Maria-sama ga Miteru ~Haru~

Alt titles: Maria Watches Over Us ~Printemps~

sort

Reviews

DistMan's avatar By DistMan on Feb 18, 2005

Story
It's time for more Maria-sama ga Miteru. It's now past new year’s and our lovely gang face a partial breakup in a not too distant future: the Rosas will graduate and soon move to universities of their choice.

First of all I'd like to say that this is not a sequel, but a second half, a second season of the show. It's strongly recommended you read my review of the first half of the show, watch it, and then read this one. Furthermore I'll keep this quite brief and only talk about the differences.

The show kicks off around new year’s before graduation, and we get to follow the characters as they prepare for it mentally and physically. It's depicted really well. We also are shown a good amount of background information on the Rosas, how they met, and how their past relationships have been. The show focuses a lot on Rosa Gigantea’s relationship with Shimako, as well as Sachiko and her relationship with Yumi.

There are some new characters introduced, which is only natural considering there are a lot of first year students entering the school, but this is where the pacing of the show breaks off and becomes a bit chaotic. After watching the past season, as well as the first few episodes of this season, I had gotten the impression that although many of the characters had time on screen, the main story would still be centered somewhat around Yumi and her relationship with the other characters. But when you have more than four consecutive episodes (out of a 13 episode series) dedicated to a completely different character then you really start to wonder whether that was actually the case. After these consecutive episodes the show moves on to a couple of other characters. The problem is that while these side stories are occurring, there is also a buildup of drama between other characters in the show as well. The lack of time dedicated to this buildup, however, made it seem less significant than it really was, due to the lack of time it was given on screen.

Admittedly, the above problem is probably a side effect of the script writers trying to animate the novels in a very limited timeframe. A lot of things happen in these novels, and they also feature a lot of side stories. Really, that's what so great about this series: it’s filled with side stories that help build the characters, and they never are boring. The problem is that it doesn't quite work in this case. I do understand that it's quite hard to leave out the side stories as they are filled with interesting things, but I think it could've been handled better.

I won't talk much about the ending. My only and largest gripe with it was that it felt fairly neglected as far as depth and buildup. It was acceptable and it worked, but given the quality of the rest of the show, I probably expected something much more grandiose. I can, however, understand why the script writer was quite desperate about getting certain things crammed into the end, as stopping before that point would've been a faux pas. Even so, a couple of more minutes would not have hurt.
Animation
The visuals haven't changed notably but stay the same way as in the last season with the character designs reminding me of Clamp with its pointy design. It still works well and there are some very detailed scenes at times. The animation stays consistent throughout the entire show and they still manage to produce very pretty scenery, with the school as the main location. The color palette also still uses the more yellowish style which reminded me slightly of Hana Yori Dango. It works well and adds a less action oriented tone to the show. As the show takes place during the spring, there are plenty of scenes with shrines and blooming sakura, as well.

The style is, once again, perfect for this show and I also came to like the character designs a lot -- especially the details on the closeups.
Sound
The opening theme is sung this time, but still is not very exciting. The voice actors continue with their job of making the characters come to life, which is important in this kind of show. Everything in the soundtrack was fitting for the setting. The tunes were classical only, which I think is a good change from today’s synthesizer based all in one songs. Some of the tunes lack a little excitement, however, and feel like any other classical soundtrack piece.
Characters
With the show focusing heavily on a chosen set of main characters (even more than last season), we are able to experience an extraordinary amount of character depth, interaction and growth. The new characters who are introduced into the main story are also given the Marimite treatment with character buildup, a little peek into their past, etc. Yumi and Sachiko's relationship feels quite neglected in this second part of the show and I wanted more, though thankfully the show managed to return to its main roots later on.
7.5/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
Quizap's avatar By Quizap on Aug 22, 2010

Season 2 was definitely much better in the drama element then the former. Especially the graduation ceremony in the first half of it. I’m also very happy that Sei was still in the big picture, she’s probably my favorite of the 1st set of Roses. Really not much else to say since most of it is the same characters with only two new ones. The last episode was pretty disappointing, I was hoping for at least another episode but I suppose it’ll suffice since I still have the OVA and the 3rd series to watch.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall