383rd G-View: Manaria/Mysteria Friends

My feelings for this show are so strong that my usual habit of having readers wait a bit for my thoughts on what I am reviewing gets thrown out the window. I cannot wait to tell the world how I feel about this one. Let us not waste any more time and take a look at Manaria (“Mysteria” in the West) Friends.

Manaria-Mysteria Friends.jpg

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, School Life, Yuri

Themes: Magic

Number of Episodes: 10 (12-13 minutes each)

G-Rating: 10/10

Plot Summary: Mysteria Academy is a prestigious magic school that teaches magic without discrimination to the three factions (men, gods, demons), who usually are engaged in battle with each other. Two of the academy’s students are Anne, a princess and honor student, and Grea, a princess born from a dragon and a human.

anne using a magic attack

Anne using summoning magic.

Before we get to the meat of the show let us go over some minor but understandable gripes some had with the show. First of all the episodes being shorter than usual. Understandable but to that I respond with the following. What is more important is how the writers use the allotted time to tell their story. As an example I bring up the controversial Netsuzou TRap anime adaptation. The episodes were less than 10 minutes each and while some stuff was indeed cut it was a faithful adaptation up until the ending which obviously was a bit different from the manga due to the anime concluding first. Most of the key moments of the story remained intact and not much was changed besides the obvious. Then we have most long ongoing shounen anime or even 20+ episode ones that have the regular 20+ minute run time but viewers are bound to watch some episodes that feel like nothing would be lost were they to ignored during repeated viewings. Point being Manaria Friends’ episodes are somewhat shorter than the norm but the time in each episode is used masterfully to convey every single emotion of the protagonists and the side-characters whenever they appear. Every second serves a purpose.

Grea vs Golem

The next gripe is there not being much action or combat compared to the main series Shingeki no Bahamut. This one is simple. It is very common for female centered spinoffs like Soul Eater NOT and Hidan no Aria AA to have less action than their main series counterparts. Manaria Friends is no different. Having said that this show does indeed contain the least amount of combat of the female centered spinoffs I have seen by far. It is less than Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic. However, like Hina Logi the main draw of the show is not whether it will be heavy on the action or not because that is not what the story is about. For that reason it is not a big deal.

Anne and Grea portrait

Leading ladies and the main focus of the show.

Now let us get to the bulk of the review. See, unlike Liz to Aoi Tori where I wait till the “yuri section” to tell viewers the meat and potatoes of the show here I will do it right off the bat. The story centers around Anne and Grea’s relationship and their growing romantic feelings for each other. There are two main reasons why I loved their tale so much.

#1: There were no strings attached. As amazing and legendary as 20-Gay-Teen was most of the high profile yuri shows were ones that had a catch like Citrus, Happy Sugar Life and Bloom Into You. Even Girls Club shows felt like there was some kind of catch with their yuri from one-sided romances to self doubt about confessing though these are common in GC shows. Granted there was plenty of sweet yuri in 2018 without strings attached but you get my drift. This one came at the right time essentially.

fine-and-izetta-longing-for-one-another

#2: The biggest one. Anne X Grea remind me of one of my all-time favorite yuri couples, Finé X Izetta. They are quite similar and hit the same buttons that trigger my “inner squee power”. Not one of Manaria Friends went by without yours truly having a large smile on his face, clapping like Princess Rona from “Endro~!” and squeeing in delight.

Anne trying to talk Grea out of IT

Like the aforementioned couple Anne is the more upfront of the two who makes little effort to hide her true feelings and desires for Grea to comically creepy effect (Think horny expressions and actions). She is joyful, confident, enjoys teasing her royal draconian beloved and goes out of her way to show off her coolness to everyone because that is who she is. Having said that she of course has her moments of weakness and doubt. One of which is related to her prodigy status and the rest…take a wild guess.

