Maria+Holic Alive

March 24, 2012

Dear mother still up in heaven,

Oh God. That lesbian is still alive. That nose bleeding perverted lesbian pig still lives. I thought she have died from a massive nose bleed that a sequel wasn’t possible. Actually, the season ended with an abrupt cliff-hanger so I suppose that means there will be a continuation whatsoever. So I guess we’ll have to put up with more of Kanako Miyamae’s disgusting habits in Maria+Holic Alive. Yeah, I guess that is what “Alive” means and refers to.

A basic recap of the series. Kanako loves girls and is allergic to boys. That line tells a lot. That’s why she enrols herself in the Catholic missionary high school, Ame No Kisaki so that she could find her female romantic partner. Unfortunately her roommate is a cold hearted cross-dressing boy (Mariya Shidou) with an equally sarcastic but emotionally deadpan maid (Matsurika Shinouji). Thus Kanako’s dream is very much a distant dream. Add all the odd characters and friends in her life, you can say that the dream is still pretty much elusive. All she gets are abuse, her common sense challenged daily and frustration that would drive anyone up the wall. Ah well, that’s all part of being alive, doesn’t it?

In contrast in my previous blog of this series, I will be referring to Mariya as a ‘she’ instead of a ‘he’. It makes my life so much easier because for most of the part, Mariya looks, sounds and acts like a girl. So why not? This means Mariya’s equally cross-dressing twin, Shizu I would be referring as ‘him’. Confused? Not to me :).

Episode 1: The Forbidden Women’s Dorm
Has Kanako become a polite and kind lady? In your dreams! That’s right. She’s just dreaming till Mariya rudely wakes her up. Mariya further teases the yuri pig by dressing in an air stewardess dress causing her to further nose bleed. What a way to wake up to a bloody day. To start the day off, Kanako gets an idea to run with a piece of bread in her mouth like in shoujo mangas. However she trips on Yonakuni and got lost in the thick mist. She ends up at the abandoned First Girls’ Dorm. During lunch, she tells her friends about it and it is said that a couple who confesses to each other under a legendary magnolia tree on their lucky day, eternal happiness will be granted upon them. This was also the tree that Kanako’s parents met under. It is decided that they will go to watch the tree blossom tomorrow. Back in her room, Mariya and Matsurika caution Kanako about her attempt because the dorm is laid with traps. Because the boys and girls dorm were located next to each other, there were perverted attempts to get over. Thus the girls laid traps over traps till the place is filled with them. So much so no one comes in, no one gets out. Due to this, the first dorm was closed and now abandoned. Mariya warns about the harsh trials one must endure to see the tree and many failed by even getting past the front gate. Surprisingly Mariya supports Kanako as the cross-dresser leaves the front charge to her as she would like to also see the tree. Kanako, Yuzuru Inamori, Sachi Momoi and Nanami Kiri get ready to enter. Her friends see her determination so they decide to go along with her. Sachi picks the lock to open the front door. Kanako goes in first but an arrow is fired at her. Ryuuken Ishima pushes her out of harm’s way (banging her head into the glass). She too would like to join their journey after learning about it. Oddly as they trek through the corridors, they feel the place is neatly maintained. The first trial is to soak in very hot bathtubs. The longer you soak the more coins you get. I don’t know. That’s what the rules said. Kanako’s fantasizing has her drop into the bathtub. Saves everyone the scalding, eh? Yeah, she got a bunch of coins too. Thanks Kanako.

Next trial is to play a slot machine and summon somebody. Just exactly who? Matsurika?! She makes it clear Mariya has no hand in this and was paid handsomely (in a gem stone) for this part time job. Seems God and Yonakuni are watching everyone on a big video screen. The next trial is strikeout in which one must pitch through a window with numbers on its glass. Ryuuken flops so with 10 coins, Kanako can ‘summon’ the deus ex machine Matsurika to do the job. All Matsurika did was go up close to the window and break each one of them with the ball. The next amusement, oops I mean trial, is a super speed treadmill. Kanako tries running on it but ran out of steam. She wants to use 10 coins to summon the deus ex machine but since Matsurika isn’t paid over time, she goes off. Kanako continues to beg Matsurika for help but was slapped by Sachi. She reminds her of her mission to rediscover the memories of her late parents and must try harder. After going through more trials that resemble so much like amusement, finally they are up against the final boss: God. Behind her lies the door to the tree. Nanami gives her strawberry rice cake since God requested it. God purposely drops the key and goes off. As they unlock the door, not only they see the tree but Mariya and Matsurika inviting them to tea underneath it. Kanako understands the secret of the jinx that eternally ties couples together. It doesn’t matter which side confesses. Just making it to this tree means going through a lot together. If they don’t care deeply for each other, they’ll give up halfway. Suddenly Kanako learns that there is a secret emergency exit which serves as a shortcut to this place (otherwise safety regulations for the building can’t be approved!). Kanako is appalled of the suffering she went through. Everyone knew about it but after hearing Kanako’s determination to charge through the front, they just followed her. Mariya surprisingly has nice words for Kanako. At least she now knows what her late mom felt. But that is just a cue because she has to go back the way she came! God is showing her the way in… NOOOOO!!!

Episode 2A: Playing The Forbidden Game
It’s June and supposed to be the hot summer but it’s raining like cats and dogs. Why? Because God says so. Kanako is not only stuck in her room with Mariya and Matsurika, but Ryuuken and God as well because they are here for Mariya’s tasty sweets. To liven up the mood, Ryuuken suggests playing Romance of the Three Kingdoms card game. Huh? See how obsessed Ryuuken is in the topic? She knows just about anything about its generals. Of course Kanako is the only ‘dumb’ one and feels left out. Kanako tries to change the subject and suggests they should talk about something current instead of in the past because well, everyone in the Three Kingdoms are pretty much dead. Ryuuken laments her inconsideration of others so God takes out some simple Moe Concentration card game that even idiots can easily play. Then Mariya takes out her personal card game set: Fun with Law: Criminal Law Set 2! It even comes with narrated CD! Now everyone can have fun learning about law! Matsurika shows her personal cards. However they turn out to be gemstones and serve more as her wish-list with suggested retail price. Even Yonakuni has his own ESP cards! This causes Kanako to throw a tantrum that she wants her own cards too. But she may get more than she bargained for because Touichirou Kanae comes in and is willing to answer her distress. Her hives are breaking out… Kanako is screaming in terror… Then Mariya’s snack finished. This means God has no reason to be here and stops the rain. The sun suddenly comes out! WOAH!!!!!

