If you are in anyway a fan of yuri anime, then Strawberry Panic is a bit of a rite of passage for entry into the genre. It probably garners the highest amount of fanaticism and emotionalism from its supporters and detractors. Though I wouldn’t call it a love or hate it kind of show as you might expect from that. I think of myself as a reasonably objective person and found that my opinion of it split almost right down the middle between absolute love and complete contempt.
Strawberry Panic's story centers on a new student to a prestigious all girls’ school, Nagisa
Aoi. The school is divided into three separate campuses which operate separately, have different uniforms, but are functionally really the same institution. Oh, and basically the entire student body are lesbians... hey this is yuri after all! There isn’t any amazing drama or nefarious villains as the story almost totally revolves around relationship angst. The story walks the line on being a light hearted romantic comedy to having some pretty deep drama but for the most part it is a lot of fun. I would imagine most people are going to enjoy it a lot, until you get to the last five to six episodes. Here is where there is likely to be disagreement amongst viewers as pairings finalize and plot twists emerge. This is where my enjoyment also suffered, because I intensely disliked almost every final pairing and the ending to the final story arc itself left me quite angry and disappointed.
The characters have some magnificent highs but also some annoying lows. As far as Nagisa goes, whom just about every important plotline flows through, she is a sweet and likable character. Immediately people are going to gravitate to her much as characters do in the story and find something to like about her. However as the story unfolds, I found her becoming increasingly unlikable and idiotic. The decisions she makes, her inability to see the obvious right in front of her face, and her ditzy nature (while extremely endearing at the beginning of the series) becomes annoying and tired. You want to feel for her angst and conflict but in the end you're just so over with her.
Shizuma, next to Nagisa, is the most important character in the story and probably the most interesting. Though that doesn’t mean she is particularly likable. A friend once referred to her as the "Mac-Daddy" of the school. She seems willing to go after any girl in the school while seemingly not really caring about them or the consequences of her actions. Her past is tragic and explains the reasons why she is the way she is. But she is a psychologically damaged person and hurts a lot of people along the way, though probably not intentionally. She simply just can’t help it. While she does make a lot of progress and matures some over the story I still couldn’t help but think that in the end in her heart of hearts she really hadn’t changed.
Tamao is the last of the main cast. She will be instantly likable by all though will not come across as a terribly unique character in the annals of anime history. As the other love interest for Nagisa, this is where viewers of the show are going to start to separate themselves. You’re going to be a Tamao fan or a Shizuma one. Depending on which character you find yourself rooting for is likely to affect the way you view the anime in the end. I did like her, though she has a lot of Nagisa's personality traits and her ditzy nature does get annoying towards the end
Now for the bad and it pretty much starts and ends for me with Amane and Hikari. Amane is the stereotypical character we seem to always have forced on us in anime. The emotionless robot who happens to be admired by all despite having no personality and looking and dressing like a man. Yes, this is YURI; I am watching it for the girls! So what is this mannish toad-face doing in my show! I found absolutely nothing redeeming about her and the only reason I could even think of that all these girls revered her so much was that at an all girls school she was the most likely to have a sausage in her pants. This all being said, it seems fitting that she is linked with the second worst character in the show, Hikari. Hikari is basically a functional retard. She has no personality attributes besides being moe to the extreme that would make anyone care about her. She spends all of her time in constant angst over what Amane thinks of her and ignores the people who truly care about her (though heaven only knows why they do). Honestly I think if nobody guided her along and told her when to wake up and eat she would just stand in the corner and starve to death.
The rest of the supporting cast is actually pretty good. Yaya and Chikaru stand out above all the others. I would liked to have seen both of those characters get better endings and felt they were ignored a bit too much. Almost everyone would be considered likable and friendly, the kind of people you would want to be friends with. The only exception would be Kaname and Momomi. I really found them to be despicable characters and their actions and motivations were pretty hard for me to stomach.
Art and animation is exceptional. I really enjoyed the beautiful settings and costumes and with the exception of Amane, all of the girls were quite stunning to look at. The voice acting and music was also very good. A few of the character voices grated on me, but mostly because they were characters I didn’t like. (Hikari, Amane) The OP and EN songs were performed by Nagisa's and Tamao's voice actress and I thought fit the theme and feel of the show wonderfully.
Your enjoyment of Strawberry Panic is going to greatly depend on how you felt about the final pairings. Some people are really going to like this a lot and others are going to feel very disappointed as I was. In addition I very much disliked how the final arc played out and that several key characters basically got the shaft in terms of their own romances. It’s a fun show for the most part, required viewing for yuri fans and probably one of the better shows of the genre out there. That in itself is an indictment of yuri anime.
This is one of my favorite Yuri based anime's I have come to find. Once I began watching it, I couldn't stop. If you really want an anime that you can get into whole heartedly it is this one. The in depth analysis on all the variety of characters makes it so you can relate to at least one of them. The play on suspense, romance, and other relationships is so perfect for anyone who is into anything that may make your eyes tear up.
I really should not have enjoyed this series nearly as much as I did. As a bit of a technical story snob, I usually find that well-animated and voiced series with somewhat weak storylines tend to rate quite poorly with me. I find myself dropping them, or rating them well below a seven, but this series just has that something compelling about it that makes you enjoy it thoroughly-- despite some glaring problems with the plot. If I had to sum this series up in two words, it would quite easily be: Guilty pleasure.
It is one of a very small number of series that
I can watch repeatedly and still enjoy quite a bit, despite my somewhat low 'overall' score. As you can see, I found this series ridiculously entertaining which--for me--is sometimes more important than a good technical overall score.
Possibly the weakest part of this series was the plot. It was, at times, ridiculous, superficial, far-fetched, full of cheese and melodrama, but still oddly compelling. If it were a novel, the story would most likely be in a two-dollar bin in your local book store, yet there is somehow still enough substance buried in there to keep it afloat. Despite all I may say about the plot there are some truly touching moments buried in there -- and those are the little gems that keep you wanting more, despite yourself.
Essentially the plot is separated into two mini-stories: The main following bumbling transfer-student Aoi Nagisa from Miator, and the secondary following Konohana Hikari, a timid choir-girl from Spica. While the majority of the plot centres around Nagisa, there is enough material from Hikari's story to keep you entertained if you find yourself uninterested by the protagonist's antics.