Grea, like Izetta is the opposite of her fiery blonde (Brunette in Anne’s case) soul mate. She is soft spoken, timid and does not like being the center of attention. While she usually goes along with Anne’s wishes there are occasions where she is in control.

Put simply: Hot tomboy princess X feminine busty redhead girlfriend with superpowers, except this time the tomboy also has powers and they are both princesses.

Lou and Anne

Anne and Lou.

While the main focus is on their relationship there are other things going on as well such as their studies and their classmates’ antics such as the above (Captain) Lou, Miss Miranda and two lovely seitokai elves who are very much worth paying close attention to. Along with that we get small tidbits of the princess’ lives outside of the school such as their royal upbringing and struggles. It is not much but nice to know a little about.

Something the show did very well was the presentation. The animation is superb (Though the first summoning in Episode 1 was average) with great detail in the world, school grounds (which is pretty much a castle) and of course the ladies’ cuteness and sexiness (especially in the beach episode. Oh yes indeed). Besides the well animated characters and backgrounds there is also the timing. It is similar to the Kase-san OVA but I argue done better here. What I mean is there are several moments of silence between our lead heroines but so much is conveyed between the two while saying as little as possible or not a word, from the facial expressions to the movements of Grea’s tail. Dat tail yo. It is like the bus stop scene in the aforementioned OVA but with the shorter. Make no mistake the bus stop scene was a fantastic moment but many can agree it went a bit too long. Here those moments are just the right amount to convey the same powerful emotions as the bus stop scene. The soundtrack, not counting the battle scenes, is pretty calming. As always yuri and classical music go hand in hand. So much so that while the show does not have an OP the piano ED has an important origin explained on the show at some point.

Speaking of the ED, Crunchyroll viewers are advised to keep watching after the credits because every episode has a Post-ED scene. Viewers watching through other means I imagine found a version that included the Post-ED before the credits or something like that.

A minor nitpick on my end that ultimately does not detract from my overall enjoyment at all is a few teased subplots that we did not get see conclude but there were reasonable compromises. One in particular involves Grea’s tail.

One last thing. A small elephant in the room that may alert some quick to upset. Sir Owen, Anne’s fateful bodyguard. I am here to tell everyone not to worry about him. He is dedicated to watching and protecting Anne (knightly duty and all) while occasionally playing a part as her sidekick whenever she is up to something rascally. Point being he is an ally of justice.

Overall Manaria/Mysteria is a relaxing tale about the growing love between two princesses and their friends occasionally getting screen time. While my personal bias had me enjoying the show a lot more than some I guarantee something will be gained watching this anime so long as the viewer is not ultra demanding. Highly recommended to readers looking for a chill yuri show to watch.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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32 Responses to 383rd G-View: Manaria/Mysteria Friends

  1. Alexis says:

    Hola

    Este show es mi favorito de la temporada, me quedo con tres momentos, cuando Anne se puso celosa, ella podrá ser un prodigio en la magia, una buena princesa pero con ese malentendido demuestra que aún es una adolescente y que le falta mucho camino por recorrer. El segundo es la poción de amor, my god, me gustó esa frase: ” es algo para hacernos más cercanas”, ese fragmento lo repetí carias veces. El tercero es el final de la serie, no dejó a dudas para qué quería Anne la muda de Grea… rayos señorita.jpg, aagh. cuantas cosas indecentes puede hacer con eso.

    Que comience la era de las princesas liberales yuri que quieren todo con sus futuras consortes reales. Muy cercano a esto quiero recomendar Ojou-sama wa Love Come no Shujinkou ni Naritai!, que si bien no es sobre la realeza propiamente, la protagonista es una ojou-sama liberal, necesitamos más de estas protagonistas tipo pervertidas encubiertas.

    cyao
    A

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Anne fue espectacular! Que grandiosa protagonista. Por supuesto que Grea tambien merece credito de ser una fantastica co-protagonista. Ambas fueron excelentes.

      Espero que ese manga reciba un anime en el futuro.

