Yuri Anime: Strawberry Panic, Volume 5 (English)

January 15th, 2009

Strawberry Panic (ストロベリー・パニック!) Volume 5 reminds us that it is incredibly important to not write climactic moments of a series while drinking. In the sober light of day, that so-dramatic bout of selective amnesia seems a bit silly, and the thrilling tennis match between two popular contenders for the throne becomes an immensely mockable cross-fandom moment.

Volume 5 finds us on the doorstep of the climaxes of all of the many complications built up throughout the series. Nagisa and Shizuma are separated physically, their hearts still connected by love; Hikari and Amane so close to being together when an accident tears them apart…and all the other characters floating around affected by these four and unable to do much more than ameliorate their discomfort.

And the most important crisis, when Momomi and Kaname suffer an epic breakup. With slap.

The end of the volume is as melodramatically happy as the beginning is melodramatically tragic, and in the end, the girls all get their girls (with actual sex for the least likely couple,) except for Yaya, who sublimates her desire into torturing Tsubomi and Tamao who, like her namesake from Card Captor Sakura, will probably become a career alcoholic. ^_^

My sincere, sincere thanks to Media Blasters who really notched up their skills for this series and brought out the best possible version of this that we could have hoped – heck, brought it out at all, because what were the chances really, of this series being licensed? I hope that, if you think of yourself as a Yuri fan – and espcially if you say you love this series – you will buy it and let Media Blasters know that you will support their choice to bring Yuri series out on DVD.

Looking back at Strawberry Panic, I think that if I stick with Volume 3 and Volume 5, I’ll come close to finding a comfortable place for this series in my heart. I’ll never buy into the melodrama, but I can definitely enjoy the comedy. In conclusion, for what is likely to be the last post I ever write on this series, I stand by what I said originally said: 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. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 8
Characters – 7
Yuri – 10
Service – 6

Overall – 8

I’m left with two thoughts. One – Amane’s amnesia seemed to go on for much longer than two episodes. And, two, I am once again reminded that Percival the stuffed bear might well be the most intelligent creature on Astrea Hill.

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8 Responses

  1. DezoPenguin says:

    You know it’s not going to be a good subplot when I’m watching Amane ride towards Hikari and I say to myself, “I bet she’s going to fall off her horse and give herself amnesia.” I know I can’t be the only one who saw that coming. :)

    Though, y’know, there’s a lesson here. Amane was the only one of the four points on the triangles (meaning Yaya, Shizuma, and Tamao) who didn’t grope, paw, pretend to take the measurements of, or force kisses upon their significant other, and hey, look who wound up in bed? ;) Never thought about that before…

    And yes, I am convinced that Percival is brighter than anyone at Astraea Hill, except maybe Chikaru. :)

  2. @DezoPenguin – No, you weren’t alone in that. It was an obvious plot complication on the hoof. :-) And y’know – I never thought of that before either…!

    Oh, I also thought of a third thing – man I would HATE to be the priest confessor on Astrea….

  3. Fuyumi says:

    If I were the priest confessor at Astrea, I’d probably give up and just start writing bad lesbian porn in my spare time.

  4. Yes! And I’d call it “Strawberry Panic!” after the Ichigo-sha dorms…wait…

  5. Fuyumi says:

    OH MY GOD, SO ITS ALL TRUE! I KNEW IT!

  6. Eric P. says:

    I was wondering who would grace the cover of the last volume–who knew it’d be the EPL couple?

    I’ve watched this series three times already, and for some reason I just can’t bring myself to really dislike it. I totally see what everybody says about, and their words made me doubt whether I’d keep on enjoying it. Instead, I just have a newfound appreciation of it. When I’m sitting back, relaxing, wanting to kill some time and not having to think about stuff, this series does the job entertainment-wise. I liked how it had so many characters and managed to tell a sufficient story with each of them, whether other viewers cared about them or not, and when it’s amusing it’s amusing, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I think of it as a cute series, is all.

    And yes, I do have it.

  7. IolantaStar says:

    The best thing about “Strawberry Panic” — reading your comments about it. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. Thanks.

  8. @IolantaStar- I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

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