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  • D.

Saber Marionette J (1996)

The first time I ever watched this series I was 12 years old and had to pay my older brother a dime a day for every day I borrowed the two DVDs he had for this series prior to him buying the full boxset when I was 15. So everything I'm referencing is solely based on memory. (The entire series soundtrack is linked to the photo if you click on it.)

In a distant future, after Earth decides it needs to repopulate elsewhere, the colony ship knows as Mesopotamia was suffering from complications causing six of the colonizers to remain. However, all of the six were male except the seventh who was the last remaining female, who was held hostage by the ship itself. At the time their solution was to still colonize the planet closest to them, Terra II, creating six countries and reproduced using cloning methods. Due to the lack of female DNA, the survivors only had citizenship of males. Which later led into the creation of artificial androids known as marionettes to fill the female void. The sole duty of these droids was to do the chores, such as; cooking, cleaning, raising the children, etc. The only downfall to these machines is that they do not contain the capability of emotions. One day, a young man named Otaru finds three special battle archetype marionettes and awakens their maiden circuit which provides them the ability to understanding and produces emotions. Unfortunately, they are not the only marionettes who possess this gift. But it is up to Otaru to teach Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry how to foster and express their emotions so they can emotionally and mentally grow. During the process, he is faced with protecting his country with their help against the neighboring country's world domination scheme.


This is a harem genre series. But this is an adaptation of a previous series done by the same creators of Saber Marionette R, which holds a similar premise. Though produced two years prior it is a three-episode ova. Bloodberry in this series is a brown skin character which I do wish they kept that aesthetic in the J version.

The plot is very simple of the antagonist, Star-Face wants to become the High Official of Romana so he has to kill the main character Jr. while going around his marionettes. But the other differences which are most likely where they got the term Maiden Circuit from, the androids in this series are known as Girl Circuits, but they do not mention what makes them "human-like." Star-face instead of having Girl Circuits, he has Sexadolls, which implies in the name they are sexy compared to the artwork but also one of the dolls do commit rape in one of the episodes. Their sex appeal is transferred over to the marionette that Lord Faust possesses in J; Tiger, Panther, and Luchs.


Now to further the plot and introduce an additional ova, Saber Marionette J: Again. This cluster of six episodes after were meant to be inserted in between the original series seasons. After the war ended in season one, Tiger, Luchs, and Panther are sent to live with Otaru and the other girls to learn how to be more "human-like" and less of actual pons. By mere chance, Lime discovers a seventh marionette that possesses a Maiden Circuit and can adapt water, Marine.

Now previously before I knew Bloodberry was originally a brown-skin girl, when I saw Marine, I instantly fangirled over her. Her role was short-lived in the series. It also disappoints me that mainly otakus do not pay her tribute and give her enough love. She was gorgeous. Her exit was sad, but at least she did not die and only placed back to sleep. She was believed to have been from another country that was similar to one of African heritage. It was not fully disclosed or discussed.


The most annoying character of all in the entire series was Hanagata Mitsurugi. No, he was not annoying because he was technically gay. When in actuality does sexuality really matter if there is a lack of one gender on a planet of predominately male? But anyway, he was annoying because Otaru was clearly not interested and yet he continued to push himself onto him. Along with tagging along uninvited on adventures, he continuously flexed his money (even when he became homeless), and he was ultimately just a useless character. He was mainly just a spoiled, stuffy nosed, fake nobleman who technically didn't belong in a feudal Japan-themed country because he was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed foreign who moved to that area who appropriated the culture because his daddy was rich. Though he was annoying, I'm not taking away from how cute his little brother is, Hanagata Yumeji, he was so adorable with his round eyes. Which Misturugi still a dick from the episode where he was just going to let the child die in his home rather than attempting to save him from the fire.


All the marionettes technically have a mother which is not introduced until later on into the series. Her name was Lorelei. All the marionettes were modeled after her, to one-day trade places with her in the Mesopotamia. Since she is the only living female and the symbol of "true" feminity. In the end, though she was saved her role was very simple, she was to use her DNA to repopulate the female citizens of Terra II, which she succeeded in doing so.

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