With healthy doses of fluff and comedy, hefty smearings of romance and the odd tragic moment or two, there is certainly enough going on to keep the plot from idling. It was just a slight pity that they couldn't inject just a little more substance to enable me to rate it a little higher.
Visually this series is quite beautiful. While not on par with KyotoAni's breath-taking animation, gorgeous scenery, dynamic colours and interesting character designs, it makes for quite the pleasant viewing experience. That said-- there are times when the artwork looks a little awkward, though fortunately they are few and far between. And if you can quickly adjust to the stick-thin legs and arms that are common in this series, the character designs are quite striking, of special note are Hanazono Shizuma and Minamoto Chikaru, though with an ensemble cast of well over twelve there is bound to be at least one design to find pleasing.
Musically, Strawberry Panic is neither ground-breaking nor particularly breath-taking, yet there is a simplicity in the classical tracks that fit with the setting and overall tone of the series. Seiyuu performances are rather exquisite, with a cast consisting of: Nabatame Hitomi, Nakahara Mai, Shimizu Ai, Noda Junko and Kuwatani Natsuko there is more than enough skill to inject feeling into sometimes two-dimensional characters. Certainly there are some emotional scenes that are simply made by the skill of these masterful seiyuu.
As I mentioned earlier, this series is made of an ensemble cast, but unfortunately they tend to be rather two-dimensional or stereotypical characters. That said, there is a wonderfully subtle build-up in a few of the characters that really does surprise, and you can't help but empathise with your favourites as they are put through an emotional blender.
Despite it all I found myself strangely addicted to this series. Yes, the plot is weak, uses cliche plot progressions, makes no sense at times and is borderline ridiculous, yet I found it to be one of the most entertaining series in my collection. The chemistry between the characters, some brilliant work by the cast and some truly spectacular scenes mean that I enjoyed this series for what it was-- mindless fun. By episode twenty-six, I was more than disappointed that this series was over, and I would have to go elsewhere to find my fix of cheesy-goodness.
If you want a deep and sophisticated plot in a similar vein, watch Maria-sama ga Miteru; if you want hours of cheesy, light-hearted goodness: Sit down, buckle in and prepare to turn off your brain and watch something that will have you going through severe withdrawal when it is all over.
For my first yuri, it wasn’t as shocking or surprising as I thought it would be. I guess it’s because of the look and feel of the anime – the girls didn’t really look like they would engage in such “activities” – they all looked very innocent and sweet. It’s a good thing the anime focused more on the dramatic side than sex scenes. There weren’t a lot of sex scenes too, which is a huge sigh of relief for me.
Poor Nagisa. She’s obviously straight when she first came in and Shizuma had to corrupt her mind. I don’t get how Shizuma would fall for
someone like Nagisa though. Nagisa is one ditzy girl and Shizuma’s elegant and classy (with stone cold glances and stares too). I felt like Nagisa would have been better off with Tamao, and Shizuma with Rokujou. Hikari and Amane were a more convincing couple – mostly because Amane actually looks like a guy and Hikari’s very ladylike.
There’s a part of me that still can’t believe there were no male characters throughout the entire series. It reminded me even more of the 11 years I went to an all girls school wherein males are a rare commodity. I’m a bit disappointed with the characters, because they didn’t have much depth in them, so I’m thought how interesting it would be if at least one guy showed up. They all had similar personalities too – with the exception of the older students such as Shizuma, Rokujou and Amane. Chikaru was a joy to watch though. She could very much be Haruhi Suzumiya’s long lost sister. I bet if they ever meet they’ll have a blast with each other.
Animation and art were actually pretty good, as expected of Madhouse. Everything was drawn and designed well, from the meticulous, colorful backgrounds to the characters. The only problem I have is that the characters faces were almost too similar – the only thing that kept them distinct from each other (appearance – wise) were their hair color. Speaking of hair color, I noticed that only the main characters had different hair colors. The main characters had pink, blue, orange, etc. colored hair, while the background characters (extras) only had black or brown hair. Because of that the main characters really popped up when in a scene with many people. The character’s eyes were very well drawn too.
I’m actually not familiar with most of the cast, but I do know Mai Nakahara. I loved her as Midori in Midori days – I really thought she made Midori 2-3 times cuter. She sounded a lot different as Nagisa though, which is why I didn’t recognize her at first. I also know Shizuma’s VA, Hitomi Nabatame, but sadly Shizuma didn’t have a lot of lines for me to notice her either. Most of the scenes with Shizuma has her staring off into space or crying, etc.
Strawberry Panic’s music was very interesting. I love the very poppy and catchy themes of the show. It was a good contrast from the dramatic and moody BGM heard throughout the series. The BGM was classically-influenced, consisting of piano tracks, which fit the sophisticated atmosphere of Astraea hill. I also like the Ai Shimizu and Mai Nakahara’s contribution to the soundtrack. They were a joy to watch and they brought something different to the table. I rarely see live action videos as ending/opening theme sequences.
Generally, the anime is a lot like Maria-sama ga miteru. The two series have a lot of elements in common, such as the All girls’ catholic school, the French undertones and of course the girl-girl love. There was even a hint of a soeur system during the series. I have to say I still like Marimite more, it is my favorite series, but Strawberry Panic! wasn’t that bad. It did get over dramatic sometimes, making me want to take a nap almost every time I watch it, but I still think it’s worth watching.
Kinda slow, but overall a very touching story.
The plot was substantial enough to keep it interesting and on your toes, it was difficult to find a location to stop watching for the day since each episode kinda left it open to the next one, but that was okay. theres more than just one plot line going on at once too, with multiple characters acting out different situations at the same time.
The art was good, not KyoAni standards but it was better than some others. the colors were duller and details were not as prevalent (at least in the sub i watched). however, it didn't take
away from the story and development, if anything the lack of sharp colors added some depth to the main storyline.
