Title: Maria Holic Alive
Summary: Season 2 of Maria Holic
Review: It pains me to give such an amazing anime a bad score for this season. But alas, after a long time of thinking and pushing away bias I cannot give it a higher score. When Maria Holic Alive was announced to be released I immediately jumped to watch the first season. I was able to burn through the first season in a couple days thanks to vacation. I laughed nearly every second and loved all of the characters. Episode twelve of the first season came to an end and I knew I was craving more. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and was so excited for the first episode release. At first I was ok with it. Sure it may take some time to get started, it’s a comedy after all. Soon episode four, six, eight, ten role around and I’m still waiting for the humor. How the mighty comedy have fallen to dull skits and pity chuckles.
I think it would be in better taste just to hop right to the reason I was disappointed because it wasn’t too long ago they made the first season. The art was the same with minor adjustments here and there. None were too noticeable other than the increase use in silhouettes. If you read my review for season one you will know I’m a fan of the art so I’m glad they didn’t mess with it too much. It gave me the familiarity and comforts of the first season that I grew to love. The character designs were great and they did a great deal with the opening. However, the variety of openings and beautiful art was not matched with comedic scenes like the first season. I can’t recall laughing out loud a single time in the entire anime. It wasn’t like they were going for something different either. It wasn’t more focused on character development, story, drama, or any other random genre you can think of. It was very obvious that it was meant to be a comedy. I was a bit worried that the last episode wasn’t going to be subbed either (it was RAW for a week or so), but then realized it was probably because no one actually cared all that much. I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon of bashing but I can see why some were disappointed. I would like to think that if I watched this season by itself, skipping the first, I would enjoy it more. I don’t think that is the case though. I genuinely think that the humor wasn’t in it. The gags had some repetition which didn’t help the case I’ll admit, but even the new content wasn’t very good. I think it might be because I was growing tired of the characters. It gave me the same feeling I had waking up, going to work, coming home, eating, watching TV, sleeping, repeat. Same old same old. They did try to bring new minor characters and mini-plots to fill the void, but nothing stood up to its first season prowess. If you wish to argue that it’s because I watched the first season recently compared to second that’s fine. I honestly believe though that the season just didn’t have the same spark. I find that most series fall to this inevitable repetition which make them difficult to watch, especially comedies. Purely comedy anime seem to die off around twelve or so episodes (hmm funny that’s how long the first season was), at least for me. That’s why I fear that Maria Holic Alive is a glimpse into the future for comedy hits like Baka to Test and Working!.
The soundtrack was another thing that I wasn’t a big fan of. The first season’s opening was a landmark is visual stimulation and catchy tunes. Although the second season didn’t bring the same enjoyment was the first, I commend them for keeping it unique. The openings were like nothing I’ve ever seen and they had voice actors from the actual series sing the songs. I’m a huge fan of that style of opening even if the singing isn’t top notch. Additionally they pumped out a whopping five openings in twelve episodes. The last one was the best in my opinion. It was that mix of creepy, weird and cute that the series is based off of. They also came out with two ends (in comparison to the number of openings I guess that isn’t very great) that weren’t half bad. I doubt I’ll find myself listening to any of the songs in my spare time though. They just remind of the bad times and disappointment that was the second season.
Final statements: It’s a short review for obvious reasons. The second season’s only real difference is the soundtrack and fact that it didn’t live up to my comedic expectations. I was a huge fan of the first season which makes this review painful to post. Alas I must stick to my gut and say that it is an avoid watch. For all you Maria Holic fans out there remember the good times of the past. If a third season comes out I will probably pick it up in hopes for redemption.