An opinion piece on a dead Japanese romance genre.
I was just curious about people’s stances about series reviews. To give some context, I’m trying to put out at least one series review a week so visitors of my blog aren’t bored of my minimal content. This week, for example, I wrote about Yuuki Yuuna. I watched it back in Dec 2015 and I still remember nearly everything that happens within said show, so I felt confident in my statements and critique. Continue reading “Question about Series Reviews, Plans for Visual Novel Reviews, and Real Life Update”
Genres: Drama, Slice-of-Life
Aired: Jan 2009 to Mar 2009
Also Known As: MariMite 4, La Vierge Marie Vous Regarde, The Virgin Mary is Watching Over You, Maria Watches Over Us Season 4, マリア様がみてる〜４th〜
Summary: Yumi and the Yamayuri Council have found two new helpers in Kanako and Toko. Unfortunately, their assistance comes with tension, as neither girl is particularly fond of the other and both seem likely candidates to be Yumi’s petite soeur. Will either be a good fit for Yumi? As the school year marches on, the work for the Yamayuri Council piles up, and pressure begins to mount for Yumi to make her final decision. Continue reading “Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th – Anime Series Review”
Well, I’ve been stuck at Day 13 for weeks. But I’ve decided to try my best to finish the rest of the 30-Day Anime Challenge in one go. I’m on my phone at the moment, so I’ll refrain from adding pictures for now. Maybe I’ll touch up this post later on.
Here we go, folks!
Day 13 – Anime Character You Are Most Similar To: Miyanaga Saki from Saki is actually me except I’m not a mahjong demon. Sometimes I’m happy, but I’m more often sad. Tripping on air is a real possibility for me, too. And talking with others is not my strong suit.
Day 14 – Anime that never gets old no matter how many times you’ve rewatched it: That’s going to be Saki Achiga-hen for me. It’s by no means a perfect show, but I get so emotional just by watching episodes I’ve already seen before so many times.
Day 15 – Favorite animal sidekick, pet, or summoning from any anime: Ioryogi from Kobato is the one for me. He initially seems like he’s just a grumpy stuffed dog plushie that happens to breathe fire, but it turns out there’s much more to him than that. And here I thought I was over tsunderes.
Day 16 – Anime with the best animation: I like the crazy mahjong scenes in Achiga-hen. I’m not really an expert on animation, sorry.
Day 17 – Favorite supporting male anime character: Masaoka Totomi from Psycho Pass is so nice and analytical and strong and fatherly, even though he wasn’t the best father in the past. His final decision is also very heartbreaking. I also like Akabayashi Mizuki from Durarara!!. A gangster with morals is pretty cool to me. I-I promise I don’t have a fetish for older men.
Day 18 – Favorite supporting female anime character: I think it has to be Kirame Hanada from Saki Achiga-hen. Her mahjong ability isn’t useful under most circumstances, but she’s glad to be of use as the sacrificial pawn for her team. Staying chipper despite facing strong opponents, Hanad is also skilled in working with her opponents to stop common enemies. I don’t know, I just like the underdog, I guess.
Day 19 – Most epic scene ever: I mentioned this in Day 12, but Miyoshi Karin’s heroic moment in Yuki Yuna episode 11 was not only a tearjerker, but it was also awesome. Sacrificing her body in order to take out five “bosses” by herself when her friends needed to work together to take out a single boss is no small feat.
Day 20 – Anime character that gets on your nerves: Hosokawa Kanako from Maria-sama ga Miteru 3rd is frustrating. The way she idealizes Yumi only to spout hateful words to her former idol once she learns Yumi is a person and not an infallible angel gets me so angry. Her black-and-white view of my issues is stupid, too. Kanako does gets better later on, but she just disappears from the story shortly afterwards…
Day 21 – Favorite goofy anime character: Ujimatsu Chiya from GochiUsa makes my sides ache and my heart warm. Patient and kind childhood friend with Syaro, quirky birds of a feather with Cocoa, and sisterly figure to Chino (whenever they do interact), Chiya is probably the best girl in the show (in my opinion). Hopefully the younger girls start imitating her instead of gun-crazy Rize, empty-headed Cocoa, or hysterical Syaro.
Day 22 – Favorite weapon, gear, or armor used in anime: I never finished watching the show, but I do read Boku no Hero Academia and I think Iida Tenya has the coolest hero suit by far. He really looks like a superhero with his face completely covered up like that. The suit itself is pretty slick, too.
Day 23 – Favorite attack someone used in an anime: I need to watch more action shows.
Day 24 – Moment that shocked you the most in any anime: Four words. Fingernail scene in Higurashi. I still think about how terrible it would be if that happened to me from time to time to. A close second: umbrella scene in Another.
Day 25 – Saddest anime death: Zero Requiem ;_;. There’s also Furukawa Nagisa in Clannad. Death by childbirth is probably one of the worst ways to go, actually.
Day 26 – Best anime fight: I guess Kougami Shinya’s fight with Makishima Shougo in Psycho Pass? It demonstrates two different fighting styles pretty well. Some of the matches in Hajime no Ippo are amazing, too, but I only skim through the manga so names are too hard.
Day 27 – Most badass scene: Last time I bring up Achiga-hen here, I promise. Well, the awakening of Takakamo Shizuno’s power, Lord of the Mountain Depths, was pretty cool. In order to fight her supernatural opponents and realize her goal, Shizuno stopped being a normal mahjong player and became a mahjong terror. Too bad it wasn’t really foreshadowed well at all.
