Saturday, January 17, 2009

Maria+Holic 02: What 'God' Has Decreed

It's the official opening day of classes and transfer student Kanako, who happens to be a closet lesbian, finds herself surrounded by a number of cute girls. She swoons, she nosebleeds a river, she infinitely embarrasses herself.
EPISODE 02: Sweet Pain
More Screencaps from Maria+Holic 02

It is the official opening of classes. And early in the morning, Mariya gives Kanako a nosebleed by preening in front of her in his high school uniform. Kanako tries to be brave, despite the blood gushing out of her nose, and points out that since they are roommates, they are more like equals. But Mariya immediately dispels her of that notion by giving her the figures in his family's income. Then, when it's Kanako's turn to change into her uniform, Mariya refuses to leave the room, insisting that a pretty 'girl' like him should not be forced to get out. This prompts Matsurika to call him a shithead, to which Mariya only thanks her at the same time promising to kill her later.
Turning to Kanako, Mariya then matter-of-factly informs her of the dorm rule that those who don't immediately come down when the bell for breakfast sounds would be forced to skip it. Already running late, Kanako is forced to change clothes while hiding under the sheets. She is distressed because her uniform gets wrinkled despite being new. As if hearing her thoughts, Mariya finally leaves, but not before touching her and causing Kanako to break into hives. Later, Matsurika correctly deduces that he did it on purpose.
Much later, Mariya takes care of Kanako's introduction to her homeroom teacher, Kumagai Fumi. It turns out that Fumi knows Kanako's mother and that she met Kanako before although the latter does not remember. Her openness momentarily tempts Kanako to tell her about her strife with Mariya but he gets her to keep mum about it by threatening her with assault. During class, Kanako is so nervous that she stammers while making her introduction. Fumi assigns her to sit next to Kiri, a girl with glasses with whom Kanako is instantly besotted. Other girls who take an interest in Kanako are Yuzuru, the girl from the archery club whom she met the day before, and Sachi, a 'little sister' type. Not surprisingly, the onslaught of so many cute girls has Kanako swooning in a river of nosebleed.
At the opening ceremony, Kanako discovers that the representative of the new first years is none other than Mariya. Kanako is disconcerted to find that practically the entire student body has heard about him and that, apart from her, none of them know about his true gender. But even while she is thinking this, Mariya suddenly waves at her, prompting another nosebleed incident. A few moments later, while Mariya is wrapping up his speech, Kanako's stomach suddenly issues a loud growl. Fortunately, before the other students could figure it out, Mariya acts all flustered and admits that he was too nervous to eat breakfast that morning. The admission is a triumph since practically everybody saw him at the dining hall that morning so it did not take them long to figure out that he was just covering up for someone.
After Mariya steps down from the podium, the current class' representative and student council president, Ayari Shiki steps up. The two make a showing of feeling nothing but respect for each other but the actual words being exchanged between them is everything but. Shiki calls Mariya 'flat chest' while he calls her 'fat ass.' From the audience, Kanako senses the passive-aggressive atmosphere between the two despite the other students not noticing anything. Then while Shiki takes the mic, Sachi, who is sitting beside Kanako, hands her some candies. Apparently, she figures out who is the culprit. Kanako gratefully takes it and assures her mother in heaven that everything will turn out OK.
During lunchtime, several of Kanako's classmates, including Sachi and Yuzuru, invite her to join them. They argue about it, too, but the whole debate is ended when Ryuuken suddenly arrives and asks to speak with her. They withdraw to a secluded area in the school where Ryuuken explains the whole thing about their not being roommates. Apparently, she too was blind-sided by Mariya. But before Kanako can even get a word out, Mariya and Matsurika arrive. Mariya makes up a story about waiting for Kanako as they promised to have lunch together. Upon seeing Ryuuken, he turns on the charm and first tries to flatter Ryuuken by pointing out her popularity with the school body, especially with the theater club, and then dragging her down by more or less saying that she is the source of all her previous roommates' troubles. It seems that all of Ryuuken's roommates have had terrible experiences, involving seafood popping up in the wrong places. While Mariya is relating all this, Kanako's bag starts to expand, revealing that it has been filled with kelp. With Mariya's help, Ryuuken has no trouble figuring out this time that this is all her rabid fangirls' doing. She leaves, obviously in a rut.
When Ryuuken is gone, Kanako confronts Mariya about it, blaming him for sending the other girl to a fit of depression. Mariya expresses no regret over his actions, however, as he snipes that he can't figure out why someone as weird-talking as Ryuuken would be so popular. He then asserts that he is much cuter and prettier. Kanako then points out that he is just jealous. This is not the right thing to say as Mariya first smiles and then puts on the evil face. Without warning, he reaches forward and gropes Kanako's breast, snapping about what's so good about these lumps of fat. Kanako takes a whole second to react, then she screams. But by then, Mariya is ordering Matsurika to make his breast pads bigger. Matsurika, however, points out that it would be strange if he suddenly grows a cup size after only a day. So Mariya settles for being a 'slim beauty' for the time being. Then somehow he ends up mentioning Shiki's earlier comment, prompting Kanako to deduce that they are childhood friends and then wonder if Shiki knows that Mariya is really a boy. But Mariya just tells her to mind her own business before leaving. Kanako feels rebuffed and thinks that she really does not care. Even so, she feels a strange ache in her chest. The voice-over calls it 'love,' much to Kanako's horror. Back in class, some classmates are grumbling about Kanako's closeness with Ryuuken. Kiri overhears them but does not comment.

Meido guitar! Hahahahah! Matsurika is probably my favorite character, next to god / dorm leader that is. Matsurika who rarely talks and constantly wears a poker face, even when she's talking trash about her master. And Dorm Leader, who always talks, despite there being no one around apart from that weird dog, and constantly wears that polite face. Combine that with the courteous yet detached voice and the actual words that are coming out of her mouth -- they're not exactly outrageous but they're the sort of things that a sociopath would probably say -- and it's Matsurika in a slightly different package.

Now for this episode. Eh, too many nosebleeds. I suppose it's only to be expected since it's Kanako's introduction to a roomful of pretty girls who all seem to want to be friends with her. But I do find it funny that even as Mariya is making her life a living hell, just one smile from 'her' and Kanako seems almost grateful for all of it, good or bad.

I'm going to keep watching this series, if it continues to entertain. But I won't be blogging it. I find that I don't really know what to say to each episode of a comedy series like this.