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Manga / Maria†Holic

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"Dear Mother in Heaven..."

Kanako Miyamae Does Not Like Men, to the point of breaking out in hives when she comes in contact with them. Hoping to find her true (female) love interest, she attends Ame no Kisaki Girls' School where her parents met. Except she missed the school and wandered onto a private estate. As if fate had led her there, she sees a perfect girl before her and falls in love at first sight.

Fate really enjoys toying with people. Mariya Shidou, her perfect girl, is actually a boy in disguise, the grandson of the school's ex-chairwoman, and is one hell of a dick. In order to keep herself from being kicked out of the school, Kanako is forced to cooperate with Mariya against her will.

Maria†Holic is a seinen manga by Minari Endou, which ran in Monthly Comic Alive from 2006 to 2014. It was adapted into an anime for the early 2009 season by Studio Shaft, which means another layer of randomness is added to what's already there. Sentai Filmworks licensed the anime for release in February 2010, while Tokyopop released the manga in English. A second season of the anime aired as part of the Spring 2011 anime season.

Initially released sub-only by Sentai Filmworks in 2010, it got an all new English Dub in January 2014 (featuring Monica Rial and Jessica Calvello working together for the first time since Excel♡Saga, 11 years earlier).

Compare and contrast: Otoboku - Maidens Are Falling For Me and The Beautiful Skies of Houou High. Has nothing to do with ×××HOLiC or SOUND HOLIC.

A character page is under construction.


  • All Just a Dream: The entire first segment of episode 12. Of course, Mariya and Matsurika were somehow able to see everything in the dream and tell Kanako exactly when it started. Becomes a running gag in Alive whenever Jayano Enjouji shows up. Implied, but not stated when she appears in episode 12 during Kanako's birthday party.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Almost all males so far have at least some perversion. An exception is Mariya: his crossdressing seems more tied into his planet-sized ego. And despite being in an all-girls' school, he's never actually done anything with it. If anyone's a pervert, it'd be Kanako (Good Lord, it'd be Kanako...)
  • Anachronic Order: Season 2, episode 1 of the anime calls attention to the first season finale's cliffhanger. It is quickly swept under the rug as something that will happen in the near future.
  • Anime Catholicism: Constantly parodied as the entire series is essentially a parody of Catholic-centered Yuri. Lampshaded in Episode 3
    Mariya: You mean you came to a missionary school, but you don't know a damn thing?
  • Anti-Climax: In episode 12 Kanako tries to expose Mariya's fake breasts to everyone. Turns out his twin sister Shizu stood in for him.
  • Art Shift: Being a Studio Shaft show, art shifts are all around, but Kanako's imaginings tend to be exceptionally flowery.
  • Berserk Button:
    • God gets incredibly pissed if someone from her dorm fails in exams. The punishment is so horrible that Kanako had no memories about it after.
    • What about when Kanako catches God reminiscing about a previous summer, and goes missing for three days?
  • Bifauxnen: Shizu. Unlike her brother, she's a Wholesome Crossdresser, though she only fits this trope because she's going to a boys' school as part of an inheritance competition with her brother.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Ayari Shiki and Maki Natsuru, the Student Council President and the Vice-President, respectively. So much so you could see the sparkles even if they aren't directly on screen.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mariya (and how). Only Kanako and Matsurika are aware of it.
  • Bland-Name Product: Being a parody series, presumably everywhere.
    • Matsurika is frequently seen playing her BSB, showing how little she cares about whatever is driving Kanako nuts this time.
    • Father Touichirou Kanae uses a dokoda phone, rather than a docomo.
  • Blatant Lies: A whole lot of them. Mostly from Mariya.
  • Bokukko: In the manga, Shizu makes appearances dressed as a boy, and uses "boku" accordingly.