Part 2B: Secret Reception
As Kanako reluctantly cleans up the room, she is upset that Mariya and Matsurika don’t give a damn about her. Yeah, Matsurika is playing her handheld game… Kanako tries to tell them off that if they don’t keep clean… But when she swipes the window pane at Mariya’s side, she is surprised to find it squeaky clean. She then realizes the different ‘gap’ between their cleanliness even though they’re in the same room. She requests for ‘Overseas Development Aid’ but Mariya refuses. This has Kanako fantasizing her own personal maid (why are they all girls from Infinite Stratos?) and starts throwing a tantrum. In view of this, Mariya already has someone prepared to help with her cleaning: Kanae. See how Kanako collapse… Maybe she overworked herself…

Part 2C: Rewards of Bashfulness
Unlike her friends, Kanako couldn’t tell Nanami had come to class with a different lens as reward for the mid-term exams. Sachi also bought herself her own reward: a screwdriver. Huh? Yuzuru thought Kanako was being mean when she asked about the former’s reward. Turns out to be chocolates. Kanako tries soothing her that they are cute though those little bits are expensive. Beats Matsurika’s gems, eh? Kanako goes back and wants a reward from Mariaemon (Mariya + Doraemon) so she was being told off that rewards are reserved for those who work hard and then succeed. Because Kanako starts throwing a tantrum, Mariya has just the thing prepared: Kanae! Get ready for father time! I’m sure Kanako would be grateful for any reward that will free her from these circumstances.

Episode 2D: Do your best Touichirou!
Kanae is thinking how to properly respond a handphone SMS. Seems recently he has been getting lots of SMS from Mariya to help Kanako. Since he teaches Japanese language, using emoticons may be improper but decides to use it to keep it short and trendy. However he is in a dilemma on what emoticon to use to avoid unwanted misunderstanding. Finally he settles for a chick.

Episode 3A: Greed’s Tremor
God warns Yonakuni about getting fatter than he is now… Too late. Kanako thinks she has been looking for love in the wrong place and decides to dress up and head to the big city to find one. But when she finds she can’t zip up her skirt, she tries to make excuses to rational her weight gain isn’t so. Thinking back, she blames Mariya’s high calorie sweets that caused the problem. However she is made to go back further into the root of the problem. From patissieres to the basic ingredient of sugar cane. Kanako tries dieting and only eating shiitake mushrooms since this will cause her to salivate and in turn reduce the amount of water in her body and thus her weight (WTF?!). Because Nanami is talking about chewing marbles (instead of stones like what boxers do for training), Kanako is tempted to steal Sachi’s marbles. During the meeting between class reps, starving Kanako is disheartened to learn that Ayari Shiki will be discussing the cafeteria menu! Actually everyone is giving such high class names that Kanako couldn’t imagine what those dishes are. And even if they do, the way they explain in detail makes Kanako want to have a taste of it. She finally couldn’t take it anymore and sees Shiki’s hair as croissants and pounds on her. Kanako locks herself in her room and turns it into one big sauna in hopes of reducing her body water. Looks like the heat fried her brain. Yeah, she’s like a psycho person in a strait jacket walking around with 2 iron balls chained to her feet! Honoka is talking to her friends about seafood so Kanako overheard that and loses control. She wakes up in the infirmary and her instincts have her attack the school nurse, Tonomura after mistaking her boobs as melons! Amazingly she can still nose bleed. How many fluids does her body contain? After 3 days without proper meal, that night, her stomach is growling like mad. She creeps out of the room in search of food! Suddenly a loud scream is heard. Ryuuken wakes up and rushes to the scene. To everyone’s horror, they see Kanako up on the ceiling like that monster from The Thing trying to swallow Yonakuni! In the aftermath, Kanako is being reprimanded by Mariya and Matsurika. Though she has bitten Yonakuni, assaults on pets are considered damage to property. They also tell her to do her diet properly by exercising and reducing calorie intake. Even so, Kanako has the guts to say doing it by the book is boring! Kanako gets serious in her dieting and avoids all the late night sweets. She is happy that she is able to fit into her skirt but only to be told walking around in those clothes in Ame No Kisaki is forbidden. Plus, they won’t let you leave the campus just to have fun. Kanako is so disheartened over her suffering that she starts eating all the sweets to make it up for her misery in this prison. But of course, one can always apply to go outside with a reason to study at a friend’s place. I wonder what will be her reaction once Kanako finds out about this…

Episode 3B: Do Your Best Touichiro!
Kanae blames the rain that makes his clothes rather tight. Mariya and Matsurika start selling him some fantastic diet which actually turns out to be one big pyramid scheme. And that father is so convinced with Mariya’s smooth talk and conviction. I guess there are lots of gullible people who would still fall for this ‘business model’.

