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. ^_^
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.