The character and plot development was pretty good as well. the plot was a little slow to develop, and a few things were easy to point out. but then again i was surprised at the way a few things turned out and just at how everything was played. as for the characters, theres a very good variety of them, each holding some form of an archtype, but not blatantly so. the differences were subtle, and not cookie-cutter. unlike the plot development, the character development was a lot faster; you can tell what kind of person the characters were usually within the first few episodes after they were introduced. it didn't delve into the back story often, mostly concentrating on the present and the situations occurring now. so the development as a whole was a little lacking, but the delivery was well enough to make it enjoyable and easy to understand.
the music was repetitive. though the opening and ending changed halfway into it, the music within the series was static, much like Madlax. (if you have ever seen it. if not, then its basically one lyric song played about 5-6 times through the series.) the regular BMG was nothing new either. but the impression wasn't a bad one, and it didn't take away from the series at all.
overall, i'd give the show a solid 8/10. it didn't have the real attention grabbing ability of a true masterpiece, and i felt that a few characters were neglected too much. but other than that it was well worth watching!
Strawberry Panic Review
Or girls maccin' on girls maccin' on girls
Let me start by saying this: “If you are a fan of series about girls maccin' on girls because there are girls maccin' on girls in them, you will almost undoubtedly love Strawberry Panic.” However, if the presence of girls making doe eyes at each other and blushing constantly does not sound like the primary component of a good series, or the only necessary ones, then you might want to think twice about viewing this particular shoujo ai series. Strawberry Panic does have its share of positive traits, albeit a very small share, but it's main
draw is simply that it features pretty anime girls making googly eyes—and other significantly less tame things—at each other for 26 episodes.
Strawberry Panic is full of beautiful stills in smooth, pastel colors. The backdrops are wonderfully rendered and the character art is equally impressive. The trouble begins when those characters begin to move and interact with each other. As a series of loosely animated still images Strawberry Panic fares pretty well, and it usually manages to stick to its guns. However, the series does make a number of ill-advised decisions to break from its formula, when it should have simply polished up what it did have, instead of allowing some of the most important aspects of the series to atrophy in a disappointing display of what happens when good animators—or at the very least good artists—decide to get lazy. In a show so focused around drama and interaction between characters, the lack of expressive facial animations and the extensive shortcuts taken with reactions is mysterious, and, frankly, inexcusable. The tennis match late in the series also was a foolish animation decision, along with being a ridiculous and nearly worthless event on all sides, likely costing significant amount of money and not delivering even a remotely positive effect. In fact, it stands as one of the worst animated sports sequences I have seen in my entire time watching anime.
Also questionable is Strawberry Panic's reliance on an interesting all-or-nothing sort of fanservice, which features very few low angle shots or panty shots in general, instead inundating the viewer with essentially still images of two girls—usually in advanced stages of undress—entwined, accompanied by either slow camera zooms and pans or the constant gasping and cooing of the two girls anime fans are likely to know only too well. A lot of people are into that sort of thing, but it serves no purpose in the series. It does not enhance the romantic elements in any way, and because the fact that the entire school is comprised mostly of lesbians is taken for granted, it has no bearing on themes of sexuality it might otherwise have. If you're into that sort of thing:great, but if that does nothing or even little for you then you aren't very likely to enjoy most of the Strawberry Panic experience, as the entire series hinges on these exchanges to some degree.
As far as audio is concerned, Strawberry Panic is an unimpressive, but ultimately positive, experience. Though the classical score speaks nothing of any ingenuity of any sort, it does nothing to take away from the series and is tolerable at establishing the mood. During the googly-eyed make-out sequences, though, the absence of much noise aside from the dull soundtrack is supremely noticeable, especially when they don't even bother to throw in some sighs and gasps. Variety would have served the soundtrack very well as well, as the same tracks are repeated time and time again. This is fairly common in anime, but it is more noticeable in Strawberry Panic because of the frequency of periods where the music is the only noise.
The voice-acting is similarly vanilla. Most of the cast performs passably, but there aren't any real standouts, and the overall product is mediocre, at best, when it comes to the voice-acting. It isn't likely to stand out as especially bad, but neither will it remain in your mind as a paragon of any kind. I will say, though, that the actors perform admirably in many of the spots towards the end of the show, somehow lessening the idiotic melodrama of the latter events of the series. Much of the mediocrity of the voice-acting is also likely, in part, due to poor writing, which is most certainly present in full force.
This brings me to the plot, which begins normally and pleasantly enough, but which quickly transforms into a monster of a melodramatic mess. Splitting across multiple storylines like a soap opera on crack—with delightfully fewer pregnancies and deaths—Strawberry Panic tries to cram as much drama into as few episodes as possible at every turn, only to suddenly retreat back into a feel good slice of life vibe that carries it to the next dramatic event. These events are sometimes tame events blown horribly out of proportion and sometimes massively ridiculous affairs that actually come off as humorous. By the end of the series it feels as if they were simply proving to the world that they weren't done throwing drama into this sucker. I am still amazed how a series with such a languid pace overall can feel so rushed at the end. Final episodes in anime tend to be jam-packed, but the entirety of the last six or seven episodes is like a triathlon of bullshit. I kept waiting for it to pull back into safe territory, but Strawberry Panic was content to plunge headfirst into mediocrity and keep digging for the very bottom. It didn't quite reach, but it was one hell of an effort.
All in all, Strawberry Panic is a series targeted at a very specific audience, to the detriment of any who watch who does not count themselves as a strong proponent of moe, not as a device but simply for the sake of itself. The series was built around moe, all aspects pointing centrally to accentuate it. The problem is, unlike some moe series which have other things to offer those less interested, Strawberry Panic has very little beyond the moe. The character design and art are good enough, so if moe is something you're really into, Strawberry Panic might very well be a good pick. All others, though, should stay away, as this series was not designed with the general viewer in mind.
I watched this when I was 15 and had a completely wrong impression of how to go about a relationship with a girl. Now I find it to be one of the worst starters for girls who are lesbian or bisexual, it teaches you that manipulation and perversion is okay to push onto another, and that consent doesn't matter. At 15 I thought it was magical and incredible, but at 23, just seeing the first few episodes I already feel sickened by the portrayal of lesbians as creepy and abusive, and I think of all the young girls (like I was) watching this and thinking
this is how lesbian relationships must work, that it's okay to kiss another girl without her consent, or use any excuse to touch her (measure her body parts), humiliate her, and just full on objectify and assault her, and all the while the excuse for these abuses is that the subject is 'too cute', and finding another cute and child-like is enough of an excuse to treat her like an object.
