English: Strawberry Panic
Published: Sep 30, 2005 to ?
Score: 7.521 (scored by 1651 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
drama romance yuri
SynopsisThe setting is lush Astraea Hill, where three famous all-girls schools are built. It's the first day of school, and the cherry blossoms are scattering to the ground. Nagisa meets Hanazono Shizuma, the top student in the school, and her breath is taken away by her beauty. But when Shizuma takes a liking to Nagisa, love and chaos soon follow...
(Source: Seven Seas)
Related MangaAdaptation: Strawberry Panic
Alternative version: Strawberry Panic
Okay, let's be honest right up front. You aren't reading this for the story. You aren't reading this for the deep characterization. You're reading this for the myriad of schoolgirls in a world seemingly devoid of a Y chromosome who fawn over one another like dogs in heat. That said, for the bite-sized morsel of a manga Strawberry Panic! is, few yuri manga come as decadent as this one.
However, decadence leads to overkill, and when you have not one, but two plain transfer students sought after by the goddesses of their respective schools, you know you're straddling the line between overkill and parody. In fact, as a parody, the manga actually works quite well. The dialogue is hamfisted and saccharine, and the plot devices are exaggerated and operatic. It's just too unbelievable to take seriously even from the very start. But as I said, there is a fine line between overkill and parody, and given the intended audience of Strawberry Panic!, I'm obliged to lean towards overkill.
This is only seared into the reader's mind further by the artwork, full of doe-eyed girls and delicate but elaborate designs. As it's intended to be, it's very very pretty but given the content, it's adding sugar on top of more sugar.
The manga does add some much needed spice in the characters themselves. Only innocent leads Nagisa and Hikari are sweet as pie, and pretty much every other girl who isn't them is trying to get into another girl's panties. There are secret rendezvouses, locker room changings, and yes, even open-air bathing. None of these events whenever they should happen in the course of the manga ever stays innocent for long and before you know it, one girl is blushing furiously or drooling at the thought of what she could do with the situation. There is some mild character introspection, but it's only done in the context of how it affects the relationship, not the character herself.
So what it comes down to, plain and simple, is this is a yuri manga for people who only care about the yuri. People who don't want to have to fool around with a plot, turn off their brain, and watch schoolgirls fall hopelessly into one another's arms. Fortunately, it ended prematurely thus sparing any and all readers from having to deal with this yuri overkill for too long. What it all boils down to is that your own personal enjoyment will greatly be decided by whether you're the kind of person who enjoys drowning in a sea of girls constantly blushing at the sight of other girls or not.
Overall, I give Strawberry Panic! a 6 out of 10. read more
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