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 :)

Maria+Holic

September 27, 2009

Dear mother up in Heaven,
 
I’m still thinking whether I should really classify Maria+Holic as a yuri themed anime. Well yes, there are yuri elements but it is not the entire show or the characters, you see. To the unfamiliar, at first the title may indicate something illegal like relating to an alcoholic beverage. I assure you it isn’t so. And having said that there are yuri elements, is it about girls who are totally addicted to immoral stuff to another girl named Maria? Not either.
 
So what is this show really about and where does the yuri element come in? For those who are bent on watching this series, get ready because our main female protagonist, Kanako Miyamae, a sophomore who has successfully enrolled into the all-girls Catholic missionary high school named Ame No Kisaki, is a lesbian herself! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. She has fears of boys and whenever she comes into contact in any of the male species, she breaks out in hives. Just like Yukinari’s case in Girls Bravo, eh? Because of that fear, she develops her love for the female gender and thus her lesbianism. Expect her to go into drooling and fantasy modes while flooding the place with her distasteful nose bleeds. And that is one the main reasons for comedy in this series. So it’s either you’ll love it or hate it. For me, I’m sticking around for the comedy which partly makes the fanservice funny. Hey wait a minute. Isn’t this school a Christian one? Oh, the unholiness…
 
As seen in episode 1, Kanako has just arrived at her new school and it will soon be the start of the new semester. Because the grounds are so huge, it’s understandable she gets lost. Till she spots a maid outfit lady, Matsurika Shinouji. Her first reaction Kanako got from her was being rudely called a sow as large as the Eiffel Tower. Uh huh. Did I mention that Kanako is a little tall for an average girl her age? Matsurika’s ‘master’, Mariya Shidou, notices the ruckus and her friendly personality is so much more different that of Matsurika’s. Of course Kanako gets acquainted with her and thinks she has found her destined one. Dream on. Yeah okay. As a start, Mariya gives Kanako a peck on her cheeks! Now that girl is totally in Heaven. Kanako learns that freshman Mariya is the granddaughter of the previous director of Ame No Kisaki. Mariya soon leaves for her Archery Club activities and promises to give Kanako a tour of the school later. While Kanako is fawning over the recent kiss, she is stumped that her skin has broke into hives. Kanako reaches her dorm and meets the dorm leader only known and wants to be addressed as… God. Don’t want to question or go against God, don’t you? God seems to be a little girl taking care of the dorm’s chores with her trusty doggy partner, Yonakuni. Kanako also meets her roommate and popular 3rd year Drama Club member, Ryuuken Ishima. Oh great. She’s thinking of some great harem already.
 
Kanako goes to look for Mariya at the Archery Club and meets a fellow club member, Yuzuru Inamori. Now this is the most damning sight that Kanako would see. She spots Matsurika trying to put on a corset on struggling Mariya! OMG! Mariya is a boy! Put on the fake boobs too, will ya’! If Mariya is a male, how the heck can she get into an all-girls school? Well, since she is the granddaughter of the previous director, which means he can flex his authority, right? Besides, nobody else knows that Mariya is a boy except Matsurika and recently, Kanako, whose dreams are shattering till they’re disintegrated. And yeah, the usual quarrelling after that. While Kanako is upset about Mariya’s cross-dressing, Mariya shoots back at her for being a homo. The funny thing is that Kanako prefers the term yuri. WTF?! What’s the difference? Kanako threatens to expose Mariya so he rips off Matsurika’s top and sends Kanako into fantasizing and nose bleed frenzy. Yeah, she’s a lesbian whore after all. Mariya lets loose a blood curling scream as this will attract the attention of the nuns who will rush to the scene soon. Faking a rape scenario, who are the nuns going to believe in this case? You’re damn right. Kanako will be expelled if this goes out so she has to keep quiet if she wants to remain in her universe of all-girls Heaven only.
 
She goes back to her dorm hoping to find solace in Ryuuken but to her horror, Mariya has become her new roommate. I guess she has used her powers to move Ryuuken out, eh? The reason being is that Mariya is still suspicious of Kanako ratting her out and decides to stay close her for supervision just in case. Will things get any worse? With the known fact that Mariya is a cross-dressing boy, Kanako has problems sleeping in the same room with him. So she’s in a dilemma whether to have Matsurika sleep with them too (why did she come in from the window?). Mariya then wants Kanako to help choose which sexy nightie to wear for sleep. Should Kanako be disgusted or continue fawning? Besides, Mariya is a sadist and besides her supervision reasons, I guess she loves making life hell for Kanako. Expect constant bickering between them but we know who will come out tops, right? Matsurika who is her personal nanny gets to be by her side 24/7 just because he is the previous director’s granddaughter. Expressionless sounding Matsurika’s rudeness and sarcasm isn’t confined to Kanako alone but sometimes to Mariya himself. And if you think that Kanako will feel repulse everytime she is with Mariya, think again because all Mariya need to do is her cute girly expression and Kanako will still nose bleed. Lesbian indeed. Oh sorry. Yuri. Not only on Mariya but other girls at school too.
 