  • Brick Joke: The pendant is noted as being significant in an early episode and in the very last; it's subverted because we only get to see Shizu gasp in shock upon seeing it and the show ends before she can say anything about it.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Father Touichirou Kanae is part-French. Mariya and Shizu had an Italian grandmother.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kanako gets mistreated by most peers (except Kiri, Sachi, Yuzuru and Ryuuken), mocked constantly by Mariya, insulted by Matsurika, developed an allergy to boys as a result to being teased by them... as some would say, she is Yukinari's soulmate.
  • Cameo: (deep breath) Cures Peach, Berry & Pine, Miku & Rin, Number 6, Yumi & Sachiko, Sae, Hiro, & Yuno, and Kaede, Meru and Kafuka. All in one episode.
  • Cat Girl: God, the dorm leader.
  • Chick Magnet: Mariya, Ryuuken and Father Kanae have a lot of Fan Girls.
  • Christmas Episode: The last chapter has the main cast (sans Kanako) hang out during Christmas Eve.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: For her crime of biting Yonakuni (which, as he is a pet, is counted as personal property damage in Japan), the jury for Kanako's trial in the fourth episode of Alive sentences her to... a night getting lectured by Father Kanae. This also prevents her from studying for exams.
  • Cool Big Sis: Ryuuken.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Mariya psychologically harasses Kanako with zest, partly so she wouldn't reveal his secret, but partly for the pure amusement. This involves things like showering Kanako with gasoline and waving around a lighter, until Kanako "apologizes for her behavior". Kanako is practically reduced to a obedient serf by a mix of blackmailing, bullying and seduction. Remarkably, the show manages to remain a tongue-in-cheek comedy.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Sort of. Mariya dresses up in all sorts of moe outfits, supposedly to mess with Kanako.
    Kanako: "So cute... (tears up, nosebleeds) If only you weren't a boy..."
  • Crazy-Prepared: Sachi wants everything handy within her personal Hammerspace, such as a hammer, centrifuges, and triangular screwdrivers.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Kanako's mouth and brain get mixed up, though Mariya is the one who calls her out on it. Later on, it seems that Mariya can enter into Kanako's thoughts... somehow.
  • The Ditz: Kanako knows she's an idiot and is proud of it. When she opened Sachi's notes for her supplementary exams that "even an idiot could understand", she failed to even understand those.
  • Does Not Like Men: Due to a grade-school experience (losing her recorder and PE uniform), Kanako is allergic to men. Neither does Shizu, courtesy of her own twin brother.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
  • Double Entendre: From the dialogue:
    Mariya: "I'll stick it in you later as promised! On top of that, I'll pull it out forcefully!"
    Kanako: "Gah, he's not satisfied with just sticking it into me!"
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Gender inverted. Mariya has stepped on Kanako a few times to which Kanako initially enjoyed it until she remembered that Mariya is actually a boy.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Mariya, oh so much.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Ayari's "Panda-Chang", after her panda-print panties accidentally exposed by Shizu (posing as Mariya) during a Catholic festival when they were children.
  • The Empath: Matsurika and God.
  • Empathic Environment: During Kiri's discussion with Kanako in Episode 4, the background changes depending on what was said.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Mariya loves his late grandmother so much he agreed to the crossdressing, cross-school competition with Shizu, but doesn't mind whether he wins or not, seeing it as more of a fulfilment of her last request.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Mariya. Just ask Father Kanae and a certain fan whose letter is featured on volume 1's omake.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: In-universe: invoked by Father Kanae (and Kanako, initially) on a regular basis as he sees meaning in the most random of statements.
  • Evolving Credits: Most episodes add or change something small in the ending that carries over the the next episode; some examples are the addition of Kiri and samurai Ryuuken.
  • Expressive Hair: Mariya's hair has a tendency to twitch depending on the mood.
  • Expy: There's some parallels between Father Kanae and Hosaka.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Shizu tries a tearful, dramatic exit after she felt insulted by Mariya's gesture to cede his chairmanship for both schools to her by asking her to kiss his feet... only to realize that she forgot to keep the door open.
