Maria†Holic (2009)


Maria Holic (2009)

Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
Studio: Shaft
Starring: Asami Sanada, Yu Kobayashi, Marina Inoue
Episodes: 12

A young lesbian enrolls in an all-girls Catholic school in the hope of finding true love, only to find herself being blackmailed by the idol of the school, who is secretly a crossdresser with a sadistic streak a mile wide.

I'm not a fan of yuri by any means, but I can tell when tropes are being played for humor and this series does a great job of lampooning the conventions of the yuri subgenre. The show is packed with disparate references and does a lot of wild art shifts (I get particularly tickled by the swings to an exaggerated shoujo manga style to emphasize Kanako's fantasies). Speaking of art, the typical character designs and art style are appealing. Kanako is an interesting protagonist, the sort of girl-crazy pervert you'd expect from your average male sukebe, and Mariya's uncompromising sadism coupled with Matsurika's deadpan cruelty really stick it to her. What we've got is basically a bent slice of life with the absurdity the lead brings to table along with wonky mood shifts (including some swings into horror which would actually be rather effective if they weren't being played for comedy). I imagine it's even more fun for someone familiar with what's being lampooned, but even for the uninitiated, you can probably enjoy it as dumb fun. Give it a watch.

Watch It