Junketsu no Maria – 12 [END]

Junketsu no Maria 12-7

What?! It’s the End?!

Welcome back, for the final time, to the Hundred Years War. Not so much war going on. Perhaps thanks to a certain witch…

Apocalipsis: Omnia Vincit Amor

Revelation: Love Conquers All

Junketsu no Maria 12-1

Well, it looks like everyone wants a piece of that Archangel!

We pick up where we left off last time, with Maria and Josef confronting the agents of heaven, the Archangel Micheal and the Messenger Ezekiel. What follows is both expected and unexpected. I’ve been confronting, for the past three months, the issue of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria. It’s her curse and her blessing to be trapped in the world with us pesky humans; especially when she is all to human herself, one growing into her own bearing. In the previous episode I had begun a discussion about her “purity” and what it could mean to her. With this episode we can ask about the place she belongs in the world.

I think we can look back and see that Maria’s involvement in the battles brewing around her were very much a metaphor for finding the world as it is, with Micheal being the authority on how that world has been made, how it endures, and what your place is in it. But…how much Maria was a part of this was the question. I think the show was much less about religion and much more about personal growth. That this was a series of questions asked to find out how Maria would answer them, and if she had the spirit to stick by her answers. She found it with happiness.

I think we have a sharp tendency to look at how we achieve happiness as a zero sum game. In other words, there is a finite amount, and if you have some, that means I stand to have less. It’s a dog eat dog world after all, and you have to get out there and get yours before someone else does. You can even look at it as a series of internet arguments. If someone favors something, that just has to diminish your favoritism of something else. Only it doesn’t. Or at least it shouldn’t. Personally I think that people that play it as the opposite, a positive sum game that come out the happiest.

Junketsu no Maria 12-2

My Dad and my friends don’t like each other much…

But even after all that we are left with the Problem Like Maria. She’s been laboring from the beginning over the curse that heaven laid upon her. It was probably be a bad move on the show’s part to have to that come true. It’s a show about a very likable protagonist that is very much a witch. You can’t really remove that last bit without upsetting the balance. So, how what is the solution? Well, Natural Law. The very thing that has been hammered into her head since the word go. It’s much more flexible that all that, isn’t it? I was almost giggling at Micheal’s judgment of what had come to pass.

The Battle for Who Could Care More…

Because on yield, Maria did a heck of a lot more good than she ever did bad. The most we could see on the bad side of the equation is that she caused some mercenaries to loss some pay; hey they knew the risks. And a crusty viscount be slightly more inconvenienced than he already was; comes with the territory Le Comte, chin up. She actively kept people from killing each other. Sure that ticked off the people that reported to the asshats that wore the shiny hats, but all in all, I say tough cookies. She had the power, she exercised it on her own turf, you don’t like that, go fight somewhere else. Which they will, and by the series end are shown to be willing to do just that.

And so it shall be written! He who chokes an Archangel is fucked…

Ah, Bernard and Gilbert. They were my own personal anachronisms in an otherwise nicely arranged historical fantasy. Both of them did have figures upon which they were based, the second being a more sober minded student of the wacked-out first. At points, Bernard just seemed to be there to deliver a slew of funked up theological thought; stuff that came before and even after the show’s historical framework. Towards the end, it looked like he was channeling Martin Luther from at least a century after his time, and came a bit close to channeling Christopher Hitchens. But, if the church of heaven could change natural law, then as above, so below. The church of earth, even while burning his written material, kept the painting….At then end, it left the question of faith needing proof in our hands….

Oh, Ezekiel, Mother Maria and Joseph…what a plot twist!