    Kanako: "Moe!"
  • First-Episode Twist: Mariya's a dude!
  • Flanderization: Kanako seems to be getting more and more perverted and deranged, making it exceedingly difficult to sympathize with her poor fortune.
  • Genre Savvy: Kanako shows this when she purposely intends to run late with a piece of toast in her mouth in order to run into her true love.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Mariya. Who claims it's "tomato juice". It's actually a Bordeaux!
  • A God Am I: God the Dorm Leader may be appropriately named, seeing as Heaven and Earth will move themselves to acquiesce to her desires. She can even dissipate a June rainstorm just because she didn't feel like hanging out in Mariya's room anymore after they ran out of snacks.
    • She is also hinted to actually BE God, among many other things, like possessing time-warping powers and having been very deeply embroiled in the history of ancient China.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Ayari's panda-print panties, which are accidentally exposed by Shizu (posing as Mariya) when they were children. She has since hated him for that incident.
  • Groin Attack: How Kanako further verified the fact that Mariya's a crossdresser, by grabbing his... magic stick.
    Kanako: "What the hell is that thing beneath your skirt?!"
    Mariya: "Now you've known it..."
    *Kanako removes her hand from beneath Mariya's skirt and groans as she waves her hand*
  • Hair Antennae: Mariya has Tenma-style ones. They tend to twitch when he's angry.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Shizu, Mariya's twin sister who looks all but identical, except she's an actual girl (and is Mariya's complete opposite personality-wise). Also, Mariya has a mole under his left eye, while Shizu has one under her right.
  • Hammerspace: Kanako tries to work out just how Mariya could hide an entire second room behind the dressers in their room, said dressers being set against the wall that connects to the outer hallway.
    Mariya: "Do you know how much I had to spend on this?"
    • Also, Sachi's left pocket from where she can pull whatever is needed in any situation.
    Sachi: "Do you need a centrifuge?"
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mariya is inching toward one by the end of Alive if his Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments are any indication.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Their late grandmother's will subjects Mariya and Shizu to an inheritance competition in which both are to attend single-sex schools (both of which their grandmother once served as chairwoman) whose gender population is opposite theirs and under each other's names. Thus, Shizu attends the all-female Ame no Kisaki as "Mariya", while Mariya attends the all-male Mihoshi no Mori as "Shizu". Whoever keeps their gender secret for the next three years wins chairmanship for both. Shizu claimed victory due to Kanako learning of Mariya's gender. The latter, however, pulls off a comeback victory due to an indisputable technicality: Kanako learned of his gender before he attended school (and is currently blackmailing her into keeping it a secret), while she learned of Shizu's while she's already in school. Nevertheless, he's willing to overlook this technical victory in favor of Shizu... by asking her to kiss his feet.
  • Hot for Student: Father Kanae has some unspoken feelings for Mariya while being completely unaware of "her" actual gender.
    • Kanako's parents also met this way at Ame no Kisaki: her father was her mother's teacher, and Kanako's older sister was born when her mother was sixteen and had gotten married.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Kanako and Ryuuken. Kanako is especially embarrassed about her height.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Kanako states that she hates those who "get excited by high school girls exposing a bit more skin due to the seasonal change of attire." Considering what she just did a bit earlier in the episode...
    • There's also Mariya constantly insulting Kanako for being a disgusting pervert. Coming from a guy who seems to have come to enjoy his life in drag.
  • I Have Many Names: God also goes by Boss, though most really just call her Dorm Leader.
  • Imagine Spot: Kanako spends half her time doing this. Father Kanae spends most of his time doing this.
  • Imagine Spotting: Mariya and Matsurika often see what Kanako is imagining.
  • Inner Monologue: Kanako's inner voice is a chatty one.
