shoujoboy's Strawberry Panic! Tv Review

Strawberry Panic!

Strawberry Panic! tv Review

At the top of Astraea Hil there are three all-girl schools: St. Miator's Girls' Academy, St. Spica's Girls' Institute, and St. Lulim's Girls' School. The Etolie a representative of all three schools and respected. Nagisa Aoi just transferred to St. Miator after her parents went overseas for work. Nagisa is a bit of a klutz and on her way to school her first day she trips and falls only to end up lost and runs into Shizuma Hanazono the current Etolie as she was flirting with another girl. Shizuma instantly takes a liking to Nagisa whom at first is mesmerized and unable to move as Shizuma looks at her. Eventually the two start growing ever closer.
As they get closer, Shizuma soon comes to realize she must face up to her past before she can move forward.

Credits: Mew1Mokuba

Story & Characters

It seems the Japanese have my number, or room on constant 24 hour surveillance. They now know just about everything it takes for me to fall in love with a show, and have now effectively done it to me twice now. First they did it with Maria-sama ga Miteru. Take one part all girl school atmosphere, add in two cups of innocent love and a pinch of yuri. I present to you, Strawberry Panic.

The plot of Strawberry Panic is straightforward. Three schools lie atop Astrea Hill; St. Spica, Miatre and Le Rim. All of the schools are founded and run in different ways. Spica is athletic. Miatre is more traditional. Le Rim is a loose, live each day kind of school. Students from all three schools take up residence in the Strawberry Dorms.

Aoi Nagisa is a transfer student who is paired up with a chipper young lady by the name of Tamao. While rushing to class the first day she meets a mysterious woman by a tree whom after a short conversation and clumsy moment, attempts to kiss her. It isn't until later that Nagisa finds out that this person is Shizuma, or the Etoile of all three schools. The Etoile is looked at as the figurehead of all three schools and is held in even higher regard that teachers. Nagisa starts to adjust to this new school, but also to her new friends and most importantly Etoile.

The story for the most part starts out by simply alluding to possible relationships that are to flourish as the show progresses. You get to see characters grow closer to one another and tear apart as some relationships grow stronger. Throughout the majority of the first half of the show, you get tastes of what is to come, but mostly you are treated to light-hearted comedy. The show's primary driving factor and its shining point is in its character development and interaction. In the majority of shows out there, you can only find one or two characters of which you can attach and empathize with. With Strawberry Panic, you can feel a bit of yourself in most of the characters and can feel what they feel.

Eventually the story takes a much more dramatic turn. To put it in easy to understand terms; if drama was water, Strawberry Panic would provide enough to drown us all. Simply put, it gets serious in a hurry and provides you with plenty of chest pain. The history of Shizuma. Who secretly loves who. Who is going to take the place of Shizuma once she steps down as Etoile. The comedy stops here and only makes brief appearances from the middle onward. Which I can say was done with little error.

Rating: 8


I tend to believe that this will be the biggest difference in the way people look at this show. The first thing one might notice is that the show appears to be quite dated in look even though it released in 2006. I would say that animation junkies out there that need computer generated, polished characters, may find themselves left out to dry on this one. I personally believe that the way this show was presented created a very charming ambiance. The main attraction was the way the characters were designed. The majority of them were just plain adorable, as is the case of Nagisa, Hikari and Tamao. But then, the look of pure brooding seduction was also pulled off in the sliver-haired beauty of Shizuma. The thing that provided the most insight to the characters themselves were the eyes. Innocent characters had the eyes that showed it, while others had those empty, soulless eyes. My only complaint would be the lackluster background animation job. They seemed a bit to rushed and overused. At times they provided a wonderful atmosphere that just amplified the onscreen drama, while others they just stuck out as just plain bad. Small complaint in the overall sense.

Scores will differ on this one, you've been warned.

