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Strawberry Panic 07
Thursday, May 18, 2006
The seventh installment of Strawberry Panic is here! And we focus mainly on Spica! Hooray!


Zomg they are like SO evil. They put in a brief appearance earlier in the series but these two are officially "baddies" in the StoPani world. The black haired Kaname manages to fill the first "psychotic lesbian" position in the cast. Her "roommate", Momomi (pictured with her above), certainly manages to show herself to be a thoroughly unpleasant individual too although at times this episode little more than Kaname's puppet. To be honest it's about time the show has some proper baddies and it's good they are here, and in quite impressive form.




This episode is focus on Spica, who I now feel may possibly have the gayest school uniforms in the world (don't ask me why ... I just think that every time I look at them), and our heroines Amane and Hikari. Prince and princess if you will! The two are evidently in love, but haven't really admitted it to each other yet and just hang around near each other talking shyly. It's the type of behaviour that makes me scream "JUST KISS HER!!!!" at the screen, as they fart around aimlessly, but still they only do this briefly so its bearable. Anyway, "the supremely evil spica school president of doom, destruction and yuriness" (the title I've given her) still wants Amane to become Etoile. Amane's attraction to Hikari has also been noted by her. There's a brief scene where the president confronts Amane about becoming Etoile yet again in the locker room, and is one again refused. It seems that suggestive tie straightening can't get you anywhere these days in all lesbian schools. Personally I can't see Amane being good at being Etoile, she just isn't the type.., but hey maybe I'm being influenced by Shizuma too much.




Yaya makes the fatal "Chikane error" of encouraging Hikari to spend time with Amane more and more. She's odds on favourite to become a total psycho by the end of the series as her love for Hikari bottles up until she explodes in a cloud of pink yuri dust from her inner turmoil. Hopefully with interesting results drama and story wise.






Zomg, just look at their faces! You can see they are like SO evil!!! Back to Kaname (who is vice president of Spica by the way) and Momomi! Kaname wants to hurt Aname by seducing Hikari (seems snake woman, has her sites set on becoming Etoile herself) and puts her supposedly cunning plan into motion. Oh and for the awaiting yuri fans Kaname and Momomi proceed to get more than a little affectionate. See why I put roommates in inverted commas earlier?




Momomi gives a letter to Hikari, which Hikari thinks is from Amane. Amane is going away to leap her white horse over fences in her usual spectacularly gay style in a competition and wants to meet Hikari in secret beforehand! Will Hikari fall into this cunning trap set for her? Of course she will as otherwise there would be no drama this episode! Hikari mentions the meeting to Yaya the night before and Yaya pulls another one of her "I'm happy for Hikari but just LET ME KISS ME YOU DAMMIT!" expressions as per usual.






Snakey, sinister, psychotic Kaname is of course awaiting Hikari in the woods. Part of this plan (other than her seducing Hikari) is also that Hikari is not around to say goodbye to Aname before she heads off to her horse riding tournament. Anyway, its fairly obvious where this scene is going to go from the start to cut a long story short Hikari ends up under Kaname as she attempts to force herself on her and spouts increasingly disturbing dialogue as Momomi looks on. However, while Hikari's situation gets increasingly dramatic (and frankly disturbing), her friends are looking for her in the woods! Yaya is looking! Nagisa and Tamao are looking (seriously where the hell did these two come from? They kept popping up totally aimlessly throughout the episode) and as Hikari screams out for Kaname to let her go her cries reach the ears of someone else! This scene was actually quite good tension wise, I was desperately wanting a certain person to come to help Hikari, and was on the edge of my seat until she heard. Kaname comes across as completely unhinged in her dialogue here too, and the point where she moves from "snake like and disturbing" to "utter psycho".




