I am usually quite happy to call Maria-sama ga Miteru a “Yuri” series, knowing full well that there is only one character who can really be called lesbian. But there’s just no way to call this particular volume “Yuri” without being an outright liar. LOL
Maria-sama ga Miteru, Volume 7 tells the incredibly straight story of Torii Eriko, Rosa Foetida’s mysterious dates with multiple men. Is it Enjou Kousai, as Yoshino suggests? Or is it love, as Mizuno Youko, Rosa Chinensis insists? Yumi isn’t sure and the thought weighs heavily on her.
Despite it’s unremittingly straight plot (joke, joke) this is an absolutely hysterical volume. Eriko’s flaky personality really works to highlight the slightly off-beat, just barely off-color humor here. And the manga, which typically changes the script here and there from the novels, does a superlative job of inflating the mystery, so that it becomes much more like Eriko is doing something questionable, if not downright immoral or illegal. If you haven’t seen the anime or read my notes on the relevant bits of the seventh novel, this volume, of all of the manga so far, holds up best as a stand-alone story.
I have not really cared for the manga art very much since the beginning and this volume is not changing my opinion for the better. I prefer the character designs from the anime and novels much more than these. I swear Eriko was youthening as the volume went on…. Also absent from this volume was fun incidental art. There was one picture of Eriko with a teddy bear, I seem to recall, and the rest of the blank spaces had the title of the series. I was sort of bummed – those little incidental pieces have been one of my favorite things about the manga. But, as the story is so amusing – and I adored the manga version of Minako’s fiction “The Yellow Rose” (in which, oddly, they didn’t do the name pun thing that Minako used…) – I can overlook that.
Art – 6
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – not much
Service – ditto
Overall – 8
Did I ever mention that the manga has been moved to The Margaret magazine? It’s back on a just about monthly schedule, so collected manga volumes *ought* to come out on a more regular basis going forward. I hope. I imagine the closer deadlines had some impact on the lack of incidental art, as well.