I love the taste of strawberries….(Strawberry Panic review)
So i’ve recently finished watching another anime in my backlog, Strawbery Panic. This anime was picked up after I read Yi’s review on it, got bored and decided “heck, why the hell not? Its Yuri right?” then proceeding to GET GET GET!!!
Ok, this will get spoilerific so if u haven’t watched it yet, read the general impressions then move on fool. If you want to spoil yourself, read on.
Strawberry Panic is a yuri themed anime set in the midst of 3 prestigious sister schools and their students. It follows the everyday lives of the girls who study at the schools and their relationships with each other. The anime mostly follows Aoi Nagisa, a transfer student to the sister school of Miator. The main plot of the anime is the love triangles and relationships between the some of the major characters.
At first glance, this anime is VERY cliched. very very much so. There were many occasions where I facepalmed at the cliched conversations and times when I was tempted to eat my hand at the extremely cheesy moments. The main plot is also actually following a standard template for this kind of show. The new girl comes into the school and falls in love with the Idol of the school after they have some sort of private interaction that was a little intimate. It reminded me of the first Sono Hana with YuunaXNanami.
But despite the fact the story is cliched with twist and tuns in the story that you’ve seen plenty of times on various movies, Strawberry Panic is still undeniable really really enjoyable. As the story-line was pretty much predictable, it made me focus more on the characters and i think they did a rather good job with them. The characters are fully formulated and complete with distinct personalities. The anime also portrays emotions well (in rather cheesy fashions though) and it made me genuinely care for the way the story is going to turn out (despite knowing how it would end. I mean, how can you NOT predict it?)
The artwork of the anime is also stunning. Although at first I didn’t quite fancy the thin drawing style used that made the girls look anorexic, I warmed to it after a few episodes and now I think it was really well drawn. (I really like Lilim’s uniform :D)
So overall, a extremely enjoyable Yuri anime with the right amount of serious and light-heartedness. A predictable story-line but very good character design and interactions. If you want a good, enjoyable Yuri anime with some ecchi fanservice, this might be just right for you.
You might like to stop now because this might get spoilerrific as I write some more.
Ok. First up, I really really pitied Tamao-chan at the end of the anime. She had to give up Nagisa and send her off to Shizuma but then again, Nagisa was completely infatuated about Shizuma and it was the same vice-versa. But I really liked Tamao and I actually really want an OVA so show the after story of Strawberry Panic so see if some things worked out. I also felt sad for Yaya-chan but not as much because she has already come to grip with her feelings for Hikari. But Nagisa never noticed the way Tamao felt for her and didn’t realize she was hurting her heart whenever she chose Shizuma over her until the final confession (which by god was cheesy as hell. I could almost taste Gouda). I’m still trying to figure out the implication of the final scene on Strawbery panic where Tamao geets Nagisa through the door. I suppose it shows that Tamao forgives Nagisa and is willing to accept her back? (Like she has done previously oh so many times?)
Also, I can’t really say that I was not a little disappointed the way the story turned out. I didn’t really mind NagisaXShizuma but Hikari X Amane seems to irk me for some reason…maybe its Amane and the way she acts. Oh so very boring and insensitive…
I would also have liked if they actually also built on the Yuri relationships with the other characters. Some were just begging to be made into couples (Chikaru and her harem XD). Another reason I want the OVA is also to see if Tsumobi X Yaya will work out.
Other than some minor points in the story, I have to say that Strawberry Panic was really enjoyable. Despite being cliched and predictable, I found myself marathonning the last 4 episodes because I felt genuinely concerned how it turns out. And it did turn out the way I though it would. In terms of comparison, I have to say I enjoyed Strawberry Panic as much as I enjoyed Candy Boy. I find Strawberry Panic to be the more rounded of the two focusing on all aspects of Yuri relations while Candy Boy dealt with the emotional aspects in a light-hearted way. If I was to attempt to convert someone to Yuri, I would make him/her watch Candy Boy first then Strawberry Panic. double whammy XD. And that’s all. This kinda sounds like a rant now actually…so I better STFU eh?