The Gorgeous Life of Strawberry-Chan

June 2, 2008 at 11:16 pm 12 comments

Last week I found a new manga by Ai Morinaga when I went to the comic store.  I really like both Your and My Secret and My Heavenly Hockey Club, so this was an automatic buy.  I pulled it out to read on the streetcar ride home without checking the blurb on the back.  Sometimes I like to live dangerously.

My trauma.  Let me share it with you.








At this point I was choking back horrified giggles because 1) I was on the streetcar and I hate laughing in public like that and 2) that dude just violated his pet frog and I really shouldn’t have found it that funny.

It’s okay – we find out later that Strawberry-Chan actually kind of likes the straw…


We next meet Akiyoshi’s new roomate, a handsome gentle boy who immediately falls in love with Strawberry-Chan.  Unfortunately it’s owner is a sadist, which means that the two are now played with instead of finding happiness together.  Yeah, they just fall in love with each other.  It’s weird.  The other sort-of love interest is a younger boy who wants to be punished by Akiyoshi as well, but is denied at every turn – Akiyoshi does not like willing victims.  He keeps trying, though.  Both pet and master seem to care about each other, which kind of makes it all okay.  (Kind of.  This is a story about a talking frog after all.  I wasn’t really worried about redeemable characters.)

The book is odd, and funny and vaguely disturbing.  Most of the situations Strawberry-Chan and co. get into are rather ridiculous but entertaining.  There are weird dreams, body switches, a mad scientist who experiments on Strawberry-Chan and through it all Akiyoshi does his best to torture as many people as possible.  It helps that most of the stories are short (there are 31 chapters in the book) so the jokes don’t get dragged on too long, and it’s easy to put the book down if you want to stretch out the frog abuse. 

In the author notes Morinaga says that she worked on the series over a period of five years, but it was interesting to see that the art didn’t change/evolve much over that time.  

I think if you liked the sample pages, you’d probably like the whole volume. 


Entry filed under: manga.

Deeeaaaaannnn!!! I don’t care if I don’t need it

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MangaBlog » Blog Archive » Rumors are swirling  |  June 3, 2008 at 6:30 am

    […] Vision of the Other Side, a Chinese manhua published by, unfortunately, DramaQueen. Cathy picks up The Gorgeous Life of Strawberry-Chan and makes the mistake of reading it on the streetcar; she posts some sample pages so you can see […]

  • 2. jun  |  June 3, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I can’t decide if I found that amusing or completely horrible. Is there just one volume to this?

  • 3. cathy  |  June 3, 2008 at 9:15 am

    It’s a standalone so far! The volume ends with a page that says “See you in another five years?” I don’t think we’ll be seeing another one any time soon, though.

    It was a very fine line between the humour and horror in places but because most of the characters were so extreme for me it edged more towards the funny. The worst was a story told to Strawberry-chan about a road running between rice fields that filled up with frogs when it rained… and then a car would go by… The rest is completely left to your imagination, but my reaction ran pretty close to the characters. :) I used the word weird once or twice above. I think that it’s a good description for the book.

  • 4. badtzphoto  |  June 3, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I was laughing while reading the pages you have – yet I find it disturbing that I find them funny – hmm.
    Coincidently, I was reading Morinaga’s other series – (Yamada Tarō Monogatari) – it was funny, too – no pets, though.
    I like “Your and my secret” better than “hockey club” – though. However with the news from tokyopop, I wonder what happens to these series – sigh!
    It’s good to see you posting. How’s the contact lens?

  • 5. pajcat  |  June 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Ha, yeah I’ve been busy lately. Doin’ stuff. Rewatching season 1 of Battlestar Galactica, seeing Iron Man for the third time, READING, glorious reading… and of course the oh so fun two jobs.

    I think think the humour in this book is more in line with what I remember from Your and My Secret. (My Heavenly Hockey Club feels more like Ouran Lite to me, which makes it distracting to read sometimes.) I kind of felt guilty for laughing at first, but damn it could be funny. That frog is just strange.

    Ah, my new contacts. Much much better than the first pair, but every once in a while my vision goes blurry. I have to check and see why they’re getting stuck before ordering my incredibly expensive 6 month supply. The guy at the optometrists is going to be sick of me! :)

  • 6. Ephidel  |  June 5, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Its not actually stand alone, as there are two volumes in total :)
    Amazon has the second volume listed as “The Super Cool Life of Strawberry-chan” and its set to be released in July.
    (Link for reference:

  • 7. cathy  |  June 5, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Really? Thanks for letting me know. There’s no numbering on the volume that I have, which usually means it’s a standalone.

    Unless it’s one of those tricky series that gives each volume a different name instead of numbers…

  • 8. cathy  |  June 5, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Which I now see includes Strawberry-Chan, too.

    Sheesh. Way to make things easy for readers… :)

  • 9. The Gorgeous Life of Strawberry Chan  |  June 13, 2008 at 1:53 am

    […] has some scans of the first few pages up at It Can’t All Be About Manga Slightly Biased Manga has a longer review Bookmark: These icons link to social bookmarking sites […]

  • 10. Ama  |  June 16, 2008 at 11:03 am

    OH GOD that frog thing was flipping hilarious. x3

  • 11. Kayla  |  January 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I have both volumes, I think it’s pretty funny. :)
    One thing I didn’t notice until about half way through the second volume, is that.. Strawberry-chan doesn’t really talk. Or does he? Am I missing something here? I thought when I first started reading it that Strawberry-chan talked out loud, and was just a talking frog. But i’m not sure anymore lol…

    • 12. pajcat  |  January 5, 2009 at 1:18 am

      Ha, it was hard to tell, wasn’t it? I think I fall on the actually talks side…


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