The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Maria-sama ga Miteru OVA

Title: Maria-sama ga Miteru OVA aka Marimite OVA
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Company: Studio DEEN/Yamayurikai II
Format: 5 OVA
Dates: 29 Nov 2006 – 25 Jul 2007

Synopsis: After Yumi is invited to Sachiko’s family holiday villa for the summer, Yumi can’t help but be excited at the prospect of a week alone with her Onee-sama. However, between Sachiko’s ideas for a relaxing, uneventful vacation and certain unwelcome, external interferences, Yumi and Sachiko’s time together doesn’t quite go as Yumi had planned.

The Highlights
Tone: As one would expect from any Marimite series.
Plot: Episodic; slow, even for Marimite.
Relationships: Yumi and Sachiko’s relationship goes under the spotlight almost every episode; other relationships somewhat neglected.
Music: Kotoko and Marimite just don’t mix.

One should have certain expectations when approaching any Marimite series, and these include a very slow paced plot, deep character and relationship analyses and charming displays of close sisterly love about which Marimite’s story has always revolved around. Maria-sama ga Miteru OVA offers more of this, and is clearly designed purely for fans of the first two series, kicking off pretty much where Haru left off. However, while these OVAs are filled with lots of enjoyable moments, the slow pace eventually gets the better of Marmite OVA. We’re at a point in the Marimite narrative now, where most fans want to see a relationship develop between Yumi and a petite soeur of her choice. The OVAs only barely touch on the initial stages of this particular sub-plot, ending at a point which is clearly eons away from resolving it. The fact that the components of the story that did get the focus were reasonably entertaining and that a fourth TV series has already been promised saves these OVAs, but the lack of significant plot movement is difficult to look past.

It’s the charming character interactions that again make the highlight of the series. Just as in Haru, existing character relationships are analysed to an even finer detail as characters become closer and grow together as people through their relationships. New characters are introduced, always going under the microscope within an episode or two of their first appearance and, with these new characters form new bonds with existing characters. While some of these relationships are looked at from different angles, resulting in rather charming scenes such as the one between Yumi and Yoshino in the final OVA, others don’t really make great forward leaps given the amount of screentime they attract – none moreso than Yumi and Sachiko. Yes, we get the point, they’re close, they rely on each other, and they share a caring sisterly love. It really didn’t need to be rammed home time and time again with pretty much every OVA (sometimes in rather odd ways, to boot); most people were well aware of this during the TV series, and the first OVA was more than enough to confirm it.

The art style is noticeably different from the TV series, but the animation is neither appreciably better or worse than that of its predecessors. Fortunately, Italy and its beautiful architecture receives the respect it deserves in its depiction in the final OVA. Much like everything else, the music is typical Marimite, with the exception of Kotoko whose J-pop ED themes simply don’t fit with this type of anime. Ultimately, it’s fair to expect the same tone, slow pace and focus on characters and relationships of these OVAs as that we saw in the other Marimite series. However, for major plot progress, and Yumi coming closer to choosing a petite souer, we’re unfortunately going to have to wait for the upcoming TV series.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun

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