The story is set on an island called Regalo that seems to be in modern day, but includes some elements that look as if they came straight out of the Roaring 20s. In a lot of respects, the "atmosphere" of both the setting and the series has a feel similar to Fullmetal Alchemist or D.Gray-man.
The island is protected by a vigilante group called "Arcana Famiglia." The Famiglia is made up of people (primarily men) who have made contracts with the Arcana Cards. The Arcana Cards definitely have their roots in tarot cards, and these cards give special abilities to the members of the Famiglia who have made contracts with them.
Mondo, who has a contract with #21 of The Arcana (The World), is the "Papa" of the group. At his birthday celebration, he announces that he will be retiring and giving his seat to a new male with control over an Arcana. To determine the new "Papa," he will stage a tournament between Arcana users called Arcana Duello. In addition to becoming the new "Papa," the winner will also get a wish of his choice and his daughter Felicita's hand in marriage.
Felicita is an Arcana user, and has made a contract with #6 of The Arcana (The Lovers); this gives her the ability to read a person's heart. She does not want to marry at this point, so she makes a decision to enter the tournament in order to win and have the ability to decide her own path.
Liberta is Felicita's childhood friend, and has made a contract with #1 of The Arcana (The Fool). Nova, Felicita's cousin, has a contract with #13 of The Arcana (Death), and he and Liberta are the two of the main males seen hanging around Felicita. They both say they want to win the tournament so they can wish Felicita free from having to marry. The other main male who hangs around Felicita is Luca, her personal butler. He is also an Arcana user, but he really has no interest in participating in the tournament.
Debito has a contract with #9 of The Arcana (The Hermit), and can make himself invisible. Pace has a contract with #11 of The Arcana (Strength). There are some other characters seen in the first episode, but not as much emphasis is placed on them; however, I suspect they will become important in later episodes.
I was actually quite surprised to learn that La storia della Arcana Famiglia is based on a visual novel, because I wouldn't have guessed that it was. It's definitely one of the better visual novel anime adaptations that I have personally seen. While in some respects, you can see the visual novel setup in some of the relationships, the story is done in such a way that it isn't as obvious. I was hooked on the story by the end of the first episode, and I hope to have the chance to see more. This is a series I would be willing to buy at such a point that Sentai Filmworks releases it on home video.
With the story of the series being what it is, it's definitely not being aimed at a young audience. Personally, I would recommend La storia della Arcana Famiglia to anime viewers who are 13 or 14 years of age and older.
|La storia della Arcana Famiglia||12||2012||Chiaki Kon||J.C. Staff||Sentai Filmworks|