  • Interactive Narrator: Kanako actively takes to arguing with the narrator in the second episode.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mariya, while a big jerk, sometimes shows a genuinely nicer side. He doesn't mind having to take heat from Ayari on Shizu's behalf after the latter accidentally exposed Ayari's panties as children, is willing to cede chairmanship to Shizu, saves Ayari from falling off her float, and, despite enjoying torturing Kanako psychologically and emotionally, he frequently gives her helpful advice. Of course, he's quick to explain away all these rare instances of kindness on his part as a façade-maintaining measure.
    • His heart of gold is showing out more in Alive. For instance, he always bails Kanako out of problems she accidentally caused herself, even if he need not to, like her dilemma over her gift for Sachi for the latter's birthday and the conundrum that arose concerning her own birthday when she was unwittingly leading people on.
    • Also despite making fun of Kanako for being a lesbian, he doesn't seem to really mind it, being more disgusted by her perverted urges. He even tries to stop her when they are about to go out of controll like in episode 10.
  • Large Ham: Kanako.
    • In the English dub, it's helped by the fact that she's voiced by the voice actress for Excel, Jessica Calvello.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Jayano Enjouji. Lampshaded and inverted: she's entirely in Kanako's dream.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Kanako, though mostly to Mariya, says some perverted things without a second thought, and joined the school specifically to hit on girls.
    • She even spends the first chapter of the manga acting exactly like her straight male counterparts...and they react to her the same way they would to a man.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Kiri gets a letter from a man she met on the train and tries to reject him, but it just doesn't work. Kanako remains in the dark during this entire segment. Then a letter from the man ends up with Sachi...
  • Lucky Charms Title: Maria†Holic
  • The Mafia: God aka Boss aka Dorm Leader, not literally, but she does have that kind of personality. She has an Italian accent in the Gag Dub/Abridged Series.
  • Made of Iron: Kanako gets trampled by rabid Ryuuken fangirls, only to appear a few seconds later with a few little bruises.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mariya, oh so very much, and God.
    Mariya: "I'll rape you if you dare reveal it." [Jesus H. Christ Almighty]
    God: "DVD player..." [Bribery and corruption indeed]
  • Medium Awareness: When one episode has pop-up notes on idioms and other random factoids, Mariya and Matsurika somehow become aware of them towards the end of the episode. Mariya himself indicates he cosplays in maid and Naughty Nurse Outfits to provide fanservice during an episode, noting how little screentime he's gotten.
    • In the omake at the end of volume 1, Kanako states that she's just read through the volume itself, and Mariya answers a letter from a male reader who asks Mariya to marry him, and responds in no uncertain terms how he feels about such propositions.
    • In episode 4 of Alive, Kanako comes to the conclusion that Mariya is prosecuting her because he wants her spot as the main character of the show (which isn't helped by the fact that his name is on the title). Matsurika just tells her that it's the least of her concerns.
    • In episode 8 of Alive, Mariya and Matsurika are so disgusted with Kanako that they revoke her right to speak for the entirety of the next episode. Sure enough, she's being prevented from doing so.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Kiri continually says she is lesbian to protect Kanako as she was asked to, though this really isn't the case.
  • Moe: Kanako is an in-universe frequent invoker of the term.
    • While looking herself through the mirror wearing cat-ears in private. She then throws them down after realizing she sounds like an idiot.
    Kanako: "Nekomimi Bloomer~"
    • In episode 5, after seeing Shizu's Failed Attempt at Drama.
    • In episode 2 of Alive, after Yuzuru tearfully admits to buying expensive chocolates for herself as reward for good exam performance.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Yonakuni to God.
  • Nosebleed: Kanako. Frequently and with such force that she rivals Ikuto. Also the name of the first season's opening theme, for that very reason.
    • When she volunteers to help with the girls' physical examinations she actually ends up in the infirmary after blacking out from blood loss.
    • Stains the left cheek of a statue of the Virgin Mary with her blood after seeing Ayari's Wardrobe Malfunction (and consequently becoming one of their school's Seven Mysteries).