According to this signs of embarrassment in another girl is cute and a green flag for more humiliation with sexual undertones. Not only this but any sign of a character being uncomfortable, or non consenting is 'kawaii-fied' and another green flag for disturbing behaviour. It lead me as a teen to the impression that this abusive and fetishizing behaviour is acceptable between girls.
Yes as a 15 year old I loved it, all of this I thought was Romantic, and I yearned for the kind of unequal relationship that Nagisa and Shizuma had, but looking back I can see how badly it affected me as a young and confused bisexual female, and I wish I had never watched it and given into the ideas that were put across in this anime. So I refuse to notice anything that might be good in this because it's impact is so destructive to a young girl's idea of a healthy lesbian relationships.
Strawberry Panic is a cascading wonderland of endless enjoyment trying to suffocate you with it's charm and intense love story that grips you like cold hard reality grips an orphan. Do you feel? Do you breath? are you or are you not a individual that can handle this masterpiece as pure as white snow on a enchanting December morning? This incredible adaptation of the famous light novel and manga series that changed a nation goes above and beyond the call of brilliance. On the surface it is just a stunningly animated showcase of vague feelings and a environment that evokes the senses. But as you
dig deeper you see the true heart of these dames and what they really seek. The joy of a easy going life but the yearning for something more, something real. The pain and anguish that rattles through all of us when emotions clash, damaging our psyche and leaving us scarred. The trivial love that is not so easy to seize and drives us to stride for greatness. All of this along with medleys that will send you into a state of unprecedented tranquility and voice acting that will be remembered for decades to come. Strawberry Panic is perfection, a truly incredible entry in the history of Japanese Animation.
"Strawberry Panic!" is a Yuri anime. It follows the story of lesbian
couples and if you have an aversion to homosexuality, or things of
that nature, I would not recommend this anime to you.
Anime: Strawberry Panic!
Format: DVD Video, Region Code 2 (Middle East,Iceland,Western Europe,Central Europe,Egypt,French overseas territories,Greenland,Japan,Lesotho,South Africa, and Swaziland only) Subtitles: None, Audio Track: Japanese: Dolby Digital
Creator: Sakurako KIMINO
Publisher: Madhouse Studios/IMAGIN (Japan)
Release Date: 2006 (Japan)
Rating: TV-14-SD (May be inappropriate for childern under 14)
Genre: Romance, Drama, Yuri
Strawberry Panic revolves around three all-girls schools: St.
Miator's Girls' Academy, St. Spica's Girls' Institute, and St. Lulim's
Girls' School. In Miator, Nagisa Aoi is the main love interest of
three of the
girls in that school and they are Tamao Suzumi, Shizuma
Hanazono and Chiyo Tsukidate. In Spica, Hikari Konohana is the main
love interest of three of the girls in that school and they are Yaya
Nanto, Amane Ohtori, and Tsubomi Okuwaka. In the third school, the
characters play a very small role in the anime, except for one named
Chikaru Minamoto. The other characters there are important to the
story, but not main characters.
The story that "Strawberry Panic" weaves is like being on a
emotional roller-coaster. There will be times you feel happy, then
sad, then angry. You will almost certainly laugh and cry throughout
The Strawberry Dorms (Proper Name is Astrea Dormitory) is where the
characters interact the most. The dormitorys are on the campus of a
very large catholic church near a lake, which are all located on
The animation is amazing, crisp, and clean in my opinion. One of the
things I have always loved about anime, is the characters eyes. The
eyes are used to convey such emotion that you might not normally see
in an animation. When there are close ups, it is even better.
It is refreshing to see an anime using the older style of animation.
Not making it flashy with bright colors, and CG animation. The colors
and the animation are some what dulled compared to what we are
accustomed to with newer anime. I'm not at all pointing this out as a
flaw in the anime, or saying it is a bad thing at all. It is really
well done in Strawberry Panic, and it gives almost a feeling of
nostalgia for old school anime. I have been watching anime all of my
life, and the art in this specific one brought back memories of animes
like Vampire Hunter D, Iria - Zeiram The Animation, The Fantastic
Adventures of Unico, Sailor Moon, and Speed Racer. All of these animes
are less flashy, don't use bright colors, and don't use CG Animation
but are still just amazing, great animes, and watching them makes me
feel great too.
The Opening Theme Songs are
#1: "Shoujo Meiro de Tsukamaete" by Aki Misato (EP's 1-13)
#2: "Kuchibiru Daydream" by Aki Misato (EP's 14-26)
both opening songs really really good
The Ending Theme Songs are
#1: "Himitsu Dolls" by Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu (EP's 1-13)
#2: "Ichigo Tsumi Monogatari" by Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu (EP's 14-25)
#3: "Shoujo Meiro de Tsukamaete" by Aki Misato (EP 26)
now #1 and #3 are really good songs but #2 is not all that good, the
Soundscore is done by Composer Yoshihisa Hirano, (Hirano Yoshihisa ,
born December 7. 1971 in Wakayama Prefecture) he studied composing at
Juilliard School in 1992, and later at Eastman School of Music, he has
composed music for concert,dance,film,radio and anime soundtracks. The
sound score for Strawberry Panic is mostly classical style and it is
really good. Much like the anime itself, the sound score can be
happy,lively, sad, mysterious, haunting, and overall is just very
beautiful and really good music.
The Etoile System is a system in place to govern the Internal Politics
and operations of all three school , Etoile is a French word meaning
Star. The Etoile is a figurehead of Astrea Hill and the Etoile has
specific duties like greeting new students to Astrea Hill,
participating in important school events, and acting as a mediator
between disputes in student council meetings of the three schools, and
other duties. They have a private greenhouse to grow flowers for using
in school events. The Etoile is a very important and respected person.
Etoile system is a big part of the story. There is a lot more to the
Etoile System but you will find this out when you watch the anime, I
did not want to give away any more then I had to because this
something you have to find out on your own.
-Great story and well done characters.
-Amazing animation and great art work.
-Really good sound score and great songs.
Now I might go on too much about this so please bear with me. I have
read a few forum's and reviews that suggest that Strawberry Panic is
a ripoff of an anime called Maria-sama ga Miteru. This is something I
completely disagree with. I have watched all of Strawberry Panic and
Maria-sama ga Miteru they are nothing alike.
