Story/Art: Masayuki Ishikawa
Translation/Adaptation: Stephen Paul
What They Say
Maria has flaunted her magic one time too many under the watch of the Church of Heaven, and for this she has paid dearly, as a strike by the archangel Michael’s spear leaves her hanging onto life by a thread. But for all her ostentation, her devotion to ending the cruelty of war has firmly placed her in the hearts of those around her, and they won’t allow Maria’s mission to end here, even if it means standing against the awesome might of an angel. They say that love conquers all, but will passionate pleas and a show of bravery from Maria’s friends be enough to sway the judgment of the heavens?
Content: (please note that content portions of this review contains spoilers):
Archangel Michael transformed Ezekial into a spear and thrust her at Maria with all his might. Michael isn’t one to miss his targets, but at the last second, Ezekial turned just enough to miss Maria’s heart. This still blew a hole in Maria’s shoulder and forced her crashing to the ground in the midst of an army raping and pillaging their way through a village. Ezekial may have delayed the execution of Maria, but Michael is well aware of the fact that she defied his order.
This begins Maria’s downward spiral into despair. Until now, she has always been stubborn and ready to do anything to save human life. But after the soldiers find her and mistreat her, she is forced to wonder if mankind is worth saving. If it weren’t for an unlikely savior in Viv, Maria would have died in the hands of those men. Viv is a strange witch, she is the most powerful witch in England, yet she is the only witch to try and befriend Maria.
Things go from bad to worse when Viv attacks Michael in an unwinnable duel, leaving a near-dead Maria to be captured by the Church and imprisoned, left to wait until morning when she will be burned at the stake. At the same time, Joseph has also abandoned Maria to go to war in order to keep his village safe. Things are at their darkest for everyone. Will anyone save Maria, Viv, or Joseph? Can there be a happy ending in all this?
Maria the Virgin Witch has proven to be a wonderful, short series. It is an excellent example of how a story can move through the main story arc and hit the authors desired themes without traveling down dead end roads and causing the series to balloon up to a needlessly large volume count. The themes of love, forgiveness, and how humans should view themselves and heaven are nicely examined. All of these through an entertaining cast of characters fueled by the nice artwork and well-timed ecchi humor. This manga series and the anime adaptation take my favorite type of development as there are plenty of differences between both media types to make it a no-brainer for fans of either media to also seek out the other. The original manga is short and sweet, whereas the anime fills in some of the blanks with more development for some characters while keeping true to the humor and overall themes.
I highly recommend Maria the Virgin Witch, and wish Kodansha would rescue the authors Moyasimon series. I can easily give the overall Maria the Virgin Witch series an A.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Older Teen 16+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: June 30th, 2015