New anime Mariaholic (まりあ†ほりっく), is meant to be a comedy about a “Yuri obsessed girl” (by which the coyly clever writers mean she’s a lesbian) at a girl’s school, who falls under the control of a sadistic cross-dressing guy.
Let’s start with the good. The art is very good – I genuinely enoyed it. The surreality is also quite good. Like Melody of Oblivion, it provides a slightly pregnant, omninous atmosphere. The VAs are recognizable “6 degrees of Yuri” actresses, which was nice.
But on the downside, the story at its most basic is about the emotional torture of a young lesbian. Which somehow isn’t reading as “funny” to me. If I thought that this story would lighten up, I could deal, but knowing that Kanako’s tortured misery is not just the story, but is meant to be seen as *comedy,* I’m fairly certain I won’t be able to enjoy it, ever.
It feels like another story in which the “comedy” is a thin mask to give the audience a vicarious thrill of harassing a woman. Much like the very thinly veiled aggression in That Is My Master. My gut feeling is that if you like Master and think it’s funny, you’ll probably like Mariaholic and think it’s funny. If you look at the promotional picture up top there, you’ll notice that protagonist isn’t in the forefront of the picture. I kind of think that that’s pretty representative of the whole thing. This is series about the torturer, not about the victim and we are meant to empathize with him, not her. I think of it as an anti-Yuri series.
Art – 9
Story – 2
Characters – 4
Yuri – 0 or 6, depending on your point of view
Series – 8, if your fetish is emotional torture
Overall – 3 or 8, depending on your point of view, interests and sense of humor