Now as I said to start, if you are uncomfortable with homosexuality,
this might not be the anime for you. However it was an amazing anime,
basically in my eyes about romance, no matter who it occurs between.
Its about the ups and downs of love, and I thought it was great.
I\'m fair, and yet I have to give Strawberry Panic an overall 8, not only because it\'s shojo ai and we get to see the goddess character almost get it on with the cute and often clueless main character, but it\'s also because the painful feelings that the characters have for each other.
Strawberry Panic is a shojo-ai show thorough and thorough. While all the elements in this show would suggest a old-time shojo show - classical music, beautiful senpai with classic shojo drawings of big hair and an elegant aura, a (not so secret) garden, Catholic school complete with a cathedral, a fountain and classrooms,
sports that Japanese girls admire, and other classic shojo things, it\'s clearly a show aimed at male Otakus because of all the yuri scenes going on, with some fanservice for males.
It\'s kind of odd because in the early days of shojo anime, shows with only women or almost only women and very few men in there would never be aimed at males. Boys/young men/men had always watched shows with men fighting in mechas, with swords, on a sports field, fighting and beating each other bloody, and so on. But with the obsessiveness of the Otaku, whom are often terrible when dealing with women - wanting to be with women but severely uncomfortable in women\'s presence, shows that discover what women do around each other and alone (real and imaginary) are created.
In any case, conflicts of love go on in this show, as various characters fall in love with different women (heehee), some of their love interests respond in kind, others fail to recipicate. A lot of conflicts and a dark past is revealed when love is being sparked. We follow Nagisa, our protagonist\'s steps as she slowly discovers this campus, herself, her relationships with her roommate, who\'s deep in love with her, her friends and surroundings, and her real love - the seemingly distant and playful Shizuma - the top of the top of the 3 campuses. Other characters also get developed.
It\'s hard to definite this as a shojo show or not. I call it the "shori" show - shonen fan service with Yuri elements in it. I simply cannot classify it as a shojo show because too many lesbian love in there, I mean, sometimes there are almost no normal female relationships in this show.
Love the design of the characters, they\'re all beautiful, or cute, and all distinctive enough. The music is OK for me. Mostly classical and light music with nothing standing out. The characters are nicely fleshed out, with some shojo and imaginary lesbian stereotypes - this is made for shy male otakus after all. The plots are shojoesque with infighting and competition over the top title of the 3 campuses but it isn\'t terribly boring. Maybe it\'s because I love seeing shojo-ai and I appreciate the seiyuu for their work in this show.
Recommended for all who love shojo-ai/yuri. This is a shining example of yuri done right.
I don't normally write reviews, but given this is my favorite anime I figured I'd give it a shot. I started watching this anime because I wanted a yurified yurifest with some yuri on top, which, to my great satisfaction, i got. However what I wasn't expecting is a touching(and at times heartbreaking) love story that most people who watch this anime seem to over-look. Basically, you have three girl schools, which means three harems, two of which have their own love story, and one of which is for hilarity, comic relief, and general epic-ness. During the more Slice-of-lifey parts of the series, the characters
of the three schools hang out and interact together, but as far as love goes, most romance stays inside it's own school harem.
Story: 7/10. This is a very character driven story, and as such there are very few outside influences that actually drive the story forward themselves. Of course, this is a love story, so that hardly comes as a surprise. Many of the events come across as cliche' and sometimes down right cheesy. While there are many moments that are truly touching(I've been brought to tears on multiple occasions), there are others that just make you want to gag. Luckily, these points aren't nearly common enough to totally ruin the enjoyment of the series as a whole, and the rest of this series make that barf worth swallowing.(This being a character driven story, i'll cover that in the "characters" portion)
Art: 5/10. This isn't to say the art itself was poor, there are some truly spectacular scenes on Astraea. However, for the majority of a 26 episode series to take place in the same locations, the same forest, the same dormitories, the same everything, is just tedious. The lush hill-top Citadel and mansions, surrounded by forest and lake, are beautiful for the first half or so of the anime, but when you start noticing these backgrounds becoming used and reused through-out the series, they start to become old and tired. There are certain points every episode or two when new locations will be introduced and provide a refreshing change, but for the most part, you better get used to those trees and hallways.
Sound: 9/10. Hands down, as far as openings go, this anime has two of the best I've ever heard. Both of them are amazing both in terms of music and accompanying animation, and serves the mood of this anime... dare I use the word... perfectly. Unfortunately, the music played during the anime itself lets this category down slightly. As if this wasn't a big enough problem, the "orchestra-ish" music, while in all honesty is somewhat enjoyable on it's own, only serves to add to the "cheesy soap-opera" feel this series has at times, especially when played during the already nearly unbearable corny moments.
Characters: 10/10. This is where Strawberry Panic truly shines. One of the greatest casts I've seen in a yuri, and in anime in general. With three schools, each with their own unique "onee-sama" character, love interest, "love interest's best friend", loli, and a fair amount of other, equally awesome cast members, there is no shortage of characters to fall in love with. By the end of the series, you would have to be heart-less to not feel a sense of attachment to the majority of them. Most anime with large casts become annoying and tedious to follow, but the characters in Strawberry Panic are all so unique and interesting, that the large-cast-harem theme was handled, dare i say it again, perfectly. When this series ended, I was almost as sad about missing the characters themselves as I was that the anime was over. The only gripe I can come up with is that certain characters, such as Chiyo(resident loli of Miator) fall into generic anime arch-typesy, though this is hardly noticeable in the diverse cast SP offers.
Enjoyment: 10/10. What can I say? Anime that I enjoyed as much as this one are few and far between. I laughed , I cried, I am head-over-heels in love with 90% of the characters. There is one thing I would like to address that didn't belong anywhere else in my review... the fan-service. I think one of the biggest things that make me love this series so much is not the presence of fan-service, but the type of fanservice that it has. It has a fair amount of ecchi, bath scenes, shower scenes, "waking-up-naked-together-after-a-night-of-sweet-passionate-love" scenes and other "convenient censoring" moments. What this series doesn't contain, however, is just as important. You will not find panty-shot upskirts, you will not find boobs that seem to defy the laws of physics and anatomy, and you will not find "Oops I tripped and my face is in your cleavage", or anything to that effect.
