Well, the second season of the anime is drawing to a close, the manga is in the middle of the highly discussed “Ibara no Mori” arc, the new novel and Drama CDs are due out on October first, I’m translating a one-shot story from Cobalt Shueisha and I just finished reading the first novel, so…
…it’s time for a week-long, in-depth review of the hottest new yuri series out there, everyone’s darling, Maria-sama ga Miteru, i.e., The Virgin Mary Watches, or something similar. (I’m personally partial to “The Virgin Mary Watches Over You,” which isn’t correct at all, but feels less creepy. ^_^
(Note: If you are already familiar with Marimite, skip this whole entry and tune back in tomorrow. This one is for newbies.) ^_^
Let’s start from the beginning. This series is family safe, sweet, and perfectly lovely. The quick synopsis is, (for those of you joing us late) a tale of affection and admiration between girls who attend a private Catholic school. That *is* the plot, btw. Nothing happens. Average girl, Fukuzawa Yumi, meets extraordinary girl Ogasawara Sachiko and is drawn into the lives of the members of the Yamayurikai, the school’s student council. There is much romance, much angst, some tears and a fair amount of laughs.
The story started off (and continues to be) serialized in Cobalt Shueisha monthly magazine. The novels are collections of the monthly stories and illustrations. These are not manga – they are novels, by author Konna Oyuki, and they started out as comedy. They became popular with a cult following of doujinshi artists in Japan, who enjoyed pairing up the obvious (and implicit) couples.
In late 2003, Marimite, as it is called among fans, premiered as a 13-episode anime, which told the stories covered in the first several novels.
Just shortly before the anime was premiered, in Fall 2003, the manga began to be serialized in Margaret, a monthly manga magazine for young women. (Margaret also ran the old classic written by Riyoko Ikeda, Oniisama E (Brother, Dear Brother) and Berusaiyu no bara (Rose of Versailles).
In the meantime, the 18th novel was released earlier in the year and the 19th novel is slated to be out on October 1. So the series is still going strong. But whether we will get a third season is still up in the air. We can keep our fingers crossed and hope that we will get more glimpses into the lives of Yumi and the rest of the Yamayurikai. ^_^
Tomorrow, I will post my thoughts on the second season of the anime.