This week I want to rant a bit again, even though I’m probably still the only one left who still watches this series. Still, I do want to write a bit about the strange and horrible decisions that were made for this second season. I’ll try to explain my thoughts on this series so that they also become a bit understandable for people who have never seen anything from Marie&Gali.
The first season of Marie&Gali was awesome: it was a fantastic comedy that showed how fun science can be; every episode was full of hilarity and came with completely new material and jokes, never running old or repetitive. The characters started out as stereotypes, but they really grew on you as the over the top quirky personifications of famous scientists that they were. Everything was set to also close off perfectly after forty episodes.
And then, out of nowhere, a second season suddenly got announced.
Obviously I was delighted back then, but after watching more than 20 episodes of this second season, I get more and more the impression that the second season announcement was as much a surprise for me as it was for the creators. I’m betting my hat that they only learned of it, after fully planning out the entire first season. This meant that they had to create a completely new set of forty episodes from scratch, even though they already put their best material and inspiration in the first season.
There are many reasons why I believe this to be the case. The most notable are the following:
– They inserted a freaking Scrappy. Norika, a strange whiny princess-like little girl, just comes out of nowhere and completely takes over the show as the lead character.
– The first season never repeated itself. The second season does, devoting several episodes in a row on the same concept.
– The comedy in the first season felt natural. In the second season, it feels forced. And this didn’t happen gradually, it immediately turned from good to bad at the start of the second season. But more on that below.
I’m not really sure why Toei found it a good idea to give this of all series a continuation, because it really wasn’t their most successful series by far. Especially considering how they closed off their viewer ratings cannon of Kaidan Restaurant abruptly after only 23 episodes. This season just serves no purpose.
You can also see how the creators are having trouble to fill this season through the execution. The biggest problem is Norika: her whining gets old really fast, and because of her the entire nature of this series changed because the creators included the rule that Norika can’t leave the world she’s cast in until she gets to appreciate science. What followed were 23 episodes of Norika running and screaming around, refusing to accept science and blowing everyone away with her giant teddy bear.
The first season felt so fun because it basically was about a bunch of quirky scientists who loved to show off their accomplishments to Marika (the lead character of the first season). Nothing was forced, you just had the adventures of a bunch of eccentric people who really loved what they were doing. The scientific explanations really blended in well with the storytelling. The second season, however, just turned into a series that explains science for the sake of explaining science. By trying to force Norika to accept science, they also try to force the viewers to sit through it. It loses all spontaneity.
On top of that, a bunch of characters derailed as well: the first season featured some stereotypes, but the characters were more than that: Gali was this dirty old man, but at the same time you had those scenes that showed that he was quite the brilliant scientist. The second season however reduces these characters, back to their stereotypes. You can really blame that to the acting: balanced in the first season, but the second season contains way too much yelling, especially considering how everyone in every single episode, likes to introduce him or herself in this overenthusiastic way for some strange reason.
The show at this point is still mildly funny, but it’s nowhere near as good as the first season. It’s at its best when it at least tries to do something new, but even those episodes are rare. The current episode for example featured a contest between Gali and Leonardo Da Vinci: who can build the fastest flying machine.The show so far has had a ton of these kinds of episodes. Especially in the second season, whenever Leonardo comes into the picture the creators can only seem to focus on how he pwns everything about Gali.
Oh, and the “scientific” explanation on how airplanes fly in this episode… it was actually wrong. Read some xkcd dammit!
Rating: — (Lacking)