Publisher: Media Factory
Genre: Comedy, Parody, School, Shoujo Ai
Release: S1 (2009), S2 Alive (2011)
This is probably the first series I’ve watched that revolves around a gender-bender element as its main theme. And as much as other people find it weird, creepy, or even appalling, I do find paths less traveled like this somewhat interesting to experience. To clarify on the subject- Maria†Holic is actually a parody of yuri and not yuri in itself, as it will be just the protagonist having one-sided fantasies about the straight girls around her.
Synopsis: Maria†Holic begins with our leading “lady” Kanako Miyamae, who is very much antagonistic of boys and would break out in hives if touched by them. Transferring as a sophomore to an all-girls Catholic school called Ame No Kisaki, she hopes to find ‘unique’ encounters with her fellow female schoolmates, in a somewhat perverted way, if you must. On her first day at school, she meets Shidou Mariya, and immediately becomes her ideal love candidate after being given a misinterpreted friendly kiss from her.
On that same day though, she would discover Mariya’s deepest darkest secret:
As Kanako discovers Mariya is actually a guy, she couldn’t help but feel despair as the woman she swore her love to was a man- and a sadistic one at that. To prevent Kanako from squealing to school officials, Mariya conspires a plan that immediately brings Kanako to her knees. Mariya then forces herself to be Kanako’s roommate to keep an eye on her 24/7.
Because of Mariya’s beautiful face though, Kanako would still somehow pleasurably endure her constant beatings, name callings and unrelenting orders. Our protagonist is a true masochist at heart!
Kanako Miyamae’s days as a nosebleeding sophomore closet-lesbian would then begin. After meeting young, beautiful and attractive girls at the school, she is able to form a group of friends within her class and dorm- while secretly fantasizing about them. With that perverted attitude kept within her thoughts, her friends with untainted eyes would only view her as a delicate sickly person who just bleeds from her nose a lot. Quite a clean getaway!
I’m not sure what demographic Mariya being a trap is meant for, but I do believe the brand of humor they have is for everyone- if they keep their minds open a bit, I guess? Sometimes Kanako’s perverted thoughts and reactions can be overkill, though I can’t blame her as it’s only natural for anyone to go full retard when they fantasize.
The first season focuses more on the daily life of Kanako, and the more serious storyline is introduced in the second. I guess you can call it a slice-of-unique-life as it let’s you get comfortable with the ‘Kanako’ environment while having a good laugh, so to speak.
The anime’s music is also something to take note of- the background songs used are quite expressive when it comes to amplifying the mood of the scenes as well as the characters’ feelings. Maria†Holic being Catholic-themed, expect both suspenseful and glorious gospel-like hymns, synths, and strings- mostly using ironic and cute tunes to spice things up a bit and avoid a somewhat serious atmosphere.