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"Maria Watches Over Us" More at IMDbPro »"Maria sama ga miteru" (original title)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Maria Watches Over Us

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
20 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set in the Lillian Girls' Academy, a Catholic school, this Shojo anime follows protagonist Yumi Fukuzawa; a first year student. It is a tradition at the school that older girls adopt younger ones as their 'petite sœurs' (little sisters) and Yumi is surprised when she is invited to become the petite sœur of Sachiko Ogasawara; a member of the prestigious student council. This is soon the talk of the school as it looks as though Yumi will turn her down! Once she finally accepts the offer she grows closer to Sachiko as well as getting closer to the other members of the council and their petite sœurs.

Over the course of the series Yumi and the other girls act in a fairly natural way although the way the school is run is obviously a little bit unlikely but that doesn't matter as it serves the story well. It is clear that the various pairs have feelings for each other but this is never gratuitous; these are romantic relationships rather than blatantly sexual ones. The cast isn't too large meaning that all the main characters can be well developed over the course of the series. The character designs are distinctive meaning one is never confused about who is who and the animation is pretty good. One of the strengths of the series is the way is believably captures teenage anxieties with the girls wanting to fit in and gain the approval of the others and showing minor jealousies without them becoming melodramatic. It is obvious that this series is aimed at girls but that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed by male viewers… I certainly enjoyed it more than I expected.

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Maria Watches Over Us (Series Two)

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
24 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you haven't watched the first series; just titled 'Maria-sama ga Miteru', yet, you should as it serves to introduce the characters and show the relationships between them. If you have seen the first series you'll have a good idea what to expect. It is approaching the end of the school year at Lillian High School and the girls are getting used to the fact that some of their friends will be leaving soon; this includes 'Rosa Gigantica', Sei Sato, although we still see her in later episodes as she attends the college attached to the school. The biggest change is the introduction of Toko Matsudair; a distant cousin of Sachiko and a possible rival for Yumi. Her presence leads to Yumi getting downcast for the second half of the series as she feels her relationship with Sachiko is crumbling and she can't seem to figure out what to do to save it.

Having enjoyed the first series I expected to enjoy this one too… and I did; in fact I think I enjoyed this more; whether that is because it is actually better or because I already cared about the characters I can't really say. The animation is just as good as before, which is hardly surprising as it was made by the same studio. Once again the drama is emotion rather than action oriented and the relationships continue to be highly emotional without hinting of any sexual element. The story progressed nicely and dealt with school friendships in a believable way. In summary if you enjoyed the first series you are almost certain to enjoy this and if you didn't I don't imagine you'd consider watching more anyway!

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.

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