Everyday things make up the fabric of life—whether it's making friends, going to school, trying to make money, or celebrating a holiday. Ichigo Mashimaro is a heartwarming series that follows the daily lives of Itou Chika, her sister Nobue, and her friends Miu, Matsuri, and Ana.
Ichigo Mashmiaro is another slice of life anime set around the life of four Elementary School friends and a sister. Theres no ecchi but there are LOADS of fanservice in this show. You can tell just by watching the first episode. Its even more frequent in the ova's. Also, the power word for this show is CUTE. I cant emphasize this enough... CUTE is allover.
For some reason the chemistry between all of them really make for a unique experience. Their character traits sound so standard for a slice of life comedy but the way its executed is far better than most anime of its
kind. Every minute you'll be going "aww" or even "omfg how CUTE!" Thats mainly in part by the way the girls react to each other and feed off each others actions/reactions.
The voice acting is top notch for what its worth... all the girls all have their cute tendancies intact and their voices are just to gaddamn cute *_* Their singing the credits is even good too. Speaking of singing, theres no music whatsoever during the show. Just the seiyu and the enviromental sound effects, with a fair dose of typical comedy sounds. I think absence of the music is just a plan to emphasise how cute the girls are in their "tranquil" and "innocent" enviroments. it does work very well to set off that cute aura that surrounds the entire show.
When i said the power word for this show was "CUTE" the art and animation shows that in spades. First of all you'll notice the color scheme consists of only pastel spring colors. Even the dark colors like black and brown have that pastel touch to it. Theres so much color that some might even be drowned in the pastel. The enviroment art is half part of how they show how great their cute theme is executed. Every thing from the Chika's simple bedroom layout with the pink bed sheets and sunflower yellow wall, to the dirty laundry stacked in the laundry basket filled so high sleeves are pouring out the side, down to the different individual lunches ALL the kids in the classroom are eating with their little milk jugs. They even seem to enjoy their art so much that there is quite a few still life shots when they're showing time is passing. This just shows how much time and effort they put into setting the mood and enviroment for their viewers.
The character artwork are in a whole nother level than any other anime you've seen. Not only do they draw individual background characters with sheer detail and cuteness, but they somehow manage to give the main characters dozens of different costumes to wear. Theres so many, i wouldnt be surprised if there were over 100 costume designs for the girls. The character themsselves are detailed as any high value anime should be. You can also tell this anime has its own art style from the begining. And it works very well showcasing the cuteness of the girls.
Everything about this show seems to mold together extremely well. When it seems like theres a school comedy, or 2, or 5 every season, Ichigo Mashimaro surely sticks itself out far above the rest. Its a school anime that if you like it, you'll definitely remember it long after your finished. But if youre not into all that cute loli stuff then by all means, avoid this like the plague. But this is by far one of the best loli anime i've ever seen. Too bad im not really into the cute loli anime.
Excuse me while I gush over this series, it's almost too cute to bear. I, perhaps, would have overlooked it if it wasn't for the 3 volumes of the Ichigo Mashimaro manga I have sitting on my shelf. I often find myself not liking the art in the anime if I was exposed to the manga first, but in this case I was pleasantly surprised; the characters in both were drawn very similar, almost identical. The backgrounds lack the detail of other anime, but I can't say that it bothered me much.
(If you've read the manga, you'll notice the shuffling of the chapters, the
anime certainly does not follow the manga faithfully, but that does not detract from the story.)
The premise is quite simple, we follow 5 girls - Nobue the oldest, her sister Chii, their friends, Ana, Miu and Matsuri - but not continuously, mind you, but rather, we drop in and out of their everyday lives. And what cute lives they lead! Don't expect complex plot here, each episode is filled with the every day things we all have done, the girls go to school, enjoy cake, shovel snow, get lost and play sports. But it never gets boring, because mischief is just right around the corner and it will have you giggling to yourself over the silliness.
The simplicity of the plot is the anime's strong point but also it can be its undoing. If you appreciate the innocent, stress-free and, dare I say again, CUTE things in life, you most likely will love this series, I certainly did. Otherwise, you may find the cuteness tooth-rottingly sweet.
Ichigo Mashimaro (Strawberry Marshmallow) sticks to the "slice of life" and "comedy" formula without growing stale. Its truly a must see for fans of this genera!