Episode 2 starts off with yet another Mariya-Kanako bickering. Something about Kanako wanting to change into her school uniform but since Mariya is a boy… So she tries to change under her blanket. So odd… Mariya and Matsurika bring Kanako to meet the latter’s homeroom teacher, Fumi Kumagai. I can’t believe Kanako is into her too. No doubt she looks young and pretty but I guess any girl would do for her. After we learn Kanako’s mom passed away when she was at a very young age, Kanako is introduced to her class and no prizes to guess what kind of reaction she has to see all her pretty classmates. They include Yuzuru (who is always wearing her Archery Club uniform instead of normal school uniform), bright and cheerful Sachi Momoi and the unsociable Nanami Kiri. Thank goodness Mariya is in a different class due to their 1 year difference. Later everyone converges in the hall for the student council speech. Kanako is upset that Mariya is the one giving the speech apart that he is the Archery Club’s president. However Kanako notices Mariya’s smooth speech gives out a different atmosphere and he is like a goody model student rather than his sadistic side. Suddenly Kanako stomach growls because she missed breakfast. Feeling embarrassed, Mariya takes the blame and gracefully says it is hers, quelling the other students’ curiosity. Then it is the student council president’s turn to give her speech. She is Ayari Shiki and is Mariya’s cousin. However Kanako notices that Mariya and Shiki don’t get along well despite their friendly facade.
 
Later Kanako encounters Ryuuken outside and the latter wonders what is going on because of the recent change in their room. Ryuuken is worried that something may have happened to Kanako and wonders if it’s her fault. When Ryuuken tried to visit her, Kanako’s room has been literally sealed off. Their conversation is cut short when Mariya and Matsurika appear. It seems Mariya is trying to prevent Ryuuken from finding out his true identity. Mariya explains that the change in room was for her safety in the sense that Ryuuken is a popular student and that there are many people who want to get to know her. So by placing a newly transferred student with a popular one, imagine what others would think. She goes on to mention sick seafood pranks that befell on Ryuuken’s previous roommates. Matsurika demonstrates that even Kanako has one now. Seaweeds in her bag? Though Mariya says it isn’t her fault, Ryuuken feels guilty and understands as she walks away depressed. Kanako is upset and wonders if Mariya is jealous over Ryuuken. She also asks her about why she dislikes Shiki but Mariya tells her it is none of her business and touches her in a threatening way (hives coming out!). Mariya says how she has to sell herself as a delicate type beauty while Kanako wonders what the pain she feels in her heart. Could it be love? Yeah right. Something is definitely wrong with that yuri girl.
 
In episode 3, Mariya lends Kanako a spare bag since the latter’s was ruined by one of Ryuuken’s fan’s prank. But being a sadist, there is something creepy lurking in that bag… WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???!!! Anyway we leave that to your imagination. Not only Kanako is a yuri but she’s not that smart either. She doesn’t know much about the rosary as compared to Mariya. And she’s in a Catholic school, you know. Mariya lends Kanako her late grandma’s rosary not because she pities Kanako of not having one, but rather loves the fact to see her suffer sitting uneasily with it the whole day. As Kanako is having a meal with her classmates, she discusses about the unacceptable pranks Ryuuken’s fans did. Then jewellery expert Sachi examines Kanako’s borrowed rosary and estimates it to be worth 15 million Yen! Better not lose it. Later as everyone is changing for PE, a group of trio fans of Ryuuken, led by Honoka Tsutsui, is going to put another seafood prank in Kanako’s bag but some tentacles in her bag grabs the seafood and proceeds to do something creepy to it! Freak out! Honoka gets another shock when Kanako returns. Thinking that the rosary is from Ryuuken too, unhappy Honoka snatches it and throws it out the window. Frantic Kanako rushes out to search for it. While Honoka’s members think she has gone overboard, Honoka thinks she still can’t forgive Kanako for getting special treatment while they themselves suffer the pain in silence. Poor Kanako continues to look hard even if it’s pouring. At time like this, I feel pity for her. But really, no love lost.
 
Soon Kanako gives up but surprisingly is given a towel by Nanami to dry herself. Then in class Kanako sees Honoka and her pals and teary eyed Honoka still won’t forgive her. Then Nanami steps in by saying how they bullied Kanako because they thought she stole Ryuuken away from them. But she assures them this is not the case because she is dating Kanako! OMG! Another revelation! They return the rosary and it seems Honoka had never thrown it out and had just acted so. Kanako is happy when she sees Ryuuken. The latter feels guilty and wonders if it is her fault that she is all drenched. However Mariya and Matsurika show up. Another showdown? At the same time, because Yonakuni has been burying seaweeds in the garden, the rainy weather has them bloated up so much it expands violently like they’re some sort of monster tentacles and they’re approaching Kanako and the rest in a speedy and threatening matter!
 
