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Author Topic: Maria-sama ga Miteru  (Read 1364 times)
man_of_men
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« on: December 21, 2004, 09:17:18 PM »

Hi, I'm new here.
I've been El-Hazard fan since 1995.  I learn this site from egroup.  It's hard to stay at egroup.  If I don't log in there frequently, my account would get cancelled.  After three times, I gave up.  This forum is much easier to join.  Anyway, enough off topic.

I'm currently watching "Virgin Mary is Watching Us".  This show looks so elegant.  So many beautiful girls.  Story is so alternative.  Wow!
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2004, 10:08:40 PM »

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I'm currently watching "Virgin Mary is Watching Us".  This show looks so elegant.  So many beautiful girls.  Story is so alternative.  Wow!


I watched the first couple episodes of that.  Does it ever pick up?  It was kinda... too slow for me.
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man_of_men
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2004, 10:13:09 AM »

The pace is always that way.  Yeah. It's kind slow, but it's fast in another way.  It has many psycholgical and literature references.  I have to pauce some scene and think it over.
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2005, 11:00:08 PM »

I've been meaning to watch that, solely because I "have it on a good word" that it's shoujo ai.  :-[
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2005, 07:31:04 PM »

Yep, it's shoujo-ai, but not nearly to the extent that Fatora would like.  It's extremely slow paced, relying on character development that takes entire years.  That said, if you have the patience, it's well worth watching.
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2005, 11:49:53 AM »

Ah, this is my absolute favourite series of the moment. Lovely, lovely MariMite. I'm still not sure what it is that makes me love this series so much (other than the yuri, before you say anything... I acknowledge that's a reasonably big factor ^_^) but I find it hugely compelling. I suppose it's just a change to see something so utterly character driven.

Rob: I'd suggest watching a few more episodes. I still can't guarantee that you'll like it, because it's certainly not for everyone, but my initial response was pretty much the same as yours. The first episode really does throw you in at the deep end, with very little in the way of character introductions and a lot of strange, long-winded French/Latin names to get to grips with. But once you get to know the characters, the series really comes into its own.

The series, for the most part, doesn't really deal with anything that big or important, and it's impressive how much you end up caring about, for example, whether or not Sachiko likes chocolate (I swear, Yumi spends two episodes agonising about this ^_^). One plot twist regarding a very minor character towards the end of the first series left me literally open-mouthed.

There's not a great deal of comedy on offer, but it's still a factor in the series. Sei and Yoshino seem to be the primary "comic relief" characters, although even the stern Sachiko can be the source of humour (her date with Yumi was the source of some nicely understated comedy).

Actually, if I had to choose a single word to describe the series, it would be "understated"... It's very calm and sedate, which only serves to highlight the moments of melodrama even more. And wow, can Sachiko do melodrama...

Regarding the yuri aspect of the series... it's always there as a background theme, although how much of it there actually is is highly open to interpretation. It seems certain that Sei is indeed a lesbian, and at least one of the main cast (Eriko) is apparently heterosexual, but for the rest of the girls, it's much less clear, and you're free to make up your own mind ^_^ There are broad hints that a lot of the characters fall on the yuri side of things, but nothing definite.

Assuming that there are others watching this, which of the characters do you like best? Sei seems to be the most popular overall (for those who haven't seen it, she's kind of the Fatora of MariMite, what with her flirting and glomping), but for me, she's just beaten by Rei. Rei is too adorable for words. The idea of masculine, hard-as-nails tomboy Rei being totally under the thumb of weak, cute little Yoshino is far too funny to pass up...

Plus, it's a well-known fact that butch women rule ^_~
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2005, 08:35:08 PM »

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Plus, it's a well-known fact that butch women rule ^_~

Tomboys are hawt.

Speaking of shoujo ai, I learned something the other day about this phrase. Something that will probably save me, and hopefully others reading this, alot of embarassment in the future. While we know that the terms yaoi and shonen ai are basically interchangable since they mean the same thing, one might assume (as I did) that the terms yuri and shoujo ai are interchangable as well. However, this is not the case. Apparently shoujo ai means pedophilia in Japanese.  ^^; ^^; ^^;
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2005, 11:44:02 PM »

Hmm, you could be right there, but I'd heard that the opposite was true. As far as I'm aware, most of the terms we use to describe gay content in anime are kind of outdated, and have since taken on different meanings in Japan.

Yaoi used to refer to series with (male) gay content of any kind, but has since come to refer specifically to pornographic content. In Japan, to describe a manga as "yaoi" would imply that it's all sex, sex, sex.

Shounen ai arose as a term for softer, more romantic yaoi, but it too has changed. It now basically means shotacon (yep, that's the male equivalent of lolicon).

Boys' Love is the current term used to refer to "yaoi" in Japan. As far as i can tell, it's pretty much all-encompassing.

Yuri terminology is much less complicated. Another reason that (CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT!) yuri is better than yaoi.

Yuri originally meant, and still means, anything with lesbian content. In the West it's sometimes used to refer to more explicit stuff, but this isn't the case in Japan.

Shoujo ai, as far as yuri's concerned, is a term created by Western fans as the equivalent of shounen ai. At least up until a few years ago, it was basically meaningless in Japan, although I do wonder if it's since been created seperately over there as the equivalent of the Japanese meaning of shounen ai (if you follow my logic).

Girls' Love is a very recent term, which seems to be interchangeable with yuri, although sometimes seems to imply "softer" yuri.

