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Maris the Choujo

Entry updated 20 December 2021. Tagged: Film.

Japanese Original Video Animation (1986; vt The Supergal; vt The Chojo). Based on the Manga by Rumiko Takahashi. Studio Pierrot. Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama and Motosuke Takahashi. Written by Tomoko Konparu and Hideo Takayashiki. Voice cast includes Toshio Furukawa, Mami Koyama, Sumi Shimamoto, and Jouji Yanami. 48 minutes. Colour.

As a child Maris (Koyama) was part of the exodus from the planet Thanatos before it exploded (see Disaster). Now a refugee on Earth, she has to wear restraints as she is six times stronger than humans and can carelessly cause damage to buildings and machinery. After a wrestling career (see Games and Sports) she joined the Space Patrol's Special Police (see Crime and Punishment); here our bikini-clad heroine can discard her restraints to wreak havoc on criminals, accompanied by her talking six-tailed fox, Murphy (Yanami), who can create solid illusions (see Perception). However, her Spaceships often wind up damaged – for which she is liable – and her alcoholic father regularly causes infrastructure damage on Earth. Consequentially, vacations are spent bullying Alien tourists into hiring her as a taxi.

However, Maris sees a way out of her poverty trap when she is assigned to rescue a kidnapped billionaire's son, Koganemaru (Furukawa): she imagines his response, "You saved my life, please marry me." His kidnapper turns out to be her ex-wrestling rival, Sue (Shimamoto). They wrestle, and – despite Sue cheating – Maris emerges victorious. Expecting Koganemaru's fiscal and matrimonial gratitude, she is dismayed to discover he is in league with Sue – the kidnapping experience having dissipated the ennui of his rich-boy life – and he now proposes to her.

The film makes it clear that Maris has had a hard life: always in debt, a child refugee who felt isolated at school, with parents who have not coped well and are dependent on her financial support. But this is not convincingly integrated into the plot: her resulting desire for money is played for laughs, including the (for her) bleak ending. However, it is still an amusing (see Humour) if minor film, with an obvious debt to the Superman franchise.

The source manga was part of a series of short stories collectively known as Rumic World; the Anime made from these stories also share that title – see the Rumiko Takahashi entry for a discussion of both. [SP]


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