Strawberry Marshmallow

July 24, 2006 at 11:18 pm 11 comments

Follow the lives of Nobue Ito, her younger sister Chika, and her friends Miu and Matsuri – these cute girls try to solve problems and help each other out in the most adorable ways!  Whether it’s helping someone to quit smoking or organizing a  sleepover at a friends’ house, these girls always remain a joyful treat in the slice-of-life delight!

Sounds cute and innocent, doesn’t it?  It is, for the most part, but there’s also a sly humour to it.  Yes, Nobue decides to quit smoking, but when Chika decides the price is too high to pay (there’s a bet involved) she does her best to sabotage her older sister’s efforts. 

That’s from the first volume of the manga, which features the four girls mentioned in the blurb, and volume two will introduce a new girl named Anna (who shows up in the second episode of the anime), a British girl who has lived in Japan too long and has forgotten how to speak English.  This doesn’t stop her from trying to fool her classmates into thinking she’s a proper British young lady who doesn’t understand Japanese. 

(BTW, I clicked on three different manga links on the new Tokyopop website and didn’t get a list of their manga on any of them.  Should it be that annoying to find information on one of their series?  Boo to Tokyopop!)

I don’t think I like the term “slice of life” but I confess to not having a better way to describe it.  There’s no story arc that unites all the episodes.  It’s just a group of five girls who have little adventures in Chika’s room and around town.  Chika’s defining characteristic is that she has no defining characteristic, Miu is loud, tactless and boisterous, Mitsuri is shy and quick to cry and Anna is quiet and cute, but determined to carry off her charade.  They’re all watched over and teased by big sister Nobue (who is older in the anime than the manga for some reason).  This is an incredibly funny series – both verbally and physically – there’s a lot of slapstick type humour, with Miu in particular getting knocked down, falling and just being her over-excited self.  And yes, there is much uber-cuteness.  You’ve been warned.  If you’re a fan of Azumanga Daioh, you should enjoy Strawberry Marshmallow.

The character designs are very cute – the girls all look younger than they actually are (11 and 12) but more so in the manga.  I read the manga first and was a little confused at first by who was who.  There is an introductory chapter that goes to great pains to introduce each girl, so I did my best to fix them all in my head.  Then, in the next chapter, two of the characters switched hairstyles.  It took me a bit of flipping before I figured out there was a time change and it wasn’t just me.  :)

I was watching the first few episodes of the anime while I was on the bus travelling to the Soo and it was pretty hard not to laugh out loud.  There was one scene in particular in Anna and Matsuri’s class where the boy who sits behind Anna seems to be the target of some sort of grudge by their teacher.  The teacher points to a list of words on the blackboard, asking what one meant.  The boy lifts his hand, only to hear from the teacher, “You’re boasting, aren’t you?  Go stand outside.”  It kept happening… if he knew the answer, if he didn’t, if he looked up from his book… It’s a recurring joke in the show and it cracked me up every time.  Poor kid.

And, finally, since I’m listening to this OVER and OVER tonight because my nephew has decided that the opening theme to Strawberry Marshmallow is his new favorite song… here it is:

Update: I found the manga listings on the Tokyopop website.  You have to ignore the two manga links and the manga serials link and click on books.  ::eyeroll::

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Entry filed under: anime, manga.

Tokyopop’s webpage redesign is up Gratuitious blog post while vacationing

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. XenMaster  |  July 25, 2006 at 3:51 am

    I don’t know about this one. I was interested when you compared it to Azumanga, but after watching the intro it almost looks TOO cute. I’m debating myself over this now. The older sister reminds me of Kino from Kino’s Journey.

    Also Theresa and I walked out early during the Pirates end credits. What did we miss??

    Reply
  • 2. melrose plant  |  July 25, 2006 at 10:19 am

    okay, well Melrose watched this little anime snippet and Melrose didn’t understand anything.

    Although she does crave Strawberry marshmallows.

    Hope you’re having fun at home

    ;)

    Reply
  • 3. pajcat  |  July 25, 2006 at 11:43 am

    Hmm, well, it’s not like, Mao-Chan, teeth achingly cute or anything… I would say the humour outdoes the cuteness… There was one episode that we had to rewind because we were laughing too hard to go on – the girls were playing baseball and Nobue kept getting a baseball hurled into her side. Hard to describe adequately, but funny.

    Pirates? If you had waited you would have seen the dog was the new god of the cannibal island. He had a little doggie headdress and everything.

    And Melrose – it was in Japanese and not subtitled, so I don’t think you had to get it. Just embrace the cuteness! Hmm. I added a Monster House review to my site – you could probably get that okay. Today we’re going to My Super Ex-Girlfriend. And yeah, I’m having fun hanging with my nephews, though yesterday there was some boredom when we stuck around home all day. But last night I made Nephew #1 laugh cereal through his nose, so that was fun…

    I also should admit I found the opening theme song to post before my nephew started liking it so much.  It’s so cute!

    Reply
  • 4. XenMaster  |  July 25, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    Hmm okay I will give it a download as soon as I’m done with my current ones.

    Have you finished Shuffle! yet? I liked it. And the last volume of Chrono Crusade made me sad :(

    Reply
  • 5. pajcat  |  July 25, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    I kind of stalled on Chrono Crusade, tho I was watching the anime rather than reading the manga. I think I’d probably like the manga more than the anime…

    Still haven’t finished watching Shuffle! Gotta get back into that when I get home…

    Reply
  • 6. Hikaru  |  July 25, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    Hey that sounds like a cool series. ^_^ I’ll see if my computer decides to be nice and tries to load the video!

    Reply
  • 7. Hikaru  |  July 25, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    Aw, that’s so cute! XDDD I love the blonde one…I’m sure she’d be my favorite if I saw the show. I recognized a lot of those words in the song (like, kawaii, koto, ii, sona and some others). Now if only I knew what they meant (although, I do know kawaii means cute). Lol. Thanks for sharing. ^^

    Reply
  • 8. pajcat  |  July 25, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    Ichigo = strawberry! There. There’s another one. :) I should have checked to see if there was a subtitled version, but I was being lazy. :)

    The blonde one was Anna, the British exchange student. She was pretty cute.

    Reply
  • 9. Hikaru  |  July 25, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    Yay! Another word! XD Lol. Well, being lazy is fun. ^^

    Reply
  • 10. Little_babymon  |  August 1, 2006 at 1:39 am

    i’ve only had pictures of this and never thought it was an anime.
    It was sooo cute!!!

    Reply
  • 11. pajcat  |  August 1, 2006 at 1:50 am

    I only have one episode to watch now (it’s pretty short – only 12 episodes) and it’s a lot of fun. It’s cute and sweet without going too overboard. The humour helps. The manga was great, too!

    Reply

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