Maria Holic is simply brilliant just a great fun anime that I love. Maria Holic is like watching Maria Sama ga Miteru on crack, just like watching the Prince of Tennis chibi episodes really. The story is about Kanako, who transfers into her mother’s old school to find her one true love. Her mother and father meet there as a student and her teacher because well this is an all girls Catholic school. This really is no problem for Kanako as she is a Yuri fan girl with a man allergy and wants to meet the perfect girl. She is unique in this way because for the first time we get a female character every bit as ecchi as the average male character, nose bleeding, watching the girls change, dreaming about their swimsuits, looking up their skirts and basically taking on all the stereotypes you expect from a teenage boy in an all girl environment. Kanako is soon running wild fantasizing about all her new friends and in particular one she thinks may be the one, the most popular girl in school, Mariya. But as fate would have it the one is in fact a cross dressing sadist, pretty perfect girl on the outside and twisted manipulative vindictive boy on the inside and only Kanako knows his secret. So Kanako is stuck between her perfect Yuri dream life and keeping Mariya’s secret identity. If Kanako exposes Mariya then Mariya will expose the fact that Kanako is a lesbian who is secretly perving on her mates and fellow class mates.
It is refreshing to see a Yuri anime that is a little more obvious and risqué about the subject. As a Yuri fan I would have looked into this anime anyway and as a bishonen fan having a cross dressing sadist as a main character is just perfect for me. But Maria Holic really is more original than most series of its genre. We finally get a girl who is a pervert, no more sweet innocent little flowers with their first loves. Kanako has no shame about being a lesbian and spends every episode in a puddle of blood because she allows her fantasies and inner monologues to get so out of control she works herself into a fit at the slightest provocation.Mariya is great, his switches between male and female are wonderful plus his equally evil maid sidekick make them a perfect evil pair. Obviously each episode is full of ridiculousness don’t expect any overwhelming story ark or challenging plot about sexuality this anime is pure entertainment.
Each episode is made up of segments about random school and dorm life and the interactions of the characters. It has all you character types so it reminds you of a dating sim where a crazy Yuri fan is the main character. The character designs are really nice all the girls are attractive, although I’m not so fond of their noses, especially the student council president. She is an attractive girl but suffers from disappearing nose syndrome. One of the interesting aspects of the series is the mixing of animation styles depending on the mood of the scene or what’s going on in Kanako’s head. It switches from girly shoujo style to uber girly old school shoujo style for some of Kanako’s fantasies or a very shonen masculine style for when Kanako is in full Yuri girl with a mission mode. It works well the juxtapositions of styles and if you have followed shoujo manga you’ll recognise the more 70’s style of series like Candy Candy and the work of Keiko Takemiya. Also there are the references to series such as Maria Sama and Utena which is to be expected. One of the other best things about this anime is the opening, Hanaji by Yu Kobayashi is just one of those great tunes that reflects the series perfectly and is a fun tune. The opening sequence is great and I love the facial expressions and the way it perfectly represent the theme, tone and style of the anime. So I highly recommend this anime it is just pure fun!