Maria Holic Alive! First Impression

If there was a time to believe in the Virgin Mary, this would be it.

It was several months ago when we all (we, meaning the Rabbit Poets team, I mean)  discussed what  series we wanted to cover for the spring season. I scanned one of the charts that listed of possible Animes to watch when something caught my eye.  Sweet, what’s this? Maria+Holic Alive? Sounds like an okay series. A few weeks had passed, and finally the time came when RP asked us what we wanted to watch and looking back, I should have known something was up when no one wanted to cover the series…

“I’ll do the first impression post for Maria+Hollic Alive!’

Those where my famous last words.

Twelve episodes later and all I got was a hodgepodge of childish antics, some seriously tasteless homo-phobic/erotic humor and a really, really stupid plot centered around marine products. Oh and of course, I had the gall to tell myself that If I endured all of this crap things would get better. Nope.

Needless to say, I was miffed.

Really miffed.

Then, suddenly, there it was jeering back at me. Maria+Holic Alive. The sequel to my nightmare.

It would be back.  All of it would be back! The dumb jokes. The absolutely painful mind numbing plot…Like some college kid going out partying on a school night– I knew I was going to hate myself in the morning.

I just looked at my computer screen and took a deep breath. I then gulped and hit the play button.

And…

It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

But wait, Essick, didn’t you just say that you pretty much hated the last series? Yes. I did. But to be honest this opening episode wasn’t too bad. In fact, I actually preferred this first episode to the original series.

In this first episode of Maria+Holic Alive! Our ill-fated heroine, Hanako, is still looking for her destined Yuri partner.  Annoyed by this, she decides that she has to take drastic measures. In order to correct this general lack of “female activity” in her life Hanako decides to take a cue from her parents and that she would find her true love underneath the school’s magnolia tree. Though it’s a perilous journey, with the help of her friends she is determined to find that special someone!

Now for the fun part, critique time. Has the sequel of Maria+Holic better than his predecessor?

Looking at Maria+Holic Alive under a critical light, the writing has gotten better.

A little bit better.

I like what SHAFT is doing overall and starting to treat MHA like it’s an actual series with an actual plot, as apposed to “Hey! Let’s be random. FOR NO REASON.” Might have worked for FLCL, but not in this case. Finally we seeing more dept being added to the characters in this episodes. For a split second I actually forgot  that Hanako more than a skirt chasing human blood geyser and Mariya was a cross dressing dick.

I’m also glad to see that Maria+Holic is heading uphill with their production budget in general. I’m liking the new dramatic angles that they threw in. It gives the show a slightly more cinematic feel to it instead of being all 2D and flat.

The Final Verdict?

And Maria+Holic has pretty much ruined the whole Yuri comedy thing for me when it, well, poofed into existence.

So, is  this Maria+Holic all new and improved? Improved, slightly yes. But new?

Don’t hold your breath.

Yes, there’s a lot of things to possibly like about this new sequel, but I can’t help but think it’s going to be the same ole same ole. Maybe I’m being jaded. But just like Mariya leading on Hanako, I can’t help but think that SHAFT is just trying to tempt us into thinking that this series is headed into a new direction.