Overall: 9/10. On my list, I gave it a 10 as well as a comfy spot on my favorites list, but I want this review to be as un-biased as possible, and i cannot ignore it's flaws. I leave you with this: If you want a realistic, true to life romance-drama that addresses the difficulties of life, angst and love, search else where. Search FAR FAR AWAY, because you're not even in the ballpark, kid. If you want a sweet, touching, heart-warming love story about an all-girls school, my friend, you've come to the right place.
Its been a while since I've written a review on this site so bear with me just a little bit..
Strawberry Panic is a yuri anime~basically its a girl to girl love type story with a hint of lesbianism mixed together. Not that i have any complaints against that, since its my first time watching a yuri anime i was like WTF at first, but the anime was actually better than i thought it would turn out to be. Now on with the reviews:
Story: The story was honestly not the best factor of the series, but it is an interesting one. It revolves around the main
protagonist Nagisa Aoi, her transfer into Astraea Hill Girl's Academy, and the relationship she forges with her schoolmates inside the academy. There are 3 schools total: the Spica Academy, Le Rim, and finally Miator(the school Nagisa is in). Over the course of her time inside the school, Nagisa encounters many fellow students who she eventually develops good relationships with along with her fellow dorm roommate and friend Tamao. Because the story is not very solid, and doesn't really have a centralized plot it tends to waver and confuse the audience which explains why i won't give it higher than a 7.
Art: As expected of Madhouse, the art was actually very well-designed and developed. Although it wasn't the greatest artwork ever, its still really good for a yuri anime. The background sceneries, the characters, the Strawberry dorms, and the school itself were drawn well and had good use of coloring to top it off. For some reason the art reminds me of some classic paintings from the past with vibrant and rich textures to blend in altogether.
Sound: The music i thought was pretty decent. I only liked the OP theme from episodes 1-13 and it was very catchy, i even have it on my Ipod. The ending themes were not very good and were just a turnoff for me. Although
some of the piano music played by Nagisa and Shizuma were really good. Nothing too much to say here..
Character: I do love the characters in this anime quite a bit, however i was somewhat disappointed by the fact that they didn't quite explain each of the characters in detail, so it was kinda vague in that sense. The only characters that had stories to them were Nagisa (our heroine) and Shizuma Hanazono. Shizuma I thought had the most emotional story out of all the characters, and i thought she was the most developed character in the series.. when you watch episodes 17-19 the real reason behind her emotional facade shows in detail and its really quite compelling. As for the other characters, like Tamao, Rokujou, etc..the characters weren't explained well and it left things hanging at times. Nevertheless, the characters expressed various emotions, feelings for each other, and might i add very kawaii in a good sense. Here you will see where the yuri fits in:
Nagisa and Shizuma
Amano and Hikari (Great couple I might add!)
Enjoyment: I really enjoyed the series it was definitely a good series to watch. At first i was a bit skeptical about watching this but after reading the light novel, I just felt that i had to watch the anime and it didnt disappoint. I've enjoyed it maybe you might too. I'm actually not a big fan of yuri, but there wasn't that many sex scenes in the series which was actually good.
Overall: an 8/10 i give it. Strawberry Panic isn't for everyone..you will either like it or not like it that's all i can say, but my recommendation is read the light novel first to get an idea wut the story is like, then watch the anime or vice versa. But for me i've enjoyed it to the point where i might watch it again in a future date.
Strawberry panic seemed to be a popular 'yuri-shipper' anime so i decided to give it a try..sadly i was a bit dissapointed.[i know there a few of my MaL friends who loved it ..so sorry and hear me out] I'll start with the story.
Story left much to be desired. The pace of it for was felt so slow. im not sure if i was the constant --lets have a tea party-- or -- make some cookies-- fillers but for me, it felt as if the episode wouldnt end. [not good if im constantly looking at the timer to see if and ep is
almost done yet] Not to
say there arnt shipper-arks that i wasnt curious about their ending but where
i was taken in the story was either typical or bland. Somthing that also bothered me was the lack of male characters...ANYWHERE!! no male teachers, vistors...brothers...umm..fathers! O.o someone has to have dad iright?! i understand this is a girls school and yuri..but come on! the setting of the story also bothered me they seemed to never leave their school area ..either to shop or do typical high school stuff [in im guessing japan]
when they did leave it was for romantic tryst in the country or priviate beach. the only thing these girls did for fun were tea parties,school politics,
and make up diff clubs everyday[where id be xD if i was stuck there] just not realistic..even for anime.
Art was pleasent to the eye. i did like their character design; Main
character shizuma's eyes were very pretty. The design of the outfit design was great w/ the 3 schools having diff dress. i liked the layout of the school
and strawberry dorms w/ it heavy cathloic school feel. some charc seem to
have huge craniums and somes the their legs look like flesh colored sticks,but
still not many complaints.
Music meh..not a strong point it seems not even for people
who enjoy this series intro and endings were cutsy ,but not really catchy
or anything memorable..neither was backround music..so meh
Characters i found to be a bit sterotypical either for their
character type or for women in general. Good ex: is Amane: silent,but
kind prince type [she even rides a white horse..star bride..really *face palm*] and the shy sweet princess type:Hikari. is it suprising that she fell for Amane..nope! even if she has perfectly nice,funny, smexy roomate
right next to who'madly in love with her Do they do anything unexpected with this story..they tried xP u wana see a good girl whos
a prince w/ girl princess story watch Rev. Girl Utena..unless u love predictable story. The fact the complex feeling of love and desire wre either limited to one person or solved w/ tea parties or solved w/ tears[via end w/ hikari and her secrect admier] of hopful --i know you love me,but i wana be just friends
sooo can u help me put on this dress for the ultimate date w/ girl i choose over you..thanx ..friend!-- that irked me be/c no one would do that. it also
kinda botherd me that EVERYONE was girlxgirl..there was a mention of male fiance at one point but that was it. but i guess if i was stuck in strawberry dorms for 3-4years id sneak into my roomates bed too xD
So overall This anime could have been much better but hasnt turned
me off of yuri ill just research better on the story next time. Wasnt all bad
even if it took forever for a kiss to happen [and it did!] It had it cute moments
and sexy-steamy moments [some still a let down] but still i cant say it was enjoyable to watch. more frustrating than anythign else. So if you like pridictable story, stereotypical main characters, constant tea parties spiced
w/ few steamy yuri-shipper scenes then this is one anime u shouldnt miss..otherwise wait for another more intracate yuri to come out.
which is what i should have did x3
--feel free comment to me/give feedback if you have some gripes/compliments--
Strawberry Panic is a sort of difficult review to write. I remember initially watching the show as it first came out. I remember being well into the show's story and enjoying it enough to have a sort of urge to continue watching it and I was done before I knew it.
