Notes from the Second Maria-sama Ga Miteru Novel

January 13th, 2005

For a brief, shining moment, I was not swamped at work and managed to finally finish up reading Kibara Kakumei, aka Yellow Rose Revolution Konno Oyuki’s second Maria-sama ga Miteru novel.

As with the first novel, nothing significant from the second novel was left out of the anime and/or manga. Most of what was left out were little details that, for me, make everyone that much more 3-D and human. (This will probably not be the case so much with the fourth novel, Rosa Canina which was handled in a single anime episode – I’m sure that we missed quite a bit. The manga hasn’t yet begun, so I have nothing to compare the anime with as of yet.)

While I was reading Kibara Kakumei, I took notes of things that were left out, or mostly, just interesting, so I could share them with those of you who are unlikely to read the novels in Japanese. Here are the things I thought interesting enough to jot down:

Yoshino’s bedroom – this is described as looking like a old man’s library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves in dark wood, with “incongruous” flowered curtains. In fact, the room *was* a library previously, and it seems to suit Yoshino well. :-)

We get to actually meet Yoshino’s mother for a very short scene, and we can see that she’s one sharp cookie. Even though Rei says nothing to her, Mom knows instantly that something has happened between Yoshino and Rei…and she ends her scene with an incredibly complex pun about Rei’s family and the stew she’s cooking which revolved around the word, “sweet”. Basically she was, in one sentence, commenting that Rei’s family has their own way of seasoning the stew and that they are too nice for their own good.

Tsutako, as she snaps pictures of girls in the martial arts clubs in various states of (un)dress, thanks God for being born a girl, so she can do things like this! LOL Minako, the newspaper club president, is suitably scandalized. :-)

The most surprising scene in the book begins with Yumi repeating the words, “Bumper crop?” LOL Shimako has returned to the classroom carrying a vinyl bag full of stinky gingko nuts and chortling to herself. Apparently, Shimako had muttered the phrase as she passed Yumi. I admit – it’s put a whole new shade of weird on doll-like Shimako for me.

In the scene after Yumi finds Rei standing in the greenhouse, grieving, and Sachiko pulls Rei back to the Rose Mansion, Sei and Youko have a scene in which, even as they are explaining why they really can’t do much, are doing amazingly much. Their competence is quite stunning. They tell an incensed Sachiko that they can’t interfere, but then Sei turns around and asks Shimako to report. The younger girl promptly replies that she can’t find Rosa Foetida, and then details what’s going on it the school quite coherently. Sei and Youko then go onto explain how the relations between the rose houses work to a still-incensed Sachiko.

Yumi is momentarily jealous of Rei and Yoshino’s closeness and wonders, bitterly, if she were to leave, would Sachiko even notice, much less grieve.

In the novels, Katsura-san is a much more active gossip-monger than in the anime, where she is just one of many. Katsura also is named to be one of the girls in Yumi’s class who breaks with her grande soeur, as a way of imitating Yoshino. All in all, some five girls *in Yumi’s class* return rosaries…so you get a better idea of just how much of a ripple effect Yoshino’s actions are having.

Sei also explains, in the discussion with Yumi about Eriko’s behavior *why* Rosa Foetida’s nature has any bearing on this situation. In a nutshell, someone like Eriko, who always knows what’s going to happen as the outcome of her actions, wouldn’t do anything to interfere with Rei and Yoshino – because she would find this unpredictable, and hence, fascinating. I don’t think the anime made this connection, quite. It helped me understand Eriko a little more – and also explains why she chose Rei as her soeur.

One of the scenes that was entirely cut out consists solely of Yoshino pacing in front of the hospital and we get to see how really, she’s terribly frightened of the surgery – and feeling very alone. I liked this short scene alot – I think it gave Yoshino a depth that had, until that moment, been lacking. I’ve said it before, but it remains true, that I sympathize with Yoshino most of all the characters – and I *totally* knew how she felt while she tried to be brave enough to do what she had to do.

Yumi comments intelligently that, with all the fuss going on at Lillian, Yoshino doesn’t even know about any of it…and she’s probably be appalled to find out. But it’s Yumi that accidentally lets Yoshino know…and she finds it all hysterical.

During the scene when Yoshino is telling Yumi about the mistakes in the newspaper survey; again, we get the sense that Yoshino is very alone. (We know from an earlier conversation with Katsura, Yumi’s classmate, that Yoshino has no friends in her class because she’s out so often. And we learn that although Yoshino and Yumi have both been attending Lillian since infancy, they really haven’t ever been in a class together, so Yumi is not really familiar with Yoshino – or how her health affects her and the people around her. Katsura describes in lurid detail what one of Yoshino’s seizures look like.) As Yoshino tries to explain her relationship with Rei – and the flaws in it, we get the feeling that Yoshino is desperately reaching out to Yumi so that someone, somewhere, understands her. It’s the first sign that she and Yumi will become real friends, which is nice.

When Rei finally has her meltdown – in the arms of a teacher – she uses exactly the same phrases to describe her relationship with Yoshino as Yoshino did to Yumi…which heightens how much denial she’d been in.

Ultimately, at the end, when Yoshino shows Rei the scar (and gets yelled at by the nurse afterwards for doing so) Rei says it makes Yoshino look like a pirate – so that explains THAT doujinshi! LOL

Last thing. Sei eats REALLY strange stuff. Yumi comes to the Rose Mansion and find Sei eating a taromasalata and mayo sandwich and drinking green tea, while Youko is eating onigiri and drinking black tea. Yumi thinks that they should switch drinks for consistency. :-)

Taromosalata sandwich???? Yumi thinks that that’s the kind of thing that only a die-hard fan would eat. As a dip for pita, taromosalata is *excellent*, but I kind of agree with Yumi…a sandwich of it would be odd. :-) I assume that this choice of food was meant to heighten Sei’s “strangeness” and foreign qualities, which becomes important in the next novel.

I’ve just started to read the next novel, Ibara no Mori/Shiroi Hanabira, the Forest of Thorns/White Petals, and already some of the above trends are repeated. I promise to report back on the things we missed as soon as I’m done!

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One Response

  1. Medtech says:

    Taramosalata as a dip for pita!???

    Not in Greece!!!!

    (try tzakiki,mustard,ketsap as a dip for pita but bread is a dip for taramosalata-which I although a Greek hate beyond words!Taramosalata Yak!).

    PS I never thought I wpuld become a fan of marimite.Sei rocks!

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