New Anime Season Winter 2009: Maria-sama ga Miteru Season 4

January 4th, 2009

What a terrific way to start off a new year, with a new season of Maria-sama ga Miteru (マリア様がみてる). We pick up the story almost exactly a year after it began, as the school festival approaches.

Suffice to say that the pace of the anime is much, much quicker than the novels – which worked fine for the first two TV series seasons and works perfectly well again for the fourth season. (I was informed in the past by a Japanese friend that the hyper fast pace was chosen deliberately to avoid the slow crawl of most shoujo anime.)

So, in this single episode, we cover the choice and casting of the Yamayurikai’s play for the school festival, Touko’s difficulties with the Drama Club *and* the beginnings of Kanako’s crisis and resolution (which appear to be the bulk of the next episode.) All done with a snappy pace, cheerful tone and a few small, inconsequential changes to lighten the feel of the story. A nice start to what is going to be a very fun season, I think.

But what’s got everyone talking, of course, is the opening and ending sequences. And rightfully so! Instead of the elegant and staid “Pastel Pure,” the new opening theme is a happy pop song. The animation sequence is whimsical in the extreme, as Yumi, Yoshino and Shimako quite literally run and dance their way through Lillian using a magic portal. They appear and disappear to invite their friends to meet them at the Rose Mansion. Of course, fans being fans, many fans will HATE this. Mostly because it’s different and different things are never as good as the things I remember, even if I didn’t like them at the time. lol I liked it – it was a different kind of service – a look into the fantasy characters portrayed in so many doujinshi. Yes, I think I would have preferred Pastel Pure, but I’ll take this for what it is. My wife commented drily, as Rei watched the three second-years skip their way through the dojo, “Oh look, they found the magic items the Rosas get.” ^_^ (Wait, she’s got a couple other good lines to come.)

Now we’ll turn our lascivious eyes to the end sequence. In case you are living under a rock, let me warn you that the Yuri isn’t terribly subtle among fans of Marimite. (Massive understatement) And the end sequence of the third season wasn’t all that subtle, either. This season throws subtle into the trash compactor and pulls out a load of steamy pictures for our enjoyment. Click on the pics to get larger versions.

Did you know that, in art, when women have no clothes on, they are referred to as being “nude” and when men have no clothes on, they are “naked”? It’s just a interesting piece of art terminology, I thought I’d share. Oh, and by the way, Yumi and Sachiko appear to be “nude.”

 

 

Absolutely my favorite picture of the bunch. I’ve said it before, Rei and Yoshino are my favorite couple. I just adore sexy pics of them. And sexy stories. And funny stories. And all the Rei x Yoshino doujinshi by Bonny Bonnie. Hell, I just really like them as a couple.

 

 

 

 

 

You may have noticed the hideously unsubtle spoilers in the opening and ending. Or you weren’t paying attention (like the person I saw comment that they hoped Youko would appear in the next episode, when she appears at least two times in the next episode preview.) Touko and Yumi are also “nude.” Not naked. ;-)

 

 

 

 

This shot was my favorite, because my second favorite couple among the Yamayurikai are Shimako x Noriko, until the wife took a look at it and said, “I think I see the blue crayon!” Ruined it for me forever. LOL

So this ending kind of answered the question I’ve had forever – what does Konno Oyuki think of all that Yuri-service between her pure and innocent characters? Remembering that Konno was the supervisor for this series and actually had the right to pass or reject concepts for this season, my wife said, “I’m Konno Oyuki, and I approved this Yuri.”

And there you have it. Final words on the first episode of what should be a spectacular season. (I can say that – I know what’s coming!)

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25 Responses

  1. Blahbleh says:

    If Konno Oyuki did *not* approve of Yuri in her Marimite, I would be very surprised….

  2. I agree. But conjecture is one thing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wait, Youko was in the preview? Damn, I got distracted by all of those nude people and that new-fangled music.

    Well, I hope she gets more than 2-3 lines in the episode. (*runs off to rewatch the preview.*)

    Oh, you forgot the third description of people with no clothes on: Nekkid. That’s when nude or naked people ain’t got no clothes on, and they’re up to somethin’. (At least that’s what they taught us down South.)

    Fun review. Glad to see Marimite again.

  4. Motormind says:

    As I said in my previous comment: I think the girls have mellowed out quite a bit in this season. Which I think is a bit of a shame, since I really enjoyed the relentless bickering–especially between Sei and Sachiko, although all of the YamaYurikai were good at it. That Yumi has become such a “people’s person” is still a bit of a stretch for me, but I do understand that her shyness might have become a bit boring.

    So I am right in my fear that the ending credits indeed consisted of spoilers. It has been quite clear from the start though that Noriko and Shimako are an item. In any case, I will be following this closely, likely as the last anime series I will watch completely, since I feel I might be getting a bit too old for this.