Episode 4: The Captive Maiden
Kanako is in the midst of a trial for biting Yonakuni. God is the judge while her friends Yuzuru, Sachi, Nanami and Ryuuken are the jury. Mariya is the prosecutor while Matsurika is the defence lawyer. Either way, Kanako is screwed. Mariya and Matsurika also put up a convincing performance to make the jury feel that they are having a hard time going against each other. So with both sides arguing what Kanako did during her assault (they have ‘video evidence’. More like clips from the previous episode), they call in witnesses to give their testimony (even that seaweed creature in Kanako’s bag makes its appearance. Oh, don’t forget Kanae too!) and it seems Nanami’s reasoning is always against Kanako, much to Sachi’s dismay. Yeah, she’s bad at reading the atmosphere and merely wants to speak the truth. The twist and turn of the trial turns from one that is trying to deliberate Kanako’s actions as sudden or pre-mediated to one that accuses Yonakuni as the culprit to make Kanako attack the dog in self defence. During this period, Kanako has got the cheek to worry about her status as this series’ main character. If she gets labelled as a criminal, the show might be cancelled! However when she starts fantasizing the beautiful female prisoners and jail wardens, she thinks going to jail isn’t as bad! WTF?! However she feels her priority is to keep her status as the main protagonist of this show (she can always work as a jail warden during her summer vacation. Like anyone would!). Kanako gets up and decides to reveal a secret that no one else had heard before. But then the alarm clock rings and God decides to leave to watch a certain anime that only airs at this time of the week. She leaves the deliberation up to them because, no one can simply deprive and interfere with God’s once-a-week enjoyment. Oh sh*t! Yonakuni hops along with God and hey, shouldn’t the injuries be healed in a few more weeks? The dog is walking fine, though… In the end, the jury finds Kanako guilty to the charge of property damage and looks like Matsurika already has made the necessary preparations for her punishment: Kanae! A sermon from him till morning! Hell begins now! Kanako comes back exhausted (Mariya and Matsurika can’t help make dirty comments) and to her dismay she learns today is exam day! Kanako set the new record by becoming the first girl in Ame No Kisaki to fail all her subjects so much so an emergency meeting was called. That bad, huh?

Episode 5A: Sullied Sisters
Kanako refuses to believe that she is that stupid and gives some lame excuses. So desperate to tell that she is not stupid, that she explains her elder sister who has gotten into the worldly renowned California Institute of Technology to be a REALLY STUPID SCHOOL! WTF?! Plus, her sister is the really idiotic one! I wonder how her imagination turned so malicious. I wonder why Mariya and Matsurika have to put up with this. So they substitute Kanako by talking to a stuffed bear while the real nympho is tied and gagged in the closet. Thank heavens. But even so, Kanako still isn’t repentant. I guess Mariya will have to put her foot down and make sure Kanako does a collection of make-up questions from every teacher (I guess they were really serious in this grave matter) and do nothing but study for the next week and pass all subjects in her make-up exam. Mariya goes to the Archery Club early and meets some of the members, Banri Tsumugi, Chifumi Satsuki and newbie Komachi Yamaki (a self-proclaimed Mariya devotee who joined the club just to be close to her). Kanako still hasn’t learnt her lesson as she spies at the Archery Club. She is dismayed that Mariya is fooling around with a bevy of beautiful maidens. Unfortunately her fantasizing of Yuzuru has God catching her in the act of not studying. When Mariya and Matsurika return to their room, they don’t see Kanako around and think she has escaped. But God mentions since she assumed the chairmanship of the committee to deal with Kanako’s failing grades, she has increased her studying time. In short, Kanako is sent to a place where time flows differently. Though it may be a week here, but Kanako will be spending a year studying!!!

Episode 5B: Mischievous Fingertips
When Kanako comes back, she has longer hair, grown 2 centimetres taller and sporting an accent?! And she wants everybody to give her their study skills?! But it seems that Kanako isn’t the only one who changed. Ryuuken sports a very weird hairdo too. Her class table has been decorated by Shiki with rhinestones, resin and those flashy stuffs. Seems Honoka was the one responsible for the hairdo and her close buddies also don outrageous hairstyles. Why is there a cat in the hair? Honoka offers to do Kanako’s hair and because her hand is touching the back of her neck, the usual bloody geyser from her nose… Honoka continues to do Kanako’s hair even if she’s passed out. Yeah, you could say it is one hair-raising style! Anyway, Kanako managed to scrap pass the make-up exams. Ryuuken invites Kanako to play her personal card game. Since it is based on Japan’s historic battles, as Ryuuken mentions the interesting thing about this game is no matter how hard the players try, they can’t change history! Furthermore, Mariya announces those cards on sale and there will be an official tournament tomorrow morning. Participation is compulsory as God adds. The lowest ranking student will be punished to watch continuously the long running three-story series, Legend of Japanese Heroes box set. All 165 episodes on 45 DVDs!!! FUUUUUU~!!! And without blinking!!! I guess you know what this means for Kanako. She is so desperate to buy those cards that she is knocking on the store’s door in the wee hours of the morning. Nobody’s home… Now does she appreciate Japanese history?

Episode 6A: Heart Pounding Mission: School Scramble
These are the events that happened while Kanako was away. So much so Matsurika ‘hijacked’ the series and calls it Matsurika+Holic. Ryuuken is looking for Mariya but was told by God that she is away visiting her family. Fumi Kumagai talks to Tonomura about using card battles as teaching supplement to learn Japanese history. Mariya notes that she understands her intention to include fun in her teaching, she feels it will not convey her feelings to her students. Mainly because of the cheap card materials. Mariya suggests to let her handle the printing job and they can bang out 300 starter packs and 1000 five-card booster packs! Then we see her analyzing in how to make sales and profit with these cards to the extent of selling it to the boys’ school of Mihoshi No Mori as well. Kanako’s friends are worried about her absence so they decide to brighten things up on her table by putting a flower and her picture. Does it give a feel that she’s dead? Elsewhere Ryuuken’s followers comment about the hairpin she got from Shiki so Honoka takes this opportunity to do her hair. The sales of the cards shoot up (thanks to God forcing the girls to buy) and for Mariya and Matsurika, it’s like printing money since they only incur printing costs. Seems Mariya and God are in a little dispute over the official rights for this Sunday’s tournament so Mariya assures she’ll handle it so God would like to talk about the prizes, penalties and God’s royalties. What God’s royalties?

