Maria the Virgin Witch Episode 1 [ First Impression ]
I enjoy the kind of show where it tauts the concept of female purity and overshadows it as virtually meaningless and used against women. That was the kind of idea that prompted me to cover Maria the Virgin Witch- I kept thinking, will this be the kind of show where they subvert the trope or make it all about her angsting over wanting to be a ‘true woman’ or I don’t know. Make virginity even moreso into this holy thing. I have seen enough anime like that, I want to see something different. This isn’t to say women aren’t allowed to cherish their virginity, but to say that with watching this I’m interested in seeing the show take on a new light of things.
On a very firm aesthetic note, Maria might as well be a female version of Howl Pendragon from Howl’s Moving Castle- at least in appearance- and it’s important you all know this pleases me.
For the major part of episode 1, the PV basically tells the entire story. Every grandeiouse moment or interesting development is almost entirely covered, but can you expect much more from a first episode? Normallly I find there is a bit more content to discover, but it was mainly the first half. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s more than it left little to the imagination even in the way of fluid animation and events. How can I complain when I was hoping for a show with that kind of feeling and it’s basically what I got in the first half?
No, it’s true indeed, the entire episode is basically summed up in the PV. I can’t honestly sum up if I like or hate it because I liked the PV enough to become interested enough to follow it. So why don’t we address what the show did do with it’s toted virginity premise?
Already, I don’t know what to think of Maria, the girl herself and the premise. When you think about virginity in the end, it’s just a number. A number women are taught to value and men are taught to discard, it’s a social construct. Today’s society views it in a certain light but not so long ago it was a matter of extreme importance to determining a woman’s ‘worth’. The show lauds that it is about sexual frustration and this can mean very bad things for the show. Are we just going to get a creepy show about fanservice and objectification?
Some things in the episode give me hope. Maria seems to be someone who isn’t really embarassed to be a woman or have a female figure, she merely is inexperienced and wants to do what she wants to do. She uses her magic in the way that benefits her personally and can be childish. At one point when her familiar / succubus asks her why she stopped a war, one of the reasons she did it was to basically say HAH I’m awesome Joseph!!! He is obviously meant to be her love interest and I’m not sure how it’s gonna go.
Honestly? I have to keep watching. The use of magic in this show is really fun. I’m also terribly drawn to the premise of the vestal virgin, which if you do not know were ancient Roman women who were the sole proprietors of the ‘sacred flame’. It was their privilege to abandon the social duties of marriage and child bearing in order to devote their lives to this holy study. It lasted thirty years and this was a mandatory celibate period, but women were allowed to marry after it. Some did not, they preferred the life they had created, and some did. Marrying one was considered a high honor. So how does this relate?
Well I think Maria, at it’s highest potential, has the ability to become a commentary and perhaps even draw back to this concept. Yeah not having sex for thirty years might suck but isn’t her entire identity ‘witch’ more than it is ‘virgin’? Doesn’t it bring her great comfort and personal accomplishment to be what she is and do what only she seems able? I’m hoping that Maria will have to face her sexuality, embrace it, and deal with it. Two ways could make this show good, either she realizes she values herself as a woman more than being a witch and so abandon’s her powers to be a ‘woman’ for the first time in her life because it’s what she genuinely wants, or she realizes her life can still be led once her mission is done and she helps cease the war for good.
All in all, it could go freaking terrible. This episode gave a really powerful speech from Maria about how the Church discarded the woman who fought for it and even doubted her virginity, abused, hurt, and burned her to death in order to keep to their ideals. She does not want to submit to ‘that Church’ and that gives me hope. So what do I rate it? The potential of this show is off the chart. It sits at a solid 9 out of 10 for potential. What is this first episode ACTUALLY? More like a 7. Let’s see if this show can show some depth and intrigue or if it will be as simple as watching a woman not struggle to find her identity, but to control her urges.No pun intended, but God I hope not.