“Yay! A gender bender, sort of” That was my original reaction after reading Maria+Holic’s summary. Twelve long episodes later the only words that could sum up what I felt was, “HUGE Disappointment”.
The story follows Kanako and leads us through her first day at, Ame no Kisaki Academy. Like every first anything she’s nervous yet excited at being in an unknown place with unknown people. To really understand this anime you have to know a little about our very own heroine.
Kanako is searching for what we all want, the perfect girl. Well, most of us, but true nonetheless. Being allergic to boys since she was young- mainly due to them being “dirty,” and perverts which resulted in her breaking out in hives with any physical contact with them. Enrolling in the all girl academy her parents met at was a no brainier. Don’t worry it’s explained how her parents met, because I can’t be the only one who misunderstood that line about her parents….
The first day there, well first fifteen minutes to be exact, she meets the ideal girl, Maria. I know, what are the odds, right?
Maria is perfect. She is delicate, sweet, petite and so graceful. Maria kisses her on the cheek, Kanako swoons, gets hives, and they part for the afternoon. I noticed two things at this point:
1. Kanako isn’t the smartest fish in the barrel.
2. It was going to be a long ride.
The story from then it unravels pretty quickly in the next two episodes. By that I mean that, yes, Maria is a boy and Kanako does find out she is, he is, you get what I mean. Thus embarks our little Kanako in her lesbian quest. If at any point my words offend you, then this is definitely not the show for you.
When you walk in on the girl of your dreams changing and instead see a him, putting on fake breast and girl clothes, eventually the wheels turn in your head and you make up two scenarios: Aliens invaded Earth and took said girl and replaced her with a male version then disguised him as her to infiltrate an all girl school to brainwash one female at a time and make them their slaves. Or, and I know this might seem far fetched, she is actually a he and is lying.
And of course as soon as you realize that it is indeed NOT aliens, you will put your hand up his skirt and touch his manhood to prove your point. Oh wait, not every girl is Kanako. I think she just wanted to take a grab but what do I know.
After some threats and ridiculous nose bleeds they are settled in their new room, together of course. The plot mostly stops at this point.
We see Kanako’s slow and painful process in making friends, and have some WTF moments in the process.
The use of words like, homo, yuri, and lesbian is guaranteed since in just the first episode our very own Kanako get’s bullied by our very own Maria. It was such a great start too, it had pretty girls, guy in girl clothing and groping. Too bad it had no development and the relationship was too far of in the horizon. Watching Kanako’s internal monologues is enough to make anyone want to slam their head against a wall just to deviate from the fact that you understood whatever she just said. Or, for those less violent of us, at least hold our breaths long enough to make us feel like we have a concussion. All through watching I kept needing to yell out a “not all girls think that way!” At least not all the time. My chibi-me keeps a bottle of water around because talking makes her parched.
Episodes drag on and characters are introduced and given no depth. The only ones who's past we get enough of a view to care about are Maria and Kanako, but barely and not enough. At the beginning you assume the plot would be about Maria and Kanako building this amazing friendship or even falling in love but alas, that’s not it either. Instead you get lots of nose bleeds from our very own protagonist wanting to see her classmates in her underwear or in bikinis. I am not ashamed to say in the least that Maria would have made an interesting lead girl and makes me wonder why she isn’t since her name is in the title. Maria was what saved this how with her sadistic nature and sharp tongue inducing humor. I really hope the second season is better because absolutely nothing happened on this one, no really, not twelve episodes worth anyway. We get it Kanako, you like girls.
The animation is something that was great, no matter how you slice it. The sceneries and characters were vivid and the color as per usual was amazing. The voice acting wasn’t annoying and I think Maria’s voice changing was great, and made more sense than when guys pretending to be girls or vice versa don’t change their voice. Always leaves me wondering, really? The intro song was weirdly addicting and it matched with the randomness of the episodes.
The characters are pretty, with nice animation and sound, and playful banter that was downsized by all the blood and Kanakos’ horniness, making this one of those anime you watch on mute and make your own dialogue to.
Would I watch it again? Sure, I mean, if I woke up tied to a chair and a voice recorder turns on and a voice says, “I want to play a game...”