Maria Watches Over Us

Maria Watches Over UsType: OVA
Episode Count: 5
Genre: Drama
Vintage: 2006

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 13 Apr 2009

Grade: A+

The original Japanese title of this series is Maria-sama ga Miteru, often abbreviated to Mari-mite by its fans.

The third season of Mari-mite features side stories about the Yamayuri Council members.

Plot Summary
It’s summer break for the girls at Lillian, and much to Yumi’s delight, she’s been invited to stay at Sachiko’s summer home for a week of relaxation. So begins a series of tales of Lillian’s students in some previously unexplored settings.

The Review
Chances are, if you’re reading this review, you’re already familiar with the series. There is really nothing to add for this third installment of Mari-mite that I haven’t already said for the previous two editions of the series. It remains elegant, well-written drama. There is one significant difference in this OVA, though. Episodes are nearly an hour long. The hour long episode format provides a series with some luxuries that the usual half hour television episode simply can’t. There is much more time to explore situations and character relationships. Mari-mite really benefits from this, as the focus of the series is the relationships between the characters.

Storywise, the Mari-mite OVA is a bit different from its television counterparts in that virtually all five episodes are side stories. We see events never covered in the television series, such as the aforementioned summer break, school festivals, and class trips. The OVA tends to focus most of its time on Yumi and Sachiko, though the others pairs of sisters do get their share of screen time as well.

Fans of Mari-mite already know that they need to see this, so for those who haven’t yet, you’re in for a treat. Those who are not familiar with the series will want to start at the beginning though, to make sure that you have all the background necessary as you progress through the two television series up to this point.

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