Maria-sama ga Miteru Manga, Volume 4

July 11th, 2005

I love getting my Maria-sama ga Miteru manga fix from Margaret magazine twice a month, but there’s definitely something extra special about getting a whole volume with a complete story in your hands. The down side is, you don’t always get the splash page art (especially if the series has alot of color splashes) but you get wonderful goofy filler pictures where all the magazine blahblah went. :-)

This week I got my paws on the manga of Maria-sama ga Miteru: Rosa Canina. And even though the story only ended a month ago in serialized form, it was amazing how much more I can catch when I read it as one whole continuous story. I guess I’m just not all that good at remembering who’s what where from month to month. LOL

I have actually discussed most of the differences between the novel/manga/anime and Drama CD in my notes from the 4th novel, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much. Let me just draw your attention to a few things: 1) The manga inserts some internal Shimako dialogue that doesn’t exists anywhere else and which heavily foreshadows her Cherry Blossoms arc; 2) I am steadfast in my belief that Shizuka is coming on to Sei in a big way after the school elections.

Included in this volume is the New Year’s arc, which is marginally more accurate to the novel than the anime, but still changes alot of things. And sadly…we don’t get to see Sei flirting with the miko who was handing out the fortunes. I think that would have been worth a panel, at least. Because the New Year story (Nagakiyono) ran in Margaret before the Student Council election arc (Rosa Canina), that’s the order they appear in the volume, the reverse of the novel. This is a truncated version, since the hatsumode (first shrine visit of the year) scene was done as a short by Hibiki Reine for Cobalt Shueisha Magazine, the magazine where Marimite is serialized.

The only down side to the New Year story in the manga is that we *still* don’t get much of Sayoko, Sachiko’s mother – and she was so *cute*! I think we were ripped. We should demand more Sayoko. (In fact, fans must have done so, because in the one-shot short “Library Book”, which was included in the 19th novel, In Library, we get a bit more of Sayoko as a student at Lillian. And its a REALLY cute story, full of truly obnoxious groan-inducing puns. LOL I did a really crappy, rough translation of the one-shot for the folks on the Yuricon Mailing List. The translation is in the group Files – if you join you can read it and have a good laugh at my expense. :-))

Let’s see, what else is notable…well, the incidental filler art this time is on the theme of “sports”. Sei is given a surprisingly sexy beach volleyball figure. In fact, thinking about it – she’s always drawn really sexy in these incidental art pieces…. Actually, thinking about it – I’m always surprised when any of them look sexy in these pieces. I guess I’m so used to seeing the girls in those awful school uniforms that it’s a system shock to see their figures. LOL And to be honest, the first-years look cute, not sexy. Eriko in racing leathers is quite nice, but Youko’s baseball catcher’s outfit made my wife say, “What is she? A turtle?” LOL

Probably my favorite picture in the whole book is at the end, where Sachiko is feeding Yumi. It’s impossibly adorable. lol

The other thing of note is how the art is changing slightly to reflect the characters as drawn in the anime more. At this point the anime is long over and the manga is on-going, so the artist probably has a little less pressure to conform.

Art – 8
Characters – 9
Story – 8
Yuri – 9

As always, another enjoyable entry in the Marimite body of work. It’ll be going up on the Yuricon Shop in the next few days!

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