Handsome prince to the rescue! On her white horse! How cliche is this? How cheesy is this? How COOL is this? I have to say I was entering fangirl squealing mode as Amane rides Starbright to rescue her love! Much as I'd love her to kick Kaname's ass at this point she doesn't but she does manage to save Hikari which was awesome. Kaname slinks off with some pervy comment, and undoubtedly goes back to evil yurified schemes while exchanging copious amounts of saliva with Momomi alternatively.






After all that drama, you know what was needed? A lovey dovey cheesy scene and here it is! Amane gets a scarf from Hikari, they are in love! How cute was this, really? I loved it, best scene of the show so far. It also resulted in my Amane fangirl rating being multiplied by millions.



Yaya cries as she see's Hikari and Amane together. As I said before psycho lesbian in the making here, even if at this point she is a good person. I want Yaya to get a lot more development and screentime as the show progresses, she may well be the main cause of drama between Hikari and Amane for the future.






And the episode ends with more yuri. "I'm the bee" or some crap like that seems to be code for "lets strat groping each other" between our two sinister villains.

Overall thoughts? Well despite the trashiness, the cheesiness, the cliches.. this episode was probably the best in the series so far. It managed to produce some genuinely edge of the seat stuff with Amane saving Hikari (YAY AMANE!!!!), and a bunch of character development for a lot of people. Kaname and Momomi are utterly foul, but they are baddies I can certainly grow to love to hate (assuming they get more screentime) as they are interesting as characters (all the weird metaphor talk Kaname does in particular is very odd). Lots of directions the plot can go from now, hopefully they will be entertaining ones at the very least.


Oh and completely off topic, but my Simoun 7 post is bugged and seems to be endlessly producing replica pictures no matter how many I delete, so I'm just leaving it as it is.
posted by Mangaminx On Thursday, May 18, 2006  
12 Comments:
  • On Friday, 19 May, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    I want more Nagisa and Shizuma. =)

    This episode wasn't that exciting. Reason is probably Amane, she seems to be bit bland. Though if Yaya end up doing same things as Chikane it will be a lot more entertaining.

     
  • On Friday, 19 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Noooo! Amane has leaped ahead in my favourite character stakes just now! ;) . I must say I don't really find Shizuma and Nagisa that interesting compared to the Spica cast.

     
  • On Saturday, 20 May, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    Awesome review as always! I enjoyed reading your comments as much as watching the episode itself. "Explodes in a cloud of pink yuri dust" -> ROTFLMAO!! *Takes a deep breath*

    Yes, this is undoubtedly the best StoPani episode thus far. Finally, some proper action babyyy~ ;p

    First of all, I was kinda surprised the writers made Kaname and Momomi the way they are in the Anime series. Those two didn't have any sort of "bedding" (Yes, bedding) relationship in the novels and it was quite a big surprise that their characters have been yurified a lot here (Unless my visualizing of the scenarios in the novels wasn't imaginative enough. D'oh!). Could any talk about the "bees" get more physical than this? Apart from that, "I shall now let you experience my splendidness" -> So evilly WTH gay! On to another topic, I haven't mentioned this before, but I'm rather pleased with the way those two are handled in the Anime. They certainly make the ideal villains in the story albeit they're still shallow in terms of being true antagonists. Moreover, I prefer their character designs in the Anime compared to the Manga (Kaname in the Manga was just... Blah! Ugly, imho. She looks perfect here, as you said, like a snake). Speaking of villains, Toumori in the Anime doesn't seem like one anymore. She was just one of those mini antagonists who loves pressuring people but her intentions were nothing more than that. She doesn't know what her minions were up to after all.

    Now on to the main stuff that is Amane X Hikari, which is of course the primary reason why I enjoyed this episode very much. The change in the way their relationship buds was a pleasent and refreshing change from the original stories. As much as I enjoyed how these two have fallen in love with each other in the novels (and Manga), I equally like how the Anime writers handled their development. It's not as romantic (yet), but there is potential for them to shine later on. Oh... I also love the way they made Amane have that "damsel-in-distress sense is tingling" scene. w00t... Yuri Radar FTW!!

