Even though you knew what was happening in Occult Academy 7 from near the beginning it’s still a fun episode—until the end where they force in a little drama.
Ami, Maya’s other close friend, hasn’t gotten much attention in this series. This week it’s her turn. What’s more, we meet her father, Shigeru, who as it turns out is one of the coolest dads in anime. Early on the ever-serious Maya runs into him. After he bores her with some spooky stories she rather brusquely says goodbye, causing him to think. The next day there’s a report on a crop circle. Normally Maya would ignore it but her recent experiences now force her to take anything seriously. Here’s where the fun begins, until it stops.
Shigeru, Ami and Kozue insist on coming along to stake out the crop circle in the dead of night. But that’s a while off. So until then the father does some grilling, they eat watermelon, set off fireworks, the sorts of happy things you do together. It’s clear now what Shigeru is up to. He wants Maya to loosen up and have a good time. And soon it becomes apparent just how far he’ll go to do this. As for Maya, she does loosen up. Nice to see. A good thing about her character is that she’s serious about many things but she craves friends just like anyone else does. But apart from a handful of rooftop scenes with Ami and Kozue we don’t see much of this.
By now we’ve guessed that UFO and the alien are all Shigeru’s work. JT and Smile are suspiciously spotted talking with him about some plan. And the effects are cheesy in a 1990’s sort of way. But it’s still fun to watch. In a terrific moment during the chase Maya looks at Ami while she joyfully shouts directions to her dad in the truck, and thinks back to old times. Too bad they have to ruin it. After the deception is exposed Maya turns on Shigeru. Doesn’t he know how important this stuff really is? She hasn’t got time for it! In other words, Maya hasn’t learned a thing. Understandably Ami turns on Maya. How dare she talk to her father like that? She has a point. He doesn’t know anything about the Nostradamus Key (Come to think of it, neither does Ami). He had simply gone all-out to give the girls an adventure. To increase the ugliness Shigeru slaps Ami and tells her to apologize to Maya. This might be the hardest slap to watch. The show had taken pains to show the rapport between father and daughter, what fun they have together. Now everyone is mad and we have a two-parter on our hands. A shame. The episode had been good harmless fun up to then.
But it does bring up a question: Instead of furtively looking for this key on their own, why don’t Maya and Uchida announce it to the entire school and get everyone involved?
And another question: What was up with that dead cow? Everyone forgot about it.