Shiki finishes decorating Kanako’s table as suggested by Kanako’s friends. Kanae was passing by and saw this. He misunderstood that Kanako had passed away. He happens to pass by Mariya and Matsurika and since both are talking ambiguously, Kanae is convinced Kanako went to heaven. Well, Kanako did depart to somewhere else not on this Earth. Kanae further misinterprets Kanako committed suicide over her make-up exams. Then he got the cheek to even think he should consider the happiness of girls in front before him and will bring forth their true smiles. Mariya and Matsurika can tell from his eerie gaze so they excuse themselves. Next thing we know, Kanae is stuck in a pit hole at Mariya’s mansion. Shizu’s butler, Rindou (also Matsurika’s twin) was the one who dug the spot and even thought of burying the father completely by planting a tree! Of course Shizu reprimands him and takes Kanae inside. But Kanae upon looking at Shizu, starts having that sort of feeling in his heart. I guess being a shotacon is fine for him too, eh? He can’t take the pressure anymore and dashes out in a bathrobe. Though Shizu is clueless, Rindou notes that the stare the father gave him is not the kind generally given to men. Kanae meets Mariya and Matsurika on his way out (they’re coming back from club activities). Before Mariya could finish asking, he tells them he has no right to stare at her. Actually what she wanted to ask was why he was coming from her house in a bathrobe. Walking through the corridors of the school, he chances upon Maki Natsuru. He somewhat takes a liking of her scent and sees her shaken face. Oh no. This guy is starting to think he’s fallen in love with her. Natsuru meets up with Shiki to tell her Kanae is a pervert who walks around the campus in a bathrobe. Don’t tell me he is falling for Shiki too? All these events are actually what Matsurika is typing an SMS message to her father what has happened over the week! Kanae sees Kanako with that outrageous hair-raising hairstyle. If she dyed it blonde, she may have looked like MAR’s Rapunzel.

Episode 6B: Matsurika’s Journal
Kanako is in the midst of being erased as Matsurika asserts her presence is not needed in Matsurika+Holic! Though the second half nearly become so Touichirou+Holic. Mariya chides her about wanting to take over the entire show and that her little journal section wasn’t enough. Oh, Kanako is close to complete erasure!

Episode 7A: The Real Swimming Competition Full of Pretty Girls
Mariya and Shizu are challenging each other to… Who is taller? Surprisingly Shizu beats Mariya by 0.3mm! However Rindou starts spouting some embarrassing details that we users aren’t going to hear. With the exams over, Kanako is looking forward to the swim meet. Oh God. Girls in swimsuits. Double trouble. She’s looking forward to flying tops and all. Sh*t. She should have been taking exams for the entire month. When that day came, as usual, Kanako’s nose bleed turned the entire pool into a blood pond. Why does she have so much blood? In a blink of an eye, everything was over. Kanako laments that Shizu and Mariya switched places for the kibasen. She heads over to Mariya’s mansion with intentions to apologize to Shizu for the flying top incident. Really? Why is she sneaking around? But she gets caught in a trap. Yeah, courtesy of Rindou. Rindou brings the ‘victim’ inside the house and as we are being told, these are traps he set intended for Mariya (they’re in some sort of war since young?). Rindou loves the battlefield and survival games but Mariya would’ve been happier if he didn’t turn the entire garden into a trap loaded battlefield. The loggerheads are bickering so much so Kanako got annoyed to at least let the VIP out of the net (she’s making me laugh). Kanako soon apologizes to Shizu and he forgives her. However Mariya cautions her of being too kind because Kanako’s the kind that’ll start getting cocky. Still, Shizu stands up for Kanako as she may have her reasons. Mariya wants Kanako to go back to the dorm while she’ll be staying here. Because come tomorrow, she’ll understand.

Next day in school, Kanako sees the swimming teacher, Ayano Enjouji. She wants her to redo the flying top incident because she finds it electrifying and wants to see it again! She even brings Mariya! Is her secret going to be revealed?! Fortunately not because it’s just a dream. Kanako is in despair when Mariya touches her but is surprised that she didn’t break out in hives. This could only mean this person is Shizu. Since it’s Mihoshi No Mori’s swim meet, both twins switched places. Because of that, Kanako is looking forward to the entire day with doing whatever she desires with Shizu. Unfortunately, this isn’t a dream. Yeah, Matsurika pinched her cheeks hard to confirm this. Then suddenly Shizu runs up to Kanako to confess that the swim meet was a lie. Shizu convinced Mariya to switch places just to see her. Her heart pounds when he thinks of Kanako?! You can’t be serious?! Could this finally be her romance? However Enjouji tells them Kanako’s lips are hers?! WTF?! Love triangle?! Then poof! Kanako wakes up from her dream in class. Haha! A dream twist in a dream! Kanako is desperate for Shizu to stay here and if an accident won’t happen at Mihoshi No Mori’s swim meet, she’ll make one! She makes all the necessary preparations from getting the best seafood from Honoka to give to God so she can get the emergency exit key to the First Girls’ Dorm. And a change of clothes to avoid being identified as Ame No Kisaki’s student. She takes this life and death mission seriously that she wants her pals to deliver her rosary to her younger sister in the suburbs if she doesn’t return! Once at Mihoshi No Mori’s pool, she is thinking how to involve Mariya in an accident. Because she thought for too long, Rindou sees her and she is surrounded by guys! Hell time! Rindou thought she is the judge for the kibasen. I don’t know how Kanako ended up putting on her swimsuit and in the middle of the pool, but the guys start converging at her from all sides when the game starts. Death becomes her…

Episode 7B: Rindou’s Journal
Rindou narrates his love for survival games and setting traps to ensnare Mariya. But the traps always catch unintended victims (remember Kanae’s case too). So why is Enjouji caught one now? Looks like a dream from Kanako. Apparently Matsurika forced this dream twist to get back her segment…