    And finally, Yaya. Oh gawd, Yaya... Despite rooting for Amane X Hikari, my heart immediately went out to her after she wore that face which was full of pain and sorrow upon seeing Amane and Hikari together. She's still putting on a strong front for the sake of her best friend, which I think is absolutely wonderful, but sooner or later, she will crack. There's no doubt she's the top candidate for turning into a psycho lesbo later on. After making comparisons, I've come to like her Anime version a lot more than her Manga counterpart. While her persona in the Manga may be more entertaining in terms of fanservice and amusement, her angsty self in the Anime is what gave her personality more depth. She still teases Hikari about her crush on Amane in the Manga, but she immediately dismisses it and discourages Hikari about not being able to spend time with Amane anyway, which was a slight minus point for me. As for her situation in the Anime, I'm surprised at how much I'm actually cheering for her.

    Last but not least, yes, SPICA cast FTW!!!!

     
  • On Saturday, 20 May, 2006, Anonymous Tomoko-chan said…

    Yes, the best StoPani episode so far, but then again, ANY episode with Amane in the shower with a side view of boobage is a great episode. I just had to watch the epsode twice in one sitting. Oooh, I hate Momomi and shitty carbon-copy Amane- wannabe Kaname. I must admit it was hot seeing one female mount another on the show other than Amame on Star Bride ;). Anyhoo, I was half-expecting Amane to lay the smackdown on Kaname's ass, but she's got a tournament to win. Hikari pisses me off, she is so damned weak. Geez, the attempted rapist couldn't have weighed more than 90 lbs. soaking wet. Take some self-defense courses or start lifting weights, Amane can't always be there to help you.

    Everytime I see Yaya getting weepy seeing Hikari and Amane
    together, I get a little misty too. "Then, just bravely charge forward.
    Or else your feelings will never reach her." Hmmmmm, project much, Yaya? Take your own damn advice and you won't be making me cry every episode. But that being said, it must be shitty to know that the one you love is in love with somebody else. At least they carry the relationship in a graceful and dignified manner and aren't splashing their romance all over the school.

    "Gayest school uniforms in the world" LOL. The smart white blazer with brown trim just screams "Power Lesbo!" Whooo, next episode we get to see the gayest school summer uniforms!

     
  • On Saturday, 20 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Wow a big chunk of stuff to reply to here.

    Dav - First off I'm glad you like my comics, this is without a doubt my favourite series to write about just as it opens itself up to being written about comically. It's a show that's hard to take seriously at times.

    Yes as I said in my review Kaname and Momomi are great villians and Toumori seemed very much less so. She even seemed concerned to me when she realized her flunkies "might" be up to something which dismisses her as being totally bad in my book. Just not a character I am particularly fond of at this point in time.

    *Laughs* Amane was very much in "save the damsel in distress mode" and I admitedly loved it (I love girls rescuing girls sequences!). It was very cheesy but undoubtedly the best part of any StoPani episode so far. She probably won't get another scene like that again, but it would certainly be extremely welcome if she did.

    Yaya's anime version has a lot more depth than in the manga. In the manga she is slightly sinister almost from the get go, but in the anime she is doing her best to help Hikari even though it pains her. Its a shame that her selflessness may eventually bring about her own slide into "Kaname territory" and she herself could be a major factor in harming Hikari and Amane's relationship.


    Tomoko - Poor Hikari! I have to say I felt very sorry for her this episode (I mean she was in a pretty unpleasent situation). And while I usually dislike characters like her I must admit she's growing on me as her relationship with Amane is a great one.

    Yaya appeared to be getting pretty teary in the next episode preview too, made me instantly think she was encouraging Hikari in her relationship.

    And yes, all three summer uniforms do fall into the "ultra gay" zone. Wasn't really much to tell from the preview about events happening next, although I love the way Tamao makes suggestive comments to Nagisa every week in the preview. Its so funny.

