Maria-sama ga Miteru (マリア様がみてる)

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/ Fukuzawa Yumi / Todo Shimako / Matsudaira Toko / All Characters / Shimazu Yoshino / Satou Sei / Ogasawara Sachiko / Hosokawa Kanako / Kubo Shiori / Yamaguchi Mami /

I thought that “Maria Watches Over Us” is not like a light novel, but more like teens novel (please take it as a work which girls junior high and high school students prefer.), but actually I heard that 80% of the readers are male.

The story takes place at a high school in Lilian Girls’ Academy. This academy is a catholic missionary school and has kindergarten to university. Many daughters from good families are going to this “preppy school”.

The main character Fukuzawa Yumi, who goes to the school, is a normal first year high school student. One day, she is corrected in wearing her uniform neatly by her admiring senior Ogasawara Sachiko, and starts getting connected to the student council called “Yamayuri Council”.

The Lilian Girls’ Academy High School has a rule called “sœur*”, which an advising senior student and the junior student promise to be “sisters”. Following the rule, Yumi becomes a younger sister of Sachiko, as well as “Rosa Chinensis en bouton petite sœur*”.
(*sœur is a Frech word, meaning “sister”.)
(*Rosa Chinensis en bouton petite sœur is French words, meaning “younger sister of red roses”.)

……This is not related to any mysterious elements such as magic, but the special terminologies, especially the names of sœur in the Yamayuri council executives are so long. I still admire them, though.

Yumi is in the family of Rosa Chinensis*, but there are “Rosa Gigantea*” and “Rosa Foetida*” too, and each has “en bouton*” and “en bouton petite sœur*”. If I explain them easily, it is called that “Rosa” for the third year, “en bouton” for the second year, and “en bouton petite sœur” for the first year. You will get used to these terms.
(*Rosa Chinensis means “red roses”. / Rosa Gigantea means “white roses”. / Rosa Foetida means “yellow roses”.)
(*en bouton means “rosebuds”. / en bouton petite sœur means “sister of rosebuds”.)

The story progresses mainly with Yumi and Sachiko, and we can see that the characters are growing, such as Sachiko graduates from high school, and Yumi needs to try hard to decide her own sister. Of course, the other Rosa members are also nice and unique, such as Hasekura Rei, who is boyish and popular to girls, as well as Satou Sei, who is reliable elderly sister type. Yumi’s surroundings are so exciting.

This is treated as what we call “Yuri” genre with full of girls’ love, however, this focuses on more “high-class girls’ daily life” in a shining world, which cannot be seen normally. So, I think you should watch this without any prejudice.

The TV anime has been produced until the 4 seasons including OVA. This anime has been expanded to other media from drama, CD, web radio to a live-action movie. Personally, my favorite character is Matsudaira Toko, so I would like to recommend the season 4 of the anime, but if I understand all the relationship change between Yumi and Sachiko and watch the season 4 which is about Yumi and Toko getting sœur relationship, I really feel that Yumi has grown up so well.

Toko is first a character which we don’t like. She likes Sachiko so tries to be against Yumi, and takes Yumi’s caring negatively…… But she is so cute once she gets lovely. Tsundere* is so good!
My most favorite scene is of course that Toko asks Yumi to be Yumi’s younger sister of a rose bud. Toko finally gets straight in this scene after trying around and around meaninglessly, so I feel so relieved to see it.)
(*Tsundere is a Japanese word, meaning “sometimes cold, sometimes lovely”.)

The series is very long and you might feel worried to start reading from the beginning. When you have time, get your cup of tea next to you to relax and read alone, which I recommend. After reading them all, you must feel like saying “Gokigenyo*”! Please
This word is translated into English as “good day to you”.) Please try to peep the pretty girls’ life enjoying the school in their heart.
(*Gokigenyo is a Japanese word to greet or bid farewell very formally and respectfully.

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