manga04_jpg login_tab_left_jpg
Username:   Password:    Forgot Password?
App
Try out our new iPhone application!
App
Manga Poll
Which operating system are you using on your main computer?
Windows
Apple (Mac, Rhapsody, etc)
Linux
BSD
Other
Multi-boot
 
See Old Polls

Manga is the Japanese equivalent of comics
with a unique style and following. Join the revolution! Read some manga today!

Coded in ConTEXT

Join #baka-updates @irc.irchighway.net

RSS Feed
 
center_left_tab Reviews center_right_tab
Maria-sama ga Miteru
by Bettum on July 5th, 2006, 10:51pm

Rating - 6.8 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 5 out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 3 out of 5
Enjoyment - 3 out of 5
Overall - 3 out of 5

Click here for series information

マリア様がみてる
(The Virgin Mary is Watching)

Plot/Story

At the all-girl Catholic school Lillian Academy, there is a student council known as the Yamayurikai (Mountain Lily Council). The head of this council are the three roses (no not real roses stupid, but humans who call themselves roses): Rosa Chinensis, Rosa Foetida and Rosa Gigantea, or Mizuno Yōko, Torii Eriko and Satō Sei if you wish. The Roses are 3rd-years and each of 'em have theier own 2nd-year "Petite Soeur" which is called "En Bouton" (French, "in bud"), and the 2nd-years "En Boutons" have theier own 1st-years "Petite Soeurs". To put it simple: The 3rd-year is Rosa Chinensis, the 2nd-year is Rosa Chinensis En Bouton and the 1st-year is Rosa Chinensis En Bouton Petite Soeur. The same goes for Foetida and Gigantea. This tradition is called the Soeur System (soeur being French for "sister"). A 2nd- or 3rd-year student, the "Grande Soeur" ("big sister"), will give her rosary to a junior student, the "Petite Soeur" ("little sister"), and promise to look after them and guide them. At the start of the story, new 1st-year student Yumi Fukuzawa is suddenly approached by the seemingly-cold 2nd-year student Sachiko Ogasawara to be her "Petite Soeur".

This manga has more focus on character development rather than plot. The story of Marimite revolves often around the Yamayurikai and has some strong elements of romance between female characters; the use of lilies reinforces this in subtext, as do the names of the student council and of the school itself. The school (founded in 1902 in Musashino, Tokyo) has an elegant and pure style and is very prestigious. The students are very respectable and in good standing, and they are obligatet as much a chatolic school should (he, he).

The all-girl school plot is a well known manga phenomen. However the Soeur System redeems the orginality a bit. And relax, 'cause there are boys in it as well.

Characters

Fukuzawa Yumi (福沢 祐巳) :
Main Character and bashful beyond words. Very timid and unsure of herself. She is fond of, or rather respects Sachiko greatly but constantly wonders why Sachiko shows an interest in her. Was a nobody until Sachiko got her eye on her.

Ogasawara Sachiko (小笠原 祥子) :
Prim and elegant, rough and sweet. An adorable lady from a rich family. She often gets jealous at Yumi as she cares deeply about her. She is basicly one of the schools idol. Sachiko is part of the Yamayurikai (the council) and is Yōko's "En Bouton".

Mizuno Yōko (水野 蓉子) :
Rosa Cinensis and Sachiko's "Grande Soeur". Calm and reserved, but usually with a smirk on her face.

Tōdō Shimako (藤堂 志摩子) :
Beautiful, prim and proper, Shimako is the most admired of the 1st-years as she already is Rosa Gigantea En Bouton and thus part of the Yamayurikai. She even turned Sachiko down on becoming her "Petite Soeur". Shimako is indeed beatiful (so now you know), however a mystery.

Satō Sei (佐藤 聖) :
Rosa Gigantea, the exact opposite of most of the characters in the show: loud, rough-around-the-edges, she loves doing what she can to push other peoples' buttons. However, Sei is one of the wisest and caring characters on the show. Though seeming to have a playful and laid-back attitude, Sei has experienced many tragedies in her life, especially in her second year.