     
  • On Saturday, 20 May, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    Yeah, Toumori was indeed painted in a sinister light when she plotted in forcing Amane to participate in the Etoile Battle, but at least her methods were not harmful and outrageous like Kaname and Momomi's (Those two are such poo-poo's). After all, she did encourage Amane to take part by using Hikari as an excuse, which is loads better than Kaname's antics in trying to soil the latter's um... Innocence, so to speak. I agree with you that Toumori is still categorized as one of the villains though (a side mini one), coz she seems obsessed in getting a Spica student to become the next Etoile and she isn't hesitant to get the work done, albeit not in the dirty way.

    Yes, many thumbs up for Amane's rescue scene. So dashing! Plus, the cheesy slow mo and sound effect were perfectly spot on. I couldn't help LMAO when she leapt off Star Bride in the typical "I've come to save you!" kind of way. But yeah, it definitely was perfectly executed to highlight Amane's princely role in saving her angel. At least in the Anime, she has the chance to actually save Hikari for real. If the series has enough time and the writers wanting to flesh out Spica's romance more, there's a possibility that Hikari will be targetted in some way again, of course by Kaname and Momomi once more coz I doubt their plot in forcing Amane to forfeit the Etoile Battle is over and done with for good. I wonder what Momomi has in mind, since she volunteered to "pluck the flower". Yes, can't wait to watch more gigs by the evil lesbian duo and rescue scenes by Amane. ^^

    Ooh... Now that you've mentioned it, you know what would be interesting? Kaname and Momomi using Yaya as their pawn in indirectly harming Amane and Hikari's relationship. If Yaya surrenders to her angst, who knows what kind of situation she would get into, and if Kaname and Momomi ever finds out about Yaya's circumstances, they may try to use her to their advantage.

     
  • On Saturday, 20 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    I suppose Toumori could stoop to more evil means of getting Amane to take part in the Etoile battle as things progress but it's unlikely. I feel Amane has taken the wind out of her sails a little as Toumori hasn't quite managed to be the cunning manipulative person I believe she likes to think she is.

    Kaname and Momomi will doubtless make further efforts to "seduce" Hikari and ruin things for Amane, Kaname made that quite clear as she left the scene. Presumably Momomi is going to have the next shot at getting to Hikari (her words indicate that anyway). But not sure how she plans to go about it as presumably Hikari would run a mile upon even seeing her.

    Yaya being used as a pawn would be a great plot device and one I really hope they use in the future. I can forsee Kaname or Momomi spotting her angsting over Hikari being with Amane and Yaya obliviously wandering straight into their plans. It would certainly be a great source of drama and excitement. Perhaps they will even goad Yaya into being more like her manga counterpart.

     
  • On Saturday, 20 May, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    The only question now is... Will Amane at some point in the story, publicly accept Toumori's request of participating in the Etoile Battle? I can see it very likely happening if things are to stay somewhat consistent with the original story's plot. Also, Toumori herself affirmed that Amane is most likely willing to participate if it involves Hikari. Even up to this point, we're still unsure as to what measures Toumori would employ, but I can safely say that they would, some way or another, end up bringing Amane and Hikari together so it's probably not too bad.
    PS. I still prefer the events in the Manga though. It's much more romantic in Amane's case, and the way she makes her decision there is really adorable.

    As for Kaname and Momomi... I wonder whether Amane is going to spill to Shion about what they did to Hikari. Knowing how shallow this series' plot can be, they probably wouldn't bother about that side of things but it'd certainly be interesting if Kaname and Momomi's crimes were brought to light. Yes, I doubt Hikari nor Amane would even want to be in the company of Kaname and Momomi so it also intrigues me as to how the latter two are planning to ruin things, which of course brings us back to the topic of a potential and oblivious victim...

