My Dear Marie
Karigari Hiroshi is a high schooler in love. Unfortunately, he's too shy and nerdy to approach the girl in question, Mari ... so, being the mad scientist he is (yes, he's a mad scientist), he builds his own. But when all is said and done, the look-alike android Marie turns out to be a little more independent than he'd really expected her to be. And when she and the original meet (with the android Marie posing as Hiroshi's "little sister"), things get more than a little complicated. Then add in tough-girl Kennou Hibiki, who turns out to have childhood ties to Hiroshi ...
I know what you're thinking. "Plug her in, and she'll turn you on." This is an ecchi, right?
Nope. This is a classic case study of why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (and the leading argument for the dismissal of ADV's slogan writer). Despite what ADV's trying to tell you, My Dear Marie is actually a very sweet, kind-hearted romantic comedy, with stunning animation, unique character designs, and a story that is alternately hilarious and really touching. Karigari Hiroshi himself is an over-chivalrous computer geek, but through his interactions with Mari, Marie, and Hibiki (say that five times fast), he learns a lot about the importance of human relationships. And Marie, as the incredibly sympathetic (and loving) android, really does have a lot to teach her own creator about his own feelings. Really, the characters are very well-portrayed and for the most part, appealing. (Kennou Hibiki is *supposed* to be roughshod - she reminds me of a blonde Saki from Sukeban Deka, though she does some true growing up after running into Hiroshi. Tanaka, the wannabe stud, however, is just a yutz.) And the designs, lanky and jug-eared, are different than the usual, if still retaining a certain quality of "cute".
Animation quality is very high, with bright colors (especially hair ^_^) and a very sunlit atmosphere that's almost surreal. (In the third OAV, it IS surreal.) The one major action sequence (a fight between Mari and Hibiki) isvery well-choreographed, and the outcome isn't what you'd expect.
Storyline is fairly well-done (this is, after all, based on a manga) and things fall into place logically...well, at least until episode three, when the anime starts delving into Marie's bizarre, if intriguing dreams. (What do robots dream of again?) And the end of that episode ... well, it's certainly a character interaction I did NOT foresee. (Not THAT kind of interaction, mind you.) Really, the only thing I was disappointed with in this OAV series was the length. At only ninety minutes, My Dear Marie runs pretty short, and it leaves you wishing for more.
My Dear Marie is an adorable little romance story where you don't expect to find one, and it's definitely on my list of tapes to buy in the near future. If you've ever been an outcast (or heck, a member of THEM), you'd sympathize with Hiroshi ... and you just may want to make My Dear Marie yours as well.
Don't let the box copy fool you: this is seriously cute stuff, and well worth owning in your collection. — Carlos/Giancarla Ross
Recommended Audience: Okay, so there is SOME ecchi content, but not nearly as much as you'd expect from something packaged like this. Whenever Marie is recharged, upgraded, etc. she IS nude. Also Hibiki tries to take advantage of Hiroshi sexually (talk about role-reversal!), though nothing really happens, and there is a hilarious scene involving Hiroshi trying to get some underoos for Marie. The one fight scene is well choreographed and not excessively violent. I wouldn't recommend My Dear Marie for children, but mature teens and adults will enjoy this story.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (3/3)
My Dear Marie © 1996 Takeuchi Sakura / Sanyo Gorou / Shueisha / Victor Entertainment / Studio Pierrot
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