Maria the Virgin Witch is a one-cour anime based upon a semi-historical manga. Despite the teasing title, this series is actually pretty tame, aside from the succubus Artemis’s activities seducing military commanders for peace.
The story concerns a pacifist young witch using her powers (and familiars) to stave off hostilities between English and French armies during the Hundred Years War. Her efforts are regarded with hostility and consternation from both sides, the Church, her fellow witches, and the powerful archangel Michael.
The animation was decent, and I liked the more “modern” character designs (the witches and the familiars); the visual effects around Michael were suitable impressive.
During the course of the series, Maria interacts with peasants, mercenaries, and the clergy; most of the humans possess little power or influence, and live difficult and constrained lives, which is unusual to see. There is an extreme amount of historical detail, down to the spirits Maria calls upon by name (all creatures or beings from the area’s folklore) and the banners on army units, and the seedy side of humanity is constantly on show.
Many of the characters perform morally ambiguous or reprehensible actions, but the anime seems to avoid telegraphing judgement. I personally found Maria’s actions naive and prone to causing worse problems, and it’s difficult to understand how much the author wanted us to side with her way of thinking. There’s a strange sequence with the priest Bernard that I didn’t know what to make of too.
Maria the Virgin Witch is a very unusual series that’s at minimum an acquired taste.