Maria Watches Over Us (known as Maria-sama ga Miteru in Japan) is an anime based off of a series of Japanese shojo light novels written by Oyuki Konno.
The anime focuses on a group of teen girls that attend Lillian Girls' Academy, a Catholic school in Tokyo, Japan. The stories focus on the lives and relationships of the school's student council, the Yamayuri Council.
In the council, there is a tradition known as the "soeur system" ("soeur" is French for "sister"). In this tradition, a second or third-year student, known as the "grand soeur," gives her rosary to a junior student (the "petite soeur"). The "grand soeur" promises to look after and help guide her "petite soeur."
The story starts when first-year student Yumi Fukuzawa is praying in front of the Virgin Mary statue that is near the entrance to the school. Yumi is suddenly approached by a second-year student named Sachiko Ogasawara, and Sachiko straightens Yumi's uniform neckerchief. This act of kindness stays with Yumi for the rest of the school day, and she talks about it with her friends during class and at lunch.
After school, Yumi is approached by a classmate named Tsutako Takeshima. Tsutako is a photographer, and she shows Yumi a picture she took of Yumi and Sachiko by the Virgin Mary statue earlier that day. Tsutako says Yumi can have the picture, but only under two conditions: she needs Yumi's permission to display it at the upcoming school festival, and she also wants Yumi to get Sachiko's permission to display the picture. Yumi agrees to these conditions, and this sets off a chain of events that involve the entire Yamayuri Council. After a few weeks, Yumi ends up accepting Sachiko's rosary and agrees to become her "petite soeur."
Maria Watches Over Us is a drama series with beautiful animation that should have an appeal to a female demographic. I believe this anime is aimed to pre-teen viewers and older. While content-wise, there's nothing that a child younger than nine or 10 shouldn't see, I just can't see children younger than nine being interested in the story.
|Maria Watches Over Us||13 + 7 special shorts||2004||Yukihiro Matsushita||Studio Deen||Nozomi Entertainment|
|Maria Watches Over Us: Printemps||13 + 6 special shorts||2004||Yukihiro Matsushita||Studio Deen||Nozomi Entertainment|
|Maria Watches Over Us||5 + 5 special shorts||2006-2007||Yukihiro Matsushita||Studio Deen||Nozomi Entertainment|
|Maria Watches Over Us||13 + 11 special shorts||2009||Toshiyuki Kato||Studio Deen||Nozomi Entertainment|