Maria-sama ga Miteru(2004-2009)
4 Seasons

Maria sama ga Miteru Sei x Yumi moments!
マリア様がみてる~春~ AMV OP「pastel pure」 唱: ALI PROJECT





Fourth Season - Ending Full

Maria-sama ga Miteru

Maria-sama ga miteru

Anime(2004-2009) TV 4 Seasons

     D: Toshiyuki Katō

     W: Reiko Yoshida

     M: Mikiya Katakura


ANN      8.426-8.766

MAL      7.41-7.92

IMDB     6.3



Chinensis family

Yumi Fukuzawa (福沢 祐巳 Fukuzawa Yumi)
Sachiko Ogasawara (小笠原 祥子 Ogasawara Sachiko)
Tōko Matsudaira (松平 瞳子 Matsudaira Tōko)
Yōko Mizuno (水野 蓉子 Mizuno Yōko)

Gigantea family

Sei Satō (佐藤 聖 Satō Sei)
Shimako Tōdō (藤堂 志摩子 Tōdō Shimako)
Noriko Nijō (二条 乃梨子 Nijō Noriko)

Foetida family

Yoshino Shimazu (島津 由乃 Shimazu Yoshino)
Rei Hasekura (支倉 令 Hasekura Rei)
Eriko Torii (鳥居 江利子 Torii Eriko)







Movement in approximation to unity.


Certainly Love is one of the most talked about, described, and analyzed of all human behaviors, and this for thousands of years, and yet we still have not come to a fundamental understanding of this virtue.


Love comes in so many forms but the most basic and universal characteristic is that Love involves self-sacrifice of some kind. This is a fundamental. Love is not give-to-get which is an economic relationship. It should be clearly stated that there is nothing wrong with give-to-get provided that the relationship is honest, i.e. I will scratch your back, if you scratch mine. It can even work to hold a marriage together  so long as both parties are honest with each other about the nature of the relationship.


Humans mix pragmatic self-interest (give-to-get) with giving love without a contingent expectation of a return(self-sacrifice). Whenever one does something or gives something for or to another, there is some cost involved in that giving. Gifts are not free which makes the gift giving of importance.







 Touko Nanami (七海 燈子) to  Yuu Koito (小糸 侑) from the manga, “Bloom into You” by Nakatani Nio, Chapter 8, Page 18. This is a Yuri manga, but the story is about love. The unity of the pair bond is only the beginning of a much larger human movement towards unity, co-operation, working together, helping each other, the Good Samaritan story. If one sees self in the other, then any self-sacrifice for another is unitary, and ends in some ultimate fashion as the betterment of the common good to which the lover belongs.


What follows is an analytical description of the forms of love in human behavior. All of this should be taken with a grain of salt because clear categories in human behavior do not exist. The boundary between one form of love easily bleeds into another form of love. When does Companionate Love become Romantic love? Well, its fuzzy around the edges, and sometimes is difficult to compartmentalize.


But the following categories more or less do apply, we just need to be aware that there are many, many exceptions, and a piece of human behavior may straddle, many definitions. What follows is hardly the last word on the subject.



The forms of Love can be characterized by 7  distinctive human behaviors.


1) Mother Love  (Greek: Storage)


Mother Nature created Mother Love to ensure the survival of the next generation. Virtually every biological life form shows Mother Love. It might not manifest as relational but the drive is still there.

Sea Turtles will travel great distances to return to a particular island to lay their eggs, and then they return to the sea, never seeing their offspring. No relationship but the drive to lay the eggs certainly is powerful. And of course, there are the obvious cases such as Mother Bears who are fierce in defense of her cubs.


Mother Love is almost all giving with no return. But while universal, it manifests itself in human females with varying degrees of power. This is just to say that given an individual’s unique personality, some females respond better to this biological drive than do others. There are thankfully a very small number of females who even kill their own children in some sort of rage against the power of Mother Love which they feel. Other female animals have been observed to do the same. There are indeed some men who make better mothers than some women. But by and large, it is the female who feels the biological urge at its most intense and most women make very good mothers when surrounded by education and support.




2) Self-Love, self esteem, feeling good about yourself (Greek: Philautia)


Self-love, having proper self esteem is vital. The constant feeling that one is sin-bound, worthless, can be highly destructive, and can lead to many forms of psychopathology. But too much self-love can have an opposite, narcissistic effect and still be very destructive of individuals and societies. Human Beings much more than any other life form, seem to have very wide swings in having too much self-love or not enough.