That seaweed threat is easily disposed off courtesy of Ryuuken in episode 4. Plus, Ryuuken vows to be Kanako’s protector. Serious? Now Kanako is really fantasizing. Super popular Ryuuken on one hand, dating Nanami on the other. But that happy dream comes to a halt because Matsurika is seen suffocating Kanako while sleeping. Good thing? In class, Kanako is relishing to things that she and Nanami would do on a date and goes to ask her for one. However, Nanami says that a date between 2 girls in impossible. How could this be? Didn’t Nanami like Kanako? Well, Nanami mentions that she was asked by Fumi a favour to help out Kanako. She can’t turn her down either. So that’s how it is… If you think losing Nanami is heartbreak and having Ryuuken by her side as consolation, think again. No doubt Ryuuken is with Kanako. All the time. This bodyguard thingy is turning more into a stalker thing, eh? Too bad all those piercing stares made Kanako felt uneasy. It’s like having the good and the bad together. Kanako experiences more pain when a stampede of girls physically pushes (and even steps) on her just to greet Ryuuken. Things get even worse when Ryuuken after getting permission from God pleads to live with Kanako in the same room! This may be a dream come true for Kanako but think of all the unfortunate events that has happened to her. And Mariya isn’t going to like this since this will be close to exposing his identity. Yeah, he says how he’ll ‘penetrate’ Kanako later!
 
As Kanako and Ryuuken sleep together, Ryuuken tells her story how she once kept a pet dog and cat. She always took her dog out for walks but her cat left home alone. Whenever they return, the cat who felt left out would always bully the dog and doggy didn’t fight back till the day it died. Since then, Ryuuken couldn’t forget that misery from that day onwards. The next day, Ryuuken continues to guard Kanako and poor Kanako still feels bothered but is unable to tell her off. So Nanami goes to talk to Ryuuken and suddenly the latter felt embarrassed and apologized before walking away. Kanako learns that Nanami told Ryuuken that they are both dating. Elsewhere, Honoka is planning another prank on Kanako with her last seafood product. Later as Kanako is having a meal with Mariya and Matsurika in their room, Kanako starts fantasizing what she’ll do with Mariya because he is donning a cute maid outfit. Mariya steps on her head but with to no effect and then she realized Mariya is a boy and the horrifying effect sinks in. Oh for crying out loud. You’re eating food lah.
 
In episode 5, Kanako talks to Fumi to try persuade Nanami out of helping her but Fumi disagrees because this is a good chance for Nanami to make friends. In class, Kanako is horrified to learn that she is the new class rep but Nanami saves her once more by volunteering herself to be her assistant. Later they bump into Ryuuken at the corridor and she still thinks Kanako and Nanami are lovey-dovey. Nanami and Kanako attend a meeting by the student council for class reps and Kanako nose bleeds upon realizing how pretty and friendly Shiki is to her. Then Mariya too is there and everyone thinks how he and Shiki get along frequently. Kanako thinks otherwise. Because Kanako intends to know Nanami better, Sachi and Yuzuru help out. Such as offering snacks (rejected!), share textbooks (didn’t work because Mariya switched and put lots of yaoi magazines in Kanako’s bag!), going to cafeteria together (Nanami brought her own bento), and to even desperate move like marry her! Damn. Kanako feels depressed for her failure to even talk to Nanami so Sachi brings out her final measure by disguising herself poorly as some guy so that Kanako could rescue Nanami when she fakes a robbery. However Nanami could tell she is Sachi and even lends her some money. Sachi starts to break down over her failure and says how she just wanted to be her friend. With that, Nanami accepts as they both walk home together. Meanwhile Kanako is still waiting in the bushes for the okay signal. What was the signal anyway? Haha. Keep waiting… So the next day, Nanami is part of the gang but to Kanako’s dismay, Nanami says she is friends with Sachi and Yuzuru but not her. Yeah, nobody wants to be friends with a homo.
 
On another day, God and Yonakuni have conducted spot checks in the dorm rooms and have confiscated several illegal items. I’m not sure if she’s treating this as a game because she’s awarding points to the owners of those confiscated items based on their creativity on hiding them. No matter how creative they are, none can escape from God’s eyes… Even Kanako’s creepy bag is confiscated but God returns them to their rightful owners and reminds them to hide them properly. She also reminds them that there’s a supplementary exam next week and if they don’t get a passing score, their items will be confiscated for real and they have to show an essay of their graduation writings from elementary school. This is so like a penalty game. Back in the room, Mariya reads aloud Kanako’s embarrassing elementary graduation writings. Upset Kanako snatches it back and wants Mariya to help her hide this because she doesn’t want to let anybody else see. Matsurika then activates a button in which the locker opens after some weird password voice authentication. Wow. What a large room and supposedly Mariya’s hidden room! Is this even legal in the dorm? Does God know about this? However Mariya is just teasing Kanako and refuses to let her hide it here and tells her dispose of her creepy bag herself. Kanako leaves the bag outside the garden and though relieved, she felt a heavy heart parting with it. She comes back and Mariya notices her red eyes. Crying, huh? He says how parting is painful and tells her to change and go to bed. When Kanako opens her locker, she finds her creepy bag in there. "Welcome back, my master". Tentacles rubbing her face… Maybe Mariya put a new one for her? Either way, Kanako will never get rid of it. Live with it!
 
