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File:Mariaholic 4717.jpg

Kanako's in the upper-left window.

Kanako Miyamae Does Not Like Men, to the point of breaking out in hives when she comes in contact with them. Hoping to find her true (female) love interest, she attends Ame no Kisaki Girls' School where her parents met. Except she missed the school and wandered onto a private estate. As if fate had led her there, she sees a perfect girl before her and falls in love at first sight.

Fate really enjoys toying with people. Mariya Shidou, her perfect girl, is actually a boy in disguise, the grandson of the school's ex-chairwoman, and is one hell of a dick. In order to keep herself from being kicked out of the school, Kanako is forced to cooperate with Mariya against her will.

Based on the manga by Minari Endou and adapted into an anime for the early 2009 season by Studio Shaft, which means another layer of randomness is added to what's already there. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the anime for release in February 2010, while Tokyo Pop is currently releasing the manga. A second season of the anime has begun airing as part of the Spring 2011 anime season.

Compare and contrast: Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru and Houou Gakuen Misoragumi.

Tropes in Maria Holic include:

  • A God Am I — God the Dorm Leader may be appropriately named, seeing as Heaven and Earth will move themselves to acquiesce to her desires. She can even dissipate a June rainstorm just because she didn't feel like hanging out in Mariya's room anymore after they ran out of snacks.
    • She is also hinted to actually BE God, among many other things, like possessing time-warping powers and having been very deeply embroiled in the history of ancient China.
  • The Abridged Series
  • Actor Allusion — In episode 2 of Alive, Yuzuru goes into a tearful volley of apologies for rewarding herself for her midterms performance with something as "uninteresting" as expensive chocolates, Ai Kaga-style.
  • All Just a Dream — The entire first segment of episode 12. Of course, Mariya and Matsurika were somehow able to see everything in the dream and tell Kanako exactly when it started.
  • All Men Are Perverts — Almost all males so far have at least some perversion.
    • An exception is Mariya: his crossdressing seems more tied into his planet-sized ego. And despite being in an all-girls' school, he's never actually done anything with it. If anyone's a pervert, it'd be Kanako (Good Lord, it'd be Kanako...)
  • Anachronic Order: Season 2, episode 1 of the anime calls attention to the first season finale's cliffhanger. It is quickly swept under the rug as something that will happen in the near future.
  • AnticlimaxIn episode 12 Kanako tries to expose Mariya's fake breasts to everyone. Turns out his twin sister Shizu stood in for him.
  • Art Shift — Being a Studio Shaft show, art shifts are all around, but Kanako's imaginings tend to be exceptionally flowery.
  • Attractive Bent Gender — Mariya... full stop.
  • Berserk ButtonGod gets incredibly pissed if someone from her dorm fails in exams. The punishment is so horrible that Kanako had no memories about it after.
  • Bi the WayKanako's sister, Miki, was in love with Mariya long before she found out that Mariya's a guy.
  • Bifauxnen — Shizu. Unlike her brother, she's a Wholesome Crossdresser, though she only fits this trope because she's going to a boys' school as part of an inheritance competition with her brother.
  • Bishie Sparkle — Ayari Shiki and Maki Natsuru, the Student Council President and the Vice-President, respectively. So much so you could see the sparkles even if they aren't directly on screen.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing — Mariya (and how). Only Kanako and Matsurika are aware of it.
  • Bland-Name Product — Being a parody series, presumably everywhere.
    • Matsurika is frequently seen playing her BSB, showing how little she cares about whatever is driving Kanako nuts this time.
    • Father Touichirou Kanae uses a dokoda phone, rather than a docomo.
  • Blatant Lies — A whole lot of them. Mostly from Mariya.
  • Bokukko — In the manga, Shizu makes appearances dressed as a boy, and uses "boku" accordingly.
  • Brick Joke — The pendant is noted as being significant in an early episode and in the very last; it's subverted because we only get to see Shizu gasp in shock upon seeing it and the show ends before she can say anything about it.
  • But Not Too Foreign — Father Touichirou Kanae is part-French. Mariya and Shizu had an Italian grandmother.
  • Butt Monkey — Kanako gets mistreated by most peers (except Kiri, Sachi, Yuzuru and Ryuuken), mocked constantly by Mariya, insulted by Matsurika, developed an allergy to boys as a result to being teased by them... as some would say, she is Yukinari's soulmate.
  • Cameo — (deep breath) Cures Peach, Berry & Pine, Miku & Rin, Number 6, Yumi & Sachiko, Sae, Hiro, & Yuno, and Kaede, Meru and Kafuka. All in one episode.
  • CatgirlGod, the dorm leader.
  • Chick Magnet — Mariya, Ryuuken and Father Kanae have a lot of Fan Girls.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment — For her crime of biting Yonakuni (which, as he is a pet, is counted as personal property damage in Japan), the jury for Kanako's trial in the fourth episode of Alive sentences her to... a night getting lectured by Father Kanae. This also prevents her from studying for exams.
  • Cool Big Sis — Ryuuken.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl — Sort of. Mariya dresses up in all sorts of Moe outfits, supposedly to mess with Kanako.

