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.”
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.