In episode 6, under the orders of Mariya, Matsurika pours gasoline over Kanako in bed. You know why lah. Then the usual argument and when Kanako says how Mariya may be interested in her, Mariya threatens with a lighter so Kanako immediately apologizes for going overboard. But this episode has Kanako jumping with joy. Why, it’s the physical examinations. Oh great. More nose bleeds and fantasizing. Have we ever seen such an extreme case of female pervert? Since we know Mariya’s case, he is using the powers as the previous director’s grandchild to bypass it. Because girls stripping and looking at their slender soft white skin is too much, Kanako passes out and is taken into the infirmary. Loss of blood not due to any medical or scientific reasons, you know. And since Kanako is confined to bed, she can only hear in frustration all those girly talk of underwear descriptions and vital statistics. Oh she wants to see them so much! And they’re just opposite behind the curtain. Oh so close yet so far. She deserves to stay there! Call it a blessing in disguise. God knows what kind of perverted rampage she’ll do. Then Kanako is surprised to hear that Mariya attends the physical examinations and rushes out to see if it’s true. Woah! Time out! Mariya has real boobs?! WTF?! Another nose bleed sending her back to bed. When she comes to, Mariya is by her side and she seems compassionate. After all those bullying, Kanako is still sceptical and doesn’t want to be touched by him. However Mariya soon gives out a sly snicker. Suddenly Matsurika comes in with… another Mariya? Twins? What’s going on? It seems that the Mariya with boobs is Mariya’s twin sister, Shizu, from the all-boys school affiliate of Ame No Kisaki, Mihoshi No Mori. Hey wait a minute. Shizu’s a cross-dresser too? Is cross-dressing a norm in this family? The reason Shizu is here is because the twins swap places for their school’s physical examinations. Nobody would notice, right?
 
They explain that their late grandma wishes for them to get to know both male and female gender well and wants them to cross-dress in opposite genders to escape the glance of other students and to see their crisis management skills. However this cross-dressing game is also a contest between which will last 3 years till their graduation. While the winner gets to be the next director of that school, the loser is when one’s true identity is found out by either of the school’s students and Shizu thinks Mariya is lost because of Kanako. However Mariya and Matsurika doesn’t think so because by scrutinizing the rules, Kanako knows about Mariya’s case before she was a student in Ame No Kisaki (the day before her actual transfer). Thus she didn’t break the rules. But it can’t be said the same for Shizu. Mariya continues her winning case and offers to overlook her failure if Shizu kneels before him and lick his feet! But teary Shizu doesn’t want to and runs away. Kanako later learns that Shizu hates boys (unlike like her own case who fear boys) but Mariya says that making her attend an all-boys school is a chance for her to overcome that fear and that Mariya doesn’t care about the director’s seat or mind losing it her. Mariya wants Kanako to keep this a secret from Shizu. That sincere smile and speech has Kanako taken aback so much so she forgot to nose bleed. I don’t know whether I’m supposed to laugh or feel amazed. After the physical examinations, Kanako learns that Honoka has lost her underwear (oh no. It’s that happy perverted face again!). And she just got discharged from the infirmary. Now back there again. Her friends are explaining the events and how it may have been stolen when Kanako perfectly describes Honoka’s underwear (because she was eavesdropping while lying at the infirmary). Then it made her the suspect… Haha, she deserves it even if she’s not the culprit. Besides, Honoka’s underwear was located closely to Kanako’s bed and at arm’s length. Uh oh. It’s understandable that everyone now has a different view of Kanako. Remember kids: Thou shall not steal.
 
Fortunately at the start of episode 7, with God’s help, the culprit is revealed to be Yonakuni and thus Kanako’s name is cleared. Shucks. I was hoping to see her getting some punishment. However that girl doesn’t learn because she takes the bra from Yonakuni and runs away with it! This episode sees how Nanami and Sachi are getting along very well. I don’t even want to think about Kanako’s fantasy that both girls are feeding each other lovey-dovey. Because of that, Yuzuru is bothered and can’t concentrate on her archery practice. Of course Mariya and Matsurika thinks that it may be Kanako’s perverted bullying and at fault. But viewers can tell by Yuzuru’s body language that her best friend Sachi is getting too close to Nanami and she feels left out. The turning point is when Yuzuru invites Sachi to her Archery Club but the latter says how Nanami is more important today and rushes out of class with her. Yuzuru’s heart isn’t clear and this affects her shooting. Mariya gives her some advice (that’s because Yuzuru is their best bet for winning the upcoming competition!). She is happy when she sees Sachi coming in but all that turned into despair when she comes by with Nanami. Then she hears the words how Nanami is cute. She couldn’t take it anymore and runs away. Yuzuru fakes an illness so that she doesn’t have to attend class and stays in her room.
 
Then 1 morning, Yuzuru finds Sachi along with Nanami, Kanako and her roommate Satsuki in her room to celebrate her birthday. She was preoccupied with that friendship jealousy and perhaps forgotten about this day. So Sachi has been going out with Nanami lately just to pick a birthday present for her, an archery glove. Even Mariya and Matsurika drops by to give her a present. Yuzuru is grateful and thanks them. However only Kanako is depressed because she is the only one who doesn’t know it is her birthday and didn’t buy her a present. If she did, she could’ve got her a sexy lingerie! On second thought, it’s better she didn’t. Then Mariya suggested that Kanako do ‘that performance’ as her birthday present. With everyone encouraging her, Kanako has no choice but to do so. Whatever that performance is, we’ll leave it to your imagination.
 