 Kanako: "So cute... (tears up, nosebleeds) If only you weren't a boy..."

  • Crazy Prepared — Sachi wants everything handy within her personal Hammerspace, such as a hammer, centrifuges, and triangular screwdrivers.
  • Cry Cute — Ryuuken, of all people, breaks down sobbing after realizing that her Three Kingdoms-based card games aren't exactly enjoyed by everyone else (i.e., Kanako).
  • Deadpan Snarker — Matsurika and Kiri.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud? — Kanako's mouth and brain get mixed up, though Mariya is the one who calls her out on it. Later on, it seems that Mariya can enter into Kanako's thoughts... somehow.
  • The Ditz — Kanako knows she's an idiot and is proud of it. When she opened Sachi's notes for her supplementary exams that "even an idiot could understand", she failed to even understand those.
  • Does Not Like Men — Due to a grade-school experience (losing her recorder and PE uniform), Kanako is allergic to men. So does Shizu, courtesy of her own twin brother.
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune --
    • The opening for both seasons ("Hanaji" and "Runrunriru Ranranrara") are sung by Yuu Kobayashi, and the second season's opening for the first 2 episodes ("Mousou Senshi Miyamae Kanako") is by Tomokazu Sugita.
    • The two seasons' ending themes, however, are covers of Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Kimi ni, Mune Kyun" and Linda Yamamoto's "Dounimo Tomaranai", as sung by Kobayashi, Asami Sanada and Marina Inoue.
  • Double Entendre — From the dialogue:

 Mariya: "I'll stick it in you later as promised! On top of that, I'll pull it out forcefully!"

Kanako: "Gah, he's not satisfied with just sticking it into me!"


 Kanako: "Moe!"


 Kanako: "What the hell is that thing beneath your skirt?!"

Mariya: "Now you've known it..."

  • Kanako removes her hand from beneath Mariya's skirt and groans as she waves her hand*
  • Hair Antennae — Mariya has Tenma-style ones. They tend to twitch when he's angry.
  • Half-Identical Twins — Shizu, Mariya's twin sister who looks all but identical, except she's an actual girl (and is Mariya's complete opposite personality-wise). Also, Mariya has a mole under his left eye, while Shizu has one under her right.
  • Hammerspace — Kanako tries to work out just how Mariya could hide an entire second room behind the dressers in their room, said dressers being set against the wall that connects to the outer hallway.

 Mariya: "Do you know how much I had to spend on this?"

    • Also, Sachi's left pocket from where she can pull whatever is needed in any situation.

 Sachi: "Do you need a centrifuge?"

