Wednesday, August 15, 2012
La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia 6: This Show Needs More Debito
I feel about La Storia like I imagine I would about an underachieving child that tries his best to accomplish something: fond, affectionate, and not too concerned with how much said child actually accomplishes in the end. In other words, no, this series doesn't blow my mind, and I'm not sure that it lives up to the source material. But it does have its moments, the problems with the show somehow don't enrage me, and I just feel affable in general about continuing to watch it even though I'm fairly sure I will forget it existed two seasons from now.
Summary: Charged with delivering a letter to Felicita from Mama, Liberte and Nova end up handcuffed together as they try to solve the mystery of her disappearance. Luca, meanwhile, leads Pace, Debito, and Felicita on a trip to the mountain to gather herbs that he's hidden from Jolly.
Thoughts: I have two major issues with this show, both of which are exemplified in this episode, so I might as well get them out of the way. First: a lot of this material feels like filler. Thus far, all the episodes have been by and large self-encompassing - you could miss an episode without losing a significant understanding of the plot. And while I understand that the growth of Felicita, Nova, and Liberte must be necessary to the series, the feigned-conflict-meant-to-bring-allies-together feels stale already, a bit fluffy, and not particularly integral or important. Second: the constant focus on Liberte, Nova, and Felicita means that, necessarily, we lose the chance to get to know a lot of other characters. Pace's seeming affection for their little family, Luca's feelings for Felicita, Debito's angst and Jolly's general creepiness: all of these things get glossed over and sidelined in favor of the tsundere-hero-girl triangle.
That said, I don't hate the show. Luca remains a sweet, Gil-like character, though I'm sad he doesn't get nearly enough screen time. Debito in particularly intrigues me more and more as the series continues - that bishounen hotness in the closing scenes and his evident unhappiness lead me to hope we'll see more of him as the episodes go by. Felicita remains a likeable heroine to me, and it's nice to see Nova and Liberte developing a bromance that I do not doubt exploded the brains of fangirls: handcuffs! wielding each other's weapons (wink)! grudging acceptance! I particularly liked the tonal shift at the end, where the episode turned to the sadder scenes: Debito's unhappiness, Pace at a grave, Nova reciting his day's events to his parents. More of that, please. Much more of that.
The big questions still remain in this series, much to my curiosity - and I hope we set on the path to resolving them soon. The nature of everyone's full Arcana powers remains hidden, we don't know a lot about the other characters, and Mondo and Mama seem suspiciously loving to their "family" despite the duel they've established to marry Felicita off. Is there going to be a major antagonist in this series at all, and will it be Jolly? I suspect not - but these are the things I'd like to find out.