It is Ame No Kisaki’s founder’s day in episode 8 whereby the Virgin Mary Festival is also celebrated. Kanako gets another shelling for her ignorance of the hymn Mariya is singing (sorry, I myself don’t know that Latin piece too). Kanako is excited for the event because it would mean gathering of girls from elementary level as well. During the student council and class rep meeting, Ryuuken, Kanako and Mariya has been chosen to represent their grades in the Virgin Mary Festival planning committee. Later Kanako approaches Shiki and her assistant, Natsuru, for more advice on the festival she is so ignorant but Shiki wonders if she could ask her roommate Mariya instead. But you know Kanako-Mariya case lah. Shiki then realized that it may be embarrassing for a senior to ask her junior so she is okay if Kanako comes to see her. Can’t believe Kanako is starting to fantasize… Want to eat her ‘croissants’? Later Shiki remembers why she hates Mariya so much like how he ate only delicious parts of a food. Mariya also recalls some accident and hopes Shiki doesn’t remember it. In class, Kanako is back to her horny perverted ways and is going to pound on Sachi! Before she could ask her hand in marriage, Yuzuru slaps her! Then Kanako is happily walking along the corridor when she gets knocked out by a ball. It’s from Matsurika. How do we know? Her name is written on it… Another stay at the infirmary so Shiki and Natsuru go visit her. I don’t know if that knock on her head was too hard or it’s just her nature (should be the latter) because Kanako is asking her about her boobs size. Thankfully level-headed Shiki tells her to stick to questions of the festival. Kanako learns that a large number of students in Ame No Kisaki aren’t Christians and that their prayers are for small helpful gestures for others. Later that night, after another enlightening speech from Mariya, Kanako is encouraged to sing and wants to learn from her but Mariya as usual refuses to teach. Haha, all that mood ruined. Meanwhile Yonakuni approaches a forbidden door and God warns him not to enter. But that door bursts open…
 
Is Yonakuni going to feel God’s wrath in episode 9? Well, behind the forbidden doors are some of God’s collections with a tragic past. Game consoles? Anyway Kanako is happy that the cosplay carnival is tomorrow (Virgin Mary Festival to you purists). Mariya ‘re-educates’ her on the festival before she sees it as some big happy perverted gathering of females. Meanwhile Shiki is pondering how her relationship with Mariya has turned sour and Natsuru wonders if she has forgotten about that Panda Chang incident. Preparations for the festival is underway and we see Shiki dressed in pure white cloth just like Virgin Mary. Then she remembers that embarrassing incident but Natsuru thinks how funny it was and wants her to use this chance to fix their estranged relationship. What happened back then was when Mariya and Shiki were kids at this festival, they were playing around. Mariya tripped and accidentally ripped Shiki’s clothes, revealing her panda panties. Ever since then, Shiki has received lots of different nicknames. However history threatens to repeat itself when a couple of young playful girls bump into Kanako. Alerted Shiki stood up but tripped on the cloth. Mariya’s reflex has Shiki fall into his arms. An awkward moment as everyone stares (Mariya strong enough as a ‘girl’ to carry Shiki?). Because Shiki is kicking up a fuss to let her down, her top button pops out leaving her top expose. Another embarrassing moment which will scar her for the rest of her life. As for Kanako, all I can say is that her nose bleed was so tremendous that it tainted the Virgin Mary statue. How impure… As Shiki runs away in embarrassment, thankfully the festival went on without any major hitch.
 
The next part has Kanako and the gang discussing the 7 mysteries of Ame No Kisaki. As each of the mysteries have blood in it, it doesn’t take long for Mariya and Matsurika to guess who the real culprit is. Yup. Who else but Kanako’s nose bleed. Like the pool filled with blood. Kanako’s long steamy fantasy has her nose bleed staining the entire pool. She has that much blood? Others include hand print blood stains on the wall and a foot one on the track field. It’s like they saw through her because Kanako couldn’t talk back. And don’t forget that seaweed monster in that creepy bag too. Later Kanako goes to see Fumi about the 7 mysteries and the latter tells 6 of them. All mysteriously tied to God and the dorm. Fumi doesn’t know the 7th one and believes no one else would because if one knows all 7 then something dreadful happens to that person. Kanako is filled with curiosity but Fumi evades. Back in her room, Mariya and Matsurika says they know about the 7th mystery but do not know about the other 6. They take this chance to experiment (note the evil grin) as Mariya whispers into Kanako’s ear. I wonder how they know it’s the 7th mystery considering that one needs to know at least 6 before reaching number 7, right? Now that Kanako knows all 7 mysteries, God suddenly comes in with a scary look on her face. What happens next is up to viewers to imagine. Aha. I’ve got an assumption. No more contact with pretty girls! Haha! That will be hell on Earth.
 
