Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

5 March 2009: Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako behaving out of character in the Marimite IV OP

Yoshino, Yumi, and Shimako
Yoshino, Yumi, and Shimako from the season four OP.

I have been trying to muster up a solid Maria-sama ga Miteru review for years now and all I have to show for it are a number of discarded drafts. I find Marimite surprisingly difficult to write about in a way accessible to viewers unfamiliar with the series. So consider this an introductory entry to the real post, should I ever manage to finish writing it. I am going to start with the wrong end—the OP for season four—in order to tell you what Marimite is not.

Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako in the greenhouse
Lesbian Fire Drill.

The OP for season four of Maria-sama ga Miteru features Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako cavorting around Lillian Academy. Apparently Yumi has a magic mechanical pencil that permits her to draw doorways in the ground and thin air through which the happy trio gallivant to the shock or bemusement of their friends. There are a few things inconsistent about this OP. (Not counting the magic. There's not actually any magic in Marimite aside from Sei's Top Fuel Lesbianism, if you're into that sort of thing.)

Rei is the girliest girl-girl in the cast. True story.

First off, that whole "walking slowly" bit is apparently out the window. Technically, that is really just a guideline, but nobody gallivants through Lillian Academy. Second, Yumi and Yoshino rarely hang out with Shimako. Shimako is pretty much too beautiful and too perfect and too difficult to approach to have a lot of friends, I guess. Everyone likes Shimako a lot, but Yumi and Yoshino don't invite her to play reindeer games, and she sure as Hell wouldn't be teleporting through the school with Yumi and Yoshino. They could squish ginkgo nuts underfoot if they aren't careful, you know. I guess the three of them are together for the sake of this OP because they are in the same class.

Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako not walking slowly
Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako not walking slowly.

As for Yumi and Yoshino having a grand ol' time racing through the school, Yoshino I can accept, as it is after her surgery and I think she would be inclined to live it up a little, but the segment does reveal a heretofore hidden side of Yumi that Marimite viewers are not accustomed to seeing.

Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako teleport
Yumi, Yoshino, and Shimako teleporting, also not slowly.

This is a very different Yumi from the first three seasons. But she is a year older now, and three seasons wiser and more confident. During season four, Yumi does display a lot of her characteristic uncertainly and hesitation, but her anxieties are not as base as those of first-year Yumi's. The first-year Yumi could never have had the nerve to tear through Lillian Academy laughing it up with her friends, but I can accept second-year Yumi as being self-assured enough to enjoy herself in front of other people.

Noriko and Touko
Noriko and Touko are actually taking this relatively well.

And I guess that is the crux of this post: Maria-sama ga Miteru is a journey in the life of a young girl and how the people around her shape her growth and guide her towards adulthood. As much as season one is about Sei fucking with Yumi followed by Yumi making faces, it is also about Sei mentoring her and preparing her to be on her own in season two so that in seasons three and four she will grow ready to take control of her own life and begin to mentor younger girls herself.

Despite reports to the contrary, not actually a Turbo Lesbian.

Turbo lesbianism? That is what most people will claim Maria-sama ga Miteru is about if pressed to offer a two-word Marimite synopsis, but I disagree. To me, it is about Growing Up.

«« Toradora! is good, but it's still no Honey and Clover
Fresh Precure is the same as it ever was where it matters »»

Related Posts