Tuesday, 31 March 2015
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - MARIA THE VIRGIN WITCH
Part of FUNimation’s broadcast dub titles, Maria The Virgin Witch is nothing if imaginative, keen on attention to detail and creative. Plus we have Alexis Tipton voicing the titular witch which just boosts everything else up even more.
“Set in France during the Hundred Years War, it follows Maria, who is one of the most powerful witches of her era. She hates conflict and does anything in her power to prevent any more fighting. This attract the ire of the Heavens, who give her an ultimatum - the moment she loses her virginity, her magic will be gone as well.”
I tuned in to the first two episodes, mostly because the first was not quite what I expected. It wasn’t bad, but I only managed to like it. Episode two is where I fell in love with everything. As mentioned, this series has a terrific premise as we have one person who abhors war and tries her best to stop it without picking a side. Yup, Maria is neutral when it comes between France and England. She does hate the church though, and shows great hostility towards the angels who ignore the prayers of people in pain and yet most of the world she inhabits still considers her a heretic who deserves to be burned at the stake. Ungrateful much?
"One can't bring herself to open her legs while the other has a hard time closing theirs."
Being a virgin, most of the jokes in this series are aimed at Maria’s innocence such as the ‘Achilles heel’ between her legs. I must admit, until you watch this show, you have no idea just how far in the gutter your mind is. There are so many innuendos and double entendre in this show that it deserves its own drinking game. Your liver will never be the same. However, there is far less ecchi-like fanservice than one would expect from an anime title that has 'virgin' in it. That is a real bonus. All the talk is played up to be funny. Notable examples from the dub include:
“My jaw is killing me.”
“But I was on my back or my knees most of the night.”
Naturally Maria has no concept of what all these really mean and that’s nice for a chance. She truly is innocent and her political beliefs are fascinating to watch unfold
"Doesn't matter what language you're speaking, you're all going down."
Maria’s tactics involve summon magic to scare conflicts into submission and using her two familiars Artemis (voiced by Whitney Rodgers) -a succubus- and Priapos(voiced by Jerry Jewell) - a meek incubus with no manly tools (remember Maria doesn’t know what the instrument looks like) – to seduce people for information. It’s dirty and low (no crude jokes intended) I grant you, but they are effective.
Bringing up the rear is a local messenger Joseph (voiced by Austin Tindle) who harbors a crush on Maria. Not that the feelings aren’t mutual, but Maria being the inexperienced young lady that she is…
Moving on, the dub on this one is top form and something I was worried about was the old-English accent for the entire cast. This is what happened in Unbreakable Machine Doll. It was nice and all, but it did grate at times. Instead, all but one witch – Viv - so far (voiced Colleen Clinkenbeard) uses a full-on English accent. Most of the other time, we get normal English with a couple of French greetings and reactions thrown into the mix just to remind us whose side we’re seeing things from. It fits. It’s not too padded and I’m not sure how a dub with half the cast adopting French accents might’ve gone down.
An interesting note: At first I thought Monica lRial would be voicing Maria and I had Alexis pegged for Yona from Yona of the Dawn. Turns out I had the duo reversed.
This series also seems to become more and more serious as we already have Maria’s political views on war and violence challenged by none other than Archangel Michael (voiced by Caitlin Glass). It’s interesting to note the defense both use to justify their actions (or inactions). Maria believes that if you have the power to make a difference, you should. Michael believes in free will and that war is part of it, so it isn’t right from Heaven to interfere. He also has some b***shitty belief that if Maria can’t prevent all conflicts, then she shouldn’t even prevent one. After all, favoritism.
Note that Maria isn’t omnipotent, nor is she omniscience which means she can’t be everywhere at once. She can only deal with conflict she has knowledge of while Michael (who probably has both these abilities) still refuses to act.
Rating first impression: 7.5/10. Tipton is spectacular to listen as Maria. She really fits these emotionally powerful and confident characters and I can’t wait for episode 3!