Notes on the 11th Maria-sama ga Miteru Novel – Parasol o Sashite (Holding A Parasol)
The anime wasn’t terrible, but I think if I had read the book first, then watched the anime, I’d have been pretty furious. They shortened most scenes, and cut out a few – including my favorite scene in the book – and several scenes after Yumi and Sachiko reconcile. In general, the anime changes a few things here and there, some not so important and others quite important – and dialogue was added that didn’t exist in the book in several key scenes, to take the place of the longer scene that had to be cut. This would have been fine if they kept to what actually happened, but some things were just changed. I hope that the manga stays truer to the novel, because it’s a better story than the anime was.
I found myself just translating whole conversations that were cut, because it was easier than taking notes. I took about 26 pages of notes, then watched the anime afterwards, so I could see what was shown and not. Some of the things I’ll mention were in the anime, but were either different, more, or just interesting, in the novel. I definitely assume you’ve seen the anime, so anything that was done in the anime reasonably accurately, I simply left out of my notes.
I’ve already finished the next two novels – I wanted to get a head start before the OVA starts, so I can join Japanese fans in righteous indignation at the changes. ^_^
The usual cheerful beginning about the girls and the school sounds weirdly ironic at the beginning of this book.
From the day Yumi had accepted the rosary, with them being such an unbalanced pair, she knew this would happen. Confused, weary, she wonders if they ever were really soeur. But it had been Sachiko who had closed her mouth and walked away – simply handed her off to another person. It was time to walk away, not to run after her. She loves onee-sama, totally, truly. But her voice doesn’t reach her. Her wet body wraps a cold heart, like an abandoned cat crying in the rain.
The lights of the car, and the traffic signals glittering through the rain and her tears are somehow very beautiful. Like a spectacle of lights. Yumi wishes that herself and all her hopeless thoughts would disappear in the rain.
6 months ago, Yumi was filled with Sachiko – her eyes followed her, her ears sought her voice, the words that came from her lips made Yumi tremble with pleasure. She anticipated Sachiko’s fingers fixing her tie. Her entire school life centered around Sachiko. She treasured her more than flowers, jewels, hand-made lace. No one would ever be able to make her feel that way again.
When such a magnificent onee-sama puts her aside, how much could she be worth? She’s not talking living or dying – she just wants to disappear. If Sachiko isn’t there, then there’s no need for this body to be before her.
When Sei leans over her with the umbrella, Yumi thinks that Sei is the only one in the world who cares about her. If Yumi were to disappear, then Sei’s life couldn’t go on happily.
As they walk to Sei’s friend’s house, Yumi feels very annoyed by some 3rd party she doesn’t know getting involved. She is watching Sei walk from behind, and with the big black umbrella and dark pants, Sei looks, she thinks, like a shiitake mushroom. The though makes Yumi smile, which surprises her.
She then thinks that the tea-colored umbrella was not among the group at the gate, and wonders where this woman came from.
When they reach Kei’s place, Sei threatens to forcibly undress Yumi if she’s too slow.
After undressing, Yumi thinks that she has nothing, like the way she was born – no possessions, no clothing, fully naked. She stresses at length about what to do about her wet clothes, and in passing, she thinks about Sachiko’s beautiful lingerie. When she comes out of the shower – and she is deeply touched to find that shorts and a tank top, and a grey sweat suit have been left there for her to change into. When she’s dressed, Yumi remembers the feel of Sachiko’s hand fixing her tie.
The clothes Kei left Yumi were left by a friend who had stayed over – the shorts and tank top were bought at a 100-yen store. She tells Yumi to keep them, it’s more trouble than it’s worth to return them.
Yumi thinks that the kindness she’s received equals 200 yen. Plus tax. Not that this can be measured in money – or repaid.
Kei says that she let Sei and Yumi come with her because she saw a young girl crying and thought that she needed help. And Sei is too devil-may-care to be responsible. Yumi thinks Kei’s impression of Sei is spot on.
Sei asks Kei why she says that, Kei says because college is a place to study – not to hang out. Then Sei remembers where they first met. She also remembers that Kei scowled at her.
(Just as a reminder – they “met” when Sei absentmindedly responded to Kei’s name during class. Satou Sei/Katou Kei.)