    • And she turns the whole world red from a nosebleed in season 1's final episode.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Mariya has shown no perverse inklings at all despite the opportunities his venture could present. Hell, beyond taking the time and effort to mess with Kanako (and maybe Shizu and Father Kanae), he's a model student and an Onee-sama to boot.
  • Nuns Are Mikos: Averted, for a change. See the Shown Their Work entry below.
  • Of Corset Hurts: Mariya complains of a few broken ribs while Matsurika outfits him with his corset as Kanako walks in on him and discovers his true gender.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Ayari's curls remind Kanako of chocolate coronets.
  • Older Than They Look: God and Yonakuni. The paper from a love letter God/Dorm Leader got long ago has already rotted, and the only difference from then is the fact that she wore clothes from what looks to be pre-War Japan.
  • One-Gender School: The main setting, Ame no Kisaki Girls' School. The series as a whole is a parody of works in the Yuri Genre that are set in similar all-girls' schools. It's later revealed that Shizu attends a nearby all-boys' school while disguised as a boy.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Father Kanae has recently started to notice Matsurika, after noticing Mariya.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Who knows, I could even be the reincarnation of JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!!"
  • Red Armband of Leadership: The committee for the Virgin Mary festival.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mariya has them.
    • Also, when Kanako decides not to eat in order to get thinner, she eventually gains these as she turns insane from hunger...
  • Rule of Cool: Meido Guitar!
    • Note that this refers not to a meido playing a guitar but a meido used as a guitar.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Kanako's altered personality wore them.
  • The Seven Mysteries: Kanako is responsible for all of them, generally due to profuse nosebleeding. Kumagai-sensei later tells her that the school's seven mysteries change annually, but seven other mysteries about God have never changed, ranging from the genuinely mysterious ("How old is she?") to mundane Fridge Logic ("Why are Virtual Boys not banned along with the other electronics?": she later claims she likes things with a tragic history...). If anyone happens to learn all seven mysteries, the dorm manager will do... well, something, anyway.
  • Serious Business: Shizu's attitude towards the inheritance competition. Mariya thinks otherwise.
  • Ship Sinking: Kanako gets rejected by Shizu when she confesses her feelings to her.
  • Shown Their Work: The writers are aware of what Christianity is, and a rare serious moment has Ayari explaining to Kanako just who "Maria-sama" is; the origins of Christmas, and how non-Christian (like most Japanese) students get along with the Catholic school's nuns-and-rosaries environment. (Even if one isn't praying to a specific God, you can be thinking about friends or loved ones, or reflect on your behavior with others.) Also, it's explicitly stated that the nuns do not force their beliefs on anyone.
    • Alive also mentions how crash dieting isn't helpful and often just leads to problems and one can possibly rebound, and gives a basic outline of how dieting should actually go (namely [paraphrasing Mariya]: following a sensible plan, cutting back caloric intake and exercising properly). The entirety of the next episode is dedicated to the consequences of Kanako's forced diet.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Mariya and Shizu.
  • Sleep Learning: Matsurika uses this to change Kanako's personality from the hapless idiot she normally is into a Class Representative type. Her perversions aren't altered at all.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Several times, by various characters, complete with incredibly overwrought music.
  • Special Edition Title: As Shaft is wont to do, Alive's first two episodes open with an old school Expository Theme Tune, "Delusional Warrior Kanako Miyamae" by Tomokazu Sugita.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Maria, which is technically spelled Ma-ri-ya: Mariya.
  • Stealth Pun: In a gag next episode preview parodying Shaft's hit original series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Matsurika takes the place of Walpurgis Night. In real life, Walpurgis Night is a spring festival, and "matsuri" is "festival" in Japanese.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Kanako and Father Kanae are extremely similar, except she's a lesbian and he's Hot for Student, and they both even engage in Inner Monologues which are preceded by "Dear mother/mama up in heaven."
