First Look: Maria the Virgin Witch

mariatitle

Alternative titles: Junketsu no Maria; Sorcière de gré, pucelle de force
Manga Adaptation by Production I.G.
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

Maria’s a witch who just wants people to get along; unfortunately, France is right in the middle of the Hundred Years’ War. Also, I guess she’ll lose her magic if she loses her virginity or something.

mariasuccubus

Iro’s verdict: Decent Potential

I got a fair amount of Howl’s Moving Castle vibes from this first episode, which is of course a good thing, but that isn’t to say there aren’t a few sticking points that make me apprehensive. In particular, the supposed hook about Maria being a virgin isn’t really much of a hook at all. The show implies that witches get their magical energy via sex (what is this, Fate/Stay Night?), which is why Maria has a succubus as a familiar, but she proceeds to then be comically exasperatingly naive about sexual matters. Not that this stops the show from depicting her laying around in bed naked, of course. Overall, I’ll have to see another episode or two before I pass judgement, but the potential is here for Maria to be something interesting.

Side note: every time I see the title “Junketsu no Maria” I can only think, “KIRYUIN SAAATSUKIIIIIIII!”

Gee’s verdict: Charmed

I love anime that don’t take place in Japan just by virtue of it being such a common setting for anime. As a fan of European medieval history, Maria the Virgin Witch hits a ton of the right spots for me right from the get go. Sure, the historian in me wants to point out some of the historical inconsistencies of their portrayal of medieval-era combat, but being an anime about witches who supposedly gain their power from sex and can summon dragons, I’m willing to give it some wiggling room. Maria is a pretty charming as far as protagonists go and I can forgive her sexual naivety, what with it being 14th century France and all. Considering the implications though, you’d think witches of all people would be the most in the know about sexual education. Still, there’s some flashy magic and hopeful promises of wacky antics on the horizon. The premise itself about her virginity is a bit hackneyed and probably the most questionable aspect of the show. Despite this, the setting and characters are charming enough that I’m willing to give it a few more episodes.

mariadragon

Marlin’s verdict: Bewitching

I think we take for granted that our society teaches sexual education, but it’s kinda there for a reason. From an early age we learn about both sexes so we’re familiar with, also the culture of pornography that pervades the internet guarantees that almost no one goes through adolescence without seeing someone else have sex first. What we have here is a show about someone from the middle ages who uses a go-between, I think it’s pretty believable that if she’s never actually seen a man naked she doesn’t really know about sex. That aside I liked the show’s feel in general. I liked the fantastic witch powers, the gritty close quarters fighting that the Middle Ages are known for. The scene with Maria naked for no particular reason was tasteless, but I’m hoping that’s not going to be the norm. I’m interested in how the witches deal with each other, as the premise obviously makes it seem that Maria is at odds with the majority of her kind. If it ends up as a kind of supernatural romance story, I’d be totally cool with that too.

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