Kei – I didn’t scowl. I was shocked. You’re paranoid.
Kei laughs at Sei – you’re the type who doesn’t remember people you haven’t directly talked to, right?
Sei asks if Kei became interested in her then, and Kei admits, a little.
As Kei dries her hair, Yumi dozes off and dreams about Sachiko:
Sachiko is sitting, crying, in the corner of a huge room, all hunched over. The surroundings are gloomy. Although her tears are not visible, she is definitely crying.
Yumi thinks that Sachiko was the one who chose Touko over her, so why is she crying – then reminds herself it’s just a dream.
She thinks that Sachiko may be lonely from splitting with Yumi…and maybe she should be happy about that, but it’s not her wish to see Sachiko unhappy.
Sei’s voice drives the image of Sachiko away.
Between them Kei and Sei had cared for the outside part of her. They’d warmed her up, given her dry clothes, returned her to physical fitness. But that isn’t enough. She had something left to do that was the most necessary thing.
Sei calls Yumi’s home, using her “honor student mode” to explain why Yumi is late. Yumi notes that Sei spoke as if she had written the lines down. But since Yumi’s mother is a fan of Sei’s (and a Lillian old girl – OG) her mother is very cool about it all, telling Yumi to thank them and come home.
Yumi is amazed that it’s only been 2 hours. It feels like no time has passed, and that it’s been much longer at the same time.
It still hurts to think about Sachiko, but she no longer wants to disappear.
As they leave, Kei says that she’s an only child, so this was like having a younger sister to care for – she’s welcome anytime. Sei says okay, and Kei shoots back that the invitation was meant for Yumi only.
Sei asks if Yumi remembers their conversation about Goronta. Yumi does. Sei says that Yumi is like a wounded cat. Yumi just agrees.
Sei points out that no one can understand you if you don’t say anything. For a second Yumi thinks she wants Yumi to talk about Sachiko, but without a pause, Sei goes on to say that the relation with Kei was unexpected. Yumi agrees, then smiles, pondering the fact that a bothersome person like Sei seemed to like reliable people like Youko…and Kei.
By running, Sei and Yumi catch the bus they need. They driver, an old guy, smiles at them and says, “how energetic”. Yumi wonders about that, then thinks that if she can run, she hasn’t left her body behind and so, agrees. She and Sei smile at him and each other.
There are a few students from Lillian on the bus – they regard her curiously and greet her. Yumi smiles and nods at them. As the bus turns the corner, Sei grabs Yumi’s sleeve and says, “Don’t get lost, okay?”
Yumi spends the trip home gathering her composure, forcing herself to walk…one step at a time. If she keeps going, tomorrow will come eventually.
Her mother asks her a question or two, but is satisfied with her answers. In the Fukuzawa house, the kids were trusted and there was no suspicion.
When she finds that her textbook is waterlogged, she thinks that she also can never be returned to her original condition. As she lays in bed, she bids farewell to many things.
The next day, her eyes are puffy. Oh well.
When Yoshino comes into the classroom, she takes Yumi’s hand, pulls her down the stairs, outside behind a big tree. Yumi thinks that Yoshino is about to yell at her for not coming to the Rose Mansion. Then Yoshino throws her arms around Yumi’s neck in a hug.
Yumi thinks that this feels different than being hugged by Sei – obviously there’s a height difference, but that’s not it. But this makes her heart pound in a different way.
Yoshino tells Yumi that it’s not Rosa Chinensis en bouton, but Yumi, that she likes.
(Note: You may remember the scene in the Valentine’s Day arc where Yoshino and Yumi agree to be better friends. That was at least partially because they are going to be working together.) Yumi thinks that this expression of friendship is entirely different. This is the first time that she’s ever thought of Yoshino as a friend friend, not just because of the Yamayurikai. Yumi berates herself – her heart was so full of Sachiko that she had inadvertently hurt Yoshino.
Yoshino asks if Yumi’s meeting with Sachiko went well. Yumi smiles bitterly and says “No, I ran away.”
Yoshino wonders where Yumi will eat lunch – Yumi thinks about the spot where Shimako took her when she was hiding from the newspaper club (E:in the first novel.) Yoshino lifts a hand, looks up and says, In the rainy season?” then mentions that’ll it’ll be challenging to balance the umbrella, lunch and chopsticks. Yumi agrees.
