In the first volume of Maria Watches Over Us ~ Printemps, it’s the beginning of Yumi’s second year at Lillian Jogakuen, and her first meeting with Sachiko after the winter holiday reminds her of her adventures during the New Year’s break. She flashes back to the day when Sei invites out for an overnight at a “friend’s” house and it turns out to be an evening at Sachiko’s manor. We get to grin at Sei and Kashiwagi’s natural enmity. “Nakakiyono” is probably the most re-written of all the episodes in the entire series to date, but I find myself appreciating the changes, understanding that we are being treated to a little service as we gaze upon the Yamayurikai all dressed to the nines for the holiday.
In the second episode, we find that the apparently flaky Rosa Foetida, Torii Eriko, is even flakier than we thought. But after a possible scandal about her dating multiple men rears its ugly head, it turns out that she’s actually way more sensible than we could have ever imagined…even if she’s easily swayed by unusual things. ^_^
The volume ends on one of my personal favorite episodes, in which Yumi, desperate to step up and take hold of the position Rosa Chinensis en bouton in order to help her Onee-sama, finds herself pushed to her limit. (And since I just recently read the story in which we learn *why* Yuuki learned the island dance in the first place, I have a renewed admiration for both Yuuki and Yumi performing it in front of anyone.)
I am a little perpelexed. by the choice of “Printemps” as the season’s subtitle. Was the word “Spring” no good?
The liner notes for this volume were extra excellent, so kudos to whomever wrote those. Video extras come in the form of “Maria-sama ni ha naisho” and a preordered box set come with a phone strap that is supposed to be the White Rose, but is awfully lavender. Not that I am objecting – somehow, lavender seems a perfectly good color for the White Rose family. ^_^
Art – 7
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 4
Service – 1
Marimite Fan – 100
Overall – 9
A lovely, fun bridge between last season’s trials and the rest of the second season’s tribulations, which will be full of tears…even the good stuff.