Posted by psgels on 25 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



The previous seasons all sort-of picked a bunch of characters, who surrounded the two lead characters of Yumi and Sachiko, and developed them. This season however, is different. It leaves most of the characters for what they are, and instead just picks one: Touko. While she might not have the most airtime, the entire fourth season is so written to explore her character to the fullest. Considering that she already had quite a bit of depth thanks to the second and third season, it’s perhaps not much of a surprise that this fourth season of Maria-Sama ga Miteru is my favourite one yet.

You could see Maria-Sama ga Miteru as a slice-of-life series, and indeed there are a ton of scenes in which we see the regular lives of the characters. However, I prefer to see it much more as a character-study: it’s always thinking to show off new sides of characters. It’s always thinking of ways to evolve them or give them more depth. You can see this not just in the main ones, but also the side characters. And really: we’re four seasons in at this point. When you add everything, the total amount of character-development in this season reaches higher than ever.

But the real star of this season is Touko. Basically, the creators try to pull something similar as to the climax of the second season, but it’s much more well balanced, and the conclusion is much more satisfying. The interplay between Touko and Yumi is explored really well. It’s emotional, and yet it doesn’t try to be too melodramatic (especially not when compared to the standards of most other anime).

Unfortunately, the animation isn’t up to par with what we’re used to from this season. Granted, it did have to follow up the great standards of an OVA, but I guess that at the time of this series’ production, Studio Deen’s best artists were working on… Jigoku Shoujo, Higurashi Rei and 07-Ghost, I guess. Faces in the background are often distorted and ugly and lack a quality check. There’s enough movement, though, so at least the creators didn’t try go take the cheap way out. This show certainly can’t complain about its inbetweeners.

But yeah. This is pretty much what you get when you give series the opportunity to fully shine by not suddenly cutting them off after 26 episodes: they really get to show their full potential. With nearly 50 episodes at its disposal, its character-development really set itself apart from most other high-school series out there. Here’s to hoping that many more series get this chance.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well balanced slice of life and drama. Makes really well use of its setting as an elite high school.
Characters: 10/10 – Continues building up to the huge amount of character-development that this series already had.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great inbetweeners, key-frames often lack quality checks.
Setting: 8/10 – There are already tons and tons of high school series. This is one of the few that actually makes this setting stand apart from the others.

2 Responses

  1. Alec says:

    still no conformation for a 5th season -_-

  2. windy says:

    Glad you watched and liked it! I loved this season, where all of Touko’s past is unraveled! It took a slow pace to advance step by step and not to rush anything, but the wait was worth it. The storyline Yumi/Touko was so well-executed and it took great care of showing how their relationship evolves and how they each tend to anticipate what the other is thinking or what she may think or feel! It portrays the spiritual connection between the “soeurs” in even a more depicted way.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:07 AM)
    @Friend Yeah cooking is definitely a better deal most of the time. Although for certain kinds of food, you can get a surprisingly good deal eating out. But it also just feels empowering to cook for yourself.

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