But that didn’t materialize because Kanako starts fantasizing over Mariya because of the school’s summer uniform although he’s a boy in episode 10. Increase in amount of exposed skin? She needs to see a psychiatrist badly. Also, the exam results are out and Mariya is top of her grade. Not only that, Matsurika is second place. I guess this is what being really close to him means, eh? Hey, is Matsurika a student of this school as well? And yes, Kanako will have to take supplementary exams because she flopped. Don’t worry, Nanami will be with her too. Sachi helps out by lending her notes even idiots can understand. But beware, it is best to pass it at first attempt or else one has to take supplementary classes every Sunday till she passes. Later Mariya is horrified that Kanako’s best scored subject is civics, considering that she’s a pervert. She almost scored perfect marks! Kanako starts studying but Mariya offers to drink tea and play games with hers. Before she realizes it, time had passed and she didn’t revise a single page. A ploy from the master sadist? Well, it’s Kanako’s fault too if you look it on both ways. On the day of the exams, Kanako wakes up with a snobbish attitude (wearing specs too?) and it’s revealed that Matsurika had played some hypnosis tape while she was asleep. However her essential perverted attitude is still unchanged. Some things just can’t. Then in class, she storms out refusing to take the exams, citing some prejudicial thingy. But she got scolded by Fumi and was allowed to re-sit it. Thankfully she got passing marks. Kanako is happy but Mariya warns her that no one living in this dorm has failed under God so since Kanako is the first, prepare for some incurring wrath! Whatever it was, it was so scary that Kanako had no memories of it.
 
The next scene shows God and Yonakuni discovering a torn love letter. God remembers the time when some admirer confessed to her by giving the letter but Yonakuni snatches it away and rips it. In class, everyone is surprised to learn that Nanami has received a love letter from a stranger while on a train. Kanako says how she hates those perverted old guys who get excited with young girls exposing their skin. Is she the one to say?! But Nanami says that she will refuse him. Just that she doesn’t know how to reject him so the rest gave her some ideas how to do in a nice manner. However the persistent stranger counters it back every time such as when Nanami says she doesn’t know him well, he gives her his full resume! Her numerous attempts also fail as each time the stranger comes back stronger and excited. Even if they boarded on different direction trains, they somehow end up meeting each other. Is this fate? Kanako can’t forgive that shameless lolicon for making a pass crime at a sacred high school girl and is taking out on her doll back home. Has she looked in the mirror recently? She is sad that someone has taken Nanami away but Mariya and Matsurika don’t understand what the heck she’s mumbling about. Next day in school, Nanami is at her wits end on how to reject the stranger so Sachi introduces help in the form of Mariya and Matsurika. The drastic measure taken is a big "REJECTED" stamp on his resume. And it worked! So simple yet effective. Though Nanami feels a little bad because she thinks there should be a better way but Yuzuru assures that he’ll find love soon. Later Sachi comes into class with a love letter she got from the train and Kanako’s instant reaction is to call for Matsurika! Haha. Now that someone is threatening to take away her Sachi…
 
Finally the first guy appears in episode 11 (no, the narrator doesn’t count) and he is Father Touichirou Kanae. He seems to be pretty popular with the girls but Kanae has someone else in his heart. Mariya. WTF?! However due to Kanae’s body language, Mariya also knows this priest has hots for him. This Kanae guy does lots of analytical stuff in his mind so it’s kinda hard for me to follow. He makes the simple look so confusing. He notices Kanako walking with her and remembers the girl whom he supervised during the supplementary exams. Kanako panicked then and when he touched her, she broke into hives and collapsed. Then he notices Matsurika and I don’t know why he thinks that she might be in love with him! WTF?! Before he loses himself, Kanae manages to get Mariya to talk to him. They chat about Kanako’s condition and Mariya says how Kanako’s brother died of Tchaikovsky Disease in B Minor! Obvious lie! But Kanae believes her because Mariya puts up her nice expression and pleads for Kanae to help Kanako smile again! So in class, Kanae suddenly hugs Kanako and wants her to call him his brother! Kanako breaks into hives and collapses again. At the infirmary, Kanae tries to find out more about the disease without revealing too much. He then suggests to Fumi that he will pay Kanako a house visit as he takes it upon himself and mission to heal Kanako for Mariya’s sake. If only he’d knew.
 
At the dorm, Kanae meets God and besides the weirdness he notices about her, God indirectly hints that he wants to see Mariya in a nightie! I can’t believe that guy shows admittance! Father, thou has sinned! So God slyly hints that in exchange for a Plasma TV, he gets to visit Kanako and Mariya’s room for 3 minutes. But since that isn’t enough, a DVD player offering will extend the visiting time to 96 minutes because God will be busy watching a movie. Meanwhile Kanako is upset after discovering Mariya’s lie when Kanae comes knocking on their door. Mariya allows him to stay and since both aren’t true to their feelings, Kanae and Kanako thinks their ordeal starts now! Some awkward and ‘tense’ conversation as Kanae wonders what Mariya and Matsurika are whispering at the other end when suddenly God opens the door and says that time is up. So fast? Well, she didn’t want to watch that crappy move so she drags Kanae out and throws him out into the rain. Haha. This shows that you can never beat God. While soaking outside in the rain, Shiki comes out to see him and offers him her umbrella. With that, Kanae thinks he has found a new love. Oh God. Father, thou has really sinned. Hmm… There’s something refreshing about this episode. Lack of Kanako’s horniness! Oh yeah! Besides that, this episode is filled with onscreen notes which Mariya even quips as annoying.
 