Shimazu Yoshino (島津 由乃) :
Yoshino is a girl who was very ill and cared for constantly by her "Grande Soeur", Rei. Yoshino, however, is very independent and in some ways tomboyish, despite her sickly status and feminine appearance. In addition to being Rei's petite soeur, Yoshino is also her cousin and next-door neighbor.

Hasekura Rei (支倉 令) :
Rei, Yoshino's "Grande Soeur", is outwardly very tomboyish and athletic and is involved in kendo, but obsessively cares about Yoshino and prefers the domestic arts, like cooking.

Torii Eriko (鳥居 江利子) :
As Rei's "Grande Soeur", the determined Rosa Foetida became one of the most respected members of the Yamayurikai. She may appear indifferent sometimes though.

Takeshima Tsutako (武嶋 蔦子) :
Yumi's friend and avid photographer for the school's newspaper. She is always looking for the latest news about the Yamayurikai.

As the story progress more characters are revealed, however it would be a spoiler to mention them considering it has plenty to do with most of the characters past, and/or development.

Drawing Style

Very "mangaish". Nagasawa is indeed a great mangaka, but nothing exdraordinary comes with Maria-sama ga Miteru. If you have seen the anime you'll notice a slightly difference in the character designs too. The character design is okey, and Nagasawa is good at drawing chubby characters. Some of the better I have seen. Not annoying. However the non chubby characters can be somewhat annoying to a cartain level. You may find yourself confused on whos who too at some minor times. But as written, Nagasawa is indeed a great mangaka. His work with this title is well done, and i find it to be a decent relaxingstyle, considering there arent many of those around. The pages anf flops are thought through. The cuteness from the anime isn't kept, but I find that positivily plesant. Because Maria-sama ga Miteru doesn't have a cute core. To be pirky, the style and story isn't perfection.

This is also (as you may know) a novel series. If the authors visions are shared is hard to tell. The story mainly progress with dialogue. I belive the arts gives a good impression from the novels, though I've never read them.

Enjoyment

Marimite is a pleasant story. I found it cosy (*embarassed* I'm a guy). I didn't get the impression of enjoyment maga. Rather "this-a-comic-I-read-before-going-to-bed" Manga lol. In other words, this isn't the story which hooks you, but rather a plecant read. At times, this manga can provide a thrill too. It isn't much romance in it considering the set consists mostly of girls. But there are lesbian tendencies which could indicate romance. Don't read it only for the Yuri part. That would cartainly not be satesfying lol.

Overall

Considering this is a Shōjo and Shōjo Ai it's hard to tell who this is aimed at. Shōjo is for girls. Shōjo Ai could however seem wierd for girls to read. But it is indeen a Shōjo manga. The combination Shōjo and Shōjo Ai may be weird, but this is a pretty popular title so i guess it works well. The story supports this a lot.

Though the girls in maria-sama ga Miteru seem steady, you may find yourself suprised as you "discover" theier true selves. But when you thought you had 'em figured, they're back to theier old selves again. This could be good or bad. depends on who reads. The character development is at a decent level, as with the arts. the story is cosy, but somewhat thrilling, and the romance is slightly present.

As overall i must say I'm plesantly suprised, though I'm tired of "Big-eyed" schoolgirl manga. I haven't read many Shōjo series, and i belive this is a good read to get you into the genre. Shonen and Seinen fans should keep theier distance, while cute girls can read it on theier beds (and shy boys in a safe place). Keep in mind that this is Shōjo Ai as well, so Lesbian haters should keep theier distance.
 
Back to Reviews
Search Reviews:  
User Comments

You must login to comment for this review! Register an account.

WoW by Anonymous on August 14th, 2006, 4:31pm Rating: 5

what a review. One of the best here at baka.
 
Show  entries per page 
You must login to comment for this review! Register an account.
Manga Search
MANGA Fu
MEMBERS
TEAM-BU


footer