Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Maria-sama ga miteru - Locations

The show Maria-sama ga miteru (Maria watches over us) is one my all time favorite. A series that deals with trials and tribulations between the students in the fictional Lilian private academy for women. It's intimate depiction with their lives and relationship during their brief moments in high school and how they mature into adults, framed within a lush world that is both idealized fantasy and uncanny realistic,  had always drawn a very loyal following though all these years.

It been speculated within fans that if this fictional Lilian Academy actually exists where in Japan  can it be found. Where does Yumi and company go to and every school day. It's been stated in the novels, in every prologue, that the school is situated at a suburb in downtown Tokyo where one can see Musashi fields.  Now  Musashino in Tokyo is right besides Suginami ward where the Tokyo women's Christian University, a school who's history resembles much of Lilian, is located. It's been said that Lilian is partly based on it and to a private Catholic school that the author, Konno Oyuki attended during kindergarten.

Now much like Lucky Star is to Saitama prefecture. I'd like to know where within it's vicinities is the animated version of the series is based off.

I'd a dicussion with a fellow fan about where the show takes place and the idea of finding these places intrigues me.

Unfortunately I've been to Japan only once therefore I just can't go about in an aimless pilgrimage, but, fortunately with the magic of Google map I can go about on a little virtual tour in the comfort of my armchair. So far these locations are what I was able to tie to the show, see if you can add more to it.


Main gate and building of Tokyo Women's Christian University, founded by Quakers and Presbyterian mission. It's sprawling campus includes a vast wooded area inhabited by, ironically, by Tanuki. 

The Reischauer House, the one time in campus home of one of the University's founder, could have serve as the structural basis for the Lilian Mansion, the student council's office and headquarter.

Now mind you a lot of elements of Lillian Academy is also based on one of Japan's oldest and most exclusive private school, Gakushuin Women's college and Gakushuin girls' junior and senior high school. That school is located at Toshima ward, Tokyo
This is where Japan's princesses study(literally).

Like Princess Mako and her "peti't soeur" Princes Kako, Granddaughters of Emperor Akihito.

Designated as K- station in the light novels, Kichijoji station is where the en bouton went to on their date, during the Valentine's day contest story. Seen in S1(season 1) eps. 12 of the animated series.

The mall that Yumi and Sachiko went for their window-shopping on their half-day date at S1 eps. 13.
(note: it's quite hard getting the same shot when using Google Street View. It's funny how the artist tried to emulate the real stores many-colored sign)

The cinema that's right beside Kochijoji station where Rei and Chisato went to on they're half-day date on S1 eps. 12. Something that Yoshino and Chisato would again imitate on their date the following year in the novel.

Inokashira park zoo, which is a few blocks away from Kichijoji station serves as a meeting place for Tsutako and Minako in their hunt for en bouton's date story.[ S1 eps. 12]. It's also the place where Eriko Torii met Mr. Yamanobe and  also were Yoshino and Chisto , Mami and her petit soeur Hidemi went to on their date at volume 27 of the novel series.

(note: not sure where exactly within the park that the two sat, but I use this one to take into account the Swan boats in the background)


Right across the mall that Yumi and Sachiko went to is Penny Lane shopping street, where they happen to run into a lonely Yoshino at S1 eps. 13. They invited her to have tea.

(note: made corrections on the location of the street)

Not quite sure about this one, a French style restaurant nearby could be the basis for the Cafe that we see in S1 eps. 13. that Yumi, Sachiko and Yoshino went to. There they met Lilian newspaper president Minako and ace photographer Tsutako.

(note: again I could be wrong about this and there might be an actual building like the one in the show, so I'm still checking)

Downtown Kochijoji Dori near K- station and as it appears in the OVA eps. 2, were Yumi is planning along with the rest of the Lilian council "Operation OK for short" in a cafe somewhere. There are some candidates, but I'm still looking for the Cafe that they used.

Disregarding the passage of almost 8 years from it's broadcast. The background artist added extra floors to the right side building but maintains the distinctive window frames.

A short distance from Tokyo Women's Christian University is Seikei University. Founded by Mitsubishi company, The red brick main building could have serve as inspiration for Hanadera boy's academy's main school building, seen during their school festival at the OVA eps 3.

Designated as M- station in the light novel, Mitaka station is were Yumi and company always go through on they're commute to and fro every school day to Lilian academy.

I use a snap shoot from Google map of a platform where I think is where Sei hopelessly waited for Shiori during one Christmas eve (platform 4 & 5 in the novels)

Outside Mitaka station on Christmas. In the novel Sei and her Onee-sama went out thru the south entrance of station, but the background artist for the animated series used a street on the north exit which is located close by the picture above.

Upper level exterior of Mitaka station and a shot seen  at OVA eps. 2 were Yumi unfortunately met Sachiko on her way to school to facilitate her plan "Ok for short".

(note: again, due to limitations, I just can't get a close enough angle shot that mimics the one in the show.)  

The bus waiting shed near Mitaka station that Yumi and Sachiko waited in on their way to school in one hot scorching summer day. OVA eps. 2

The elephant enclosure in Inokashira park zoo, where Eriko Torii spies upon the clueless Mr. Yamanobe as he watches the elephant and dreams of dinosaurs. Seen in S2 eps. 2

Here is a location map were one can see the orientation and proximity of the various places that show has shown.

I hope this would delight fans of the series and bring in sense a better idea about the world these characters inhabited in.

I sure would like get some feed back on what you think about this and on any corrections and additional locations that you may add are welcome to be augment to this one. Please do help me make a better map/picture of the world Marimite.

View Kichijoji Station, Tokyo, Japan in a larger map

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