So yeah, I kinda saw the connotations last episode. It wasn’t as glaring as naming your messiah-like figure John Cook, or Jimmy Creek, but it was pretty darn close. I knew they were going to fiddle about with that, but I honestly didn’t see this one coming. Even with all the the sturm and drang colliding around them, they were able to maintain a sense of status quo among the characters. They kept the group intact, and still let both their characterizations and the narrative advance. Sure, some biblical connotations can be read into this, but I find it more trouble than it’s worth to do so. It was a nudge, a wink. These are good kids, let them have a nice kid in the future that stood by them in a past life. Don’t forget to give that future kid as much sass as she’ll give…A perfect resolution for them, the rest of the story is writing itself…

Junketsu no Maria 12-8

Bye-bye! Thanks for all the trouble you caused Micheal!

A Few Large Views

Show ▼

I have to say this goes down as one my favorite shows, and the favored show I covered, this season. From the beginning I was enthralled by the natural design sense, the history, its unique blend of ecchi humor, and certainly the questions it asked, and the comments it created. If you start at one point with a character, powerful yet uncertain of a few things, and you grow her to the point where they allow god the opportunity to be forgiven, you’ve done something right in my book. It’s my book, and I can understand that it might not be yours.

For me the story of Maria’s journey was an important one, and one, as Cernnounous claims, might very well be forgotten in time. She’ll still be a witch, and she’ll be blessed with Poppo (for the given value of bless, for goodness sake) . Parts of her will be remembered from time to time. It will be part of what builds the future. That is true in Maria’s time, and it’s true for right now. History is an arbitrarily line in the sand; or a series of them. History beings now, with a little bit me, and a little bit you..

Junketsu no Maria-tall 12-6

One Big Happy!


Have some mochi owls before you go….

Thanks for Watching!


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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35 Responses to “Junketsu no Maria – 12 [END]”

  1. zztop says:

    Mmm…salty.(proceeds to taste test Bernard)

  2. zztop says:

    I give the ending 3/10, since Priapus still didn’t get a d**k.

  3. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Easily one of the season’s best. Controversial as a whole due to certain elements and getting real edgy after the halfway point which was somewhat hard to tolerate at times, Maria the Virgin Witch is great, well thought out and constructed series. The characters were fun to watch. Some likable, others utterly despicable for abusing their assigned positions for personal gain. Viv is one of my favorites. The girl doesn’t hold back to say what’s on her mind.

    I wasn’t in it for the history lessons as much as I was for the characters and how they all carried themselves in the midst of conflict, showing whether or not they had good qualities within them. Most were predictable, giving into their base instincts (fear, mistrust, greed, violence) while others strive to forego them. Like Ann and Martha befriending Maria despite her being a witch with an unfavorable reputation when, in fact, she means well.

    So Ezekiel will be Maria’s child in the future. That kind of spoils the surprise when what’s coming is already known, if you ask me. Though I guess her appearance will be different since a child’s looks is supposed to be a combination of their parents’ features.

    • skylion says:

      I think they used biblical reference to a decent effect. They traced a big old Venn diagram over the show, and shifted from one circle to another. At least they avoided poking me in the eye with metaphor.

      Well, history isn’t for everyone. But I dearly wish it was. History is predictable. It’s made of how we repeat both the good and bad tropes of being people.

      Knowing what your kid will look like is just one ingredient in the recipe. Might wanna give their child time to bake in the oven first…

  5. Disappoint says:

    A potentially great show brought down by the requirement to applaud everything done by the presumptuous simpleton Maria. I can picture it now: the Allies are advancing on the Nazis in WWII France, up pops Maria with her “no fighting in my back yard” and the Nazis get to stay another day…

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Throws in from ANN:

      “In the end, Maria the Virgin Witch stands as a successful and even feminist work of humanism.”

      Let the fireworks begin.

      • Disappoint says:

        No fireworks from me, just an acknowledgement that this is not the first time I’ve seen a strong dose of fanon coupled with decent writing skills make something into something else entirely. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, in fact I might not be involved in anime fandom today if some people hadn’t done the same thing to “add depth” to a show I liked some years back. This depth turned out to be largely nonexistent in retrospect, but it was already too late for me. 🙂 Still, if someone considering herself a feminist want’s to hold up this particular work as a model for feminist anime, I can only shrug in resignation.