A balanced and proper self-love comes from proper Mother Love, and feeling good about ourselves. We then can be formally respective to others by internalizing Mother Love and practice formal love.



3) Formal Love    Courtly Love, courtesy, respect, etiquette, manners simple kindness/consideration


Manners doesn’t seem to be love, but it is a form of basic sympathetic concern for others.

Although many manners in different societies are arbitrary (why does the fork have to be on the left side of the plate?), by following a code of etiquette, we say to others, that we respect them, that we care enough about their welfare that we will conduct ourselves in a somewhat restrictive fashion in order that the message of respect is communicated.


Courtly Love is learned from Mother Love, and it is why Mothers are so concerned about these types of rules (say Please, Thank You, Yes Sir/Ma’am). Manners are like the oil in your car’s engine which lowers the friction in all the moving parts. And it actually takes less energy, to smile, and be pleasant to  everyone we meet; for rudeness, cynicism, anger, and hate always consume far more emotional energy and being rude sounds like a rube with friction everywhere.




The following three types of love, represents the The Triangular Theory of Love by Robert Sternberg.


Please see the following:   The Triangular Theory of Love




4) Infatuate Love (Greek: Ludus) Infatuation, crushes, “Puppy Love”


Almost from the very start of life to its end, we develop crushes everywhere, for just about anyone or thing, and all the time. Crushing is a constant, and may begin with the babies crushing on their Mother while suckling at the breast.


Young people, who have never fallen into Romantic Love, sometimes confuse infatuation for falling in love. Mother Nature might have developed crushing as sort of a practice form of Romantic love.

But infatuation is not Romantic Love. Crushes come and go like the wind, and the only guarantee is that if you have a crush now, it will probably change into some other other crush. Infatuate Love is fickle, transitory, and will always change, although the person under the spell of a crush may not see it that way. Fandom, fan love for a certain artist is very much this type of love.





5) Companionate Love, (Greek: Philia and Pragma) Normal, day-to-day Love, affection, love in a                                                 family, friendship


Probably the most common binding agent in human behavior. This is the love one has for Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters, and good, close friends. It also goes by the name of Brotherly Love which is the love one feels for his/her family and friends.


This form of love can be intense, and long lasting, and losing even one member can create horrible grief and a sense of utter loss.


Humans will and have died in self-sacrifice for this type of love, which can be more intense than Romantic Love but generally varies greatly. In an emotional sense, we speak about distance, and closeness. We recognize that all of these relationships are different and carry fundamentally different degrees per each relationship, and even across time, we may grow closer or more distant many times over.


We even have names of intense loves of this kind in the relationships called Bromance and Sormance.

This is a play on the word “Romance” because often the relationships appear like a romance and even when there might be some intimacy involved, it still is not Gay or Les which are romantic.




6) Romantic Love, (Greek: Eros) intimate love but not lust, there is a difference.

     Intimate love focuses on a singular individual who often       becomes an ideal

     Lust can be satisfied by just about anything or anyone. Lust is       general and unspecific, and does not lead to an ideal

      The result of Romantic Love is usually the creation of a pair bond

     symbolized as         (Name1 X Name2)


More words, songs, pictures, plays, movies et all have been written about this form of love that one might be forgiven for thinking that the subject matter has been exhausted. But no, we love stories about

Romantic love. But what is it? After all the artists and philosophers have spoken about romance, we still understand very little about it. We clearly know the power of Romantic Love, but hardly understand the why and how of it, which turns into something rather mysterious.


In his book, “101 Stories of the Great Ballets” George Balanchine has a fairly interesting quote about the Romantic in his discussion of Giselle.


“To be romantic about something is to see what you are and to wish for something entirely different. This requires magic. The mysterious and supernatural powers that romantic poetry invoked to secure its ideal soon became natural to the theatre, where dancers attired in billowy white seemed part of the world and yet also above it.”

- “101 Stories of the Great Ballets” by George Balanchine and Francis Mason, Page 194



Although Mr. Balanchine is speaking to the romantic movement in art, especially as it applies to the ballet, his statement can easily apply to Romantic Love itself, and magic is a very good word to describe how it works.