      Like

  2. Umedyn says:

    I LOVED this show, and my ONLY complaints were 1) Way too short (obviously) and 2) Only 10 episodes?! I was upset when I realized that. Still, an amazing slice-of-life show set in a different setting that your average HS type. I love seeing shows that focus on the daily lives of people in stranger settings like Fantasy, or Sci-Fi.
    Also: Welcome back from vacation!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Oh yes indeed. Other settings besides typical schools help make a huge difference. A magic academy is usually filled with wonder so it is more than just another school.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. LuzeP says:

    10/10 best anime of the season. I just love Grea and Anne so much. They’re made for each other. One of my favorites couple of all time. My favorite side character is Hanna. Beautiful and admired by her girlfriend and her colleagues. The beach episode was the best. I mean the swimming lesson and the beach volleyball, amazing. I don’t mind it being only 13-14 minutes long but I do hope we’ll get more. I can’t get over how beautiful this show is. Both story and animation. I’m hoping for a second season. And in the meantime, I’ll watch the show again, and again.

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Same here. Love these two so much!

      Hanna was awesome and Poppy is lucky to have her.

      One of the best swimsuit episodes to date.

      Fingers crossed we get more. Otherwise we’ll have to go to Granblue Fantasy and wait for an event featuring them.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Little Viktoria says:

    Beautiful story. So much lovely blushing and girly, shy dating. Running away bashfully and then turning around to see if the other is following. This is the season blessed to overflowing with yuri princesses ^^

    Also the prettiest art this season… So calming and majestic.

    Call me silly but I almost fell in love with Lou. I like petite girls and she looks so adorable when she calms down or gets serious. But her ultra smooth “seduction face” in the first episode (and in the screenshot above) was smashing too. A James Bond class seduction face ^^

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Giack31 says:

    This was nice.
    The anime was beautiful and the music really good.
    I loved that at the end Anne somehow was able to get Grea’s sheded scales back.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nick says:

    Best couple of the season.

    I loved this show so much and I’m really glad I decided to check it out as it initially wasn’t on my watch list for the season, boy would that have been a huge mistake. I too had strong Izetta x Fine vibes while watching, so that’s a very good sign. Grea has gotta be one of my top favorite characters of the season as she’s just so cute!!! I never thought I’d be into dragon girls, but after Maid Dragon and now this, I gotta say that dragon girls are great.

    I too was slightly annoyed by the shorter eps, but as you said it’s how that time is used that matters the most. A decent amount of stuff happened in that 15 minutes so it wasn’t as if they were just wasting time or anything.

    Eps that stand out the most for me have gotta be 3, 6 and 7. Ep 3 because I loved the date they went on, that dress Grea tried on was sooooo good and I can’t write a comment here and not mention that boat season. Oooooooohh yesssssss. Ep 6 for the obvious reason. Ep 7 because I loved how Anna looked at Grea’s tail so seductively, among other things that happened in that ep.

    All in all Grea and Anne have gotta go on my top favorite couples list as they were just so perfect for each other. I loved their interactions and just how much they loved each other. Like ep 4 for example when they were busy with exams and didn’t see each other a lot, how they really did miss that time together. Things like that just added to my overall love for these two girls and their relationship. Also since I’m talking about ep 4, gotta quickly mention the moment at the end with Hanna and Poppy. Yesssssssss!!!

    So looking back at it all Manaria Friends was an amazing show and yet another one I’ll miss greatly now that it’s over. Truly a perfect couple and I wish them all the best together in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      I hope these kinds of couples become more common in yuridom. We NEED more couples like FiZetta and Anne X Grea.

      Grea and Tohru are indeed gorgeous lesbian dragons.

      The boat scene is worthy of a Best Moments of 2019 for sure. Ep6 was one of the best episodes of the year and Pervy Anne is excellent.

      As sad as it was seeing Anne and Grea lonely it was also beautiful because it showed how much they loved each other as you said.

      Hanna X Poppy are best side-couple.

