Yuri Anime: Maria-sama ga Miteru OAV 1, Vacation of the Lambs

December 17th, 2006

Buy the raw, untranslated collector’s (and therefore more expensive) edition of the Maria-sama ga Miteru OAV, Volume 1: Kohitsujitachi no Kyuuka (Vacation of the Lambs)? What are you, insane?

You betcha. ^_^

The outside has a lovely clear plastic cover with Yumi and Sachiko holding hands, over the actual cover that has a red rose and “La Vierge Marie vous Regarde”, as you can see in the picture above.

Inside is a faux-leather novel cover with the Lillian seal on one side and the text logo for “Maria-sama ga Miteru” on the other, with a very cute leaf bookmark.

There is also a Lillian folder with postcards – original art by Hibiki Reine of Yumi and Sachiko holding hands, of Yumi and Sachiko separately, of the DVD cover and the three rose families from the opening credits.

The DVD cover is, IMO not such a great picture, but it does show a happily embracing Yumi and Sachiko. And for once, the title of the story actually sounds *worse* in French. ^_^ The booklet that comes with the DVD has character designs for all the characters.

I thought it the anime was excellent. They kept “Pastel Pure” as the OP, which made me glad, and they managed to actually de-angst what is really the last of the angsty Yumi novels. Yes, they cut stuff out to fit it, and a very few changes were made – but nothing of consequence and nothing that radically altered the story. In general, a very decent adaptation.

My *only* complaint…we don’t get to see/hear Touko play the violin. I wonder why, since we get all the other performances. And I am thrilled no end that Kashiwagi exlpains that Great-Grandmother isn’t infirm, she’s just pissed. (Although, you don’t get the full explanation, just a truncated one. )

They definitely upped the touchy-feelyness of the story, leaving in pretty much every embrace and hand/arm holding. There was a moment when Sachiko and Yumi decide to go to the party that was animated exactly the way kiss scenes are done – close up, then the a view from far away, which cued up the “romantic moment” tag in my head. The image stands out in my mind, because the surroundings are animated with a lot of detail and color. It’ll make a nice screencap.

Last night I watched it for the third time (the first straight through, the second for a script check and the third with the seiyuu commentary. The seiyuu present are Ueda Kana (Yumi), Itou Miki (Sachiko) and Ikezawa Haruna (Yoshino) and it’s pretty much like sitting in the middle of them as they watch what’s going on (or don’t, when they get distracted.) They wander in an out of talking about the characters as if they were real, as if they actual are the characters, and as if they are just three women sitting around watching an anime. ^_^ They discuss Mount Fuji, gasp and squeal at key points (point out the service) and laugh about random events in the story. It’s a very relaxed, not at all profound, commentary – and the bits I was able to follow were thoroughly enjoyable.

As is usual for an OAV, it’s better quality animation than the TV series. And if you check out the credits a few familiar names scroll by – including Bee Train. The character designs are strong – stronger than I had feared. I was particularly concerned with Sachiko because of the DVD cover picture, but she looks great throughout. And when the Yamayurikai all show up in day clothes, they somehow managed to convey their personalities in what they are wearing. (I *will* be annoyed about one of the character designs for the next OAV, be warned. Oh…and what was with Yuuki’s hair??)

The characters all remain charming. Three times I’ve watched it, and three times, I’ve grinned like a loon at the end.

As I always say, this series will never be half as popular with the lowest common denominator as Strawberry Panic, which is yet another good sign that Marimite is really quality in every way. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 8
Character – 10
Story – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 1 for fetishism, 9 for gooping like a loon at the screen because you’re a total fan.

Overall – 8

Good story, wonderful characters, romantic without being slimy and generally fun. Total thumbs up for everything – the goods, the DVD, even the box.

Send to Kindle

10 Responses

  1. acejoker21 says:

    Is someone gong to translate this ever. I don’t speak Japanese, but I love the series. Although it is hard for me to make out what they were saying especially in the Haru series I still got the just of what was going on. At least if we could have a script. I wouldn’t want it to be dubbed in english because I don’t think it could capture the true essence of Sachiko and Yumu’s emotions!!!