Episode 8A: Sullied Innocence
Kanako is disheartened to find that even for summer vacation, there is a special class only for her. Yeah, her failed-every-subject incident must be really infamous. But learning that summer classes have always been voluntarily attended, if she could just get several students to attend class voluntarily, she’ll have her beautiful harem for summer. All is not lost! I think she just lost it. But after asking a few of her friends, seems they are all going back home to help out with their families. They have a future to think about and it’s not like life ends once high school ends. So much so Kanako believes in the Mayan Prophecy that the world will come to an end in 2012 and that the moment to live is now! Kanako is annoyingly singing to herself Sachi’s birthday song (which is tomorrow). She ponders what kind of present to give her and takes out a photo album filled with secret shots of Sachi! She even has a few sets on other girls! Stalker! It’s no surprise why Kanako gets beaten up by the sadist, eh? Mariya confiscates the book and still Kanako isn’t repentant. Sachi is so popular that they are having her birthday celebrations at the church during the summer holiday (Matsurika quoting she’s even generous and kind towards industrial waste like Kanako). Everyone is thanking Sachi for the ridiculous aid that helped them out (don’t ask). Even some gay Frenchie. Who the heck is that?! Before Kanako’s turn to give Sachi’s present, she is being called out by Mariya. Outside, she confiscates the gift and opens it to find a devilish babydoll dress. What was she thinking? Increase her cute appeal? I think Mariya would do a better job by returning it. Returning to the church, Kanako compares everyone’s outrageous gifts. She is sure Sachi would accept her ‘thought that counts’ but that will make her the villain in the eyes of others. When it’s Kanako’s turn, she wraps herself as Sachi’s present! But after seeing everyone’s presents that made Sachi smile (and Mariya’s words of forcing her perverted hobbies unto others), Kanako apologizes for not getting any present and runs off. At the park, Kanako thinks back about the days when Sachi helped her out. She has been the kindest one to her since she stepped foot in this school. Sachi then finds her and says she got her present. That photo album? Apparently Mariya gave it to her with an excuse that Kanako wanted to capture brief expressions of hers which will never be repeated again. Sachi will treasure this album, not knowing the real secret intention behind the album. Kanako wanted to confess but was stopped by Matsurika. She didn’t have a proper present and if she told the truth, what would happen? Would it make anyone happy? Even if Sachi would, will everyone else be happy? That’s why they feel Kanako must learn a lesson that there are things that can’t be resolved with just a mere apology. As punishment for trespassing against Sachi, Mariya hereby revokes Kanako’s speaking rights for the next episode! A background character without any lines! Oh yes! For once Kanako will shut up!

Episode 8B: Matsurika’s Journal
Mariya and Shizu trade each other’s homework but to Shizu’s dismay, his share is several piles compared to just a single compilation. Mariya helps out by reading aloud some of the questions but they sound so much like riddles. Yes, Mariya is just reading it. To make up for the injustice, Shizu has her answer a riddle. Something to do with bread (pan) and frying pan. Both put on a serious face and play poker as they can’t come up with the correct answer. The servants aren’t of any help because Rindou said some random line while Matsurika reads a stupid line to come up with a punch line.

Episode 9: The Precocious Fiance
Tota Hanabusa came all the way from Osaka to Ame No Kisaki to see his true love. At the gates, he has a spat with Kanae and the father is losing. He gets labelled as a dangerous animal with a Lolita complex! He’s trying to argue his way out that difference in age has nothing to do with love? The chatter stops when Ryuuken comes by. In the cafeteria with her friends, Tota is praising the beautiful girls in this school except for one: Kanako: Yeah, her mouth is fully covered! No yapping for this episode! In view of Kanako’s no-speech, Rindou, God and Yonakuni take the liberty to do some commentary and narration on Kanako’s behalf. Oh, how screwed up will it be? Yeah, the commentary will always be distracted with something else like jet fighters, helicopters and Geronimo. What? As Tota introduces himself, he also confidently mentions himself as Ryuuken’s future husband. Him calling Ryuuken so casually has Kanako her blood boil but she is taken away by Mariya because her friends decide to leave the love birds together. But beware. Kanako isn’t going to yield just yet. Ryuuken and Tota stroll around the campus and we learn that this guy is obsessed with stag beetles and has the tools ever ready to catch them. So is here to see his fiancée or collect beetles? Ryuuken learns Tota has visited her parents and was told she wanted to go to a different university and can’t come home (they are against it). Tota believes her place as his wife should be at home because he’ll do the work and savings to get that modest but happy life he wants to make. Ryuuken reminds him that he’s the only one taking this fiancée thing serious because all this was just a joke by her grandparents over drinks. Tears start welling in Tota’s eyes. He is seriously in love with her but laments she can’t say the same for him.

Meanwhile Kanako has gotten herself loose (except the mouth piece) and is trudging closer to the duo like a crazy stalker killer/ninja! She has that murderous aura! However she was distracted by Shiki and Natsuru. She tries to hold her nose bleed after fantasizing about Natsuru’s short skirt. Unfortunately she can’t and at a safe distance, she lets the blood flow. Now the mask is so tainted… Though she would love to take the easy way out by having Shiki take her to the infirmary, her priority now is Ryuuken and that obnoxious kid. The only thing in her heart is destruction and nothing will stop her from destroying that love till nothing is left! Dangerous. When she finally catches up to them, Kanako challenges Tota by showing him a stag beetle. However she instantly lost. And on home ground. How can you beat this expert? However Tota praises Kanako for trying to give her credit. He apologizes for saying mean things to her and lets her keep the beetle because it suits her (he put it on her face?). Then he gives a good luck charm to Ryuuken for her studies. He knew she was taking the university exam (because she’s his fiancée) and came here just to give her this. He decides to head back to Osaka and promises the next time they meet, he’ll be a better man. Say Kanako, you should learn a lesson or two from this kid. Tota passes by Kanae, apologizes and hands him a stag beetle. Later when Kanako’s mask has finally been removed (oh God. The yapping has begun), she is lamenting her tanned skin when she was out looking for stag beetles and only put mayonnaise as sun lotion. Come to think of this, vegetable oil does fry stuff, right? Anyway Matsurika suggests fighting fire with fire by using mayonnaise. Kanako is happy that they’re all in this together but gets beaten up because Mariya and Matsurika certainly aren’t as stupid as her. Go suck the mayonnaise yourself!

