Occultic;Nine seems like it may have some interesting ideas down the road, but few of them surfaced in the first episode. While the first episode ended with an interesting hook, too many of the characters felt dry or unlikable to justify continuing with the season.
The main character of Occultic;Nine is Yuta Gamon, a high school student who strives to be the one of the best bloggers in the world. His blog generally centers on mocking the occult or disproving the occult with science. While Yuta does seem a little interested in the occult, his primary goal is to make enough money through his blog that he will never have to work again.
Yuta’s personality is all over the place in the first episode. He is extremely confident – except when he isn’t. He is nervous around girls – except when he isn’t. He is generally interested in disproving the occult – except when he’s working with a girl who claims to be able to read the future.
The cast of Occultic;Nine is rounded out with a spunky sidekick, Ryouka, a fortune teller, Miyuu, and the effeminate manager of the shop where Yuta works. The cast is interesting, but they feel a little too forced. While there can be humor in overdoing the comedic characters (see Mako from Kill la Kill), that humor was not as present in the first episode. The characters mostly came off as mild annoyances instead of fun deviations.
One thing to note is that the dialogue in this anime is fast. This could create difficulties if you are watching the show subtitled. Even if you consider yourself a fast reader, it will become difficult to keep up with both the dialogue and the on-screen action.
The animation quality is nothing to write home about. It is not terrible, but it is definitely simple. Very few scenes, except for the cliffhanger at the end, are striking in appearance. That said, there are times where the simple animated style is done well. Specifically, the introduction Aria, the girl who specializes in curses, has a dark atmosphere that pairs very well with a lighter touch on the animation.
Aria was probably the most interesting introduction in the show. She speaks in a low monotone and has a very reserved manner that makes her appear composed, yet dangerous. She is also where the audience first sees actual proof of the occult by means of the ghostly figure that follows her around. Determining what her overall importance to the story will be is one of the strongest reasons to continue watching the anime.
The final twist at the end of the show comes with the death of a professor of the occult. The mystery surrounding how this professor died and why is the hook to continue through with the story. Unfortunately, since there had been very little connection between any of the characters and the professor, his death has less emotional investment for the viewers.
Overall, Occultic;Nine has some interesting ideas that may be worth checking out in the long term. Unfortunately, the mixture of fast dialogue with uninspired characters makes it difficult to want to push through to see more.