A First Look at Maria-sama ga Miteru Anime

January 12th, 2004

Yuricon makes the Animefringe.com Top 25!

Congratulations to the Yuricon website – we were named #22 in Animefringe.com’s annual Top 25 web poll. Yuricon is the *first* con-related web page to ever be so named. And considering the other ranked sites (Bittorrent, Anime on DVD, Anime News Network…) I think we have a lot to be proud of!

A First Look at Marimite

This past weekend, I screened the first episode of Maria-sama ga Miteru the anime. I’ve been following the manga, and there are some small differences – and again, these are different from the original novels, or so I’m told. That having been said, here’s my first impression:

Marimite is not an action-filled anime. It is quiet and deliberate. The tone is set at the very beginning when our heroine, Yumi, tells us that the girls of Liliian Girls Academy are expected to be neat, speak politely and move slowly. Set within this frame of contemplation and good manners, any extreme – not matter how trivial – seems out of synch. Sudden movements, a raised voice, a firm touch…all these things stand out as being not usual, out of tune with the rest of the school. Because of the focus on deliberate movement, there is a tension in each scene, that can’t really be accounted for by the apparent situation. (The tension feels similar to that of the sketching scene in the Utena movie, when Utena is sketching Anthy in the Tower…Anthy’s movements are *so* deliberate, that they feel symbolic. The eyecatches are also consciously reminiscent of Utena: the theme heavy with violin, and a flower-filled frame. Trust me – its *really* obvious.)

While I have no doubt that the plot will resolve happily, this anime is driven by character, not plot. The plot revolves around manipulation and emotional connection in a girl’s school… in other words, it’s about nothing. :-) The thing that will bring viewers back will be the interaction between the characters, the growth of their relationships, and that tension I mentioned above. Do not expect any great climaxes of action…but do expect a few emotional outbursts. ^_^ This is a truly shoujo series.

As an anime, this series as defintely the love-child of Oniisama E (Brother, Dear Brother) and Utena. Sitting somewhere between the strong flower imagery of Utena and the emotion of the Sorority storyline of Oniisama E, lies the outwardly sedate Marimite. Ultimately, like most classic shoujo, Marimite is about an average girl who, by circumstance or fate, becomes involved with the Great Ones of her school.

Whatever happens, I think it’ll be an interesting ride. ^_^

For more conversation, art scans and info about Marimite, and other Yuri anime and manga, join us at the Yuricon Mailing List.

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