Episode 10A: The Holy Man’s Scapegoat
Matsurika gives Kanako a rosary and even though it’s from that cruel maid, I guess Kanako would be happy to receive from any girl. Till she learns the rosary belongs to Matsurika’s father. Worse still, it’s cursed! Matsurika’s dad immediately SMS her to tell the wonderful news of how he felt so light and liberated suddenly. Oh Kanako… Ever since, Kanako has been having nightmares in her sleep. This leads to sleep deprivation and she could use less trouble when Kanae comes barging in to help her problem. She’ll do anything he says as long he doesn’t touch her. Lying on the bed, Kanae has her count legs of an octopus to fall asleep. Octopus has only 8 arms, right? Yeah, it always worked for Kanae because he dozed off before 8. Not for Kanako. Next Kanae tries hypnosis but since Kanako mentions a capybara, Kanae misinterprets it for her hidden desires and will surrender himself to her! The trauma was horrifying enough to knock Kanako out. Ah well, at least she can sleep peacefully now. Mariya is grateful to Kanae so she gives him the cursed Rosary. Yeah well, he accepted it without second thoughts. Ever since, he feels very heavy and has nightmares of a little girl visiting his room. You know what? He thinks she is the fifth love of his life! Get real!

Episode 10B: Banquet of Lewd Dreams
Though Kanako’s curse is gone, she is asking Mariya and Matsurika for any other variety of cursed items. Why? She can’t get over that little girl who always visits her in her dreams and thinks other cursed items will have a sexy woman figure. So that’s why… Is that all she ever thinks? Matsurika first hands her the air stewardess’ cursed panty stockings (resulting in a scenario in which the stewardess calls the need of a girl who is constantly being mocked by others and also yuri), then a nurse’s cursed nurse cap (trying to make the nurse read an eye test but find out a word is missing so she uses her own body to make that word) and a female manga author’s cursed G-pen (drawing yuri images till she nose bleeds). Finally it is revealed those items aren’t actually cursed but belong to collectors with a certain taste. Oh Kanako, you’re so screwed…

Episode 10C: Forbidden Relationship
Kanae laments the cursed rosary but ends up coming up with a pun. “Aku No Jujika” can both mean “Evil Cross” and “Business Hours Open At Ten”. Also, “Noroi” can mean “Curse” or “Slow” (though different writing). Kanako comes up to Kanae and would like him to return the rosary because she misses the little girl. Great. Not only human girls will do. Is she so desperate to even want a cute spirit girl? Kanae misinterprets that if Kanako knows about the little girl, this must mean a love triangle. God and Yonakuni come by and the former is surprised to see the rosary in the father’s hands. She lets them know it belongs to her but lost it through time (just how old is she?!). This rosary used to be her favourite because it comes with a ‘lovely friend’. While Kanako panics upon God’s advice that some things are better left unknown (God’s childhood days, that is), Kanae thinks his fifth love ended pretty quickly. Did it even start?

Episode 10D: The Nape In Summer
Kanako loves the summer and when the girls don the yukata because of the ‘destructive power of the nape that peeks right on the edge of the yukata’. Oh God… She starts getting delusional but when the moment comes, she is disheartened that nobody tied up their hair so it’s safely hidden behind it (phew). Because she still can’t let the topic of napes go, Nanami lets her know that 70% of Japanese women wash their napes first. I guess the other girls fall into the remainder 30% as they state the other parts of the body that they wash first. Does it really matter? I don’t want to know. It ends with everyone watching the fireworks.

Episode 11A: The Younger Sister’s Juicy Secret
Miki, Kanako’s younger sister drops by Ame No Kisaki for a visit. Kanako laments she needs to do special homework for the summer holidays (because of her miracle epic fail) instead of having bikinis and drenched see-through shirts. With Miki coming into the room, I guess Kanako would have pounded on her own sister if she hadn’t said the sensitive subject of her becoming bigger. Kanako realizes Miki is here because her friends actually sent the rosary (remember that incident back in episode 7?). Then Miki hands Mariya the graduation essay of Kanako as she reads aloud her embarrassing dream of wanting to become just about everything. But the one she wanted to be most was a princess. So she once liked boys? Embarrassed Kanako takes the book away and runs away. In class, she is guarding it tightly and though her friends pretty much wanted to see it, they start narrating their own embarrassing dreams. Well, sounds noble if you ask me. As Kanae enters the class, he sees Kanako clutching the book and her sorrowful look has him think that she is torn between the gap of her dream and reality. He decides to make her believe in her dream when he remembers his own dream that never came true. Yeah, he wants to be a wonderful groom. In this state, he’ll never achieve it. So how? He tells her that dreams don’t come true and be strong like him. Er… You’re touching her hand. Later Kanako sees Miki strolling on the campus grounds. They talk about the good old days when they all came together at Ame No Kisaki as a family after mom died. Miki wanted to find out more about this school and ran away once but Irene (the director of Ame No Kisaki then and Mariya’s grandma) welcomed her and that is when she first met Mariya who was tasked to take care of Miki. An Archery Club member spots them and brings them back to the club room. Kanako sees how Miki interacts well with everyone and feels jealous. The girls think Miki should enrol in this school and be the Archery Club’s manager and cute mascot. Miki further explains how she first saw Mariya pulling her bow and was captivated. She was inspired ever since.

Kanako stand this anymore and takes Miki away. She warns Miki that she can’t think about Mariya and it’s definitely no good. To make her understand, she blurts out Mariya is a boy. So happen Mariya and Matsurika are there. Kanako realizes the sh*t she’s in because there is no way that cross-dresser would forgive her now. Especially since she’s smiling, there has to be something sinister underneath, right? Kanako right away gets down on her knees to beg for apology and to let Miki off the hook. Mariya plays it cool and brushes that nonsensical talk. This is Mariya’s way to cover for Kanako but I guess Kanako was dumb and pushing her luck that she tries to convince Miki that she doesn’t break into hives when she touches Mariya and that she is not a boy. If she had shut the f*ck up and let it slide, this would not have happened. Miki takes Mariya’s hand and touches Kanako. It’s breaking out! Miki would like to have a private talk with Mariya. Mariya admits he is a boy but Miki says she’ll enrol in this school since her dad wanted all his daughters to study at Ame No Kisaki to begin with. She’ll join the Archery Club and once she does, she wants Mariya to date her. This is not a threat to keep her identity a secret but rather she was in love with her for a long time. Mariya feels she is just upset that the person she thought was a woman turned out to be a man. At a distance, looks like Matsurika and Kanako couldn’t contain their curiosity and eavesdrop on them (Kanako tied up of course to prevent from doing anything destructive). Kanako witnessed the moment Miki’s heart got shattered and decides to cheer her up. But this was a giveaway that she was spying on them. Miki notes that Mariya avoided dumping her and pretended nothing ever happened but to Matsurika, she just dodged the entire thing to prevent it from becoming into a messy relationship drama. Soon Miki departs and promises to come back as a student of Ame No Kisaki next year. After all, this is the place her parents met and where she found the love of her life.

