Yuri Anime: Maria Watches Over Us, Season 3, Volume 2

May 17th, 2009

I’m taking a risk here in calling Volume 2 of Maria Watches Over Us a “Yuri” anime, I know. Bear with me. (No pun intended.)

Once upon a time, I was at an event. We had a number of imaginary beasts at the event – there was a dragon carried by a half dozen people, and a hobby horse and a rag man. (Not to be confused with the comic hero The Ragman.) Rag men are ambiguous human figures, covered in rags, and, although historically they are some neighbor, the ancient tradition of guising means that once the costume is on, you have no idea who it is. Nor did I, as the costume was passed around to any number of people.

Then I looked across the field and I noticed that the ragman was my wife. I recognized her knees. From a distance. Despite the fact that she, like almost everyone there was wearing jeans, it was an immediate recognition.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I think that Episode 3, “A Cool, Refreshing Breeze” is the *most romantic* episode in the whole of the Maria Watches Over Us series. Because Sachiko did not lie when she said that she would recognize Yumi, even if she were wrapped up in bandages like a mummy.

It also happens to be a very, very funny episode – and extremely well-adapted from the novel. The looks on the girls’ faces as they enter the bizarro boy’s world of Hanadera, the reaction of the guys to the appearance of beautiful rich girls…and the shock as Yumi falls prey to a misguided and misbegotten plan.

Meanwhile, in Episode 4, I am moved not once, but twice, to tears by Yoshino, (who RULES this book, btw) and smile like a loon at Sachiko’s gakuran-wearing self.

Things that happen during the sports festival will be prime movers of later events, but for now, we are in ignorant bliss and able to just enjoy the story as it goes by – another important moment in Yumi’s time with Sachiko.

For my money, these two are probably the best episodes of the series. The funniest, the most touching, the cutest, the most meaningful. The first glimpse of Yumi’s ability to manage Sachiko, the very very first inkling of the Yamayurikai to come.

Rainy Blue happened just so we could see these two episodes. And thank the gods of anime that we did.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 4

Marimite Fan Service – 10000

Overall – 9

Did I mention ***squeee!!!*** Sachiko in a gakuran?

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15 Responses

  1. ArcaJ says:

    Great review Erica! It still feels like a dream. Are these shows really on DVD in our region? (not to mention on TV!!!!) I keep expecting to wake up.

    One minor quibble:

    Shouldn’t you add a LFG rating for Sachiko in a gakuran? 10,000 should be enough. ^_^

    ::HUGS::

    Arca Jeth

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Okay, okay! lol I changed the ratings. :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Aaaaaah, the 3rd OVA of Marimite is probably my favorite anything ever. I just wrote a paper about Marimite for one of my classes (so exciting when you can write about something you love!) and referenced the whole Sachiko-recognizing-Yumi-panda thing as a case of Yumi and Sachiko’s relationship being NOT normal sempai/kouhai-like… :D We’ll see how my prof likes this paper, lol.

    I’m not normally a “squeeing” type, but this disk definitely got me there. Agreed on the LFG 10000. (It’s over 9000!!!)

  5. BruceMcF says:

    LFB 1? With Shimako-san in a kimono? LFB 1? With Rei-sama in a Carnival Costume? LFB 1? With Sachiko in a gakuran?

    Poor LFB’s have been stereotyped being all about panty shots and swimming suit service episodes, and the cosplay angle of the LFB-est episode of Maria-sama ga Miteru anime before or since completely overlooked because it was not crass.

    OTOH, given the way that Sachiko-sama has previously taken umbrage at the suggestion of providing service for her many fans, perhaps pretending that the volume deserves a LFB of 1 is safest. She may be a fictional character, but I’d still not want to arouse her ire.

  6. @Bruce McF – Sorry Bruce. The LFB rating is a measure of salaciousness. The LFG rating measure the decibels of squeeing.

    Neither of those ratings are meant to rate genuine appreciation, but the level of fetishization applied. A LFB rating of 1 means that there are, indeed, no crotch shots. That’s what it *means*.

  7. BruceMcF says:

    But you are rating it by LFB fetishes that are absent, and ignoring LFB fetishes that are present. It may not be a “normal” quotient of Loser Fanboy, so not a LFB 7, but its certainly not the usual 1.

  8. LFB measures pervatasticness *of the thing being reviewed.* If you are fetishizing Shimako shown fully clothed in a kimono, then that’s YOUR LFB rating in YOUR head. The LFB rating for the series being reviewed rates how often we stare at panties, breasts and crotches. In this series, we do not. :-)

  9. BruceMcF says:

    Ah, so your first shorthand description of the criteria was overly broad … its not a scale in salaciousness from a general LFB perspective, but a scale of the specific stereotypical ways of pandering to LFB’s that are most likely to be annoying to a general viewer.

    If it was general pervatasticness (sp? pervertasticness?), a large number of teenage girls at sports day in summer sport uniform would ensure a 2 at least. Maybe a 3 or 4 … there are certain to be some LFB’s that are leg boys (and so, if they grow up at all, likely to grow up to be leg men).

  10. I don’t believe so. The general definition covers qualities of the person/fantype. The Rating is those qualities of the series.

  11. BruceMcF says:

    I can only conclude that the high voltage LFG of Sachiko-sama in gakuran has left you a bit night blind and unable to discern the modest uptick in LFB for episode 4 over the norm.

    On the substance of the review … I have a hard time working out a favorite episode in the OVA … it seems to be the one that I watched the most recently. I suspect that the 50 minute format is a very comfortable one for these stories.

  12. @Bruce McF You may rate things differently, but your delusions as to what I *should* mean must stop. A LFB rating as *I* see it is this: No panty shots, cleaveage, we’re not staring at crotches. It therefore has a low LFB score.

    The *possibility* that someone somewhere will fetishize something is why it has a 1 rating. There are rarely any series that do not have a 1, because I recognize that no matter what a woman wears, someone is jerking off over it.

  13. BruceMcF says:

    Sorry, Erica. I like the OVA so much it puts a goofy smile on my face … I’ve watched my copy through twice, and am now harassing Netflix for not buying enough of them by putting it at the head of my queue even though the discs have been on “short wait” for weeks now.

    … but I forget that you invest a lot of time in discussion forums where the exact same nonsense that it should be a LFB rating of 2 rather than 1 for the sports day episode could be maintained with a straight face and fanatical commitment. Apologies.

    I do maintain that the 50 minute format is a very comfortable one for these stories … but I won’t argue the point.

  14. CBanana says:

    One thing, I’ll note is that I don’t think season 3 is anywhere near as strong as seasons 1 and 2. The plot in season 3 has a strong tendency to meander. Also the character development slows to crawl compared to what it was in the first two seasons. It’s like the series lost its focus after the season two finale.

    As for LFB/LFG ratings, I don’t understand them and I’m not even going to bother. ;)

  15. yuuki says:

    I’m surprised that there was no mention of and to quote Sachiko, “THAT tall girl with abnormally long hair.”

    That was a very interesting part in the episode. That girl was HUGE! Her actions at first struck me as creepy at first. No thanks to the music playing in the back. Then you start talking about “idolizing” to a certain point, it’s almost like a type of dangerous fanaticism.

    Sachiko cracks me up quite a bit. Because she acts one way and then she loves to hide it. Also always a pleasure to see Sei’s face every now and then. “That’s my girl!”

    I have to admit the sports festival was awesome. I’ll admit we might not have been the only LFG but there were plenty at that festival. Screaming their heads off. Didn’t expect Sachiko to wear a gakuran. Rei killed me and Yoshino…you couldn’t blame her.

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