Interestingly, MariMite is sometimes said to belong to the "S" (sisters) genre, which, I assume, implies our old friend, the Oneesama Complex. I could go into one of my favourite rants about how there probably isn't any such thing as the Oneesama Complex really, but it's long and boring and you really don't want to hear it ^_^

Personally, I always use "yuri" to refer to, well, yuri, because it's unambiguous... at least in Japan. Over here I ofetn get chastised for referring to non-sexual yuri with this term because "it's really shoujo ai". Without wishing to sound like a pedantic fanboy, "shoujo ai" just strikes me as a term invented by Western fans who had a poor understanding of the scope of "Yuri", as am equivalent to another term that has since lost its original meaning. I can sort of understand the desire to create a new term because "Yuri" was often associated (however wrongly) with sex and only sex, but "anime" has had a similar image problem in the past, and we still use that, right?

And nobody mention "Japanimation" ^_~
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d.t.
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2005, 01:53:58 AM »

I don't know where you're getting that info, Saucer, but I would be dumbfounded if it was true.  

"L" may be the common term used in Japan for Lesbian content, but shoujo-ai has been used in Japan (perhaps because a google search of "L" just isn't feasible... Hell, "shoujo" the term refers to unmarried women, but there have been periods when there was a general feeling that lesbianism was more common in "shoujo" since the pure unmarried women were unaware of proper love.  I'm sure Fatora-sama would have some things to say about THAT...).

"S" or "Class S" was used to refer to passionate friendships or same-sex relations among females in Japan back in the '30s ("S" standing for "sister" "shoujo" and "sex" or all three combined), and it's still in use.  "Ome" developed as a similar term, but it was general used for "this isn't a cute crush, this is trouble" by the wannabe-sociologists using it.

Unless there's been a fundamental shift in the last year, rorikon/lolicon (short for rorita konpurekusu) is still by far the term for choice for pedophillic content.  The term's so incredibly widespread that I can't see anyone trying to replace it - it would be like trying to use something else isntead of "hentai" or even "anime".  "Hafu" (as in "half") still refers to "girls with thingies what that girls ain't meant to have", and nijikon (double complex) still refers to erotic content about crossdressers (guys, it goes without saying).  There's also "sister boy" and "Mr Lady" (just say them with a bad accent to see how they're used in Japan) which I'm sure you can figure out the meanings of.  And there's shotakon if you prefer your pedophelia to be about young boys, and as for older women with young boys... well I don't feel like dragging out my book on Japan's disturbing trend of mothers with a thing for their sons, so I'll just say there are more terms than you can shake a stick at and leave it at that.  S and H are terms of choice for sexual content (how in blazes they do their web searches I'll never know).  "Neko" can mean "femme" and "tachi" (abreviation of "tachiyaku" or "leading man"... maybe a reference to Takarazuka?) means "butch".  "Kaiawase" ("matching shells") was popular for a while, along with "rezubian".  "Doseiai" is probably still the term of choice for "passionless love between women" (probably the best descriptor for Maria-sama).  And I'm afraid I have to disagree with dooky (what's a dooky?) because everything I've ever read has stated that there's nothing ambiguous any more about the use of the term "yuri" in Japan - it means hot Fatora-style action.  

Long story short?  It's possible that the term shoujo-ai's been bastardized in the last year or so... but I doubt it, and until I see it in printed form (the only form I ever believe) I'm going to continue to use it the way I learned it.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2005, 02:12:09 AM by d.t. » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2005, 06:51:25 AM »

http://www.yuricon.org/essays/whatisyuri.html

Not in print, but from a fairly knowledgable source nonetheless.

As an addition to that article, there's also Yuri Shimai and Yuri Tengoku: regular(ish) manga anthologies in Japan. The term Yuri is used in both titles despite the magazines having little or no sexual content: really, the content is precisely what Western fans would term "Shoujo ai".

And as for the origins of "dooky"... well, that's a mystery for another day ^_~

EDIT: Oh yeah, I found out about "neko" and "tachi" just recently. Such adorable terms...
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2005, 09:08:02 AM »

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"Hafu" (as in "half") still refers to "girls with thingies what that girls ain't meant to have"



Erm... *memories of a certain doujin flashes into El-Haz Gundam's memory banks*... Ai! X_X

You know, one of my friends refers to that as an "upgrade"... though he did NOT imply it was a good upgrade... I'll shut up now before I blow another fuse in my head.

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  "Neko" can mean "femme" and "tachi" (abreviation of "tachiyaku" or "leading man"... maybe a reference to Takarazuka?)


Isn't the word Neko also japanese for "cat" or "cat-like"?
Or do I have a glitch in my data storage unit again?

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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2005, 02:08:32 PM »

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Isn't the word Neko also japanese for "cat" or "cat-like"?
Or do I have a glitch in my data storage unit again?


Yes.  I'm fairly certain that "neko" translates into English as "cat".
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2005, 08:03:28 PM »

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I don't know where you're getting that info, Saucer, but I would be dumbfounded if it was true.

My comment about "shoujo-ai" comes from an addendum to an Ask John article, made by smoeone who translates his column into Japanese. See here for the article

Quote
 "Hafu" (as in "half") still refers to "girls with thingies what that girls ain't meant to have",

Interesting, but I've also heard "Hafu" (as in "half") refer to someone who is half-Japanese. I first heard this term used in the Strange Love OVA, episode 1.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2005, 08:06:49 PM by saucer » Logged


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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2005, 08:24:41 AM »

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My comment about "shoujo-ai" comes from an addendum to an Ask John article, made by smoeone who translates his column into Japanese. See here for the article

Interesting, but I've also heard "Hafu" (as in "half") refer to someone who is half-Japanese. I first heard this term used in the Strange Love OVA, episode 1.

So... How would you refer to a half-Japanese girl with a "thingie girls aren't meant to have"? Kuwataru? XD
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 08:24:55 AM by spanner » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2005, 09:47:26 AM »

More to the point, how would you refer to a lesbian femme catgirl? Nekonekoshoujo?
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