>DVD Review – Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

>Season two of “Maria Watches Over Us” features plenty of surprises, heartbreaks and changing relationships.

The series continues Yumi’s relationship with the Rosa Chinensis, Sachiko Ogasawara. “Maria” features a tear-jerking graduation ceremony for the seniors, some cool flashbacks and the induction of more little sisters in the Yamayuri Countil.

Admittedly, the season begins a little slowly, with a New Year’s party at Sachiko’s home. No real drama takes place in this place–this episode just introduces Yumi to Sachiko’s humongous mansion home.

The spotlight of season two, however, is the farewell of the seniors at Lillian Girl’s Academy. Yumi, saddened that her friend Sei Sato is leaving, gives a heartbreaking farewell kiss. Sachiko breaks down in tears before she can finish her farewell speech to the Yamayuri seniors. And the schoolgirls get together for a touching photo session with the school journalists.

With graduation finally over, however, the Yamayuri continues to find new sisters to add to their student council. An incredibly emotional flashback episode shows us how Sei Sato chose Shimako as her petite soeur, or little sister. Although Shimako is not sure who she should pick as her petite soeur, she finds a lovely girl in episode 7, named Noriko Nijo.

The Noriko Nijo episodes are especially touching. After all, it’s not everyday that anime fans get to learn Shimako’s dilemma with having Buddhist parents and attending Catholic school. And Shimako is pretty shy and nervous too, making for some nerve-wracking scenes when she is trying to make Noriko her petite seour.

The most touching episodes involve a mysterious story arc, in which Sachiko cancels all her dates with Yumi. Sachiko is also spending an awful lot of time with Toko Matsudaira, Sachiko’s cousin and best fan. Yumi is shocked, and has no idea whether Sachiko is cheating on her. Fortunately, this is just a misunderstanding, leading to a wonderful make-up scene at the end of the season.

“Maria Watches Over Us” is one of the best anime romance series I have ever seen, with some of the most crushing emotional scenes with poignant scenery. While there isn’t too much humor, there are plenty of wonderful friendships and romances with girls in this series. Indeed, this series is as romantic as “His and Her Circumstances” (Kare Kano in Japan), with girl and girl romances. Indeed, if Hideaki Anno had ever continued “His and Her Circumstances,” it would look as beautiful as “Maria Watches Over Us.”

As long as anime fans are willing to bear with homosexual girl relationships, “Maria Watches Over Us” is a must-see romance anime.

Image courtesy of chloeal.blogspot.com

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Filed under Buddhism, Maria Watches Over Us, romance, season 2, shoujo, yuri

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