Falling in Love” is falling into the Romantic, and only those who have experienced this emotion can truly understand how utterly powerful and magical it all is. Young people with little actual experience often think that Infatuate Love, ie. crushes is what is meant by “Falling in Love”, but that is incorrect.

Romantic Love is very different than infatuation.


When one falls in love, considerable chemical and hormonal changes take place in the human body, passion markedly increases and rational thought decreases.


Romantic Love does feel like magic when you are caught up into it. This leads to an idealization by the lovers of the beloved. “This is the only man/woman that I can ever be happy with. He/she is perfect, beyond criticism! I cannot live without him/her.” and on and on. Of course this is nonsense as it should be, but my-of-my is it such beautiful nonsense, and just feels so good.


It would appear that Mother Nature intended all of the silliness, in order to put two together into one in a pair-bond, and then to get busy making children.


AS “Bloom into You” clearly shows, “Falling in Love” is only the beginning in a very elaborate process. You may fall in love, but that does not mean the other person is also “in love”. Lovers clearly do not understand this, and assume that because I am so madly in love, the beloved must also be in love with me. Actually they are thinking about Spumoni ice cream for dessert.


The next step then is courtship which is almost universal in biology. The lover must now pay court to the beloved and convince him/her to fall in love with them, the lover. Often this takes the form of male courtship of females, but that is not cast in stone, and females are perfectly capable of performing courtship rituals of males or females.


Courtship fails more often than it succeeds, and even with success, the pair-bond formed might still fall apart. This then requires grief on the part of the lover, the ability to move on successfully in the face of a failed love. The lover usually needs help with this very serious process which itself can fail, and result in a longing hunger which lasts a life-time., or even can result in self-immolation, self-destruction, I.e “I would rather die than live on without my beloved.”. The failure of grief can also result in the loss of self respect and the pursuit of promiscuous behaviors of many kinds leading to various perversions.


That is why it is so very important when in grief, that one seeks the help of others, or accepts that help.

Marimite has a very clear lesson here in the love affair of (Sei Sato X Kubo Shiori). What is wonderfully told is how Sei’s Big Sister and her friend come to Sei’s aid when they see the trouble she is fallen into.




7) Idealistic Love (Greek: Agape), Divine Love, Compassion, Bhakti, Caritas

     This is the love of an absolute Ideal or the love felt for imaginary                                                  characters. The ultimate in Idealized Love. Sometimes called

     divine love, the love between god and human beings and more                                                 rarely sometimes between human beings.



Almost certainly the most complex and difficult of all human virtues, and also potentially the most wonderful of all.  


This form of love is single minded devotion to an absolute Ideal. Ideals by their very nature are imaginary.




ANIME: Maria-sama ga Miteru (マリア様がみてる, lit. The Virgin Mary Is Watching or Mary Watches Over Us), often shortened to Marimite (マリみて)


While Marimite is very much in a similar fashion with regard to the previous two anime of Aria and Haibane-renmei. While most people can understand the story line in these two, Marimite is very different and difficult for first time viewers.


First the story line of Marimite is nothing except love relations of all shapes and sizes, and is why we pick this anime as an example of the third virtue of Love. All the various flavors and types of love are on display in Marimite whose sole storyline is in the depth of its characters, and their fluctuating and exhausting  love relationships. At its core, that is all Marimite is about.


But the subject of Love itself is vastly complex as the brief analysis above hopefully demonstrates.


Put love relationships into a storyline and world which itself is very complex, and then even demonstrate acute  formalism which is characteristic of Japanese culture, and you have a story that at its onset is almost impenetrable. Marimite is all about love relationships, their changing states, and nothing more.


And then to even top all that, don’t spend any time explaining anything, but just drop your audience right into the world of Lillian Girls' Academy with our MC, First year Yumi Fukuzawa, and its sink or swim time.


And there is no English dub.


If you are not a fan of relationship stories, you might as well stop reading now, because you will never enjoy Marimite.


But if in the past you have liked such stories, then there is at least hope that you might enjoy Marimite.

But even so, it will still be very difficult to get into the story world being presented to you.



