It’s funny how I see this stuff on everyone else’s blogs and it doesn’t even occur to me that I haven’t been doing it on mine.
If you’re reading my blog, you should definitely know that I am a big time Shinbo and SHAFT fan. You should also know that I am a huge yuri fan, and a pretty decent trap fan. All of these great things have been brought together under Maria Holic, so, needless to say, I am excited.
The first episode was pretty decent. Honestly, if there’s one thing Shinbo and Shaft have never been totally great at, it’s first episodes. They are good at introducing you to the crazy art they plan to use for the show and the general tone, but it’s rare for them to give you much impression of the show’s plot or where it will be going. Maria Holic does a better job than usual by actually getting all of the basic elements out of the way first.
The trouble I have with shows that start like this is the slight bait-switch that happens within the episode. When there is a plot-defining twist, you can’t get a good sense of where the jokes will be centered afterward. This ep was at first mostly focused on the comedy of the main character’s lesbianism and attraction to Maria, but when Maria turned out to be a guy, the comedic focus was all on that. I want to know which it will be on when the show gets going. Another good example of this kind of comedy confusion was Ouran High School Host Club, which had a similar twist.
As usual with Shaft shows, the artwork is at first a little unsettling. With their first episodes, they usually try to use some fancy artwork so that you’ll know it will be there, but keep it normal enough to be inviting. It’s once the show gets along that they really take the art to whatever insane height they have planned (though ef melodies broke this tradition, possibly because it was a sequel, or because it was a different director.) In any case, while the first episode is somewhat representative of things to come, you can almost always expect Shaft shows to get much better as they go along and you get settled in and used to it.
Anyway, the lesbian and trap jokes were funny and I’m very happy to finally see a REAL lesbian in anime.