  • Heel Face Turn — Mariya is inching toward one by the end of Alive if his Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments are any indication.
  • Heir to the Dojo — Their late grandmother's will subjects Mariya and Shizu to an inheritance competition in which both are to attend single-sex schools (both of which their grandmother once served as chairwoman) whose gender population is opposite theirs and under each other's names. Thus, Shizu attends the all-female Ame no Kisaki as "Mariya", while Mariya attends the all-male Mihoshi no Mori as "Shizu". Whoever keeps their gender secret for the next three years wins chairmanship for both. Shizu claimed victory due to Kanako learning of Mariya's gender. The latter, however, pulls off a comeback victory due to an indisputable technicality: Kanako learned of his gender before he attended school (and is currently blackmailing her into keeping it a secret), while she learned of Shizu's while she's already in school. Nevertheless, he's willing to overlook this technical victory in favor of Shizu... by asking her to kiss his feet.
  • Hot for Student — Father Kanae has some unspoken feelings for Mariya while being completely unaware of "her" actual gender.
    • Kanako's parents also met this way at Ame no Kisaki — her father was her mother's teacher, and Kanako's older sister was born when her mother was sixteen and had gotten married.
  • Huge Schoolgirl — Kanako and Ryuuken. Kanako is especially embarrassed about her height.
  • Hypocritical Humor — Kanako states that she hates those who "get excited by high school girls exposing a bit more skin due to the seasonal change of attire." Considering what she just did a bit earlier in the episode...
    • There's also Mariya constantly insulting Kanako for being a disgusting pervert. Coming from a guy who seems to have come to enjoy his life in drag.
  • I Have Many NamesGod also goes by Boss, though most really just call her Dorm Leader.
  • Idiot Hair — Kanako.
  • Idiot Heroine — Kanako again.
  • Imagine Spot — Kanako spends half her time doing this. Father Kanae spends most of his time doing this.
  • Imagine Spotting — Mariya and Matsurika often see what Kanako is imagining.
  • Inner Monologue — Kanako's inner voice is a chatty one.
  • Interactive Narrator — Kanako actively takes to arguing with the narrator in the second episode.
  • Jerkass — Mariya... big time.
    • Pet the Dog / Jerk with a Heart of Gold — On the other hand, on occasion he exhibits a genuinely nicer side. He doesn't mind having to take heat from Ayari on Shizu's behalf after the latter accidentally exposed Ayari's panties as children, is willing to cede chairmanship to Shizu, saves Ayari from falling off her float, and, despite enjoying torturing Kanako psychologically and emotionally, he frequently gives her helpful advice. Of course, he's quick to explain away all these rare instances of kindness on his part as a façade-maintaining measure.
      • His heart of gold is showing out more in Alive. For instance, he always bails Kanako out of problems she accidentally caused herself, even if he need not to, like her dilemma over her gift for Sachi for the latter's birthday and the conundrum that arose concerning her own birthday when she was unwittingly leading people on.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version — One of "The Final Countdown" plays during some shocking moments.
  • Kuudere — Kiri.
  • Last-Episode New Character — Jayano Enjouji. Lampshaded and inverted: she's entirely in Kanako's dream.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac — Kanako, though mostly to Mariya, says some perverted things without a second thought, and joined the school specifically to hit on girls.
  • Love Letter Lunacy — Kiri gets a letter from a man she met on the train and tries to reject him, but it just doesn't work. Kanako remains in the dark during this entire segment. Then a letter from the man ends up with Sachi...
  • Lucky Charms TitleMaria†Holic
  • The Mafia — God aka Boss aka Dorm Leader, not literally, but she does have that kind of personality. She has an Italian accent in the Gag Dub/Abridged Series.
  • Made of Iron — Kanako gets trampled by rabid Ryuuken fangirls, only to appear a few seconds later with a few little bruises.
  • Manipulative Bastard — Mariya, oh so very much, and God.

 Mariya: "I'll rape you if you dare reveal it." [Jesus H. Christ Almighty]

God: "DVD player..." [Bribery and corruption indeed]

  • Measuring Day
  • Medium Awareness — When one episode has pop-up notes on idioms and other random factoids, Mariya and Matsurika somehow become aware of them towards the end of the episode. Mariya himself indicates he cosplays in maid and nurse outfits to provide Fan Service during an episode, noting how little screentime he's gotten.
    • In the Omake at the end of volume 1, Kanako states that she's just read through the volume itself, and Mariya answers a letter from a male reader who asks Mariya to marry him, and responds in no uncertain terms how he feels about such propositions.
    • In episode 4 of Alive, Kanako comes to the conclusion that Mariya is prosecuting her because he wants her spot as the main character of the show (which isn't helped by the fact that his name is on the title). Matsurika just tells her that it's the least of her concerns.
    • In episode 8 of Alive, Mariya and Matsurika are so disgusted with Kanako that they revoke her right to speak for the entirety of the next episode. Sure enough, she's being prevented from doing so.
  • Meganekko — Kiri is even called one when Kanako first sees her.
  • Meido — Matsurika.
  • Mistaken for Gay — Kiri continually says she is lesbian to protect Kanako as she was asked to, though this really isn't the case.
  • Moe — Kanako is an in-universe frequent invoker of the term.
    • While looking herself through the mirror wearing cat-ears in private. She then throws them down after realizing she sounds like an idiot.