Rating: 9


If it says Aki Misato, it means quality. Aki does three wonderful songs for Strawberry Panic including both openings and the final closing song that just sweetens the ending all the more. She alone makes the soundtracks worth owning. The background music actually proved to be quite interesting not in what it sounded like, but how it was used. Much of the music was piano music, which is always a winner in my world. Some of it was church hymns and even that suspenseful music. The thing that piqued my interest about it is that many times throughout the show, music would play, and as soon as something happened or someone said something, it would abruptly stop. A BGM could play for about 3 seconds and then just stop. That made the atmosphere much more tense and brings the viewer much more into the story.

Voice acting was just short of perfect. I did not hear one character who sounded out of place and all voices were hit dead on. Without spot on voice acting, this show would be a considerable failure. Without the sheer innocence and lovability of Nagisa. Without the deep emotionless sounding Shizuma. The cheerful and loving Tamao. This show would have died easily. But one voice in particular stood out above all the rest and that would be Saki Nakajima as Chikaru. Chikaru was the head of the student council of Le Rim, and a terribly underused character. She showed the widest array of vocal talents by providing Chikaru with playful, caring and serious moments with wonderful accuracy. The thing that truly sealed the deal was her phenomenal job in the play Carmen. Throughout the entire show you only saw one side of Chikaru, at that moment she became an absolute star.

Alas, not all is perfect in the Strawberry Panic universe. The background music that I mentioned before, while good and used well, was simply used too often. Every time Hikari sang a song, or anytime you see the choir, they will always be singing the exact same song. I'm not in choir or anything, but do you really only sing one song... EVER!? My other problem is with the ending songs done by Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu. I actually think they both stick out and do not fit the show one bit. Aside of that, if you watch the videos themselves, they are absolutely atrocious. The singers don't even look like they are trying. I'll say this to save all of you a minute out of your life; SKIP THE ENDINGS!

Rating: 8


Strawberry Panic will not instantly hook many as it did me, and takes a good amount of time to actually get up and running before you just have to have more. Not only that but it will rightfully so be compared to its predecessor in Marimite, which is needless to say a very difficult show to surpass. It does provide a good time in the beginning, but will likely lose a lot of viewers before it ever gets close to its climax. By the end of the show it will have played with many emotions. There are times to laugh, times to worry and times to cry. There may be instances that you will want to yell at the screen because they just don't seem to do what you want them to do on the screen. The biggest thing that benefited this show was the 26 episode format fit it perfectly. It was not rushed and all the characters that needed to be developed, were. Also, it isn't just one main character that you follow. The story jumps around from character to character that finally all comes together in one of the most heart wrenching moments in anime. The ending proves to be exactly what this show needed for it to be considered "magnificent."

All in all, I loved Strawberry Panic. It was a show that I'll likely revisit one day and will probably think about for the next few. It has so many things that I enjoy, and an innocent love story will always get me (I'm such a sucker). It isn't going to be for everyone. If you don't like same sex relationships stay far away. If you need to have action in your anime, this will not have it. If you need to have a male protagonist, run away as fast as you can (a male will never be on screen the entire show). But for those who enjoy a good drama and don't mind taboo subject matter, this show is sure to please. Sure it contains a lot of cliches, but who cares? It's fun. And for the love of God, if you watch this and haven't watched Maria-sama ga Miteru yet, go watch it right now. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.50 (very good)

Reviewed by shoujoboy, Feb 06, 2007


  1. candykun Banned Member Feb 08, 2007

    nice preview,i think you have a goog job,it is intersting

  2. akuma2002 Feb 08, 2007

    The anime was pretty interesting and beautiful, and it put me into my "yuri anime" period XD

    Then i watched Maria-sama ga Miteru. Of course i prefer this one, but Strawberry Panic is very good too. I give it 8/10.

    Good review ^^

  3. adventchildvii Feb 16, 2007

    This one was my first Yuri, hooked me too.

  4. SukiLovesAnime Dec 16, 2008

    I'm not really sure what my first yuri was but I thought that Strawberry Panic was very good and it had very beautiful girls.
    I loved all of the episodes that it showed even near the end when they had to choose the next people to be Etolite or something like that.
    But overall, I rly liked this anime very much.

  5. HydrangeaExorcismus Feb 02, 2009

    Very good preview :) This anime is beautiful, one of the best yuri I ever saw :D

  6. SchRita Jan 15, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

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