Otaku USA Magazine
Mari Okada Has a New Film Coming Out — Pre-Game with These Titles

Mari Okada returns to anime with Alice and Therese's Illusory Factory

Celebrated author Mari Okada has made an indelible mark on the anime world. With both original stories and series adaptations to her name, she has dozens of beloved titles under her belt. In 2018 she made her directorial debut, and there’s more to come as she writes and directs Alice and Therese’s Illusory Factory.

You’ve almost certainly seen at least one anime series or film Okada has had a hand in. But if you want to spend some time getting to know her work, here are some prime titles to start with. These (and the rest of her lengthy CV) should keep you entertained until the new film premieres.


Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Mari Okada made her directorial debut with Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms. The film, which she also wrote, is a high fantasy, set in a world inhabited by humans, dragons, and a race known as Iorph. The Iorph stop aging in their teens, and (as you might expect) others covet the secrets of their immortality.

Orphaned Iorph Maquia is warned against getting attached to outsiders, for obvious reasons. But she does just this, adopting an orphaned baby whom she names Ariel. As the boy ages, Maquia and her friends find themselves embroiled in shows of greed and power from the outside world. The bittersweet film received both critical and fan acclaim, and makes a good first port of call for fans exploring Okada’s works.


O Maidens in Your Savage Season

O Maidens in Your Savage Season

For something more down to earth, try O Maidens in Your Savage Season. It’s all about a high school literature club… in particular, about girls discovering (and occasionally being afraid of) their own desires and sexuality. Mari Okada penned the original manga, and headed up the scripts for the anime as well.

The coming-of-age drama aired in 2019 and brims with love geometry and one-sided crushes. Oh, and trying to figure out what your own feelings even mean. The manga also got a live-action TV drama in 2020, which Okada also oversaw.


The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

Mari Okada has created lots of fascinating original works. But one of her most memorable is a new installment of a long-running series. Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine spun the camera around to the thief’s lover and rival. But that wasn’t all it did. The show delved into strange liminal spaces, and even flew daringly close to some questions Lupin never answers.

As wild as it gets, the final episode is where it all pays off. The show is beautiful, violent, and sexy; but those last 25 minutes are a roller coaster all their own.

Mari Okada’s next film, Alice and Therese’s Illusory Factory, is on its way from MAPPA.

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.