      • skylion says:

        The only bang I can provide is to maybe think of it as a humanist form of feminism? No, that’s not even very clever…

    • skylion says:

      Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for playing along with the Sound of Music bits I shoved into my posts. You’ve half a good thought here, would you care to continue it?

  6. HannoX says:

    So Ann was the narrator looking back as an old woman.

    Overall this was one of the best shows this season and the best one introduced this season. (Shirobako was my favorite and has my vote for the best, but it was introduced last season.) I like how for the most part the characters weren’t modern people set in an historical setting. They acted and thought like people from the Middle Ages. Even the villainous Church members were acting within the bounds of their society, however f***ed up we find their beliefs and actions to be.

    Now, I’m all for Maria’s hatred of war and desire to not have battles fought near her. She certainly has the moral high ground there. However, like many young idealists she was quite naïve. It was shown that her actions merely moved the violence elsewhere. I do wish there had been a character who bluntly told her that if she wished the violence to end the best way would be to aid one side in winning the war. Yes, that would result in people dying now, but in the long run far fewer would die. Let’s remember that in those days far more died from the disease and famine that accompanied war than died in battle.

    Yet in the end Maria did seem to understand that to an extent. While she did stop the French attack on the city held by the English for once her actions did not merely delay or move the battle. The English left to return home.

    I did have one bit of a problem with the portrayal of Heaven and its attitude towards what was going on on Earth. War was portrayed as part of God’s natural law that ruled events on Earth. Not quite. This ignores the Doctrine of Free Will. People are free to choose to do good or to do evil.

    My biggest disappointment was that other than Viv and Edwina we really didn’t get much about the other witches other than that they saw the war as a way to make money, just like the mercenaries. I do wish we had learned more about them and their guild.

    • skylion says:

      I don’t know if I would characterize the depictions as “accurate”. But, for an entertainment, it had shades of realism enough. Larger BBC or Hollywood productions has squeaked by as such.

      Well, who’s to say her actions didn’t hasten that ending. One of the points I was trying to arrive at was how much Maria became part of the scenery, if you will. So maybe I should have said Natural Law was flexible, in so much as saying entry into it’s canon is…easier than it sounds? A bit easier than fighting it? Well, let’s say if you have witch powers, entry into Natural Law is a conclusion you can reach.

      As far as Natural Law goes, I find I have little if any respect or time for the concept. In political history I’ve seen it used as the last and greatest exchequer for policy arguments. “My opinion follows Natural Law, so therefor you’rs, being the opposite of mine, is wrong”. You may be right or you may be wrong… take away the Natural Law bit and let’s see how your idea works.

      I state that I feel the show isn’t so much about religion as it is about power held and power used. I want as many crunch bits in my plot as you. I would have like to have seen a more functional form of magic, but again, it’s power held power used.

      • HannoX says:

        You’re right that the characters don’t act fully accurate as Medieval people. For one thing, that would be impossible since we don’t really know how Medieval people acted. We only know how we think they thought and acted. Still, we do have some idea of their thought processes and actions–the condemnation and execution of the boar after a trial being an example. In that regard Maria is more accurate than the majority of movies and TV shows. It tried and mostly succeeded in not making its characters modern people in funny clothes in Olden Times.

      • HannoX says:

        Much of the show was about power relationships. The Church using religion to hold not just women (although especially women) down, but the general population as well. And of course le Comte sending a reluctant Joseph and Ann’s father off to the battlefield and they accepting his right to do so. Then of course Maria and the other witches using magic as their means of empowerment with Maria using hers as an attempt to impose her views upon others, rather than trying to persuade others to her viewpoint. In that way she was similar to the Church, although her goal was certainly more laudable to our view than the Church’s.

  7. HannoX says:


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