Considering the fact that this story is really no more than a collage of recognizable scenes, stereotypes and conventions taken openly from other series, I have to say, I thought it turned out pretty good.
There’s no denying that Strawberry Panic wasn’t brilliant, but considering that it was meant to be trashy, it pulled out a few moments of dignity and elegance out of the trash heap.
As stolen memes go, using the (admittedly obvious) one from The Graduate for the final episode made a satisfactory semi-resolution.
Yes Miyuki and Tamao are still doomed to lives of loneliness and alcoholism, but as clones of Youko and Tomoyo that was their fate from the very beginning. In other news, the Shizuma x Nagisa, Amane x Hikari, Kaname x Momomi and in a surpising late entry Yaya x Tsubomi pairs all live *happily ever after!* or some reasonable facsimile thereof, until bad fanfic writers kill one of the pair off in a heavy-handed attempt to create crisis and re-pair the other with someone else.
But I digress.
No, SP is not a diamond in the rough, but let us call it an attractive riverstone, washed suprisingly clean and shiny by the many, many, MANY tons of water that has flowed downstream from clearer and cleaner sources. ^_^
Considering that I began watching this anime with something akin to loathing, I might have to retract the “not brilliant” comment. It must be some kind of decent/funny/entertaining for me to have 180’ed so thoroughly. I’m not sure if it’s a case of the story becoming real and richer despite itself – as parodies are wont to do, just ask any fanfic writer – or the writers managed to find something unique to play with within the framework of the openly stolen memes. I’m inclined towards the former, as I’ve read many a story that started as a 2-dimensional parody/ripoff that suddenly morphed, without the author being really cognizant of the moment of change, into a decent-ish story.
There’s a great scene in Dorothy L. Sayers Strong Poison where mystery author Harriet Vane is bemoaning that very thing to a only-partially sympathetic Lord Peter Wimsey. He, quite rightly, insists that if a writer is going to write anything worth reading then, when the moment comes, s/he must shed the potboiler facade and *write* – conscience be damned. I’d like to think that that was happened here.
What began as thin, barely 2-dimensional trash developed a personality, while never losing that sense of “what can we steal this week?” So, let’s call Strawberry Panic the clever, fun-to-be-around street whore of a Yuri series that it is. ;-)