Maria-sama ga Miteru 3rd – Anime Series Review

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Episodes: 5

Genres: Slice-of-Life, Drama

Aired: Dec 2006 to Jul 2007

Also Known As:  MariMite 3, Maria Watches Over Us 3rd, MariMite OVA, La Vierge Marie Vous Regarde, マリア様がみてる〜3rd〜

Summary: The story of the Lilian Girls’ Academy continues with these 5 hour-long OVAs. Sachiko takes Yumi to her family’s summer home where they encounter Sachiko’s acquaintances who intentionally makes trouble for the soeur pair. The next three episodes revolves around Yumi and the Yamayurikai helping their brother school, Hanadera, with their school festival. The last episode has the second-years go on a week-long study-vacation field trip to Italy.

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Review: The episode count (and episode length) are not the only things that have changed compared to the previous two seasons of MariMite. The animation has really improved and makes the characters look slightly older, which is fine since they are indeed growing up.

Speaking of which, the returning characters continue to develop and grow in a positive manner. To be honest, I rather disliked Sachiko when I initially watched MariMite since she made no effort to communicate properly, was tempermental, and was prone to hysterics. But throughout these OVAs, the viewers can see that she’s really changed for the better through her interactions with kindhearted Yumi.

Of course, the other Rose sisters are important, too, but they were overshadowed by the amount of screentime Yumi and Sachiko received. Compared to the Chinensis pair (Sachiko and Yumi), the other Yamayurikai soeurs stayed relatively static during these 5 episodes, which is fine.

There are fans, including me, who prefer the Gigantea soeurs (Shimako and Noriko) while there are other fans who prefer the Foetida soeurs (Yoshino and Rei), even if the two pairs are snubbed in terms of focus during this OVA series. They were fine as they were, for the most part; Sachiko, on the other hand, could be in the running to receive an award for most improved character due to her development throughout these three series.

However, there is a character who is introduced midway through these OVA episodes that is far more upsetting than Sachiko ever was. Whether or not you can tolerate her selfish black-and-white ideology will be the key factor determining whether or not you can enjoy these OVA episodes as a whole.

As for the yuri…the devotion and dedication between Sachiko and Yumi is readily apparent, as well, since they receive the most focus. Fans of the Rosa Gigantea soeurs may be let down since they definitely are in the spotlight less often compared to MariMite: Haru, but they do get their moments from time to time. Even though Yoshino and Rei moments are at an all-time low, they also avoid having any major disputes which is actually the best-case scenario for me.

The OP remains as “Pastel Pure,” and it has returned to its instrumental roots; however, it is now performed by a series of instruments rather than just piano like in the first season. “Kirei Na Senritsu,” on the other hand, is a lot more lively compared to “Sonata Blue,” the ED for the first and second seasons. Personally, I believe anime OPs tend to pump up the viewer while anime EDs tend to be more relaxing and calm, so I thought the position reversal for this series was amusing. It’s also my current favorite song that I play over and over while I’m at my desk during work.

The show remains primarily about character development with a secondary focus on yuri. Viewers who disliked Sachiko should give these OVA episodes a watch since she has somehow managed to become a decent older sister figure. And it’s a good thing she’s changed for the better since she and Yumi sort of hog the spotlight for this season. However, there are several new characters introduced in these episodes and one of them is rather controversial. The biggest challenge to viewers watching MariMite thus far is undoubtedly tolerating this polarizing first-year.

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