Kanako’s nose bleeding fantasy makes a return in episode 12 because it’s swimming lessons! Oh God help us! Then some clause in the school rules says that students of Ame No Kisaki are allowed to express themselves by wearing any kind of swimsuit. Just when Kanako thinks she has no more nose bleeds left, enter the tanned boyish sports beauty swimming teacher Jaiano Enjouji, Kanako is enthralled by her charms and collapses into the pool. Enjouji dives in and rescues her and soon does CPR on her. Mouth to mouth too. Then all her friends fought over who should give Kanako CPR. A dream come true? Nah. It’s just revealed that it was all her sick dream! Thank God! Kanako is devastated but Mariya tells her that there is no teacher named Enjouji and that the swimming lessons have just ended because Kanako ate too much raw liver earlier on which has her bed-ridden since yesterday. Hahaha! She deserves it! Then Kanae pays a visit and as usual Kanako starts panicking. Kanae even touches her when she spews nonsensical words and that guy is trying hard to interpret them all. Kanako foaming in her mouth for real. Due to that, Kanako misses another swimming lesson due to her hives. Later Kanako discovers several food pranks in her desk and bag but Honoka denies them because the pranks are land food. It is revealed the pranks are done by a group of girls who are fans of Kanae. Too bad they won’t have anymore screen time. After eating a wholesome meal of land food, Kanako regains her strength and does some investigation work. Her research shows that some person died due to overeating. And due to that, Kanako becomes absent for another swimming lesson. She must be on a bad luck streak. Or maybe it’s the interference of Almighty…
 
God finds a piece of her old swimsuit and reminisces the good ol’ days when Kanako comes in to request her to cook better food to digest. Now that she has seen the forbidden stuff, who knows what God’s wrath was because it was enough to make Kanako go missing and miss yet another swimming lesson. Is this fate or what? The final swimming lesson is at hand so desperate Kanako takes all precautionary and even exaggerated measures to ensure that there will be no more missing in action cases. She goes to bed confident but the next day since it’s raining, swimming class got cancelled. Boohoo! However don’t despair yet as Fumi announce that there will be a swimming meet before the holidays. One last chance for Kanako. God is gracious? To Kanako’s horror, everyone will be wearing normal school swimsuits because that clause was just part of her dream, remember? But it’s better than nothing. Mariya then tells Matsurika to play a hypnosis tape to make Kanako hate swimsuits and love male loincloths. And it worked! So finally Kanako gets to attend the swimming meet and see girls in their swimsuit but the hypnosis effect has her feeling unhappy because she can’t nose bleed! Then Kanae heard how Kanako shouts out loud that she loves male loincloth and misinterprets so he goes and get a red loincloth.
 
Before the start of the swimming meet, Kanako is upset that all this is caused by Mariya’s prank and decides to get back at him by exposing her fake breasts so that she could get back her freedom. The kibasen event starts and Kanako is hyped-up as she dashes towards Mariya while her pals wonder her strange behaviour. Kanako slips and this causes Sachi to slip as well and her hand accidentally ripping off Mariya’s swimsuit. Wait a minute. Those are real boobs, right? That means, she is Shizu! Shizu screams in embarrassment and with that, Kanako gets her nose bleed back. Yeah, it stained the whole pool. No wait, the whole world. No even more, the entire Milky Way! Such a bloody mess she’s gotten into. And Kanae is coming back in his red loincloth while Mariya is outside the gates stating how he won’t wear a swimsuit in public. Thus, Kanako’s trial (and suffering) will continue. Finally Kanako wakes up in the infirmary with Shizu by her side. She apologizes but Shizu forgives her. She then sees the rosary pendant and gets alerted. But whatever it is, it ends abruptly.
 
I have to say that the series is quite random and I love the comedy that it offers. I read that some viewers didn’t like the series because Kanako yaps too much or they don’t like the idea that Mariya is bullying someone. Firstly, I find one of the reasons the show is funny is because of what Kanako has to say. I know it’s her sick perverted fantasies but hey, they’re still funny. Secondly, not to say I’m a sadist, but the way Mariya and Matsurika torture Kanako is funny. I look at it as a way to keep her in check of reality.
 
I’m in a dilemma to say whether Kanako is my favourite character for this series. There is one word to describe her yuri nature. Sickening. Sometimes I can’t help but feel so disgusted by her lesbian speech, actions and thinking that I feel like strangling her or giving her a good slap. So I don’t blame why Mariya is being such a sadist towards her. Speaking of which, I noticed that Mariya’s sadistic pranks lessen as the series goes by. I thought she would be playing pranks on her in every episode but I guess that is just minimal. Hey, at least Mariya isn’t that bad and has a heart too. Matsurika is equally sadistic and could’ve been an even amusing maid if she too played more pranks or fire more sarcastic remarks. I find that the other characters like Nanami, Yuzuru, Sachi, Ryuuken, Honoka, Shiki and Fumi aren’t featured that much and even if they did, it was probably just one-off. Their characters don’t change much and you can guess their personality will be the same right till the end. The main focus is of course on Kanako… So will she ever learn her lesson? Nope. That’s why her trial will continue.
 