Probably the strongest aspect of the show is the story as it centers around an all girls school centered on a hierarchy similar to modern day democracy. It follows a girl who just transferred there and quickly draws the attention of the Etoile (similar to, say President of the Body) and from there it
follows her and she becomes custom to the life in this school. An interesting choice the Anime makes is that there are no males present, or even mentioned specifically in the entire series. The show explores same-sex relations very liberally and doesn't glorify it like most anime centered on the topic.
Art and Sound:
I really enjoyed the character designs and I thought the art designs of each of the scenes were beautifully done, but the animation is classic fare. The Music was above average and complimented the story but wasn't especially catching.
Seeing as how the plot doesn't really start unfolding towards the end, it's a very character driven show. Development is key and that's what Strawberry Panic is best at. You often see the characters change and strive for what they want. The strongest aspects is how the important characters are explored through their past so we, the viewers can have some introspect on what they've experienced and how they've grown.
If I could fault Strawberry Panic for anything, it'd be for the fact that it can be quite vanilla and predictable at times. It's strongest aspect, however, is how it's unique from other anime in the genre, and is most cases it's parts are all above average. The story and characters all come to together in the end and it has a very satisfying conclusion. If you're a fan of shoujo-ai or just romance in general this is definitely worth looking into.
Strawberry Panic is one of the first yuri shows that I've seen that managed to hook me through the full 26 episodes. While the anime isn't something that I'd consider to be a masterpiece, it was enjoyable.
The MAL synopsis gives you a good idea of what the anime is about, so I'd recommend reading it.
STORY: 8. Overall, the story is pretty realistic in the sense that there aren't crazy plot twists or random events that shift the story of the anime. The pace of the anime is very drawn out for 26 episodes. I felt that the pace wasn't too slow, though others might
disagree. Aoi Nagisa transfers to a new school, and drama stirs up over time around the characters because, girls liking girls. However, there wasn't any parts of the anime that really caught my attention, but the story is very solid and there wasn't any fillers in any of the 26 episodes, which is a huge plus for me.
ART: 8. For an anime that is in 2006, the art wasn't bad at all. Can't really comment too much because we're talking about an anime released 9 years back from the time this is written.
SOUND: 9. The music was on point. Can't really complain about that. I liked how they used a lot of instrumentals and piano, which matches each and every scene's mood.
CHARACTER: 8. There wasn't any character that stood out to me. Lots of nice girls here and there, and some standard personalities that you could find in many animes. On the flip side, there wasn't any character that I could say that I really hated, so I'd say an 8 is good.
ENJOYMENT: 8. Somehow I managed to watch bursts of episodes. There wasn't fillers, which would be something that a 24-26 episode anime could have, so I'm happy about that. The characters were kawaii overall, and with the yuri aspect, it wasn't overdone.
OVERALL: 8. If you are watching this for the yuri, just know that it isn't huge on girl on girl action compared to ecchi/hentai anime. If you are put off from this anime because it was released in 2006, I would reconsider... it's a pretty good watch. The romance was there, and so was the drama. Just don't expect a perfect anime out of this one.
best yuri anime ever made beside bloom into you.
the story is good and enjoyable, all the spice the add into it make the story more insteresting and complex. for 2006 anime i consider this pretty good.
i really love to ship nagisa and tamao, especially tamao is kindheart girl type how many times tamao get her hopes up and down.
shizuma is beter with miyuki i think , miyuki love her so much if her not paired with man since their childs , she wouldn't hold her felling toward shizuma. she already waited for shizuma for 6 years.
yaya same as tamao , that called love i think
,with you realize or not sometimes love can hurts others
the biggest nonsense of this anime is the etoile system, why they should pick lover in the first place to representative them beside its only 3 years , its not a engagement or marriage which everything should be sacred. on episode 23 nagisa "rejected to become etoile" because she still love shizuma and accept it when try to get over her. In my though " what the heck is that, you can be etoile even if you doesnt love her just do your job and graduate, you god wont angry with you even if you have lover beside your etoile partner" hahaha
basically i love the story, it give you a feeling of curiosity and wanted more and more , complex , compilcated, and enjoyable to watch
(updated 9/20/18 for format and slight content revision)
Hi! Welcome to another Robert's Too Late Reviews! As always, the synopsis is your friend, as I'm going to deal in the broader strokes. MINOR SPOILERS may appear, though I do try to keep those to an absolute minimum. Strawberry Panic is loved by some, and hated by others, because it's really basically just an anime soap opera. It is over the top, often cheesy, and if you don't think too much, really, really fun. This was my first full blown yuri anime, and it's not nostalgia colored, this review. As always, the crew will not earn a
spot on the RTLR wall for rose colored glasses either. I've seen so many more, so much more beautifully done (Aoi Hana comes to mind) but I still cannot back off the fact I had fun watching this anime!
The setup with Nagisa is a bit cliche if you ask me, though SP turns it up with Shizuma's sudden, intense interest in her. This anime lets you know right up front what it going to be going down. I found the story of cat fights, senpai worship, and unrequited love to start out mundane, but yet well enough done to hold my interest. There are several relationships, and hints of relationships that are interesting enough to watch and learn about. Love triangles, loving someone who loves someone else, and even the evil girls trying to use rape at worst to sexual assault at best to sway someone's heart is enough action to keep the mind from wandering. There is also more than one 'couple' that matter in the show, a trend most anime avoids. We have at least 3 pairings and a possibly of a few more by the end that all get fair amounts of screen time. And that ending! I'm American, and I prefer stories to go out on a bang, and boy does this one ever! No muted 'maybe' endings here!
I love the way the series is drawn. I love Shizuma's hair, I love the expressive eyes, I love the gothic lolita uniforms, and even the other two schools uniforms. The lines tend more to 'clean' than detailed, but the whole package comes together very nicely and in a very fitting way.
