Maria-sama ga Miteru
Long time ago i searched good shoujo ai series and eventually choice was between Kannazuki no Miko and Maria-sama ga Miteru. I chose KnM because it had less episodes and it turned out to be quite awesome. I had plans to watch this next, but as always it got delayed. So, finally i watched first season. Was it as good as KnM? Not entirely.
Before i continue i have to say few words about similarities between Strawberry panic and Marimite. It's obvious that SP blatantly copied a lot, but did it entertaining way and added twice as much cheesy shoujo ai. Can't really say it's better than original, but is it's own way enjoyable show.
Anyway, back to this anime. First thing that looked quite promising was mood. It's peaceful, use a lot characters's monologue to tell story and is skillfully done. OP and ED were quite decent most of time, it was just after i had finished the series i also started to like those songs more. Character development is good and design similar to shoujo which good thing of course. Slow paced shoujo (ai) based on interesting characters is also pretty much ideal situation for me so I had high expectations.
One would think that Marimite is in my top10 now, but unfortunately not. Way how characters present themselves bug me a bit. More than once i thinked "don't just stand there, say something!" when watching Yumi's emo scenes. Angst is tricky thing to do, it's easy to overdo it and everything look ridiculous. Some series need it, some don't. Required amount vary greatly from series to series, but Marimite is definitely one that needs more angst. Mangaminx also commented this subject at her blog. I have always liked dramatized emotions more. One would argue which is better way, but i guess it's just my personal preference.
I have liked all episodes so far and it isn't boring any way, but without insane comedy or heart breaking drama this is pretty much the limit how good pure slice of life can be. I really would like to see more powerful reactions, this has so much potential to be funny, sad and romantic yet it doesn't fully use any of those attributes. Before that i can only say that Marimite is just good shoujo ai show. I certainly hope that the second season change my opinion.