Both of these women were around near the top of their sports a long time but never considered a huge star like some of their peers. Both won 3 World medals but no Olympic medals. Maria has the edge of a World title, and much more Grand Prix success overall, but Fumie is the one who won a Grand Prix final. Who do you think was the better skater with both in their primes (although it never came at the same time vs each other).
I would say Maria for the following reasons:
-Maria came in at a tougher time than Fumie did. Maria was near the top from 96-2002 when Kwan, Chen, Lipinski, Slutskaya, Hughes, at various points were at their best. Fumie was near the top from 2002-2006 when the field began thinning out with injuries and aging to the veterans like Kwan and Slutskaya, the retirement of Hughes, and no new stars other than the inconsistent Cohen and the erratic late blooming Arakawa. Despite this Maria has overall outdone Fumie's accomplishments.
-Both spent most of their careers as just bronze contenders. However Maria at her peak in 99-2001 was a major threat to win Worlds. Fumie was never a threat to win a World title.
-Maria actually had a great shot at an Olympic medal in 1998 atleast where despite a subpar LP she missed the bronze by only .1. And possibly in 2002 too had she skated better. Fumie in retrospect never really had a shot of an Olympic medal considering she couldnt have skated much better in 2006 and still wasnt really close (despite coming 4th) and in 2002 she wasnt ever really a possible medalist, despite winning bronze at the post Olympic Worlds where Hughes had withdrawn.
Comparing their skating I would say technically Fumie is a bit superior and Maria is artistically much superior. In terms of consistency Maria is more consistent on the grand prix, Fumie more consistent skating her best in major events.