High school, among other things, is a series of mortifying moments. Between hormones, life roles and adults being adults, there’s just about no day that goes by when a high school student doesn’t wish that the earth would open up and swallow them at least for a little while.
For Arima Nana, the day described in Maria-sama ga Miteru – Little Horrors (マリア様がみてる―リトルホラーズ) is one of those days.
Nana has entered Lillian Girls’ School in a slightly unusual position. Before she even enters high school, she is Rosa Foetida en Bouton. Not only does she start her high school career as a member of the Student Council but, because of her family and her famed kendo skills, she’s slated to be one of the highlights of the kendo team in time.
So, when the team calls a meeting and her onee-sama, Rose Foetida herself, younger sister of the former captain and third-year member of the team doesn’t show – the earth could not open up fast enough.
Little Horrors appears to be the story of Nana, as she runs around the school, looking for Yoshino. She starts in Yoshino’s classroom, and then tries the Rose Mansion. Noriko joins her as they broaden the search and finally Touko adds her help. When they finally find Yoshino, Nana and she get into a bit of an argument, as Nana explains that she was subject to mortification as a result of Yoshino’s absence. Yoshino, by way of explanation, tries to explain that she didn’t want to stand in Nana’s way in the club.
But all this takes a quick back seat to the real issue – because they find Yumi and Yoshino in the bottom floor of the Rose Mansion, barely containing a leaking pipe. The three en bouton jump in to relieve their onee-sama.
Time passes. Noriko goes off to find a teacher, Yoshino leaves to make her appearance at the club meeting, Touko leaves to go to the toilet. One little, two little, three little Lillian, four little, five little Lillian girls, Nana sings to herself.
Nana and Yumi, alone in the first-floor room, have a conversation in which Yumi was…my god, she was Rosa Chinensis! Youko could not have been more sensible, encouraging and supportive.
And then…the noise starts. Stomp stomp, clap. Stomp stomp clap. the noise comes from the second-floor council room. Yumi and Nana stare at the ceiling and finally Yumi tells Nana to go check, she’s really okay by herself.
Ambivalent about what she might find there, Nana ascends the stairs.
Before I tell you what she found, I ought to point out that this was all in the “ribbon” story – the bits that ties the actual stories together. The actual short stories were all about non-Yamayurikai characters including, as I predicted, the vile twins who seduced then threatened a teacher, and a marginally interesting story about a girl who wasn’t sure if she really was a girl or was an old guy dreaming he was a girl. There was also a completely forgettable story about a girl who becomes friends with the girl who sits beside her in class – while the girl isn’t actually there. -_-; And even more forgettable, a story about a girl who makes up a ridiculous sets of lies that all turn out, through painful contortion of the plot, to end up being true.
But, back to Nana. Slowy, slowly, she reaches out to open the door and slowly, slowly, she enters and suddenly…Pop! The sound of party crackers sound and lo and behold! the whole thing was a setup for a surprise party to welcome Nana. The plan was created by Yoshino – fake a leak to keep Nana out of the second floor room and give everyone a chance to gather there before her. :-)
As a bonus, Yoshino comments that she did indeed make the kendo club meeting where her rival, Tanuma Chisato was voted in as the new club president and she, busy with Yamayurikai duties as she is, was asked by Chisato to be the club vice president. Yoshino was mortified, of course, but that’s high school for you.
Art – 7
Story – 4-7
Yuri – .5
Loser FanBeing – 12 (Noriko-sama! Touko-sama! Squee!)
Overall – 7
In the Afterword, Konno-sensei mentions that her editor referred to this book as Variety Gift IV. Heh.