Based on the ongoing manga of the same name, basically its about four grade school girls and their big sister (only one is actually related to her, but they all look up to her as one) living life in Japan. I feel I should state at this point that it keeps its story as realistic as possible, so there is no princess to save, no student counsel to form, nothing! This is about everyday life! Which may be
a turn off to some fans wanting an actually plot in their shows. Each scene opens up with something different though, such as the girls going on vacation, the big sister on her never ending quest to find a job, the girls making birthday presents for someone special, or them just trying to not make too much noise so another member can sleep! I almost felt like I was watching someones animated home videos about their life sometimes, as apposed to an actual anime. One of the girls is actually from America, so there is plenty of references to both Japanese and American culture made by the girls, which is nice for those of us wanting to learn more about their ways. The story is warm hearted and cute all the way through, though I couldn't help but feel that if it wasn't for Miu (main lead) this series would not have been nearly as entertaining. As she is the only real member that actually has a comical personality to her, where as most of the others are more down to earth. While Ichigo doesn't do anything new with its over all concept, it does indeed to it right! Its soft soothing storyline can either be its greatest feature, or worst, depending on your taste.
The opening theme has the girls singing a party theme to Ichigo Masimaro, while the ending is the complete opposite, and is sung solo in a soft layed back tone, which fits the anime nicely for its theme. The background music is sparse however, in fact a good portion of the time there really is no BG whatsoever. And while I do feel it enhances some of the moods in the series overall, it would have been nice to actually have had at least some memorable tracks! Still, what they do have there is good! The Japanese voice cast they got were great however, every girl was matched perfectly with the appropriate voice over. Whether it be Ana's soft sweet voice or Nobue's more layed back personality.
The cast is very likable, while they don't have the most deep or versatile personalities (like Miu has), they at least never come off as annoying. In fact all the personalities that have been given to each girl is pulled off sweet and charming. They really know how to interact with each other well!
One thing I found to be interesting though, was a lack of supporting characters. The only people you’ll see in this title for the most part are the main cast themselves. (with the exception of some old guy that is used as a running gag, the girls just never seem to give him any peace and quite) This can be seen as both a positive and negative depending on your view point, while I personally loved this feature, some may feel that this might make the story all the more bland. Again, it just depends on your perception of it.
It is soft and cuteness at its best. Nothing is ever "overly" detailed that it comes off as too much for the eyes to take. Color and art are focused on the characters themselves, while the backgrounds look more along the lines of soft water color paintings. It does have a nice appeal to it, but certainly isn't the most well detailed series out there. As the clothing and backgrounds have a much more plain look to them, still it is nice to look at.
Bottom line: 9/10
If you like a large cast of characters and a deep storyline in your anime, then it would be best to avoid Ichigo Mashimaro, as this title contains none of those whatsoever. But if your like me and love slice of life anime with a nice realistic layed back sense of humor, then it doesn't get much better than this! As this title has some of the cutest and most lovable cast you'll see in one, and will give you a sense of joy and fondness after watching it!
As specified in the synopsis "cute girls do cute things in cute ways" is what it delivers. Based on the slice of life manga series, the story is considered plotless and instead, viewers are being treated with laughter and uber cuteness by 4 adorable 3rd graders and 1 big sister who just wants to find a decent 'good paying' job without being distributed or 'attacked' by either one of them, in particular Miu, one of their group members who is 'hyper' active.
From the beginning of the series towards the end, you basically see the activities these girls do on a day to day basis.
You see how they socialise and what events they enjoy doing. As you get to know what they like to do, you will start to get to know more about their personalities and maybe relate to one them when you were younger or as of now. Their personalities is so common to the average 3rd grader in the real world, it's not too hard to fall in love with them and laugh at the things they do and say, in which we may have experienced them in our life time.
In referring to character development, there isn't a solid base where we learn about the characters step by step. Instead, we are learning about them in a group while we are laughing and enjoying quality entertainment provided to us. Its how they socialise and the activities they do in which we learn so much about them.
In conclusion, a series in which is shouldn't be missed by the young and the old because series like these lifts your mood and gives you a smile on your face each episode of the way.
In the early-mid 2000s, US licensing companies were involved in numerous anime Production Committees. It didn't go so well for them. This year, several US licensors are trying their luck on Production Committees again. Will it go better this time?