  2. dxanato says:

    I much like yourself have watch the raw a few time. While I don’t complete understand the whole dialog your summary and the little bit that has been translate help me under much of what said and happens in the OVA. If know just few word but it was plenty for me to enjoy watching this. Thank you

  3. Anaglyph says:

    I just want to say a big thank you for all your Marimite summaries and especially the novel translation. Been reading for months now and just realised I never said that, to my shame.

    This is one loser fanboy who really appreciates your work.

    Now off to fret about lack of OVA sub. It looks so beautiful… frustrating.

  4. Patrique says:

    I am a big fan of the series and I highly regret that I don’t understand any Japanese to appreciate the raw versions. It’s just too bad that the makers gave up on any more romantic development between the main characters, which causes the series to be a bit stale and, well, pedestrian at times

    This OVA is a typical example of this. The premiss of Shashiko and Yumi sharing the same holiday mansion could have been the base of some nice romantic story, but the makers decided to solely concentrate on their interaction with other characters. I am not talking about flat-out full-blown Yuri style here, but a little more tension between Yuri and Sashiko would have given the story some more depth. After this OVA I am pretty sure that will never happen, though.

    Still, it’s a nice ditty and I especially liked Yumi’s proposal to wake up next to Sashiko in the end ^-^

  5. >It’s just too bad that the makers gave up on any more romantic development between the main characters, which causes the series to be a bit stale and, well, pedestrian at times

    I think you misunderstand the series. The story is not about romantic develoment between the main characters. It’s a story of sisterly love, not romantic love. The story is about Yumi’s life at school, surrounded by these people she has come to hold dear. Nothing else. The biggest crisies we’ll watch her deal with is her choosing a soeur and Sachiko graduation. That’s about it.

    It’s enough for me, anyawy. :-)

  6. patrique says:


    > I think you misunderstand the series. The story is not about romantic develoment between the main characters. It’s a story of sisterly love, not romantic love. The story is about Yumi’s life at school, surrounded by these people she has come to hold dear. Nothing else. The biggest crisies we’ll watch her deal with is her choosing a soeur and Sachiko graduation. That’s about it.

    I agree that it is what the series has become now, but the first anime season contained a lot of deliberately set up romantic tension which lasted well into the second season, up to Rei and Shiori’s sad love affair – even though that was a flashback. After that, the makers indeed went all for the purely “sisterly love” angle. I get the idea they were afraid to lose viewers if they’d go much further with the current characters. The result is that all of the built-up momentum is lost, so it would be strange if the main characters would suddenly start showing romantic interest again. Very much like real life, I guess ;)

    This in and of itself is very fine with me, since I’m a mushy guy who likes to watch shows like this for the sniffle-inducing scenes. Still, I get the idea the stories became a tad less interesting.

    But in the end I guess it’s not much a matter of “understanding”, but of taste. I still think the series is great and I am waiting with bated breath for the next season ^-^

  7. The “creators” of the series is the woman who writes the novels, not the animators. The series is, despite all your perception, not a story about love relationships.

    Sachiko and Yumi love one another. They are not lovers. They are soeur, sisters, ane-imouto.

  8. patrique says:

    My point is that it’s all simply not very realistic. The girls practically fall in love with eachother head over heels, only to hit the brake on their feelings after they start seeing eachother. In the real world that would lead either to it’s logical conclusion – a romantic/sexual relationship – or the feelings would fizzle out once the momentum of infatuation is over and the girls would likely stop seeing eachother. The soer system makes things even more awkward, since it makes moving about socially harder.

    Marimite bascially presents a fairy tale world, populated with people who have no problem living in perpetual infatuation without following through. In reality such relationships are extremely rare (and even then usually very painful – at least for one side). It’s not realistic that there would be a whole school filled with people who have no problem with such a stituation. But I guess that is *just* the appeal of the series ;)

Leave a Reply