      We need more.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. yurimylove says:

    One of winter season’s yuri gems! Lovely couple, and amazing art work by the animators.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wanderer says:

    This show was magnificent. I may have been one to object to the length of it, but that’s simply because I WANT MORE! It’s so enjoyable watching Anne and Grea together that I just want to see much much more of that.

    I’m led to understand that discs for this series sold out completely, so that should be a strong indicator of how popular it was. Assuming Cygames isn’t just using this as advertisement for GranBlue Fantasy, that sort of thing would generally result in a strong push for a second season. I hope that happens.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. K says:

    First post after your break, so welcome back! This review was spot-on!

    To be honest, I didn’t mind that the episodes were short but the amount of stuff that happened in that small space of time each episode was quite impressive. Indeed, every second counted. Add the gorgeous animation and it’s another CyGames anime knocked outta the park!

    Watching Grea and Anne was so delightful. You could tell that they really cared about each other when the fear of not seeing each other again overwhelmed them. Episode 2 was one of my favourites due to the lengths Anne went to find a cure for Grea even if it was her just shedding.

    Hanna is my fave of the side characters. Being student council president of this magic academy must be rough, especially with a rambunctious princess like Anne around.

    I jokingly call Owen Anne’s shadow since you can just pretend as if he’s not there (when he’s in the same frame as Anne and other people anyway). He doesn’t seem to mind it.

    Speaking of Granblue, my bro told me that Grea was in that game(not Anne, though). Also, do you know of Princess Connect: ReDive, another CyGames mobile game? Recently, there was a event where you had a chance to get Anne, Grea and Lou.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Both Anne & Grea are in Granblue Fantasy, actually. Anne has a single SSR version, while Grea has two SSR versions (OG and Summer), and then an Event SR version (who can still be gotten by doing the Side Story version, which are essentially permanently added event stories, after the re-run of the event is done).

      Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Like OYP said Anne and Grea are in GBF.

      I think Princess Connect is one of those games where the invisible player character is male by default. I could be wrong. I saw an event for Grea. I didn’t see Anne or Captain Lou.

      Like

      • A friend has been playing the game, and apparently the event Lou was available from ended just before he started the game (which saddened him a lot, considering how rarely Lou is seen playable anywhere at all)…but he did indeed get Anne in-game, as well as Grea…(And has been showing me their CG’s, which are great)

        Liked by 1 person

      • OG-Man says:

        Good to know.

        Like

  10. chikorita157 says:

    Overall, it’s a nice watch. It’s funny how Anne ends up destroying the school a few times with the last two for Grea’s sake. Still, I have to admit that there are a lot of great moments with Anne and Grea.

    The episodes are short, the show is nicely produced and the story overall is enjoyable. Hopefully we can see more later on.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. AotS for sure! Absolutely amazing all ways.

    The anime actually managed to make me start GBF after a friend talked about it, purely to see more of Anne & Grea…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Christian Appel says:

    The first highlight of many this year.

    There will surely be S2, because of the hint at the end.

    Anne x Grea are one of the cutest couples this year.

    They are there for each other, when the other one is in danger or needs help.

    Beach volleyball/Swim lesson episode is the highlight of the anime, but the one with the school invasion and Anne´s interference, which destroys the dorm room, is also funny. The anime is lots of fun and kawaii as hell.

    Grea is shy and Anne offensive to get Grea more offensive and rather shy.

    Side chars are funny, too, especially Lou and Owen, Anne´s knight/bodyguard.

    Like

  13. piano_cello_conducting says:

    I hope with the good sales, this will see a second season. This is one of my favourite yuri couples as both ladies are able to stand up to threats. However this show really needs a stronger plot and the yuri needs to be more conclusive.

    Like

  14. Pingback: OG’s Top 10 Favorite Anime 2019 | The Yuri Empire

  15. Pingback: OG’s Top 10 Favorite Anime of 2019 | The Yuri Empire

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