Yuri Light Novel: Strawberry Panic, Volume 2

July 25th, 2008

Strawberry Panic Light Novel, Volume 2 is the touching story of girls in love at three girls private schools on Astraea Hill.

At Miator, the star, the Etoile of all three schools, Hanazono Shizuma has found herself completely out of control in her attraction to new student Aoi Nagisa. Nagisa is thrown into the competition for this year’s Etoile with Shizuma and, as a result, bears up under a alot of scrutiny and some bullying. Her attraction to Shizuma is so strong that neither bullying, nor knowledge of Shizuma’s past playgirl ways is enough to deter her – but upon learning that Shizuma truly loved her former Etoile partner, she finds her confidence wavering and her resolve starting to crack.

At Spica, the reticent and lone-wolf Ohtori Amane had found herself equally as head over heels about a transfer student, this time the angelic Kotohana Hikari. That Spica’s representative in the Etoile battle is a mere transfer student is so outrageous an idea, former student and famous violinist Kusanagi Makoto comes running back to Spica to sabotage her school’s best chance at winning. In the meantime, Hikari and Amane realize that their love is way deeper than anything they were prepared to deal with – especially Amane, who never cared for expressions of love between women.

And, at LuLim, the graceful Madonna of the school, Chikaru, pulls strings behind the scenes, and spoils her own harem rotten as she prepares them for a life of cosplay and intrigue.

…Dammit. I was trying to maintain a tone of affected sincerity, but blew it.

Oh well. lol

The book is filled with kisses- who can forget those touching moments when Shizuma gives Nagisa a hickey, or Yaya has her way with Hikari in the pool, or Chikaru gently kisses Kizuna’s butt. Not you – because I will keep reminding you of those things. You will never be allowed to forget them. Every time you tell me that this is a serious love story I will look at you and say – absolutely, especially when Chikaru dressed Kizuna up as a playboy bunny and kissed her butt. LOL

OTOH, Hikari and Amane’s love isn’t maddening. Yes, Hikari cries in every scene (see my review of this volume in Japanese for my suggestion about that) and yes, Amane doth protest too much, but they win hands down for best – well, least irritating – couple.

And I’m *still* annoyed that Makoto didn’t shut up long enough to kiss Chikaru. Makoto is so much more annoying in English, because now I have no excuse to not understand her tortured sentences.

Speaking of which, boo to Seven Seas for not crediting both translators on this book. (In fact, boo to them for not crediting every single person who works on every single book. There are a few books I from them have which only credit translator, adaptor and editor, as if it didn’t take tons of retouching and lettering, layout and production editing to make a book. Bad, bad. People who work on a book – *especially* people like the retouch and lettering people, who have hellish jobs – deserve to be credited.) There was a changeover in translators midway – which was very apparent in at least one thing. At the beginning of the book, Chikaru looks out the window as a white pigeon flew by. Okay, true, doves and pigeons are 1) the same family and 2) the same word in Japanese, but usually to be more symbolic and all, they are referred to in such moments as “doves,” because pigeons are basically considered to be rats with wings by those of us who have ever actually looked at one. LOL

Anyway, the translation smooths out and later on, they are indeed referred to as doves…which makes me wonder why the proofreader didn’t catch that and fix it. It takes a village to make a book, let me tell you. :-)

And in the end, all the lead contenders for Etoile are disqualified and/or pull out, leaving Makoto and Kagome which is still a breathtakingly bad combination.

I remembered this volume as being less servicey, more sincere and slightly more romantic than the first book of the series, and the English edition managed to capture that perfectly. It’s also still wild over-the-top melodrama that makes me think it would make the most awesome live action story ever. Even better than “Passions.” Actually – kind of like a Yuri version of “Passions.”

Ratings:

Art – 6 (one point off for so often illustrating things we don’t want to see and not illustrating the ones we do)
Characters – 7
Story – 7
Yuri – 8
Service – 5

Reproduction – 7
Translation – starts out a little roughly at 6, but moves up to 8

Overall – 7

Little Princess Sara‘s English title is A Little Princess, fyi.

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11 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Haha, tell me about it, in downtown Toronto the damn things are everywhere and they’re not the least bit scared. Rats with wings indeed.

    Just imagine a Hollywood romantic film.

    A man walks up to a woman who is looking out the window wistfully. A mass of white feathers is flying by.

    “What are you looking at dear?”

    “Pidgeons.”

    XD

    I’ll be chuckling about it for the rest of the day.

    Has this light novel already been released for sale? I find the entire SP hysterical, I have to buy it.

  2. Yes, its for sale – just click the title link or the picture to take you to Amazon.

  3. DezoPenguin says:

    But was it “A stellar Yuri comedy!”? ^_-

    Seriously, not quite as over-the-top hilarious as the first book (darn that pesky insistence on advancing the plot!), but I’m really, really hoping we eventually get volume 3. I want to see that helicopter, darn it!

  4. You should have seen the other quotes I sent them. :-)

    Volume 3 takes everything Volume tried to do, throws it out the window, smokes some opium and doesn’t give a fuck. It is actually quite stellar.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi there! I’m currently reading volume 2 and getting a big kick out of it. Even though I knew what to expect from your review of the Japanese version (thanks BTW) to see those words before me in print sent me into hysterics.
    Let’s buy a lot of these, everyone. I’m going to send my surplus copies as presents.

    ::HUGS::

    Arca Jeth

  6. Ana says:

    My take was that the novel referred not to the book, but to the Japanese anime adaptation of “A Little Princess”… titled “Shoukoujo Seera” — translated to “(Little) Princess Sarah.” Japanese people are more familiar with the anime vice the book. Maybe I should have clarified it in the translation notes, though, oops… (T_T)

  7. Ana – I thought that was the editor’s miss, not yours. I don’t know, because while the Japanese may be more familiar with that anime (I’m sure they are) in English, if anyone knew what it was (not likely, considering the audience for SP) it would have been under the English name.

    So, as an editor, I would have put the English name in.

  8. BruceMcF says:

    “Volume 3 takes everything Volume tried to do, throws it out the window,”

    … Volume 1 tried to do …

    or

    … Volume 2 tried to do …

    BTW, good thing you could not keep up the breathlessly sincere tone for the whole review. There would have been search parties out, looking for the real Erica.

  9. Adam Arnold says:

    Re: translator credit

    There was actually only one translator on the second volume and it was Anastasia Moreno. The credit list didn’t get revised during layout and ended up getting approved. It was one of those oversights that we noticed only after the book had come back from the printer and we went “Damn.”

  10. Thanks for clearing that up, Adam. Theren there remains a few editorial/proofreading issues that needed to be ironed out. :-)

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