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Kanako towards Mariya. For that matter, the audience towards Mariya. He does make a really good woman.
  • Super-Deformed: Things often become super deformed during Kanako's imaginings and other funny moments.
  • Surreal Theme Tune: The OP tune itself is mostly straightforward, but the imagery associated with it in the title sequence pushes it into absurd territory.
    • The theme tune is sung from the point of view of a young lesbian who is tortured by a Creepy Crossdresser. Except it's sung by Yuu Kobayashi (Mariya). It would fit as a mockery by Mariya.
    • The second season turns it up another notch by essentially having a Tokusatsu song as an opening theme.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Kanako and Father Kanae does them a lot.
    "Dear mother up in heaven..."
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Shizu, who's doing the exact opposite of her twin brother by being a girl in an all-boys' school, once also ran by their late grandmother.
  • Take That!: Once at Maria Watches Over Us's use of rosaries, which is pointed out as incorrect. The manga also takes potshots at things like Ghost in the Shell and Sengoku Basara.
  • The Tease: Mariya takes perverse pleasure in acting out his innocent girly routine and watching Kanako's torment.
    • And the audience's.
  • Third-Person Person: Kanako refers to herself in third person sometimes during her Inner Monologues.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass/Took a Level in Kindness: In Alive, Kanako is becoming more of a pervert than when we first see her, and Mariya (the resident Creepy Crossdresser) is inching toward a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Totally Radical: Father Kanae tries talking this way with Kanako in the dub, "Dawg, how you doing!?"
    • She tries to respond the same way. Both then agree to stop. The audience thanks them.
  • Tsundere: Matsurika refers to herself as "100% tsun with no dere at all."
    • Kanako herself calls Mariya one (at least deep in her head) given Mariya's behavior towards his female relatives (e.g., twin sister Shizu and cousin Ayari). He also tends to explain away any good behavior towards his classmates as a face-saving measure for him and/or the school, possibly in order to cover-up his deep-seated sense of kindness. Of course, he'll complain all the while... even as he saved Ayari from falling off a float during a Catholic festival.
    • Kanako also refers to Honoka as one.
  • Twelfth Night Adventure: A more cynical take on this usually positive and idealistic genre.
  • 12-Episode Anime
    • And another twelve episodes in Alive.
  • Unflappable Guardian: God. There is nothing she doesn't know and nothing she will let her students get away with. Unless they get away with it cleverly.
    • She'll still catch them, of course, but if they at least put enough effort into it, she'll give it back.
    • And she gives points for creativity in hiding, and also has retests.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Well, Mariya on Kanako... repeatedly. The latter knows what's beneath his skirt (after all, she grabbed them in episode 1), but still gets sucked in. Then again, so would many viewers...
  • Unusual Euphemism: Kanako, when trapped alone in the presence of men. "Tonfua!" "Trinidad and Tobago!" "Nyarlathotep!"
    • Father Kanae is tortured by this; even though Kanako is basically spouting (from her perspective) gibberish, he goes to great lengths to try and figure out what she means.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Most of the humor stems from Kanako doing something rather stupid or selfish and then getting punished for it either by the universe or Mariya.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Poor Ayari suffered this... twice. Both incidents even happened at the same feast. The first was as a child, when Shizu (then posing as Mariya) stumbled on her and accidentally revealed her panda-print panties. The second was as a teenager, after Mariya saved her from falling off her float. Cue pan-down shot of Ayari's breasts and Kanako staining the statue of the Virgin Mary with her epic nosebleed.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: For failing all of her tests, Kanako was sent by God to... somewhere so she can spend a year studying for everything. She comes back a week later with lampshades abound about how long it felt for her and the various changes that happened in the interim.
    • Turns out most of the "changes" were set up in some way by Mariya just to mess with Kanako's head, or by sheer misunderstanding.
  • Yuri Fan: Kanako, obviously.

Alternative Title(s): Maria Holic