a.k.a. Psychic Academy Aura Banshou
Shiomi Ai has been accepted into the prestigious Psychic Academy, a school for gifted students with special abilities. The problem is, he hasn’t shown any psychic abilities at all! Ai agrees to enroll only so he can reunite with his childhood friend Orina, who is also attending the school. Things get even more complicated as Ai finds himself also thinking about Myuu, another student at the academy. Can Ai find his own path in life and love?
summary by Madoka
Highs: One entertaining character
Lows: Fan service galore; pointless and poor story
Psychic Academy was one of the first anime to be broadcast solely by the Internet. Perhaps because of bandwidth and cost restraints, the animation quality suffers and the episode length is short. This series attempts to tell a story in twenty-four short episodes and fails in almost every way.
With ten-minute episodes (and two of those minutes are the opening credits), there is very little time to do much of anything in such a short series, and as such the plot and the characters suffer. In fact, the only thing developed for most characters are their ample chests. Only one character, Ai’s older brother Zero, provides the few moments of humor in what is supposed to be a comedic series. Otherwise, the characters seem to exist only to get into one fan service situation after another. With girls “accidentally” groping each other, the obligatory shots of various undergarments and more of the like taking up most of the episode time, there is very little room to fit any sort of a plot in this anime.
This series quickly loses any focus it might have had at the start, and the plot becomes vague and meaningless. It’s amazing that even filler episodes were still squeezed into the series when that time could have been more effectively used by developing characters and the story. The few questions that are raised throughout are unanswered by the end, sure to leave many viewers dissatisfied and scratching their heads.
If as much attention had been paid to the story as the fan service, there might be a salvageable show even with the short format. Even though the episodes are short, your time is better spent on other anime.
Highs: Each episode is only nine minutes long
Lows: Shallow characters; no plot; bargain bin animation
Psychic Academy is unique in that it never aired on television; it was broadcast over the Internet. Hearing that it was only available online certainly raised suspicions over the series’ quality, and after watching this anime, it’s safe to say these suspicions were well founded.
Psychic Academy tries to combine a high school romance with the old “teens with superpowers” cliché, and it fails miserably in just about every respect. The characters are as deep as a puddle, and the romance between them feels extremely forced. Any attempt at serious drama is marred not only by the shallow characters but also by a constant barrage of needless fan service. The “aura” concept never really goes anywhere and ends up feeling like a plot device employed to throw in a few meaningless fight scenes. There are a few moments that seem to try to develop some semblance of plot, but these aspects of the story are only mentioned once and never developed any further. The whole series feels like a mishmash of boring characters, lame action scenes and humorless jokes.
The fact that the series was designed to be broadcast over the Internet may explain the low budget feeling that permeates each episode. Everything from the artwork to the music feels cheap. The animation in particular stands out because of obtrusive CGI and bland character designs.
After enduring it all, the final episode doesn’t even resolve any aspects of the plot (if you can say it even has one). There really isn’t any reason to recommend Psychic Academy; the only good thing that can be said about it is that each episode is only nine minutes long. There are much better anime out there, and in the end, this just feels like a waste of time.
Psychic Academy can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.