My only sound gripe: those birds! Often when opening a scene they show the outside of the building, with birds chirping as they are known to do. For some reason those chirps are 3 times louder than the dialog or even music in the show! I almost developed a Hitchcockian fear of birds! Otherwise though, the sound was really good. Shizuma's voice actress nailed it, as did Nagisa's. The ending song is good, but weird in being live action. The second ending song is also live action but a bit out of place. Otherwise, no complaints.
This is where the drama comes in and the shine begins. We have a girl who begins basically as a total slut, and as the series progresses, we learn that she is in fact in great pain and acting out in a way we might find inappropriate but makes sense in the overall scheme of things. The only problem with her arc is that the writers didn't seem to think it through and tossed in a plot twist out of the blue just to facilitate the situation that leads to the trauma. There is also a mannish girl who is called a 'prince' of her school who falls for a beautiful girly girl, giving us a 'traditional' lesbian relationship. The evil girls have a twisted, manipulative lesbian relationship that is just utterly incomprehensible at times. The cast is quite large, with the 'club always looking for what club to be' and the younger children on the way up in the school, along with the stern Student Council president, and her contemporaries from the other two schools. There's a lot of people to keep up with, but it becomes fairly easy quickly, as you develop a favorite couple, and gasp and gawk as they turn the drama to 11.
I really liked this because I did watch things like Days of Our Lives with my mom as a kid. I don't mind the overblown drama. If you can't see past that, then you should for sure take a pass on this anime. I loved seeing what event was on the verge of destroying the precious relationships, and cheering when they made it through against all odds. Is it cheap, cheesy, corny, silly, and over the top? Yes to all those things. Does that mean it isn't fun? Not in the least, long as you go in with your eyes open. It's high school lesbian drama, not Shakespeare!
In closing, if you want to just veg out and check out an anime that doesn't require much thought and don't mind the titillating nature of the show, this is one to watch. This is firmly yuri, with implied (and a few scenes of literally being between the sheets!) sexual scenes in places, and it makes no bones about who's with who as a couple. It's a ton of fun if you turn your brain off and just let the soap bubble. Strawberry Panic rates one pic of Shizuma and Nagisa intently staring in each others' eyes as well as one of Amane and Hikari in the same pose on the wide RTLR wall. Feel bad for Tamoe-chan though. This is one high school worth visiting!
What if the characters of Maria Sama just decided to forego all that sexual tension and just got it on with one another. Well, you'd have this. Maria Sama on crack, or maybe a healthy dose of GHB.
Lesbian schoolgirl love story.
The story introduces everygirl, Nagisa, who gets sent to a private all girls' boarding school where she meets the mysterious, aloof (I hate that word, but it's fitting), and oft-worshipped silver-haired maiden Shizuma. Shizuma immediately wants to jump Nagisa's bones, but for no real good reason. Maybe becuse she's an Etoile, the elected focus of worship in the school.
The rest of the show focuses
on Shizuma and Nagisa's budding relationship and I'm left scratching my head AS TO WHY, since the reason is delayed in presentation. Like, 14-15 episodes in.
There are other girls who do the nasty, and we're treated to their backstories and obvious denoument of their infatuation--but for some reason I don't seem to remember them all that well and they don't seem that important to the story.
So, um, back to Shizuma and Nagisa. Once Nagisa realizes that a creepy older woman wanting to sleep with her is alright, we're treated to why Shizuma is like the way she is. Guess what, there's a TRAGIC BACKSTORY TOLD IN FLASHBACKS, albeit this is when the show arguably becomes somewhat tasteful and takes itself seriously and tries to treat the characters with some actual depth, especially at the point where grief ridden Shizuma forces herself on Nagisa. This moment, shockingly, is very realistic and sad (and likely unintentionally so). That and the fact that unloading dark, unresolved emotional baggage on someone does not make them love you more, like most other anime seems to imply.
These few episodes really shone above and beyond the rest of the anime and showed an alarming insight that quickly was buried and abandoned for more filler. The problem is for every convincing chrarcter and plot development, we have a bunch of hormone-ridden fluff to distract us and kill the pacing. Add that with the inexplicable introduction of a Tamao, Nagisa's roommate, was clearly meant to create tension between Nagisa and Shizuma as she has no other role and the show falls apart again.
Watching the entire series is totally redeemed by the incredibly absurd and entertaining ending which is the most bizarre parody of the Graduate wedding scene since Grampa Simpson ran off with Marge's mother. It almost makes me think different people wrote different arcs, and they all hated each other and finally settled on the most pointless resolution to their conflict.
While others regard this series as a "gateway series" into the world of yuri, I cannot share their viewpoints. Strawberry Panic is, in essence, the OP to Elfen Lied. Nothing more.
The overall ambiance of the series is dreadfully mundane. The generic animation, however, goes hand in hand with the god-awful Victorian music, which is played throughout the series.
If Strawberry Panic removed every scene where the characters are either staring into space while public domain Bach music plays, the series would be a good 12 episodes long.
If you're not a fan of Jane Eyre, Little Women, or Sense and Sensibility, don't waste your time on
this shoddy yuri.
Strawberry Panic is like any other generic yuri anime you've watched. Girl goes to an all-girl school, meets one special person, discovers she's in love with her, etc. It sort of sounds like fanfiction that a 12-year-old could come up with, right? Not to mention the main character is a total Mary Sue. Everyone is in love with Nagisa, and the only times she messes up is when her seme Shizuma comes to rescue her. Character development is absolutely terrible. I mean, EVERY SINGLE GIRL in that school is a lesbian? That seems highly unrealistic to me... And of course, the short, shy girls are
ukes where the tall, robust girls are semes. And the girls of focus in this anime (Nagisa and Hikari, respectively) both of their roommates are in love with them, and they're in love with generic semes. It seems like the stories of the characters are copying off of each other, even though they're in the same anime... It just all seems so unoriginal, all the girls in the schools seem the same! We have the ~*kawaii*~ uke and main character that everyone loves: Nagisa, the silent semes that also everyone loves: Shizuma and Amane, the one-sided loving best friends: Tamao and Yaya, the chibi quiet girls: Hikari and Chiyo, the antagonists: Momomi and Kaname, and the tsundere: Tsubomi. It's all so unoriginal, but I guess if that's what you were looking for, then you'll enjoy this anime very well.