Maria+Holic, episode 4 – The harem dream disappears

Kanako loses a lot of blood this episode. But look at who she’s waking up to! Look at her! If that’s not a recipe for anime lust-inspired nosebleeds, I don’t know what is.

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Maybe I did, but I didn’t realize offhand that the first three episodes had only covered Kanako’s first two days of school. That’s a heckuva of a first couple days. You get a pretty roommate, the pretty roommate disappears for an even prettier roommate. Except that prettier roommate is a sadistic trap, who’s bent on making your life miserable. But then your relationship with your old roommate, Ryuuken, creates new enemies, who attack you with marine products. And then, your magane classmate, Kiri, comes to your rescue by telling them the two of you are going out. But it’s not over yet. The second yuri harem flag is raised Ryuuken, declares that she’ll protect you too, no matter what. All in the whirlwind first two days.

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And then in the third day, all that comes crashing down. You find that your megane lover just said what she said, because she thought it was the best way to defuse the hatred, and considers yuri love an impossibility. Meanwhile, your new bodyguard creates more issues than she solves. You’re getting trampled, everyone’s staring at you, God is making death threats. (I love how Mariya casually comments on this.) Which leads to your now megane non-lover to again spread the story of how the two of you are dating and tells Ryuuken that the bodyguarding thing is cramping their style. And judging by Ryuuken’s response, I don’t think she has a yuri bone in her body either. There goes that flag.

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Oh well, but at least you can live a peaceful life now, right? Uh, check that actually. Turns out your enemies are more pissed than ever. Getting the full attention of Ryuuken-sama was just too much for their sanity, and they have plans to unleash the atom bomb of marine product attacks. Damn, that’s rough. Ah, but at least you can still be trampled by the beautiful girl you’re living with. Oh, until you remember you’re allergic to her, because she’s actually a he. And you break out in hives. How’s that line go? “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

There’s an important moral to this story. Too often we see animes treating harems as this unbreakable bond of submission between the harem and its leader. No matter how much of a loser the harem leader may be, the harem will continue to folllow him. But Maria+Holic takes a more realistic view in showing that a harem is a fragile thing that must be cultivated with utmost respect and care. Get too far ahead of yourself, and the harem dream shatters like a porcelain vase. Lesson learned for Kanako.

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What does Maria+Holic need more of? More Mariya and Matsurika! It was pretty funny to hear Mariya talk about how s/he dressed like a maid for fanservice, and because she and Matsurika weren’t in the episode too much. And the Matsurika awesome-ness continues in her abuse of both Kanako and her cross-dressing, cosplaying master. So hopefully they get back more to the Maria part of Maria+Holic.

If there was any question about God and her power, I think it was resolved when her death threat had Ryuuken scrambling for her life like a scared little puppy. Speaking of which, there was something hilarious about seeing Ryuuken’s cat slap her dog (nyah! *smack*), and that being the cause of her need to protect people.

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