When I started watching Strawberry Panic, I posted this first impression:
Strawberry Panic: This is an average show about a transfer student at an all-girls high school with lesbians. The great thing about anime is that binging on average shows is still more fun than hanging out with your friends during winter break. X+
I was wrong about one thing. Not the lesbians part � that was dead on. I was wrong about the
"average" part. This show kicked ass. It seemed like nothing special at first, but in
retrospect, the whole was a lot greater than the sum of its parts.
|Well developed minor characters|
|Unforeseeable plot twists|
|Recurring random character(s)|
|Badass mid-episode transitions|
|Soundtrack by Yuki Kajiura|
|Catchy dance sequence|
|Themes of Hatred/Suffering/Revenge|
|Topics of Hatred/Suffering/Revenge|
|Stylish visual effects|
|A character vaguely resembling myself|
|Soft-spoken girl voiced by Mamiko Noto|
You may have noticed:
How could this show be any good? For starters, when you have enough lesbians, men and dinosaurs don't seem to matter. The X under "Stylish visual effects" is also a bit misleading, since Strawberry Panic didn't really do anything terrible. It's just a testament to the ridiculously high quality of recent animation. As for the predictability of the plot, let's just say that it used every trick in the book from hiding behind bushes to stepping on twigs:
Simplicity and predictability usually spell mediocrity, but after watching the entire series, I asked myself, "was there any point in this series that bored me?". I couldn't think of one, and I can't say that for many great shows. It helped that some of the characters were almost as cool as me:
That's Shizuma, the alpha lesbian. Like any respectable alpha lesbian, she seduces heterosexual girls without even trying. You know right off the bat that she's going to rock the show, but the real coolest character is Chikaru:
Chikaru is one of those characters who implicitly kicks ass but doesn't get the screen time to prove it. I'll add her and Shizuma to the list eventually.
Strawberry Panic turned out to be a fun lighthearted series that provided a great change-up from some of the more intense shows I was watching at the time. If you're looking for a series to blow your mind, watch something else. If you're an experienced anime fan who's somewhat desensitized to mind-blowing action, a simple show like Strawberry Panic is the perfect change of pace.
3563 soft-spoken girls are NOT voiced by Mamiko Noto