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Maria+Holic Post-viewing Notes

Well, 12 episodes done and I did enjoy the series quite a bit. It stopped before the joke (there’s really only one) got old, and served up enough variations to keep it entertaining throughout. Full of non-sequiturs uniformly, and nearly every episode (including the last) ends on a random cliffhanger that’s never followed up on, but generally satisfying.

The crazy, near-abstract art didn’t turn out to be a liability (no Soul Taker, that’s for sure), though at times I felt like it would have been funnier, or at least more engaging, if the continuity had felt a little more coherent. This may be because I usually prefer more solid worlds and sense of space (both literally and metaphorically) in my comedies, including the wacky ones.

Then again, maybe not—the one episode that did try to do a relatively normal, not-particularly-funny schoolgirl plot was probably the weakest of the series. It was incredibly generic, though; seems like the series could have managed somewhere in-between, with some actual substance to the characters in addition to the humor. They sort of forgot several characters who could have had a bit more to them as soon as they were introduced, for example, and the setup (despite frequent 4th-wall-breaks) was solid enough to support actual character development were it so inclined.

Strong point is the nosebleed-prone protagonist—she remains, from first scene to last, brick-stupid, lust-blinded by anything female (looking), and violently allergic to anything male. A solid half the humor in the series consists entirely of her rather incoherent brain trying to process things around her, usually breaking thoroughly in the process or getting distracted by fanservice before she comes to a conclusion. Certainly, her usually-futile preparation to prevent terminal anemia from nosebleed blood loss through various means of increased iron intake are good stuff, as much as anything because she’s still desperate to get into situations that will result in said nosebleeds despite risk to health and consciousness. Leaving aside the implication that she doesn’t have many brain cells left to kill.

The last episode and one a couple earlier also feature an exact male parallel of her, a priest-teacher who replaces irreperable perviness with burning desire to be a good teacher and being dumber than a box of rocks with being far too well-read. When the two are in the same room her incoherent babbling and his attempts to make sense of it in encyclopedic internal monologue result in a sort of black hole of random free-associatitive logic. Which is amusing for how extreme it is but also just plain weird. He does push it a little too close to Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei territory, I think, for my taste (not that that series didn’t have its strong points). Speaking of which, there are a couple of those patented “Zetsubo Sensei Dramatic Triple-takes”, an amusing nod to this series’ spiritual predecessor.

In all it didn’t seem to quite live up to its potential, but it also doesn’t fall apart and manages a lot of very, very funny stuff right up to the ende.  Also too random to be predictable.

And I still think that the character designs, despite the almost complete lack of noses, are some of the most attractive I’ve ever seen.

2 Responses to “Maria+Holic Post-viewing Notes”

  1. Ghostwriter Says:

    I’ve got the feeling you liked this. I probably wouldn’t and I’m not the only one. I read about this series on a different website and well…the reviewer didn’t like it. For one thing,we have a girl who has the most perverted fantasies about her classmates. Seeing as almost all of them are girls doesn’t improve things. If the genders were reversed,they would still be perverted. If she were in a co-ed school and had those same fantasies about her male classmates,yes,you guessed it,they would still be creepy and perverted.
    The other problem was the cross-dressing male character. They had to make him into a shrill,abusive jerk. Why couldn’t they make him into a nice,friendly character who is incredibly depressed because he has to spend much of the time in drag so he can inherit his grandmother’s fortune? Why does have to be a creep? Why can’t he persuade her to keep his secret so he doesn’t get thrown out on his ear? These two characters seem to make an unpleasant viewing experience even more unpleasant,not to mention extremely creepy. If this series intent is to make people laugh,it fails miserably in that category.

    I hope this series isn’t brought to the United States. I wouldn’t watch it even if it were. If I made a list of the creepiest anime series ever made,this would be a strong contender. Attack me if you want,but “Maria+Holic” ain’t my cup of tea.

  2. Marc Says:

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but it seems a little silly to bag on something you haven’t even seen for yourself. I could easily see people not liking it, to be sure, but it’s usually wiser to actually confirm for yourself. And the reason Kanako is a total perv and Mariya viciously insulting is, of course, because it’s funny. One man’s poison, as they say. And really, Kanako may drool at anything that walks by, but compared to a lot of the violent physical antics of pervs in anything from Urusei Yatsura to Tenchi Muyo she’s quite good about keeping her hands to herself.