Marimite is a drama of manners much in the same way that  comedy of manners have been quite popular such as ,The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People  by Oscar Wilde(1895), or “The Wrong Box(1966)”, film based upon the novel(1889) by Robert Louis Stevenson. But to understand the comedy or drama involved, one needs to know what the formalities being skewered are all about. If you have no experience with highly formal behavior, you will find yourself out in left field picking pickled peppers!



You will need some substantial background understanding of the characters and their relationships to fully enjoy the story. So in other words, to fully enjoy this story you need to understand it and this will require some substantial study of various kinds, but mostly of Japanese mores, manners, and culture, and the formalities created at Lillian, which in effect, even take the Ideal and the Formal, and doubles down on them. The girls at Lillian observe some rather severe rules as to how to behave which even is more formal and idealistic than Japan herself.


So rather than explain the story and its world, I think the best way to write about Marimite is to link various sources of information which require some study before you plunge into the anime itself.


Start with the relationship chart above, and keep it handy while watching the series. When we did that we found we could track the story much better. Names and the constant change in relationships fly by through all four seasons and its easy for a newbie to lose track of the story. The chart does not include all the characters and relationships, but it does show the central core ones.



Study these Wikipedia pages

Intro page


The characters and their relationships


The Anime Episodes



How Anime Tropes are handled













Japanese schools follow the 6-3-3 structure, 6 years Elementary, 3 years Middle, and 3 years High

This means there is no Sophmore class

Freshman class is called  First year or Class 1

Junior class is called Second year or Class 2

Senior class is called Third year or Class 3



The Japanese school year is partitioned into three Semesters as follows:


Semester 1:   April – July 20          Poetically the year begins in Spring with the Cherry Blossoms


 Elections to Student Council

 Summer Vacation:  July 20  -  August 31   (with homework)


Semester 2:  Sep – Dec 20


 Although there are variations

 The Sports Festival or Sports Day is held in early September

 Cultural Festival usually on Culture Day November 3


 Winter Vacation:   Dec 20  -  Jan 6   (with homework)



Semester 3:  Jan 6  -  March


 Graduation held at the end of March







The Lillian school is a fictional Tokyo private and exclusive Catholic girls’ school for the very rich and powerful in Japanese society. The Blessed Virgin Mary plays a very big role in the story as many events and relationships happen in front of her. Even though Catholicism is only about 0.5 % of the total population, the artists behind Marimite connect the Virgin’s flower, the Lily, with the Japanese word for Lily ( yuri  ゆり ).


The formalism at Lillian is portrayed as even being more stringent than the norm in Japanese society.  






The school has established a fictional sœur system in which an older upper class girl will make a younger class girl her little sister by giving her a rosary. While this ritual does not exist actually in real life, the system in its more general type is very real, and in business is termed a mentoring system in which an older executive will accept a younger new hire and help him/her with any problems he/she might encounter. In skill sets and craftsmanship and even art, the Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master levels is a similar social construct. Basically these systems are a highly effective social tool for bringing younger people up to speed very quickly. Actual personal experience is much more powerful and efficient education than simple book learning.


With book learning all the material of a subject is thrown at you with no real sense in how it is applied.

But with the real experience of someone older who has been there before, he or she can show how the knowledge is applied pragmatically, and what pieces of knowledge are more or less important. This saves a great deal of time, and is adaptive to the culture of the mentor him/her, self. That is these types of applied pragmatics may differ from one culture to another, from one organization to another.





Central to the Marimite storyline is the Yamayuri Council where most of the story is centered.

The council is composed of three familys of roses, red, yellow, and white.

Each family is headed by a rose of that color with the red rose having primacy. The roses or Rosa are Class 3, and their little sisters are known as “en bouton” (rose bud) and may be Class 2 or 1. If the “en bouton”  is Class 2 then she herself might have, and is usually encouraged to have, a little sister from Class 1 called “en bouton petite sœur”, (little sister of a rose bud).


Most of the girls in Marimite are in the Sister System, but it is not a requirement, and some girls go without.





















The Marimite anime story consists of four seasons as listed above.



An alternate method, rather than studying, is to just jump into Season 1 Episode 1 and becoming totally lost, but with determination to push forward without full understanding. Eventually, well into the series, a viewer will begin to catch on. But I would seriously suggest to have the relationship chart available so that one might sort through the characters and their relationships. Can’t tell a player without a program!



