You see that headline up there? That’s not hyperbole.
The Maria Holic manga was reviewed by Erica Friedman recently, and it seems pretty obvious that she has quite the hate-on for it, and the series in general. And I sure as hell don’t blame her for this at all, considering it’s the story of a girl who goes to an all-girls school looking for love, and finds herself the metaphorical punching bag for a sadistic, cross-dressing boy who’s apparently at the school for some really dumb reason.
So I went out to my local Forbidden Planet and I skimmed the copy of Volume 1 I got there, and I pretty much decided within the first chapter that this manga is not the manga for me. Of course, since I read Erica’s review first I knew it wouldn’t be, but this manga, even on a brief reading, just isn’t funny.
Most of the comedy is through the main female, Kanako, often going through hell, being insulted, or being threatened with rape at one point by Mariya the cross-dresser if she ever revealed his secret. All because she made the mistake of coming across him first as she entered the school, and then discovered that he’s really a guy. It’s extremely horrible to see, especially when you realise that Kanako is party being bullied by Mariya like this because she likes girls more than men, and it’s played for laughs. And implications that Mariya and Kanako might become a romantic couple? The thought of it is just too horrible to imagine at this juncture. It’ll be like something out of Hot Gimmick.
The rest of the comedy is, from what I can tell, really retarded parodies of Yuri manga tropes, which isn’t all that funny either. This is more like the sub-Colony Drop sadistic “comedy” that would fall flat on it’s face with people who’d have the nearest semblance of a heart. It’s like a gender-warped Love Hina, except that it isn’t as far out, and Mariya doesn’t punch Kanako and send her flying, so it exchanges it for emotional bullying instead.
This manga didn’t even deserve me, an unashamed pervert who likes lesbians a lot, skimming through it at the manga aisle in Forbidden Planet. By any rights, it should be gone and forgotten, just another crappy seinen fanservice manga in a sea of retreads that Tokyopop released for some reason in it’s increasing collapse in the face of Viz and Del Rey.