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REVIEW: Maria the Virgin Witch Episodes 1-12 Streaming


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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:00 am Reply with quote
What I don't get about the series is how they will have various angels be physically male but use male pronouns or descriptions about them.

I really enjoyed Alexis Tipton's Maria. A few reasons why:
-First, she has played experience playing fan service-type characters and her voice kind of is appropriate for that.

-Given how Jerry Jewell played the ball-less incubus, ironically named Priapos, and her were in Haganai (where she played a character opposite to Maria's persona), I find it appropriate that they reunited.
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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 710
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:38 am Reply with quote
I watched this series as it was airing, and thought it was really good. It was so refreshing to see an anime that was as convincingly and reasonably feminist as this one, without being bogged down in it, and incredibly entertaining to boot. I really liked the well-researched historical setting as well as the fantastical lore. I also liked how the show throughout understood the difference between sexual and sexy, which no other series I can think of right now has demonstrated. The well-handled rape scene and the priest's breakdown were two of the standout moments in the show for me.

I wouldn't give this series an A, though. I felt that Joseph was never really a believable character, and the ending was underwhelming. The whole thing about Cernunnos was underutilized, I think, and the background and purpose of the witches was hazily explained at best.

Otherwise, though, I thought it was definitely a good show, and one which unfortunately falls victim to Princess Tutu Syndrome, as I call it, wherein the title and plot synopsis is completely misleading as to the actual nature and quality of the show overall. Oh well, maybe more people will pick it up eventually.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3337
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:01 am Reply with quote
My biggest complaint with the series and probably the only one that matters: The show wasn't long enough to make it as epic as it could have been.

In fact, I think there were only about three main plot points- fine for a 12 episode series with a good amount of comedy to balance it out but not for what was probably the fantasy ending to the Hundred Year War. Maria could have instigated a movement, a revolution, a magical war between the nobles, the witches and the peasants or simply been caught up in some royal court antics but the whole series stopped at the local French level.

Which is odd as some of the enemies she made during the series is higher level than those kings.

Maria is a great character but I can't help but look at the series failed potential in fully using her, not to forget that she's mostly used as a victim of her own sexual status. Not sexuality but... I'll go with the word "purity"; Her sleeping in the woods nude reminds me more of the moon Goddess Artemis than any teenage girl from any time period and she loses that status once any man catches up to her.

But that's not enough for this series as this bothered me when I saw the ending: Heaven spoiler[not just effectively bribed her into a sexual relationship with Joseph but they killed an angel to do so. Not completely but did any holy agents consider the survival rate for infants and children at that time?] And the most the lowest class humans could do as a response? "We're not going to die from a war or plague, hurrah."

A fickle god that actually exists is never the best conclusion for stories. I still lean towards my initial feeling that Michael had everything worked out to reach that conclusion, spoiler[cementing the foundation of religion while eliminating the threat of magical forces] but that last move of his shows little faith in humanity.

Seriously, apart from Maria's magical warfare, she's more a doctor of medicine. Ok, spoiler[he didn't stop that and in fact, he may actually reinforce her role in spreading knowledge of healing rather than the Church's way of dispensing healing at the price of following and preaching their virtues.]

Yeah, either way, the show still should have been longer. Great show, looking forward to a home release.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 430
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:36 am Reply with quote
Garfa the mercenary and Father Bernard were anime-original characters, most likely to provide more tangible vehicles for their respective viewpoints. The priests of the manga were more faceless, nameless characters.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15901
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:51 am Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
My biggest complaint with the series and probably the only one that matters: The show wasn't long enough to make it as epic as it could have been.

In fact, I think there were only about three main plot points- fine for a 12 episode series with a good amount of comedy to balance it out but not for what was probably the fantasy ending to the Hundred Year War. Maria could have instigated a movement, a revolution, a magical war between the nobles, the witches and the peasants or simply been caught up in some royal court antics but the whole series stopped at the local French level.

That would have required the series to be something other than what it was, however, and Maria to be a different character than she was. Throughout the series Maria was never interested in overthrowing anything; she just wanted to be able to operate independently of the system, as she saw fit. In fact, that seems to have been pretty true of witches in general, the way they're portrayed in the series. Hence getting involved in revolutionary activities would have been totally contrary to the way they wanted to live. Being involved in high political-level antics would have been contrary to the setting (witches were dealt with through the Church and/or on a local level, almost never on a national level) and something that a character like Maria would never have an interest in.

Quote:
Seriously, apart from Maria's magical warfare, she's more a doctor of medicine. Ok, spoiler[he didn't stop that and in fact, he may actually reinforce her role in spreading knowledge of healing rather than the Church's way of dispensing healing at the price of following and preaching their virtues.]

The Church was far from the only body dealing with medicine at the time. In fact, you generally didn't go to the Church if you needed medicine. You went to an apothecary (if you lived in a town/city), a doctor (if one was around), or (more commonly) someone knowledgeable about herablism if you had an illness. And the latter category was one of the most frequent targets for witchcraft accusations.

Quote:
Great show, looking forward to a home release.

The same! It's one that I'll definitely be picking up.


