Sunday, March 23, 2014

Anime Review: Maria Holic

Sorry, I'm late this week. There was a streaming event that I regularly watch, and this week's episode was a complete train wreck. I don't want to go into details here about what the show was and what it is about because it has nothing to do with either video games nor anime and is rather political in it's nature, thus I want to distance it from this blog because I don't want to cause unnecessary division. Also, I don't have a video game review ready because the game I'm play "Etrian Odyssey Untold" is rather lengthy. So another anime review it is and this time it's a series about girls, and girls who like girls, and guys who dress up as girls. Yeah, it's one of those series.

Kanako's Paradise.
Kanako has just been accepted to the all girls catholic school that her mother went to. While her mother was a student, she found her one true love (a male teacher), and Kanako hopes to do the same. But she does have her eyes on the male staff, but rather on the entire female student body. That's right, Kanako is a lesbian and a rather perverted one at that. She doesn't care for men, in fact mere physical contact causes her to break out into a rash, but she can't hold her raging hormones (or her nose-bleeds) at the mere though of another girl's half naked body. That's when she met Mariya, her underclassmen, a beauty among beauties, full of grace, kindness, intelligence, and a lovely figure. Kanako's ideal woman, except Mariya is a boy in drag and the perfect student facade hides a sadistic and cruel personality. The moment Kanako discovered Mariya secret, Mariya blackmails her by outing her lesbian tendencies and perverted thoughts about nearly every student and female teacher she had. To make matters worse, Mariya is now Kanako's roommate and rules over everything Kanako hopes to do with his power and influence. In addition Kanako has to deal with Mariya's cold-hearted maid Matsurika, her kind but oft misunderstanding friends, Mariya's cross-dressing sister, an over analyzing male teacher who won't leave her alone, a dorm supervisor who calls herself God, a creature that lives in her bookbag, and lots and lots of nosebleeds. What is a horny lesbian to do?

Just to be clear, the blonde's a man.
Maria Holic is basically a screw-ball comedy. There is no real plot, nor anything that can be considered character development what-so-ever. Instead what we have is a series of skits based on base-level character traits and absurd situations. Often times the humor comes from just taking these simple characters and having them talk to each other about really dumb things, and just have the conversation continue to absurdity before finding some arbitrary way to end the scene. Anyone who have seen Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei will be very familiar with this style of humor, and will recognize a few sequences as well. Given this is a comedy the metric of rating this series is on how funny it is, and it is really funny. Nearly the entire cast is a screwball in some way or another, and they all play off of each other enough to come to some ridiculous scenes.

Remember that's a guy.
However, the series does have some flaws. One of them is that it is Subtitle only, even on the English DVD release (I don't know about the Blu-Ray), meaning that there are several sequences that are hard to follow given how fast the dialogue is as well as how many times there are translation notes that appear on screen explaining the word pun that just happened. Because there is a LOT of Japanese play-on-words which do lose their meaning when translating (which could be part of the reason why it doesn't have an English voice track, that and Sentai filmsworks is a little on the cheap side). Because of this many jokes go by too fast to read, and if you pause to read both the joke and the translator note it ruins the pace of the routine. Also, with this series being so heavy on it's jokes and gags it is very VERY light on everything else. There is no plot nor any development with any of the characters that adds up to anything and most episodes are split up into their various small gag routines with very little tying them together, and if they are tied together it is usually by some sort of running gag.

In the end, Maria Holic is just funny. It doesn't do a lot that will stick with you for that long, but it is hilarious throughout and there are a few gags and sequences that will stay with you long after watching the series. It's one of those series that is great for what it is, but doesn't really go beyond that. Maria Holic is recommended.

Until next time.

-Crescent, REMEMBER THAT'S A... Ah forget it.


  1. Oh she kinda cute
    "Remember that's a guy"
    I feel dirty :(

    1. Relax, there are plenty of fanservice in this series... Unfortunately, most of it is Mariya.