In Maria-sama ga Miteru, Season 4, it’s time for the Lillian school festival and once again, the Student Council, known as the Yamayurikai, is putting on a performance. This year, because of the unusual resemblance Fukuazawa Yumi has to her younger brother Yuuki, the play that is chosen is the Torikaebaya Monogatari, a play that deals the with two siblings who switch gender roles in the Heian court.
But Yumi is only half worried about the play, because it comes to her attention that Touko has had some trouble with the Drama Club. In typical Yumi fashion, she resolves the issues by being irresistibly sincere. And to top it all off, Yumi and Sachiko finally learn the truth of Kanako’s issues with her father. The story is both much, much more horrible and much, much less horrible than we could have imagined.
Yumi and Sachiko don’t celebrate their one-year anniversary, for perfectly good reasons, but I still think Sachiko ought to do *something* nice for Yumi.
And Sei and Youko make an appearance that reminded us of just how wonderful they are. I’m glad to have been able to read the novels to enjoy all of their future appearances. I also admit to having been fascinated with the way Youko’s blouse was drawn. There was a lot more attention to detail in the way that buttoned shirt lay against her than probably was warranted. :-)
At the end of the disk, Yumi, having been commanded by Sachiko to find a soeur and Yoshino, pressured by a rash promise made to Eriko, set out to hold an “audition” for the open positions. This is, possibly, the novel most chock-a-block filled with zOMG amazing plot points, that the anime couldn’t hope to do more than scrape the surface, but damn that surface is awfully busy. :-)
The one striking this about this 4th season to me was that there was no way you could start with the first disk of this season, and start to watch. Quite often with anime series that continue for a few seasons, the first episode summarizes what has gone before, at least enough for a relative newbie to sit down and watch it. Not so for this. If you had no idea who these people were or why they were doing the things they were doing, it would be a slightly befuddling story. And, of course, the real in-jokes would be lost. There would be no way to appreciate just *how* much Sachiko had changed when she proposes the double gender switch for the play if you did not know what kind of person she had been. As a staunch obsessive fan, it kind of felt good. This anime is not for the off-the-street, “who is this? what’s going on?” person. It’s for *us.* :-)
The DVD includes the “Maria-sama ni ha Naisho” and liner notes as extras. The physical extra for those pre-orderers among us is a fetching writing pad.
Art – 8 for Youko’s button-down shirt
Characters – 10
Story – 10
Yuri – 1
Loser Marimite Fan – slightly less than a million
Overall – 9
In this life that I have created that focuses so much around anime and manga, this series, Maria-sama ga Miteru, along with Sailor Moon, has profoundly affected my life. I really just want to say thank you to Nozomi/RightStuf for allowing me the pleasure of seeing this series in English.