Last edited by Key on Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Videogamep



Joined: 10 Jun 2014
Posts: 564
Location: CA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:17 am Reply with quote
I might check this out sometime. When I first heard about it, I dismissed it as just another fanservice show, but it actually sounds pretty interesting.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:24 am Reply with quote
It is so far my favorite from series from the 2015 vintage.
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SilverSpades



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:39 am Reply with quote
This anime sounded pretty interesting to me, and I'm liking the appeal of a 12 episode series (Just finished Noragami)... Dunno how I'll watch it though.
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 472
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:30 pm Reply with quote
For those who are interested, I also wrote more on my thoughts on Maria the Virgin Witch and how it deals with feminist themes on my personal blog (the one that's linked in my episode reviews):

https://rosesturnblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/maria-the-virgin-witch-and-compulsory-sexuality/

There are some spoilers here, for Maria and possibly for Revolutionary Girl Utena.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:14 pm Reply with quote
If you liked the period-accurate costuming and well-choreographed fighting, then here's a good video about the show that will interest you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tFOJFyTl1U
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justsomeaccount



Joined: 24 Oct 2014
Posts: 471
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:27 pm Reply with quote
^ Damn you, when I saw this review when at first hour I said "well, I have to put Skallagrim's video" Mad

I agree with Key, those suggestions would go against the show's framing and take on wars, which goes with the overall tone of the show, very... low key, would be the word? The show's take makes sense.
However, it's also true that this is what probably made it unpopular and made it bomb in Japan: Its quirkiness full of really weird things, very explicit raunchy humor played with almost all the characters (usually more mainstream shows reserve it for some specific savage ones, and the more innocent main character usually far from it) and inusual dramatic peaks and constant anticlimaxes with this low key tone for most of the run makes it very hard for people to get invested, and so many people said "eh, not my thing, too weird, I'll pass". It's a pity since I like this show a lot too, but I kind of knew that was going to happen.

One thing I really appreciated about this show is its framing of characters, more especifically Galfa. The framing wasn't defined to judge him as sympathetic or despicable in many scenes, just show how he is as a real human being, and as such he could do actions by simple specific reasons or because many motivations at once (for example, spoiler[when he says that the woman he slept with also had part into it, or when he kills his boss and his several reactions with his partner who saw him]), sometimes questioned by the same characters (spoiler[why he didn't go full on Maria's assault]), or seeing some motivations in different ways depending of the moment (spoiler[when he says he will smash anyone in order to step up on his poor life, first drunk with Joseph seen as cute, and later with a mercenary who wanted to kill him in a more fearful way]), and yet still feeling like a believable and easy-to-understand character; it's a kind of framing you usually don't see in animated shows and that made him feel very realistic. Also, the tiny historic references about his backstory are really cool if you are spanish (spoiler[he's actually a moor/mudejar who was almogavar in Aragon but exiled, and still paying for that racism even in France as a mercenary christian]).

P.S.: The best penis joke is still when Maria after watching one escapes summoning a gigant snake and Artemis notices that fact. Four hundred years too early but still hilarious.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1683
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:57 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
If you liked the period-accurate costuming and well-choreographed fighting, then here's a good video about the show that will interest you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tFOJFyTl1U


Nice video. It's natural that anime might get more historically accurate than movies because there are not budget restrictions in making stuff accurate (as opposed as using cheaper inaccurate props) and also given the cost of making an anime series is very small compared to a live action film, many anime series depicting historical events get made so there is a higher probability that one of them will be accurate.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14082
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:23 pm Reply with quote
justsomeaccount wrote:
^ Damn you, when I saw this review when at first hour I said "well, I have to put Skallagrim's video" Mad


Oh, you also watch Skall's videos? Good to hear that. I've been a subscriber of his for almost a year now and I love the content he puts out (even the non-HEMA stuff).

Jose Cruz wrote:
Nice video.


I know, right? If you're interested in historical weapons and armour (and how they were actually used in battle) then he's worth checking out. He certainly opened my eyes to what proper sword-fight choreography should look like.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2490
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:33 pm Reply with quote
I'm one of the people who skipped it, and I'd say the main reason is a spectacularly bad first impression. I tried to make it past the first episode twice (once when it came out and a second time after hearing all the praise it was getting) but couldn't make it to the end both time.

The humor felt really flat as someone who really like sexual joke. It felt more like someone who's never heard a sex joke idea of one. From what I remember the joke punchline were all either "HA! Maria is a virgin" or along the line of "HA! Blow job are a thing people do" (usually followed by a comment that Maria doesn't know what a blow job is). And everything about the 1st episode and even the title just reinforced the idea that the most important point about this series is that Maria is a virgin, over the fact that she has magic and live in a time of near constant conflict where hundreds people die constantly. Even from what I heard happen later on it seems make it sounds like there going for symbolism over substance. spoiler[Apparently at some point some people try to rape Maria so she lose her magic, but if they're in a position where they can rape her, why not just kill her?]

Maybe I'll actually watch it one day, but I'll do so probably by skipping over the 1st and most likely 2nd episode.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13716
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:38 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:

The humor felt really flat as someone who really like sexual joke. It felt more like someone who's never heard a sex joke idea of one. From what I remember the joke punchline were all either "HA! Maria is a virgin" or along the line of "HA! Blow job are a thing people do" (usually followed by a comment that Maria doesn't know what a blow job is). And everything about the 1st episode and even the title just reinforced the idea that the most important point about this series is that Maria is a virgin, over the fact that she has magic and live in a time of near constant conflict where hundreds people die constantly.


Well, a girl's greatest asset is her purity
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