  5. @Motomind – Uh, no. The Yuri isn’t the spoilers. It’s just fanservice.

  6. Hafl says:

    Why do I think that the Shimako/Noriko picture is the most fanservice-y of them all, even though they’re both fully clothed? Is it me being a total Shimako/Noriko Loser Fanboy?

    Also I was a bit surprised by the opening, until I realized it made my time-travelling crossover fanfiction idea much more plausible.

  7. Ellen says:

    When I used VLC to view the Doremi fansub, there were two layers of text, one on top of the other. Worse, the Japanese lyrics for the songs overlaid the dialog.

    Anybody have this happen, and find a workaround?

  8. Mara says:

    I love the service in the new opening and endings. Surely that is what you most want to see in a series as down to earth as this: Yumi, Yoshino and Shimako have clearly discovered ‘portal’.

    Odd how the ending looks like it was drawn by doujin artists instead of staff artists.

  9. Kori Michele says:

    To add to the art words:

    “Nude” refers to an innocent kind- when the subject is not “aware” of his/her being seen.

    example: Venus du Giorgione/Titian

    http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/38/938-004-25AA96F5.jpg

    “Naked” refers to the more..blunt…kind- where the subject knows he/she is being viewed, and is often looking at the camera/viewer.

    example: Manet’s Olympia

    http://www.ohtori.nu/analysis/images/MikageComp.jpg

    Just pimpin’ the art school cred.

  10. I am LOVING this series! I don’t think I can keep count of the numerous ‘squealing moments’ for me in just this one episode. I enjoyed the opening sequence – it had a fresh and renewed feel – something that I felt we needed given it was season 4. As for the closing sequence – OMG!! I could hardly believe the service they have given us!! All of the ‘couple’ images were great! I must say that Sachiko x Yumi’s pales in comparison to the other two! I’m LOVING this show!! Can’t wait for RightStuf to pick this one up.

  11. Thespi says:

    Um… can we say… YUMMY!?

    *trying to wipe off the LFG drool and look presentable*

    Yay! Like others… I “squeeed” a lot… opening so much fun! and closing… well… YUMMY!

    I appreciate your previews/reviews and general posts both here and on the ML.

  12. Katherine says:

    I finally just got to watching season 4 and I am loving it!! XD I really like the new OP and ED also. Thanks for the pics!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Er… what does the “blue crayon” comment refer to in Shimako and Noriko’s scene in the ED?

  14. @Anonymous – in specific it is a Simpson’s reference, but in general, it refers to the fact that now, ehen you look at the picture, you will see that Noriko is looking up Shimako’s nose. lol

  15. Tricolor Cavy says:

    Wait… that does ruin it forever!

    But thanks to Anonymous for asking the question I was too afraid to ask myself.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think I might actually watch this now. I have actually been avoiding watching it up until now, but so many people think it is great I might actually force myself to do it.

  17. grace says:

    be still my beating heart…thanks for the post and lovely pics!

  18. Burnouts3s3 says:

    I’m so happy! New Marimite, quick pace AND Sei in the next episode, finally Yuri is back to its strong storytelling roots.

    As for the OP/ED, I didn’t mind that much the second time around. Keep in mind, Pastel Pure will always be the OP for the series for me, but hey.

    At least there wasn’t techno in it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    yes!! xD i really liked the OP and ED, i saw more happiness i the OP xD for me thats great ^^^in this seasson i really want to see more Yumi x Touko, i like Sachiko x Yumi

    hahahahaha…this is gonna be reaallyy interesting xD

  20. Anonymous says:

    Re: Blue Crayon.

    Thanks, misery loves company I guess, so you had to ruin it forever for the rest of us?

    I suppose it’s my fault for reading it. ^^;

    Does TRSI have the license for this series too? *hope*

  21. According to 4tran, he believes that the official TRSI license/contract covers up to only three seasons (1-3), so therefore Season 4 is unlicensed (until further notice).

    I’ll stick with this series because lately it’s hard for me to pick out a winner, what with my limited time and resources.

    Here’s hoping Season 4 continues the fine storytelling. :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    YumixTouko (double twin tail? or futago “if you look thoroughly at the ending, cut the color hair and style they do look alike)
    i wander how yumi ask Tohko to be her soeur?
    and hopely the “propose” show in 4th season not 5th season (er… 5th season never think about it)
    last: maria-sama ni nasiho anyone?

  23. jinstevens says:

    Thought you’d find this interesting Erica. Maria sama ga Miteru is leading for DVD sales for the winter anime season.

    Source: http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/01/13/winter-2009-anime-not-want-sales-wither/

  24. @jinstevens – Thanks, that is interesting. :-)

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