The fourth Maria-sama ga Miteru OAV, Ready, Go! was a bit of a mixed bag. Although much of the story had to be cut to fit the OAV time limit, the bits that remained are lots of fun, with moments of “waaahhh” wonderful.
Ready, Go! takes place at the Lillian Jogakuen Sports Festival. We get to see Yumi’s solution to her problem with Kanako, her handling of Touko and even better, her handling of Sachiko, so that’s all good. Other good things to enjoy are the mortification brought about by Yumi’s parents, and Shimako’s father, although we don’t get to complete the hat trick with the tales of Yoshino’s parents being appallingly parent-like.
Most importantly, we get to see Sachiko in gakuran (the boy’s uniform) and yay! They let her spin around. It was pretty much the best moment in the book, IMHO. I just loved that she spun around “like a model.” I just found it to be inexpressibly charming. And so did Yumi. ^_^
In other news, I really, really sympathized with Yoshino as Rei made her want to die with embarrassment with her “Canary Carnival” costume (which looked very Takarazuka-like, I thought.) What *was* the Yellow team thinking, I have to wonder?
I was also very pleased to note that they left the second-best moment of the book in, as well, when Yumi gets all choked up watching Rei and Yoshino run together in the hakama race. It’s a beautiful moment and another scene I think of fondly from time to time.
Unfortunately, the animation for this OAV was bad. Particularly compared with the previous OAVs. There are a few times where the animation was actively distracting it was so poorly done. As Kanako walks away from the greenhouse the first time, I was like, “Buh? She looks all distorted…”
There were also two story rewrites that weren’t very good. The first didn’t make much sense. In the book, Kanako says that Yumi must have been replaced by a twin and the real Yumi is in outer space. This is meant to indicate her level of cracked obsession and irrational thought. For Yumi to suggest this concept as an alternative to Kanako hating her really made no sense. I honestly don’t understand why they did that. The other way around made more sense to me, but I guess they didn’t want to spend the time to have Yumi explain that that wasn’t sensible.
The second rewrite at the end of the OAV was when Yumi tickles Kanako. That made me cringe. I just don’t know what they were thinking there. Again, in the book, Yumi merely asks Kanako what she wanted as a penalty game and eventually Kanako gives in and tells her. The tickling struck me as crass and unnecessary.
The third thing changed wasn’t a rewrite, but they sort of missed the point of the scene. When Itsue-san asks Yoshino to yell at her and Yoshino does, in the book Itsue was pleased about having gotten her just desserts, while in the OAV she looked like Yoshino had kicked while she was down.
The rest of the rewrites, like everything the announcers say, were fine. Nothing that tragically destroyed the story. The major cut was, of course, the crucial fact that Eriko-sama had been there and had cornered Yoshino into a strategically untenable corner with regards to her future soeur. ^_^
With those few cautions, I still think that there’s a lot of excellent in this OAV. ^_^
For those folks who might be tempted to get the Collector’s Edition (to which the picture above is linked) as opposed to the DVD only (to which the title above is linked) there are the usual bag of goodies.
The clear film picture this time is Rei and Yoshino in the hakama race, laid over a Yellow Rose, or inside the cover over a view of the Sports Festival banner. The assortment of postcards includes art by Hibiki Reine and anime screencaps, so again, you get Rei and Yoshino running and also Sachiko in gakuran, among other things. ^_^ The character file that comes with the DVD not only includes the three Roses in their respective cosplay, but also the general designs for the other three teams’ performances, Yumi’s parents and Sachiko’s father. Also, rather inexplicably, a view of the lunch Yumi’s mother made… (Onigiri, tamagoyaki and fried chicken if you care.)
Best of all, the random goody this time is, as I predicted, a green team hachimaki (headband) like the one Sachiko wore with her gakuran. (I mention this, because it is a long headband, like the one Sachiko wore, as opposed to the shorter ones that everyone wears for the events.) I’ve watched the anime twice, but haven’t yet watched it with seiyuu commentary, so maybe I’ll remember to wear the hachimaki when I watch it then. “Hoo-ray, Hoo-ray, Mi-do-ri!” LOL
I know I’m a huge fangirl, but I love getting all the junk that comes with the collector’s set. Can’t *wait* to see what comes with Ciao, Sorella. Let’s take bets. I say it’ll either be a chick-patterned washcloth or a marble-patterned writing pad. But since the last set had the panda cloth, probably the pad. So that’s my prediction. (The wife says, “Not senbei from Florence or manjyuu from Rome?” Hah!)
Art – 5
Characters – 9
Story – 8
Yuri – 5
Loser FanGirl – 8
Overall – 8
Squee! Sachiko-sama! ^_^