When Yumi tells Yoshino that she can’t go to the Rose Mansion for lunch, in addition to saying that she doesn’t want to look like she’s sneaking around behind Sachiko’s back, she thinks that if she can’t be full of pride when she goes there, she won’t go at all.
Three girls come up to Yumi and ask her join them for lunch. The one thing these girls have in common, Yumi thinks, is that she has never been in a class with them before. They’ve been in class together now for two months, and Yumi and they have hardly spoken. When one of them mentions that Misa went ahead to save them all seats, Yumi can’t place who Misa is.
As they walk to the Milk Hall the girls chat (this is the scene that is shown at the cafeteria, but in the novel it all takes place in the hallway.) Yumi reflects that the everyday chitchat about magazines and bands and clothes are nothing like the conversations among the members of the Yamayurikai. And that if things had been different – this would have been her life too. Yumi also notes that none of the girls asked her *why* she didn’t go to the Rose Mansion for lunch.
As the girls discuss this and that, Yumi is happy that they explain things so she can follow the conversation – but she’d also like it if the chatter stopped for a moment. When she makes the faux pas about the cat’s name, she smiles, and wonders at herself that she can smile at all. She knows it’s on the surface only.
She also wonders, this is fun – so why am I not enjoying it?
She sees Touko coming out of the cafeteria, and her stomach flips. But she figures that they’ll pass each other and that’ll be that. Of course, we know Touko stops and speaks harshly to Yumi. Touko has a friend with her, who keeps tugging on her arm. Touko shakes her off, until at last the friend drags her away.
To Yumi’s classmates, Touko’s comments seem malicious.
When Mami corners Yumi to get the scoop, Yumi politely doesn’t comment. Mami puts her notebook away, tells Yumi that everyone’s scared. Yumi still thinks she’s trying to get a scoop. Mami asks about the rosary – she noticed that it wasn’t around Yumi’s neck when they changed for gym.
When Yumi meets Yumiko (Kei’s landlady) Yumi thinks she’s cute – even if it is a little rude to think such a thing about an older woman.
Turns out that Kei is a “double” – she’s retaking first year of college, which makes her a year older than Sei. Her father became critically ill (the description sounds like it was stroke), so she took a leave of absence from school. Dad’s on the mend, but still suffers from partial paralysis and is in rehab. His lover for 10 years came to take care of her father. She became Kei’s new stepmother and Kei thinks, as she says in the anime, that it’s a good thing.
Kei tells Yumi that although it was bad for Yumi, she, Kei, is a little glad that it was raining so hard, so everything that happened happened.
Yumi asks if she means that she was able to become friends with Sei – to which Kei laughs, and asks what it’s like going through life being called “Rosa Gigantea.”
Yumi tells Kei that her friend is now Rosa Gigantea and Kei picks up on it and asks Yumi her title… “Rosa Chinensis en Bouton – for the moment.” she answers.
As they sit there, someone says “You two look suspicious.” They look at each other, but neither spoke. Kei repeats the word. “Suspicious?”
“Suspicious, suspicious. Katou–san, don’t take my stuffed animal away,” Sei says and steps into the room.
“She’s your stuffed animal?”
“Yes, when I hug her she’s soft and fluffy. To matters worse, she’s warm. It feels so good it makes me want to sleep.” Sei sits behind Yumi and hugs her “like she’s going to eat her head.”
Sei asks Yumi to be her pet. Yumi rejects the offer. Sei says she’s glad to hear it, because hanging around Yumi takes a lot of energy.
When Yumi gets the message that Aota-sensei from the middle school wants to see her, she thinks its something like delivering a Xerox or something. Aota-sensei was her first-year middle school homeroom teacher – the class called him “Mifi-chan.”
The umbrella is returned to her, but there is a tear in it that has been stitched up with pink thread. Aota-sensei says that it’s a mystery. His daughter found it like that.
Yumi thinks that the umbrella was *not* “returned” – that it came home. She realizes that her field of vision was limited – just because she can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Sachiko has a life outside her, just like the umbrella did. As of yet, she hadn’t said anything to Sachiko, because she didn’t know what to say. Now she feels as if her path has been made plain.
End Parasol o Sashite Part 1