Debito, but I’ve come to like him a bit better over time…not to say he isn’t creepy, but he’s someone to watch while in a fight. Jolly managed to use his position to bow out of the competition, but I’m really curious as to how he would use his “memory” power in a fight. Maybe he throws opponents into the worst memory they have and attack them then? Nova fought Sumire (I’m surprised Mondo let his wife fight…wait, I’m judging that men have control in this show. Oh wait, they don’t? See below.), and Liberta fought Dante, and uncovered the real reason they fight.
Predictably, the finalists were the three main characters; Liberta, Nova and Felicita. Felicita is still debating for whom she fights for when Liberta and Nova face off. Their emotions run high, and Felicita can read their hearts, and what they want to do is win, and then fight her in order to show how far they’ve come for her. Though, that never happens, are they both activate their Arcana, and the subsequent blow(s) knocks them both out, and hence ending in a draw. And that draw leads Felicita to fighting her father by default, and obviously, she wins.
Choosing…that’s what this show was about. Choosing which guy, choosing to change, choosing friends in the time of need- this is the story of the Arcana Family. And ultimately, how did Felicita choose? The answer is very simple – by not choosing. I still feel that she did, indirectly choose her father in the end, but the very basis of the answer is that Felicita has been hanging out with these men for so long, she no longer see them as they are. She only sees them on the basis of how much they adore her, and I can understand that. In this show, all they have ever shown for her is attention and fawning, and basically treating her like a princess. She understood that she had only been responding to the attention others gave her, and would choose based on that. She chose with a clear heart, which I think makes sense. All this effort to get this far, and she learns a little something about herself.
They end the show with Felicita’s 17th birthday party, which I found to be the best part of the show. I would have been really angry if I had to put with 11 episodes of side-stories and not get anything out of the ending. XD But yes, this ending ties up everything in this show. Felicita won the tournament, so no wedding bells. Felicita makes the wish of her father remaining remaining “Papa,” so no taking over (yet).
The funny part? That Mondo set this whole thing to make everyone grow (predictable). But the best part is that for all the big words about caring for Felicita, NO ONE had enough guts to step forward at the end of the show when Mondo asked if anyone was still interested in marrying his daughter. In fact, everyone knew it was a trick question, and well…Mondo wins in the end, after all. XD
Damn, that ending made the show worth it. OK, I’m still really miffed that Felicita is more of an after-thought in this show, but there was solid character development (for everyone else). The animation was meh, but there was definitely the bright spots that brought me back every week, mostly just watching the interactions between Nova and Liberta. If I had to choose which episode to watch, it would be episode 1 and 12, because Felicita was cast in the best light in those episodes. I think not being able to play the otome games in Japanese is what sustained me through the episodes.
Overall Rating: 6.0
Side stories and mindless fluff, the female character is a mannequin.
The OP and ED were OK.
There wasn’t anything wrong, per say, but the colours were really weird sometimes, and the lack of creativity of shots didn’t help.
Did Pace really have to eat lasagna every episode? And Nova called “chickpea”?