Ichigo Mashimaro is yet *another* one of Dengeki’s too-cute for words series with some yuri in it.
By the time I got around to reading the current chapter of this manga in April’s Dengeki Daioh, my teeth fairly ached with sweet and cute overload. So I put on my grumpiest face and prepared to HATE this manga with all my heart.
It was a horrible failure, too – half a dozen pages into it, I was giggling like a moron. Giggling. Me. It was embarrassing.
Basically, Ichigo Mashimaro is the story of a bunch of cute girls, being really cute and doing really cute things cutely. By all rights it should be abysmal. Only, it’s not. But as far as I can see, it’s not like there’s a plot, either.
Itoh Nobue is a young woman who lives with her much younger sister, Chika. I was *shocked* to find out that Nobue is supposed to be 20 years old. To say that this art style is loli isn’t at all fair to the artist – it’s just an insanely cute and minimalist art style, with no real reference to real body types. But still…20? And a chain smoker.
Chika, who is 11 or so, has a bunch of friends who come over alot and play, including Matsuoka Miu – a born troublemaker who is in love with Nobue. So there’s your yuri.
An anime for this series is slated to start shortly – early next month – so we’ll get to see if that particular relationship is carried over, but it’s not like it could go anywhere anyway. We’re basically talking schoolgirl crush on Miu’s part.
I have not read any more than one single chapter of this particular series, but I have seen it bandied about on every single Japanese “Yuri manga” list ever. So I can’t tell you what happens – except for the synopsis of the one chapter I did read.
We come into the story to find that Sakuragi Matsuri (one of Chika’s friends) is wearing a cute little bear or something outfit. Nobue comments how cute she looks, so Miu runs off and comes back with bunny ears to try and get praise from Nobue. Nobue says that the ears don’t suit her, takes them off Miu and gives them to Coppola Ana, another of Chika’s friends. At which *everyone* exclaims how adorable Ana looks.
Miu runs off and returns dressed as Dracula, bites Matsuri on the neck (which is just about where I gave up trying to hate the manga) and tries to scare the other girls. Chika, our hero, draws a cross to defeat Dracula, but Dracula seems unimpressed. Chika tries again – she goes to the kitchen and returns with garlic – only to find Miu sitting quietly, sans costume, playing a video game.
It would take a hardier person than me to actively hate this harmless piece of fluff.
I’m not really sure how to rate this one – the art is basic, the story is almost non-existent and the cute characters just do cute stuff cutely.
We’ll give it an overall 7 and see where it goes.