Everyday things make up the fabric of life whether its 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 Itoh Chika, her sister Nobue, and her friends Miu, Matsuri, and Ana.
Strawberry Marshmallow (Ichigo Mashimaro) is something I came across and bought because the art appealed to me, so I bought volume 1 without knowing exactly what the storyline was. I was very pleased, though, to find it as a "slice-of-life" type of manga, for those are the manga I enjoy most of all.
It's story isn't complicated, but it certainly isn't boring. Strawberry Marshmallow has the certain charm Azumanga Daioh does (another favorite of mine, I own all four volumes), with it's witty humor and sense of sarcasm.
The art is something I enjoy most, and Barasui certainly renders the characters as adorable. Their faces
come off as round and the cheeks are often pink. All in all the artwork is pleasing to look at, as it's anatomy and perspective is usually correct. The only problem is that early on in the series the art is inconsistent at first because the author hadn't realized it would be a series until later on. It also improves greatly throughout the series, and the style changes a bit from early chapters, as it happens often.
The characters in Strawberry Marshmallow are all unique and have interesting qualities. Chika is generally a typical young girl, she doesn'tstand out in many way, Nobue is the somewhat easygoing delinquent older sister of Chika, Miu is the girl who doesn't have much sense and is always saying random and odd things out of the blue, Matsuri is the timid crybaby, and Ana is the English girl who is quite self-conscious about her last name.
The one certainly questionable part of Strawberry Marshmallow is the prospect that the author is, indeed, male. And the idea of an adult man drawing these young female children in situations that would seem revealing (panty shots, bath scenes, you get the idea).If you can get past that, though, and ignore the obvious "loli factor" of this manga (if you don't know what loli factor is, or lolita- I'd advise you to get a little more educated) then you're in for an enjoyable ride.
Ichigo Mashimaro is utterly amazing. The art is so unique, the story is one of the funniest I've seen in a slice-of-life series, it's scarily realistic to everyday life without being boring, the characters are so well-developed and adorable.
Each girl has her very own personality and appearance, unlike a lot of anime/manga nowadays. Each characters has very defining traits that rip them away from other characters from other series. They're expressive and colorful, and fun to watch.
The story doesn't get tiring, unlike most slice-of-life stories. It keeps you on your toes with laughs and twists, and lots of confusion.
I've shown this series to many friends
and people I know, and I've never seen it let someone down. It may appear to be girly, but many boys find it hilarious. It appeals to anyone willing to give it a look-over.
All in all, this series is a full 10.