Day 28 – Favorite quote from any anime character: “The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed.” ;_;
Day 29 – An anime you wished was real: I want to keep my fantasies and reality seperate so I’ve never really thought about this. Maybe, if anime movies count, Summer Wars? But now that this topic was brought up, I’m reminded of an idiot who would grace a forum with his unwanted presence. He thought being a character in the One-Punch Man setting would be awesome. If you ain’t Saitama, you ain’t gonna be having much fun, man. Just saying.
Day 30 – An anime you wish never ended and continued on: At least let me see Yumi graduate from Lilian Girls’ Academy. I know Maria-sana ga Miteru had been over for over 4 years (and the anime has been finished for even longer), but I still love the show.
There we go. That only took forever. And I’m about done with work for today, too. Blogging was the most productive thing I could do today since there was no inventory for me to complete.
Anyways, I’m sorry to bore you. Thanks for reading to the end!
Genres: Slice-of-Life, Drama
Aired: Dec 2006 to Jul 2007
Also Known As: MariMite 3, Maria Watches Over Us 3rd, MariMite OVA, La Vierge Marie Vous Regarde, マリア様がみてる〜３rd〜
Summary: The story of the Lilian Girls’ Academy continues with these 5 hour-long OVAs. Sachiko takes Yumi to her family’s summer home where they encounter Sachiko’s acquaintances who intentionally makes trouble for the soeur pair. The next three episodes revolves around Yumi and the Yamayurikai helping their brother school, Hanadera, with their school festival. The last episode has the second-years go on a week-long study-vacation field trip to Italy. Continue reading “Maria-sama ga Miteru 3rd – Anime Series Review”
Genres: Slice-of-Life, Drama
Aired: Jul 2004 to Sep 2004
Also Known As: MariMite: Haru, The Virgin Mary is Watching You: Spring, Maria Watches Over Us: Printemps, La Vierge Marie Vous Regarde, マリア様がみてる～春～
Summary: The spring term is beginning for the students at Lillian Girls’ Academy. Friends are reunited, but for the Yamayuri Council, it’s a bittersweet time. Yoko, Eriko, and Sei are busy preparing to depart Lillian while Sachiko, Rei, and Shimako are doing their best to ensure that their dear sisters receive a memorable commencement.
Sei’s departure will leave a sizable hole in the White Roses, and filling it won’t be easy. But is there anyone who could appeal to Shimako enough to become the next Rosa Gigantea en bouton? Continue reading “Maria-sama ga Miteru: Haru – Anime Series Review”
Genres: Slice-of-Life, Drama
Aired: Jan 2004 to April 2004
Also Known As: MariMite, La Vierge Marie Vous Regarde, The Virgin Mary is Watching You, マリア様がみてる, マリみて
Summary: When Fukuzawa Yumi entered Lillian Girls’ Academy, a prestigious all-girls Catholic school in Tokyo, she never imagined she would catch the eye of the beautiful and demure Ogasawara Sachiko, one of the school’s most popular students. Now Sachiko has offered to be Yumi’s soeur, her “sister” and guide for all her years at the academy. The whole idea has Yumi completely flustered—after all, they hardly know each other!
The entire campus is abuzz with rumors about the two girls, but Yumi is conflicted over accepting Sachiko’s offer. While she admires Sachiko, being her soeur would also mean constantly being at the center of the entire school’s attention!
Review: The summary tries its best to be spoiler-free, but we all know that Yumi is going to accept Sachiko’s offer and the two will become soeurs. Otherwise the story would end right then and there.
As a result, Yumi essentially joins the equivalent of a student council for Lilian Girls’ Academy, where she grows and develops as a person as she experiences dramatic situations in rapid succession.
This is an older show from a different time period (2004 was a very long time ago for many of us). Therefore, don’t expect stellar animation or fast pacing. Nevertheless, watching a slower show compared to shows where characters are making out by episode 2 makes for a rather refreshing experience.
However, you also shouldn’t expect there to be many kisses in MariMite, either. I think there’s only two kisses shown on-screen across four seasons and one of them isn’t even mouth-to-mouth. At any rate, the yuri is limited to softer displays of affection, which is a-okay with me. MariMite is the quintessential show concerning pure yuri, after all.
I really do feel like the characters dramatize and complicate minor issues, but the cast primarily consists of high-school girls. I know I made some dumb decisions in high school, so I guess I have to cut them some slack.
Still, the lack of communication between Sachiko and Yumi really irks me. So many misunderstandings happen as a result. Rei and Yoshino fall victim to this at times, too. I guess not everyone can be as chill as Shimako and Sei.
I hope you’re not sick of “pastel pure” (the show’s OP) by the time you’re finished with season one since you’re going to be hearing that particular song again and again should you choose to watch the following seasons. Still, it’s one of the more beautiful melodies I’ve heard, so it’s not like you’re being forced to hear something terrible.
One last thing I want to say is that the episode previews are among the funniest I’ve seen in a show since these refined girls go and act very out-of-character. Seriously, yodeling ojou-samas? Ojou-samas rapping over sick beatboxing? These episode previews are amazing.
If you’re curious about a classic yuri series which set the curve for homages and parodies alike, then you should watch Maria-sama Ga Miteru. Very little kissing occurs, but yuri is splendid with just hand holding, hugs, shy blushes, and sparkling eyes, right?
However, do keep in mind that it’s an older show with rather lackluster animation and slow pacing. You can’t do much to alleviate underwhelming animation, but I do recommend setting aside enough time in order to watch several episodes at once.