 Kanako: "Nekomimi Bloomer~"


 Kanako: "At least call it 'yuri' or something that sounds more dignified!"

Mariya: "It's the same thing, dumbass!"

    • Komachi Yamaki is possibly one.
  • The Seven Mysteries — Kanako is responsible for all of them, generally due to profuse nosebleeding. Kumagai-sensei later tells her that the school's seven mysteries change annually, but seven other mysteries about God have never changed, ranging from the genuinely mysterious ("How old is she?") to mundane Fridge Logic ("Why are Virtual Boys not banned along with the other electronics?" — she later claims she likes things with a tragic history...). If anyone happens to learn all seven mysteries, the dorm manager will do... well, something, anyway.
  • Serious Business — Shizu's attitude towards the inheritance competition. Mariya thinks otherwise.
  • Shout-Out — C'mon, it's Studio Shaft. Father Kanae's speech appears in bubbles just like the salamander-thingy in Pani Poni Dash!, and later has a moment of quadruple-shot bout of despair.
    • Kanako also borrows Itoshiki-sensei's despair animation.
      • And then proceeds to reflect on how happy she was.
      • She also goes into Kenshiro-mode whenever she's... oh, screw it, it's random.
    • References to Beatles lyrics on the episode title cards, such as "Love is old, love is new" are not uncommon.
    • In episode 2 of Alive, Kanako imagines a life with Houki, Cecilia, Rin, Charlotte and Laura as her personal Meidos (also a bit of Actor Allusion: Matsurika, Mariya's own Meido, shares the same voice, as well as the silver hair, as Laura).
      • Also from the same episode, Kanako calls Maria "Marie-mon".
        • Come episode 4 of Alive Kanako re-explains that Marie-mon is "Maria" + "demon".
    • CSI: Miami at the end of third episode.
    • Nodame Cantabile in episode twelve with the good 'ol "Gyabo!"
    • In episode 6 of Alive, discuss about Warring States period and Let's Party!!
    • Come on, now. The entire show, or at the very least the setting, is basically a parody of Marimite.
    • On the 4th episode, the preview shows Honoka on Madoka's uniform while she talks to a creature called Jyuubey.
    • Miyama (no e) Kanako was a heroine of a visual novel called Atlach=Nacha. She's the servant of a demon-spider girl.
  • Shown Their Work — The writers are aware of what Christianity is, and a rare serious moment has Ayari explaining to Kanako just who "Maria-sama" is; the origins of Christmas, and how non-Christian (like most Japanese) students get along with the Catholic school's nuns-and-rosaries environment. (Even if one isn't praying to a specific God, you can be thinking about friends or loved ones, or reflect on your behavior with others.) Also, it's explicitly stated that the nuns do not force their beliefs on anyone.
    • Alive also mentions how crash dieting isn't helpful and often just leads to problems and one can possibly rebound, and gives a basic outline of how dieting should actually go (namely [paraphrasing Mariya]: following a sensible plan, cutting back caloric intake and exercising properly). The entirety of the next episode is dedicated to the consequences of Kanako's forced diet.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang — Mariya and Shizu.
  • Sleep Learning — Matsurika uses this to change Kanako's personality from the hapless idiot she normally is into a Class Representative type. Her perversions aren't altered at all.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears — Several times, by various characters, complete with incredibly overwrought music.
  • Special Edition Title — As Shaft is wont to do, Alive's first two episodes open with an old school Expository Theme Tune, "Delusional Warrior Kanako Miyamae" by Tomokazu Sugita.
  • Spell My Name with an "S" — Maria, which is technically spelled Ma-ri-ya: Mariya.
  • Stealth Pun — In a gag next episode preview parodying Shaft's recently ended Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Matsurika takes the place of Walpurgis Night. In real life, Walpurgis Night is a spring festival, and "matsuri" is "festival" in Japanese.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike — Kanako and Father Kanae are extremely similar, except she's lesbian and he's Hot for Student, and they both even engage in Inner Monologues which are preceded by "Dear mother/mama up in heaven."
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders — Kanako towards Mariya. For that matter, the audience towards Mariya. He does make a really good woman.
  • Super-Deformed — Things often become super deformed during Kanako's imaginings and other funny moments.
  • Surreal Theme Tune — The OP tune itself is mostly straightforward, but the imagery associated with it in the title sequence pushes it into absurd territory.
    • The theme tune is sung from the point of view of a young lesbian who is tortured by a Villainous Crossdresser. Except it's sung by Yuu Kobayashi (Mariya). It would fit as a mockery by Mariya.
    • The second season turns it up another notch by essentially having a Tokusatsu song as an opening theme.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Kanako and Father Kanae does them a lot.