Episode 11B: Matsurika’s Journal
Are you curious what Matsurika’s dream was when she was young? An oil tycoon. Hah! I thought it would be something like world destroyer or conqueror.

Episode 12: Kanako’s Birthday
Kanako has been banned from using the public bath due her tainting nose bleeds. But she has to study in a room adjacent to it and hopes she can finish it before 31st August. It’s her birthday. Kanako tries to give hints to Mariya and Matsurika about that special day but I think they’re just pretending to be dumb by giving loads of other important events that happen on that day (including Malaysia’s independence!) and making a pun out of it (8/31 = Vegetable Day: Ya (8) Sa (3) Ichi (1), get it?). Even if Kanako hints a birthday, they go on ranting birthdays of famous people instead. Would it be a surprise that nobody remembers this lesbian’s birthday? So desperate that she tries to hint it to her friends with puns but I guess it got twisted somehow. This including going to great lengths to write that date on the ground with her blood! Finally her friends conclude it could be her birthday since she’s acting so weird. Sachi suggests a surprise party and asks Kanako if she’s free on that day. Of course she is. Kanako thinks this is a sign she’ll throw a surprise party and becomes happy. And that I mean starting her delusions. Ryuuken also got the hint and asks Kanako the same. I guess kind Shizu was the only one who remembered Kanako’s birthday and calls Kanako about her plan on that day. Wow. She must be super delusional by now. Even Kanae thinks of celebrating it with her on behalf of her brother (in the previous season, it was said that her brother died of some composer disease. A lie obviously). Yeah, Kanako isn’t looking forward to his birthday bash at the church. I mean, she’s got Sachi, Ryuuken and Shizu to choose from, why would she choose that father’s letter over the girls?

On her birthday as Kanako eagerly waits, the only invitation she got was Kanae’s letter and a direct mail from the Yuri Friends Monthly magazine to meet at an event in Tokyo. She walks around hoping that there would be a surprise at the corner but nothing came up. Finally entering the public bath and finding nothing, she breaks down and contemplating if she should accept Kanae’s invitation. She’d rather go to the Yuri event. However not giving up, if they’re not going to surprise her, she’ll surprise them! Waiting in the public bath can be tedious. But when she starts fantasizing, ah well, there’s the nose bleed again. Mariya and Matsurika find her ‘frolicking’ and tease her about the birthday bash she’s supposed to go. Kanako spots a hole in the wall that fits her rosary. As she puts it in, the water starts gushing out and the trio start falling deep into the sewers. Deep underground, Kanako laments spending her birthday like this especially spending time with the cross-dresser. But Mariya wishes she would stop blaming others. Firstly it was her fault that she is spending her birthday alone because she told everyone she was free on today when her friends asked her about her plans for that day. As for Kanae, Mariya understands she doesn’t want to be invited by him but he still wanted to celebrate for her out of the goodness of his heart. He could be waiting at the church and who hasn’t responded yet. She has trampled on the goodwill of everyone else. Kanako decides to head over to the church to apologize to Kanae. Then she’ll go to the Yuri event. She never change, eh? I don’t know how the seaweed got here but it suddenly multiplies due to the hot water. Run for your lives! They come up to a dead end but with a familiar slot machine that will summon somebody. Kanako inserts a coin and out comes Rindou! He takes the offensive to let the ladies through. Then they are confronted with the seaweed in Kanako’s bag. Mariya and Matsurika get tangled (fanservice cue?) so Kanako could press ahead. When she arrives at the church, she is surprised that everyone is there singing her happy birthday. How come Rindou, Mariya and Matsurika are there too? Did they find a short cut? Or did Kanako take the long way? Shizu lets her know that when they found out they were planning a surprise party on the same day, Mariya suggested they all get together and throw her a big party. How sweet and considerate of Mariya. After all, birthdays only come once a year. Mariya gives Kanako her birthday present: A peck on the cheek. Holy sh*t! The hives! THE HIVES! Lastly Kanako narrates that though she hasn’t find the love of her life yet, she has met so many people who are dear to her. I hope she doesn’t mean it in a perverted way.

Kanako+Whore-lic: Bloodied Maria
Well, it was a pretty hilarious and chaotic run for this sequel. Once again the ultimate yuri love Kanako wanted so much eluded her again but that doesn’t stop her from continuing to have lewd and wild fantasies and delusions. As the main protagonist of this series, she is someone that you will both love and hate at the same time. Her sickening delusions are the source of comic relief. You want her to shut up and stop dreaming but at the same time you want her to do so, so that she could receive the ultimate punishment that would all make us laugh and say “You deserve it!”. Okay, so we are all sadists and no better than her. But really, she hasn’t changed or learnt from her previous lessons whether it is a few episodes ago or in the previous season. How low has she sunk I wonder. The same ol’ yuri pig who will continue to live a life of hell and trials so long as she keeps up what she’s doing. Not only high school girls suit her taste, but as seen from this sequel, convicts and spirits. My guess is that the next time she’ll even go for female animals… That is what you call desperate case.

This series loves using cliff-hangers for dramatic effect. Just when you think something big is going to happen, it turns out to something insignificant. Like the swim meet was perhaps just a dream in a dream. Something to torment Kanako? I remember when the first season ended, it also ended in this manner. Something to do about the rosary pendant before an abrupt end. So where was all that in the second season? Also, the series loves breaking the fourth wall. Since when Kanako is concerned about her character appearing regularly in the show? Though she has an episode that strips her of her speaking role, it felt good but at the same time empty. Our ears may get tired after hearing too much of Kanako’s delusions but lacking it would defeat the purpose of why this show is funny in the first place. Hmm… Maybe Matsurika should really have a spin-off series herself.

