Yuri Light Novel: Strawberry Panic!, Volume 1 (English)

March 16th, 2008

…A pure world within the walls that was reserved only for young ladies. A world of classes, sports, friendship and love, as well as mental and emotional bonds and passionate physical aches.

All of it existing only between girls.

Or, as that last line might be reinterpreted by the fandom:

“All of it existing only between ******girls*******!!!!!!!!111111111111one”

LOL

First, many, many thanks to the fabulous folks at Seven Seas for the opportunity to review the first volume of the Strawberry Panic! Light Novel series in advance. I previously reviewed the Japanese edition of this novel, and Volumes 2 and 3, as well and, by the time I was done with them, I was *dying* to get my hands on a copy of the translation. And now that I have, I can say that Seven Seas has not let me down one single bit. This translation was just about perfect. Not a single moment of eye-popping absurdity has been altered.

It was the uniform of the venerable St. Miator Girls’ Academy, which every single girl desperately wanted to attend.

(Was that every single girl in the world – or every *single* girl? I think the interpretation’s up for grabs. lol)

The overall tone of voice – that pretentious, overformal, precious tone, favored by moe fans everywhere, was captured perfectly. My kudos to the translator and adaptor.

Hikari came off as fragile, Amane as admirable, Miyuki as snarky, Shion as raging against the machine, Shizuma as a playgirl, and Nagisa as…Nagisa. Tamao isn’t as pervy as she is in the anime, Chikaru seems to be written by two different people – the one who acts like she’s pulling the strings and the one who thinks she’s barely interested, and Kaname…is nuts.

Kaname drew a red rose seemingly out of nowhere and offered it to Amane.

“Please give up; this is our fate. It’s all right. It only hurts in the beginning….”

And the Etoile competition is, to quote Tamao, a “festering pile of trickery.” She’s right, too. ^_^

I enjoyed every second of this novel, for the amusingly over-the-top tone, the heavy beating with the Yuri stick, and the fact that while I thought it hysterical, I am sure to get many emails and comments on how “beautiful” a story it is. My answer in advance, is to once again quote from the book:

Of course, most of the young ladies used their judgment when they heard those legends. But there were some who really believed them. …And yet those same young ladies grew into fine women.

Ratings:

Art – 6 (I’ve revised this down, because it’s too cute for some of the characters, who are supposed to be seen as sexy, or sensual, or masculine.)
Story – 6 (I’ve revised this up, because I’m no longer weighing this series against anything I take seriously)
Characters – 7 (Ditto)
Yuri – 9
Service – 8

Overall – 7

Translation – 9
Adaptation – 9

Strawberry Panic! is stellar as a comedy. Fans who don’t see that will find it to be stellar as a Yuri novel, because it is indubitably Yuri and therefore must be excellent. ^_^

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8 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    We were watching this series in my highschool anime club (I brought it in) and the girls in my club who were trying to like Yuri (they are a load of yaoi maniacs >.>) were all “their love is so pure!” And I was like “um, what?”

    All the guys saw it for what it was though, XDD hilariousness.

  2. That’s pretty unusual – my experience is that a lot of guys are convinced that this is a true story. ;-)

  3. DezoPenguin says:

    You have deeply reassured me about my pre-order of this! I was worried about it being not as funny as the manga (or worse, written as if it was being played straight instead of for laughs), but now I’m anticipating its arrival with a smile. :)

  4. ajshepherd says:

    Over the top and hilarious? Both good things in my estimation. The only reason I watched the anime was because it was so melodramatic and ridiculous!
    I think I’ll have to read this.

  5. Anonymous says:

    hey where can i purchase volume 1???

  6. At the moment, you have to pre-order it through the Previews catalog at a comic or book store. This was an advanced copy, it’s not yet released.

    As *soon* as it’s available, it will go on the Yuricon Shop – just like all the other Yuri titles out there. :-)

  7. JazzCat says:

    Strawberry Panic! is stellar as a comedy.

    Ha, I don’t buy this. I think you love it just as any other LFB out there! ;)

    Admit that you cried when Shizuma mourned over her beloved Kaori! I know I did… *snif*

  8. Anonymous says:

    They…totally quoted you on the back cover of the second book. About it being a comedy.
    Were they selling it as a comedy?
    Are they now selling it as a comedy?
    0_0

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