Reviews: Maria Holic
I've wanted to watch a humorous take on the Yuri genre for a long time now, and so people recommended I should watch Maria Holic. It was okay at first (the first few minutes, that is). The stereotypical "lesbian goes to all-girl school because she Does Not Like Men" crap is obviously intended to parody the tiring plot of many Yuri shows, so I didn't mind it. Then Mariya showed up. Mariya is the cancer that kills the entire show. While the main character Kanako totally is a shameless pervert, Mariya is far worse by being a repulsive and unlikeable jerk who easily crosses the line several times (Seriously? Threatening to rape and burn her several times? Is that supposed to be funny?). Apparently being perverted is worse than a complete asshole according to him, and that hypocrisy is probably the least terrible part about him. I'd almost call him a Jerk Sue. The humor can be very funny, but sometimes it's ruined simply because Mariya shows up and ruins it by being an one-dimensional and annoying jerk. He's just boring and makes the gags repetitive. His constant "Haha I'm a rich crossdresser, so you have to obey!" shtick is neither original nor funny. Kanako is like your typical spineless main character, except she's female. Maybe she would be more likeable if Mariya didn't always interrupt any potentially interesting interactions she might have with another person, but we'll probably never find out. Now, maybe Mariya was intended to be an unlikeable twat, but I hardly think invoking the desire to skewer him with a harpoon is a good audience reaction. But maybe that was the intention. tl;dr: Potential wasted, because of a shitty character who gets too much focus.
Hilarious and Refreshing
Quite simply, this is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. The characters are great, but I think the best thing is how we finally have perverted female character who is screwed with by a guy. It's really refreshing after years of guys being beaten by girls for no reason to see the roles reversed. Highly recommended.
Refreshing take on a tired harem genre.
Maria Holic can be summed up many ways, but I prefer to use the a food metaphor and say that it's light, airy, and a little sweet too. What really makes Maria Holic one of the most refreshing anime I've seen is that it doesn't bother with trying to be something it isn't. Many anime series' try very hard to be everything at once, with love arcs, action scenes, murder mysteries, etc. all thrown in to the main plot. The best thing i can say about Maria Holic is that it certainly doesn't overextend itself, stays true to the characters and original theme of the show throughout, and maintains itself as a funny adventure into someone's life. I loved the art style and voice acting. Creative direction on the show itself was top notch. The art style was very cute and appropriate for the show. The voices were all very fitting of their characters as well. In particular, Mariya's voice actor did a great job and shows great control of her voice during delicate scenes. The show was so refreshing, in that it took the perversion out of a show that would be otherwise ripe with it. It doesn't have gratuitous panty shots or explicit references. The show itself behaves in a way that is foreign to most anime - it actually vaguely respects the female characters within it. Every character feels like a developed person, not just an archetypical, "tsundere," or "moe". It's nice to actually watch something that treats it's female characters as 3-Dimensional while at the same time tackling the issue of sexuality. I feel that I liked the characters more this way. I thought that they were all adorable and unique in their own way. The problems I do have with the anime are nitpicky at best. Maria Holic loves to do art-style changes in the blink of an eye - I found some of the art in these transitions to be kind of bad, and they were also too sudden sometimes. I think that some characters could have been more developed compared to others, Shizu and Yuzuru being two prime examples. Sometimes there would be fourth-wall breaking sequences that happened too often. They started happening late in the first season, initially as small jokes, but then they extended into regular happenings and they detracted a little from the storyline. Overall, I think it's great, underrated and that more people should watch it, ecchi-hounds excepted.