Yumi is nearing the end of her second year at Lillian, and there is much to be done before her beloved onee-sama Sachiko can graduate and leave her to take over the role of Rosa Chinensis. Of course, the most pressing matter is finding a petite soeur, and whilst Yoshino is pressured by Rei and Eriko to pick one, Yumi must finally make a decision. Is Touko the one she wants to give her rosary to, or is there someone better out there to join the Red Rose ‘family’?
A series infamous for its HARD YURI undertones, MariMite nonetheless managed to bring us two enjoyable seasons, before blowing it somewhat on a ridiculously over the top OVA filled with bizarre sports festivals and all kinds of love rivalry. In the space of five episodes, the OVA had destroyed most of my goodwill towards the series- could a brand new TV series bring it back?
Fortunately, with all the festivals out of the way, the series proved to be back on track, bringing us a more acceptable level of HARD YURI angst. The main focus of the season, of course, was Yumi’s attempts to find the right soeur for her (dominant or submissive? Sachiko replacement or something new?), and even though most of us must have known how it would turn out eventually, the journey was still entertaining. And fortunately, there are also a number of side stories to keep us entertained, most notably Yoshino’s own attempts to find a petite soeur.
Although there is one notable new addition to the cast this season, for the most part the focus is on the core characters we’ve come to know and love. Whilst both Yumi and Yoshino are forced to grow up a little this time around, Touko is finally becoming more likable- yes, she’s still a stroppy, contrary little princess, but every so often a more human and vulnerable side to her personality starts to show through.
As always, MariMite isn’t working with the highest budget when it comes to animation, although it still manages to look decent enough (certainly flashy effects aren’t needed for this sort of series)- and in fact overall it seems a bit more polished than the surprisingly poor-looking OVA. Similarly, the background music is the same old elevator fare we’ve come to expect.
Obviously, those brand new to the franchise aren’t going to start with this season, and those who’ve made it this far will watch it regardless, but if you’re poised on the threshold after the disappointing OVA, rest assured that MariMite is back on form for its fourth season, delivering all the angst and HARD YURI undertones we’ve come to expect from the series. Watch and enjoy it for what it is.