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[Review] Junketsu no Maria: sorcière de gre, pucelle de force

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  • [Review] Junketsu no Maria: sorcière de gre, pucelle de force

    Alternative Titles: Chaste Mary, Maria the Virgin Witch.
    Year: 2015
    Type: Adaptation from a 3 volume manga of the same name.


    Knowledge. How much do you think you know? how much do you actually know? how much of that which you actually know is the truth?

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    ... Nobody likes a smartass, Maria.

    I always tell people that, the only reason they can get along with their neighbors, is that they don't know everything about them. As a matter of fact, there are many things you don't know about those people around you, coworkers, colleagues, roommates, and it's thanks to that lack of knowledge, that a peaceful, non-hostile relationship can be sustained within the context of everyday life.

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    I translate it as, "the Demon is inside everyone's hearts."
    a subtlety distorted interpretation of the original sin.


    But something happens when the balance leans too much towards the lack of knowledge, something that has happened so many times, we could take our time looking at the examples in history, social dynamics, theology and whatnot, and that's how the lack of knowledge can be the origin of an irrational form of aversion that stems from the inherently human need to "conceptualize", because when people need to know, they will know, and in the absence of evidence, an apposition of fear, ignorance and conjectures creates a vicious cycle to perpetuate itself, this is even funny, because both witches and the primitive Church were victims of the same phenomenon, been persecuted and sentenced to death by the authorities in their respective times as irreverent, rebellious heretics, or just for being weird social misfits that won't conform to the social norm.

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    Zoophilia is a common trope with witches.
    socially unacceptable, of course.


    The different charges they were accused of and then burned alive on pyres or thrown in a coliseum to be devoured by wild animals are the least concern, when you think that, their adamant belief on the righteousness of their ways meant so little to the survival of their respective ideologies, all that it did was to serve as fuel for theological hatred which in the end didn't do much good to either of them, so much that even today, the average joe remains largely ignorant about both Paganism and Christianity in sensu lato, so it's either that .. they actually enjoy being surrounded by all that ignorance and fear .. or people just like to be ignorant and afraid, and moreover, is this just an extension of that Euthyphroic dilemma?

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    *must resist urge to witch slap*

    Look at the witches for example, the Inquisition went ahead and made the witch compendium Malleus Maleficarum in an attempt to unify the understanding of what the general populace understood to be "a witch" and create their own image of what a witch was and was not supposed to be, everyone blames the Inquisition but, hey, wasn't this made up from the already existing knowledge that people had on the matter of witches? it was just a blind person guiding another, but the knowledge was already there, witches were already a concept of evil, not just, Christian evil, just evil in general.

    Why reinforce this notion? isn't it just being masochistic? I mean, in my book it says, "and (they) loved darkness rather than light, because ... huh" so why let them win? let them finish the sentence and condemn you?

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    Okay that's it, I've had enough
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    Now Junketsu no Maria is a work where every character represents a stance, with respect to the notion of God as the core of universal laws, no atheists on this show, so if that's what you were hoping for, the door is open, in this world the spiritual plane can't be dissociated from the physical plane, and there are mystical, spiritual beings ready to interact with people anytime and anywhere.

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    No one respects the pagan god.
    I think they shut him up like 3 times in the whole show


    This isn't a matter about whether God exists or not, this is 14th century, the thing here is more about, God is there but, what kind of being is this God you speak of? why must we, be bound to his will? why conform to his sense of justice? and if for some crazy reason you thought that these questions were going to be posed in something other than the most defiant, blasphemous way, you're in for an unpleasant surprise.

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    "Ana wo fuzai da wa" -- did you say hole, Vivian?
    That's my favorite voice actress right there


    But there are a few discrepancies worth noting when you look into the universe of Junketsu no Maria which clash with the traditional notions of Christianity, with the biggest one being the distinction of a 'Heaven Church' 天上の教会=Tenjou no Kyoukai, and an 'Earth Church', 地上の教会=Chijou no Kyoukai, a concept which is foreign to the more Orthodox Christian concept of communio sanctorum but probably appealing to the more ecumenical outlook on the dissociation between earthly matters and heavenly matters, that creates a schism in which the Heavenly entities try to keep their meddling with mortals to a minimum as they work to maintain what is referred to as the 'natural order/law' 世の理=Yo no Kotowari, another notion which is most foreign to Christianity but you can infer, this is a solid argument when you consider there are many different mythological beings, some of them not from the Judeo-Christian lore being summoned or otherwise coexisting with the Christian figures as a sentient force, that might or might not comply to God's will.

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    You could say it tries hard to be universal

    Of course, the lifespan of witches, and the fact they can't "acquire" their powers are held as true without providing much in depth explanations as to the origin of their power or the workings behind the magic itself.

    The characters are colorful, but there isn't much of a development taking place throughout the show, well it's only 12 episodes, so there isn't much that can be done realistically, but the different conflicts resulting from the clashing views, namely, secularism, represented by the witches, and the more dehumanized nihilistic view of the pagan god, pretty much guarantees that there will be a dramatic display of rationalization that is left to the viewer's mind to toy around with, but that's really all that there is to it.

    I found myself heavily confronted at Viv's argument, the one that equates God's love to a long distance relationship, that's an argument against which I don't have a single apologetic that can resolve it completely, because even Maria's "God is all talk" agument can be brought down through a few premises that witches must hold true, but when you tackle the subject of God's love, the possibility of it existing between a human being and God, it goes a little into the terrain of non reciprocal sentiments and the humanization of God's persona, where either God loves you and you don't know it, or you love God but you can't tell if you really do.

    The question, "can you love God"?

    I think it's a very deep theological question to deal with and must be done on a personal level .. maybe, God's love being a realization, or a construct of hyper-reality, it's both a touching subject and a very solid argument that targets the feasibility of the first commandment, and by extension, the second one.[/theology]

    All in all, this is a great anime to enjoy during the Holy Week, came a little early (or not?), but either way, I could get very subjective on the question "is it a Christian anime or not?" because well, the focus isn't obviously Christian, and obviously this is a profane work (in the archaic sense), but hey, everyone lauded Evangelion as a beautiful ode to Christianity when it had next to nothing to do with it, so this show, is leaning more to the relativist side of the tale, that is to say, making good people look bad, and making bad people look .. well, not that bad, as it is hinted by the title "Virgin=good" plus "Witch=bad", but the author's intent is mostly about creating tension and cliffhangers rather than setting a clear stance towards what God should be, perceived as, the big picture is being left to the viewer's imagination, is it depraved? pfft, seriously? this isn't even half the level of depravation you will see in Judges book, but still, I think the notion that God's followers are just a little bit smarter than cattle is being showcased a little bit too often for my liking, so this might just rub some Christians the wrong way, just saying.

    But if you can look past that, it's just a medieval pseudo romantic theological drama, (.. yea that's unique) like something from those Protestant Bible canon books, but with more Paganism, I'm not sure about the actual romantic value of Joseph x Maria to be honest, maybe it's because the guy keeps reminding me of Suzaku and I just don't see how he's gonna get anywhere with Maria playing the appeaser, then again, I just plain don't like Maria, but in regards to the theological aspect, well, I think we all got more than just a little "salty" at some point, but it ends in a happy note, somewhat.

    Rating: 8.5/10
    Last edited by Beam7 Network; 03-29-2015, 01:52 PM. Reason: For the love of God

    Ringo Mogire BEAM
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