One thing which I dislike a little is how some of the short plots end abruptly in some dramatic fashion and then to be ‘solved’ in an ordinary manner after all that tensed build-up. Because of that, some of the things are left hanging to viewer’s imagination. Thus there are a few questions which I’d like to know such as does Shiki actually know that Mariya is a boy or was it Shizu back then during her flashback? What about that creepy bag which will forever be Kanako’s? Or the time when Kanako received something dreadful from God after knowing the 7 mysteries. I wonder who God and Yonakuni really are. Ah well, God works in mysterious ways.
 
The drawing and art I can say are quite good and there is heavy shading in the colours. Besides that standard Japanese bishoujo drawing, the series also produces different drawings of the characters. For example the chibi mode has the character head with simple facial details while their body is like a long white marshmallow. Then there is Kanako’s fantasies when the art may range from simple sketches to detailed outlines. It is funny to see Kanako and her different drawn faces. From her manly face (when she’s in incredulous or surprised mode) and devilish look (when she’s thinking of evil perverted schemes). I noticed that in most episodes, there will be a funny looking little cat (I think) which drifts across the screen or seen peeking at the edge of the screen. I wonder what is the implication of this? If it’s not that cat, it’s that tentacles of that creepy bag.
 
If you think that there is a feel of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (SZS) here, then you may be correct because both series are produced by the same company, Shaft. Which reminds me, the speeches and viewing angles closely resembles it. There are even a few parodies such as doing Nozomu’s trademark despair scene and some of the characters in SZS making cameo appearances. Even after the ending credits, there are random drawings from different authors and people of the characters of the series. It’s so like SZS. Since there is no next episode review, an omake (extra) is in its place and the short unrelated random skits can either be funny one-off nonsense or confusing what-the-hell-is-that clips. The opening theme by Yu Kobayashi which is aptly named Hanaji (nose bleed) is a crazy hyped-up song and the animation is crazy which include Mariya using Matsurika as his guitar, Mariya pouring red paint and throwing the mannequins around. The ending theme, Kimi Ni Mune Kyun, sounds like a video game song as the voice in some parts of the song is computerized. The animation here shows the chibi computer graphics of the characters and also the usual craziness.
 
Asami Sanada who voices Kanako did an excellent job in portraying her various expressions from being an insane pervert, frustrated loser, among others. Her other prominent anime character roles include Jun of Rozen Maiden and Dejiko of Di Gi Charat. Likewise, Mariya who is voiced by Yu Kobayashi perfectly depicts both sides of her character which is a gentle and kind ‘lady’ to a coarse sounding sadist. She was also the voice of Lala in School Rumble and Kaede/Kaere in SZS. A shocking discovery for me is that Marina Inoue is the voice behind Matsurika. I guess without her fiery and zealous voice, I couldn’t recognize her. After that role of Kyoko in Skip Beat or Kana in Minami-ke, I’ve been conditioned to recognize her voice as that. Another one which caught me offguard is Miyuki Sawashiro as God. That girl too has a versatile voice which I’m still unable to recognize. Come to think of it, her voice role here closely resembles the one as Maria in SZS. Also, I didn’t realize Aya Hirano behind the voice of Shizu until recently. No need for further introductions, especially fans of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Other casts include Nanami by Akemi Kanda (Ryou in Clannad), Sachi by Ryoko Shintani (Milfeulle of Galaxy Angel), Yuzuru by Saori Goto (Bara Suishou in Rozen Maiden), Ryuuken by Yuko Kaida (Ryoumou in Ikkitousen), Megumi Toyoguchi as Fumi (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist), Yonakuni and Shiki by Miyu Matsuki (Isumi in Hayate No Gotoku) and Tomokazu Sugita as Kanae (Gintoki of Gintama).
 
Some may say that this series is like a fanservice version of Maria-sama Ga Miteru as both deal with the Catholic theme in an all-girls school. Are you still wondering if such fanservice goes well for a Christian setting? Anything is possible in anime. While I’m hoping that a second season would be in the works (praying real hard to God. Not for the yuri but the hilarious comedy lah!), I can’t help ponder that with all the nose bleeds that Kanako has spouted out, she could’ve been a good blood donor. I have never known a girl who nose bleeds so much besides that chibi vampire Karin. Thankfully this series did not turn me into a yuri fan or worse, a yaoi one. Heck, it’s not like I suddenly felt holy and feel the need to fulfil my religious responsibilities. I must confess that I’ve had my fair share in watching lots of ecchi but funny animes and even at one point trying out a hentai show. Hey, don’t start pointing fingers at me or even condemn with the highest degree. To quote a line from the Bible: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone". Oh God, I’m such a sinful otaku…
 
P/S: My mother is still very much alive and fine, doing well.
 

Maria+Holic