I notice that in this season, Mariya wasn’t the prankster and sadist she was back in the first season. No doubt she still does abuse Kanako for her own amusement (and for her own good). Even if she was reprimanding Kanako, it is mainly to make her realize her own stinking attitude. But still that bloody b*tch doesn’t learn… Mariya may not totally be an angel as she has her own ulterior motive especially the sale of those personal card games. But I suppose it’s just to make a profit. Otherwise, she still maintains her polite and graceful manner in front of the rest (Kanako is always an exception). As for Matsurika, she is still cruel as ever with sarcastic comments not only for Kanako but sometimes towards her master as well. In this sense, she is by far the coolest character to me in the series. If she was a master and not a maid, she could’ve been much worse. Though Kanako’s friends do not make much impact, at least they do still have their fair share of screen time. Whether it is Sachi’s helpfulness or Nanami’s inability to read the atmosphere.

This time round I felt Honoka, Shiki and Natsuru’s screen time and role in the sequel were reduced. In the previous season, Honoka was the one responsible in making that creepy seaweed bag Kanako’s possession. Here, she is reduced to a tsundere. If I remember, Shiki is Mariya’s cousin and there is some sort of rivalry between them. In short, they don’t like each other and you can feel sparks will fly if they ever cross paths. That doesn’t seem to happen here except for just a short little moment during the cafeteria menu discussion. Kanae is somebody who thinks too much. Too much for his own good. Heck, you can see words coming out from his head each time he speaks from his mouth or head. He’s got this dilemma of being in love with the girls and trying to uphold his integrity as a priest. But often he is always being used by Mariya and Matsurika to ‘punish’ Kanako. Each time Kanae comes close to Kanako, she’ll start yelling and screaming random words like as though she has become a broken down machine or a mad woman. And each time Kanae tries to decipher the meaning of those words. He’s got extensive knowledge but what’s the use when it’s not rightfully applied.

It’s nice to bring about some new characters like Tota and Miki. We get slightly deeper insights on some of the characters. But I feel that they serve just as teasers. The other little bits of information like the probability Kanako may once liked boys, the Miyamae sisters, the mysterious past of God and the battle between Rindou and Mariya serve as interesting bits. Perhaps more will be revealed if there are future sequels? But the plot about Mariya and Shizu switching genders and school didn’t come into prominence much. In the previous season, it was some game to see who will take over the directorship of that school. Maybe that’s just it. So far you can say their identities are still a closely guarded secret and won’t be busted anytime. Even if Miki is added to the list of those who knows Mariya’s true gender, I don’t think she’ll go rant about it. SHAFT productions usually have that weird feel in their art and animation. The sequel retains its trademark visual styles and though it may have a variety of other drawing styles (usually during Kanako’s wild delusions), I won’t say it is as much as some of their other works such as Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Bakemonogatari. As usual at the end of each episode, there will be a short segment called Omake (Bonus). They are short and random nonsense that does not have anything to do with the main series. Sometimes you want to laugh out loud, sometimes you just want to scratch your head and go “Huh? What was that all about?”. Of all the Omake shots, the best one has got to be the parody of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. So is it possible to make a free contract with Kyuubey?!

As the casts of the sequel are retained, once again I would like to take my hat off to Asami Sanada who is the voice behind Kanako. She does a good job and especially hilarious whenever Kanako goes into fantasizing mode or just screaming in horror. From one minute she can be experiencing heaven and the next a hellish torment. Her character is so noisy that it even annoys others right in the dead of the night! Yu Kobayashi to me always has that crazy voice and though she doesn’t make Mariya go screaming and blowing her top more often, her voice can switch between angelic and demonic with ease. Marina Inoue doesn’t need to put in extra effort to put up with Matsurika’s deadpan and emotionless character. But I guess that’s what makes her character cool. For the first opening theme, Mousou Senshi Miyamae Kanako by Tomokazu Sugita (voice of Kanae) sounds like a tokusatsu-like theme for Kanako. Only difference is that it is singing about the delusional warrior Kanako is. Make that very. The second opening theme is surprisingly annoyingly infectious. Entitled Runrunriru Ranranrara by Yu Kobayashi, it is crazy and wild. The song fluctuates between cherubic and devilish. That’s why Yu Kobayashi does a pretty fine job with it. Sometimes it sounds so funny (it has a little Arabian tune to it) that I can’t help myself from laughing and sing along the ‘catchy’ chorus. Of course the animation is a crazy mix as well. Among them we see include Kanako drawn as a pig and we have Mariya dressed as Alice In Wonderland skipping by. An episode when Matsurika hijacked the show, not only she sings in her deadpan voice, some of the faces of the characters are replaced with Matsurika’s mug! It’s like wearing a mask over your face. The ending theme, Dou Ni Mo Tomaranai by the seiyuus of the Ame No Kisaki girls, sounds like a video game song or at least a song fit for a detective series. The special ending song for the final episode, Don’t Mind Don’t Mind by Yu Kobayashi is yet another crazy piece to end this crazy series. Plus, there is a short segment at the end which previews the Maria+Holic Movie. Another one of those nonsensical Omake? Well, it must be since I haven’t heard anything about it till today.

Perhaps if Kanako was more refined in her approach and not a wild horny beast desperate for romance, I’m sure her yuri dream will go well. I think her late mom in heaven would have long turned in her grave seeing the embarrassing antics of her daughter. With so many nose bleeds, the school may need loads of fresh paint. So many nose bleeds that Kanako could have been a frequent blood donor (better not get a blood transfusion from her or else you’ll get the HIV – Happy Idiotic Virus). Too many nose bleeds that it puts the most perverted anime guy to shame. But if it makes her happy, why not? Of course not! There’s a limit on how happy you can be.

PS: My mother is still alive and doing fine as always :)

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