 "Dear mother up in heaven..."

  • Sweet Polly Oliver — Shizu, who's doing the exact opposite of her twin brother by being a girl in an all-boys' school, once also ran by their late grandmother.
  • Take That — Once at Mariasama ga Miteru's use of rosaries. The manga also takes potshots at things like Ghost in the Shell and Sengoku Basara.
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo — Ryuuken.
  • The Tease — Mariya takes perverse pleasure in acting out his innocent girly routine and watching Kanako's torment.
    • And the audience's.
  • Third Person Person — Kanako refers to herself in third person sometimes during her Inner Monologues.
  • Took a Level In Jerkass/Took a Level In Kindness — In Alive, Kanako is becoming more of a pervert than when we first see her, and Mariya (the resident Villainous Crossdresser) is inching toward a Heel Face Turn.
  • Totally Radical — Father Kanae tries talking this way with Kanako, "Dawg, how you doing!?"
    • She tries to respond the same way. Both then agree to stop. The audience thanks them.
  • Tsundere — Matsurika refers to herself as "100% tsun with no dere at all."
    • Kanako herself calls Mariya one (at least deep in her head) given Mariya's behavior towards his female relatives (e.g., twin sister Shizu and cousin Ayari). He also tends to explain away any good behavior towards his classmates as a face-saving measure for him and/or the school, possibly in order to cover-up his deep-seated sense of kindness.
      • Of course, he'll complain all the while... even as he saved Ayari from falling off a float during a Catholic festival.
    • Kanako also refers to Honoka as one.
  • Twelfth Night Adventure — A more cynical take on this usually positive and idealistic genre.
  • Twelve-Episode Anime
  • Unflappable GuardianGod. There is nothing she doesn't know and nothing she will let her students get away with. Unless they get away with it cleverly.
    • She'll still catch them, of course, but if they at least put enough effort into it, she'll give it back.
    • And she gives points for creativity in hiding, and also has retests.
  • Unusual Euphemism — Kanako, when trapped alone in the presence of men. "Tonfua!" "Trinidad and Tobago!" "Nyarlathotep!"
    • Father Kanae is tortured by this; even though Kanako is basically spouting (from her perspective) gibberish, he goes to great lengths to try and figure out what she means.
  • Villainous Crossdresser — Mariya.
    • His sister, on the other hand... let's just say it's no wonder she, like Kanako, Does Not Like Men. And yet, she has to tolerate them because she has to impersonate the saintly exterior of her evil brother (which she manages to pull off because she really is saintly).
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Poor Ayari suffered this... twice. Both incidents even happened at the same feast. The first was as a child, when Shizu (then posing as Mariya) stumbled on her and accidentally revealed her panda-print panties. The second was as a teenager, after Mariya saved her from falling off her float. Cue pan-down shot of Ayari's breasts and Kanako staining the statue of the Virgin Mary with her epic Nosebleed.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside — For failing all of her tests, Kanako was sent by God to... somewhere so she can spend a year studying for everything. She comes back a week later with lampshades abound about how long it felt for her and the various changes that happened in the interim.
    • Turns out most of the "changes" were set up in some way by Mariya just to mess with Kanako's head, or by sheer misunderstanding.
  • Yuri Fangirl — Kanako, obviously.