Of Roses and Strawberries

Thoughts and review on Maria-sama ga Miteru, sort of

I would have to admit that Marimite is the first shoujo-ai anime that I have seen. I got interested in watching this one after reading comparisons of it with Strawberry Panic. And of course Strawberry Panic is the first yuri anime that I’ve seen so far. And since I’m not really that into shoujo-ai and yuri, they could be the last shows I’ll watch from this genre (I’m not into yaoi either, if you’re curious to know). Or until the Marimite OVA comes out. 🙂

The first thing that would stand out from Marimite is the setting. It is set in a Catholic school, and I’m assuming it is run wholly by nuns. The unique trait to this school is the soeur system, where a junior student is taken under the wing of a second year or third year student. They are then considered as soeurs or sisters. Since shoujo-ai is really girl to girl pairings, it has the potential to be an issue to conservatives. But the addition of a religous flavor is another thing. At first I thought that this was just an exploitation of a religious theme. Now I never went to a Catholic all-girls school, I have no idea what it’s like to be in one. But since I belong to the 80%++ of the population of my country that’s Catholic, yes, I do felt it to be a little controversial setting–before I watched it.

Fortunately, I have seen nothing offensive about this anime. In fact, it is a captivating story about friendship and love. Okay, so except for the brief kissing scenes that kids wouldn’t understand. The relationships here can not really be appreciated by kids, or any narrow-minded person. So this show it not for everyone. But I really liked this show. While watching it I was also reminded of my high school days. I was really teary-eyed when Eriko, Youko, and Sei graduated. It didn’t help that they took so long to finish the whole graduation thingy–there were flashbacks here and there. And since I’m very sentimental on the issue of saying goodbyes, naturally it would hit home.

Grand soeurs

As the girls are taught to be real ladies, formality abounds. That is why I really laughed hard at the comedic moments brought by Yumi. It doesn’t feel too contrived or anything artificial. Of course, I can never forget Satou Sei. I think she’s the coolest of the three Roses.

And since I like this anime so much, I also have something to say about the characters I like.

Torii Eriko – Rosa Foetida. I don’t have much to say about her, she doesn’t seem to get a lot of screen time. But I’ll feel guilty and unfair if I don’t mention her.

Shimazu YoshinoRosa Foetida en bouton petite soeur. The most aggressive of Yumi’s batch. She is a tough one to handle, and her green-eyed tendencies don’t help at all.

Hasekura ReiRosa Foetida en bouton. She looks like a generic character. Reminds me of Yui from Fushigi Yuugi and Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon.

Yellow Roses

Kanina Shizuka – I mention her because I was so surprised she has that voice and still she’s thin. I’ve always imagined divas to be more plumper? She looks scary too lol.

Matsudaira Touko – This brat is the one that wedges herself between Sachiko and Yumi. And she really fits the role of villain perfectly.

Nijou Noriko – This one’s like a volcano–ready to explode anytime. I did question at first her pairing with Shimako. But I guess they’re ok for each other, Noriko being the aggressive one to Shimako’s more lady-like personality. And I really laughed hard at the DVD special that featured her being inspected by Rei and Sachiko. I guess she shouldn’t start an argument with Rei–it is inadvisable.

Mizuno YokoRosa Chinensis, the grand soeur of Sachiko. She really is an onee-sama, the ideal elder sister.

Fukuzawa YumiRosa Chinensis en bouton petite soeur. Yumi is funny, yeah! She is the main character but unfortunately I have little to say about her.

Ogasawara SachikoRosa Chinensis en bouton. She is the most beautiful character here, in my opinion. She exudes that certain aura that I cannot describe. I really wanted to compare her to Shizuma of Strawberry Panic fame (yeah that kissing bandit). However, I feel that Sachiko’s character is more deserving of sympathy than Shizuma. Although I do deduct points from her for being too rich lol, her predicament is worthy of sympathy. I mean, she’s rich but ironically her family’s being rich has been more like a prison sentence. A beautiful bird in a golden cage, she is.

Red Roses

Todo ShimakoRosa Gigantea en bouton. I think she’s second only to Sachiko in lady-ness and beauty. At least she’ll balance out Yumi and Yoshino when they become Rosa Chinensis and Rosa Foetida too hehehe.

Sato SeiRosa Gigantea. I saved the best for last. She is my most favorite character here, but it was really hard to choose between her and Sachiko. I guess that’s because I really do think she’s cool. She seems better able to handle Yumi than Sachiko. I love her make-Sachiko-jealous antics. She also stars in the kissing scenes, but I don’t mind really. When she’s around, it’s either a funny scene or a dramatic and touching scene. Together with Sachiko, they’re the most interesting characters in Marimite.

White Roses

Ok, so I mentioned strawberries hehehe (oh my hands are now so tired). When I watched SP again after finishing Marimite season 1, the difference was so glaring now. I hate to admit it, but Shizuma has lost her appeal now lol. But I won’t say anything final for now, since SP isn’t over yet. But Marimite really seems superior in story and characters.

So for the formal stats, I’m going to just fuse season 1 and season 2 (Marimite Haru). I’m too lazy to do separate posts for the two.

  • Animation at 0.5. Not that exceptional.
  • Characters at 1. Sei is cool!
  • Music at 0.5. The instrumental opening and ending now keeps on playing in my head.
  • Story/Plot/Dialogue at 1. Nice story.
  • Entertainment value at 1.5. I’m now in rewatch mode, and Marimite has completely derailed the Kiba marathon. Even my post on Honey and Clover II episode 8 will be delayed.

Favorite Characters: Sachiko and Sei

Favorite Duo: Sachiko and Yumi

Favorite en bouton/petite soeur: Shimako

Rating: 4.5/5

Time check: 1 AM. Somebody’s gonna be sleeping at work hours from now…


10 thoughts on “Of Roses and Strawberries

  1. tieuyeunu

    i totally agree with you. but i actually watched marimite first then sp.

    marimite was the first yuri anime i saw and i totally loved it so i went and watched as many yuri anime as i can find. and sum i totally adore while others…well…it could have been better. and sadly sp was one of the latter for me.

    marimite is still my favorite so far, even though its yuri them is mostly subtext and could even be said to be a close sisterly tie more then a yuri relationship.

  2. SEijha

    whaaa..i love sei.. can you mail me her profile? jael_camat@yahoo.com
    and.. by the way.. i noticed that sei got the most appearances on season 1 and season 2.. she was the only grande soeur that was higlight in the anime.. 🙂 simple.. i just love her.. “she doesn’t resembles me. she is me” – a line of sei in season 2.. 🙂

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