    Yaya's Manga persona is just so... Pft, shameless! And perverted LOL (Suffered from blood loss after reading chapter 7). Anime Yaya has a bit of those qualities but it's a shame that she was kinda "faking" it in Episode 1 (and her hands aren't as magically skilled as her counterpart's yet). She's very much in great denial at the moment and sooner or later, she will have to confront her feelings and come clear with them. Hmm... I can't imagine Yaya doing things that would directly hurt Hikari, although I can see the possibility of her working behind the scenes to try to break them apart if she's desperate. However, no matter what spoiled actions she would take, I only can visualize her doing so with the influence and deception of a third party like Kaname and Momomi. Yaya loves Hikari too much to hurt her on her own will unless she's coaxed into doing it by someone else. I can see it happening now...
    Hikari: Why, Yaya-chan? Why did you do something like this? Why?
    Yaya: Hikari... I...
    (*BOOM. Pink yuri pixie dust*)

     
  • On Saturday, 20 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Amane and Hikari vs Shizuma and Nagisa in the Etoile battle is a fair definate for the future I think. But I don't think Shion is going to stoop to low levels to get it to happen I forsee it happening fairly easily in the future.

    It's certainly a testament to shows shallowness that Kaname and Momomi are going to get away with their actions this episode easily. Where are the teachers when all this is happening? I sometimes forget these places are meant to be schools and are just some vast lesbian colony. Kaname and Momomi may recieve justice against them eventually (by another pupil of course), but not for a while I feel.

    I agree Yaya wouldn't hurt Hikari directly unless she was very, very desperate and being influenced by other sources as you say. But I think it's a certain that whatever happens with Yaya and dealing with her feelings, it will be a series highlight. Shes the most well developed cast member. The yuri dust explosion is on the horizon (whatever form it may take)!

     
  • On Sunday, 21 May, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    True. Toumori's plans may have already succeeded at some point.

    Haha. Apparently when it comes to a girls school in the StoPani world, all other offences except yuri activities are treated with utmost strict disciplinary action. Seriously, no one reported to the nuns that someone as famous as Shizuma was wandering around molesting students ^^;. Yes, hopefully, Kaname and Momomi will get their just desserts sooner or later. I'm gonna throw mud pies (literally) at the writers' faces if they do not resolve this issue by the end of the series. That would be an extremely huge plot hole.

    Yes, Yaya is indeed one of the most complex and developed characters, apart from Shizuma (Shizuma's story comes later), and it would certainly be interesting as to how she's going to confront her feelings. Will she surrender to them and take brash measures just to satisfy her desires? Or will she bravely fight them for Hikari's sake? I can see the possibility of the former happening (Not on a deliberate note) more easily than the other and it would turn out to be one of the climaxes in the Spica romance story. What we're hoping for is that they will all come to a peaceful resolution at the end, and of course I'm wishing for it to be canon. ^__^

     
  • On Sunday, 21 May, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    It certainly seems that yuri acts are easily got away with, but going outside your room after bedtime is something that dooms you to wearing stupid maid outfits and cleaning masses of stairs.

    Shizuma's development isn't something I had given much thought too in the past. I haven't read that part in the manga so have no clue what is to happen, hopefully I shall find it makes her a more interesting character. Presently after the initial "lol" of her behaviour in the first few episodes she has become dull.

     
  • On Tuesday, 23 May, 2006, Anonymous Demon Eyes said…

    Yaaay.

    Another Yaya fan.

    I am glad that it wasn't just me who likes Yaya more than Amane(?).

    I love those Prince types like chikane but I don't dig Amane for some reason. She lucks a certain card I don't really know how to put in words.

    Though I like Yaya much, I love Shizuma even more. She has all. The angsty, The prince thing, the You're mine thing, the Piano thing.

    Jesus.

    I don't like how they forgot about the Shizuma tears thing too. It was like they forgot about it or they put it foward as a 'to be xontinued...next season'.

    Jeez.

    Thank God the show is 26 eps.

    This way, we get more Yaya,(I have a feeling Yaya will win Hikari from Amane but alas, that is my wishiful thinking talking)

     
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