Maria-sama ga Miteru is an exquisite experience. There is a genre of anime called   iyashikei which means healing. These are art works intended to heal and most critics classify Aria and Haibane-Renmei as iyashikei. Although no one puts  Marimite in that genre, Pywackett feels very strongly that Marimite is iyashikei because it does play in a similar way to the other two.


The extreme gentleness of the girls and the way they resolve conflict is extra ordinary, and shows that when love is taken seriously, it can heal wounds. In female society it is not uncommon that when relationship problems arise (and its impossible to live without conflict of some sort), that there are ways to diffuse the situations and heal the hurts involved.


In all four seasons of Marimite, this type of love-healing is on full display, and results in a very warm and gentle viewing experience.


There are almost no antagonists in the playing except for some mean girls, but they are not students of Lillian. They appear in Season 3, EP 1, “Vacation of the Lambs”.


The story time line runs from the Fall of Yumi’s Class 3 at Lillian to almost the end of her Class 2 and halts before Sachiko’s  graduation. This is roughly from September of Yumi Class 3 to February 14 of Yumi Class 2


After all the very central relationship and pairing is (  Sachiko Ogasawara (小笠原 祥子)   X    Yumi Fukuzawa (福沢 祐巳)  ) which is wonderful beyond measure. These are such excellent characters, and the almost two years that they are together, we actually can see them changing. Talk about character development in a story, Marimite delivers in ways unexpected, and wonderful. This is a relationship not without conflict, but how that conflict is resolved is beautiful to watch because it is very real, and applies directly to your real life. This is not an imaginary fix with magic, but hard work by both to understand each other.


There is an incredible scene early on in their relationship where Sachiko somewhat savagely criticizes Yumi for not confiding in her and communicating her feels, and it is somewhat ironic because that is exactly what Sachiko herself is doing to Yumi.


It is a shame that they did not go on to make a Season 5 which would have been Yumi’s Senior Rose Class 3 year with her little sister of Touko who is one of the most delicious personalities in this anime. Touko  suffers no fools, and with a rather sharp tongue, is  direct to Yumi whenever she thinks Yumi is wrong. Their relationship is entirely different than Yumi’s with Sachiko, but Touko is much more fun because she is so honest and direct. Season 4 is basically Yumi’s courtship of Touko, and a Season 5 would have been a very bumpy and rocky ride for Yumi with Touko in tow as her little sister.  It would have been very interesting to see how Yumi solved this relationship, and could have perhaps become even more intimate.


All of the forms of love as stated above, are to be found in Marimite.

1) Mother Love  (Greek: Storage)

  Mary watches over us, The Madonna, Theotokos  

  Mother Love is in the title!


2) Self-Love, self esteem, feeling good about yourself (Greek: Philautia)

                Yumi Fukuzawa loses self esteem when she fantasizes that Sachiko Ogasawara prefers                         Tōko Matsudaira over her        


3) Formal Love    Courtly Love, courtesy, respect, etiquette, manners simple kindness/consideration

  Most of the girls at Lillian follow very formal rules of Etiquette

  Sachiko Ogasawara is a good example


4) Infatuate Love (Greek: Ludus) Infatuation, crushes, “Puppy Love”

  Uzawa Mifuyu  crushing on Sachiko

  Hosokawa Kanako crushing on Yumi

                Tōko Matsudaira crushing on Yumi


5) Companionate Love, (Greek: Philia and Pragma) Normal, day-to-day Love, affection, love in a                                                                 family, friendship

  (Sachiko Ogasawara X Yumi Fukuzawa)

  All of the sister relationships are companionate love and even Sormances


6) Romantic Love, (Greek: Eros) intimate love but not lust, there is a difference.

  (Sei Sato X Kubo Shiori) LES

  (Shizuka Kanina  X  Sei Sato)  LES

  (Sugu Kashiwagi X Yuki Fukuzawa)  GAY

                ( Eriko Torii  X  Professor Yamanobe)  HET


7) Idealistic Love (Greek: Agape), Divine Love, Compassion, Bhakti, Caritas

  Kubo Shiori love of god to become a nun 

  Hosokawa Kanako idealizing Yumi Fukuzawa


Highly recommended if you want to know what love can be and do!
















"All the world loves a lover"

Yes and Maria-same ga Miteru
is all about love and her lovers
Not to be missed, and highly recommended

Folcwine P. Pywackett