Gah, worst possible time for my internet to be running out of bandwidth for the month. Hopefully it will replenish soon but if there’s no reviews from me in a while, you’ll know why. Anyway, no ‘first impression’ for Maria+Holic Alive since it’s a sequel and I’d decided I would blog it as soon as it was announced.

It feels like only yesterday Mariya was on my blog!

To recap from the previous series: This is a black-humour SHAFT-style parody of anime’s more ridiculous yuri tropes, starring Kanako: a lesbian who enrols in Ame no Kiseki catholic school. It’s the all-girl’s school her late mother and father met at (her father being a teacher) and so she too wishes to meet the girl of her dreams. However far from the yuri ideal Kanako is a complete and utter perv with some serious screws loose, and what she thinks is her ideal woman turns out to be the sadistic cross-dresser Mariya. Parody and references and Shinbo-ism ensues.
In this first episode of season 2, Kanako wants to brave the so-called traps and trials of the ‘1st girl’s dorm’, a kind of obstacle course in an abandoned dormitory building in the school. Getting through it grants access to a supposedly magical tree which blesses all couples who confess beneath it. Kanako plans on doing this to end up with one of her friends (Inamori, Kiri and Sachi), who, not knowing these intentions, go along with her.

This was a great take on the running-late-with-bread-in-mouth cliche.

I loved Mariya's outfit here.

wat

I was so damn excited for Maria+Holic Alive, and it really is nice to see everyone again. Even though it’s been about two years, it almost feels as though I’m revisiting all the characters after a lengthy school holiday. Everything looks just as crisp and dynamic as the first season I fell in love with, and it continues its tradition of bold animation with high-contrast colours and the silly parody moments where the art style goes all retro-shojo. In looks,Maria+Holic is back! Yay!
….Unfortunately the content wasn’t quite as good as the packaging. After getting so excited for a new episode I couldn’t help feeling let down by this one, which was really pretty average. I’m not saying it was a bad episode, because it certainly had its moments (the bread-in-mouth parody at the start was pretty brilliant, not to mention the hilarious dramatic enka-ish opening about Kanako. (Which, for the record, is not the real opening, which I’m looking forward to seeing next episode.)). Complaining that the central plot was ‘silly’ seems like a dumb thing to do for a nonsense comedy series like this, but the fact is that not only was it silly, it didn’t seem all that well executed, plus it seemed to drag a lot. Perhaps it would have been better later on, as it was a fairly lack-luster opening to a second season.
Father Kanae isn’t in this episode either (sans in the short recap), which is a bit of a downer for me as I was looking forward to seeing him again most of all, but at least now he has a whole season full of opportunities to appear instead of just 2 episodes at the end. (Now watch as he doesn’t appear in this series at all, fff)
I also find it pretty amusing that despite everything that was recapped from season 1 (Kanako likes girls! Kanako’s a perv! Kanako has nosebleeds a lot! Kanako gets hives when she touches men!), the one itty bitty detail they didn’t touch on was that Mariya is male. I mean, I’m sure most people watching this already knew this, but still, there’s got to be at least someone out there in for a shock later.
So there you have it; Maria+Holic returns, but not quite with the gusto I would have preferred. But it’s still a lot of fun and I can’t wait for the next episode.

This episode also gets props for having lots of Matsurika.

Matsurikaaaaa

Dorm Mistress's return was most welcome of all.

Out of 5,