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Strawberry Panic 09
Thursday, June 01, 2006
On the ninth installment of Strawberry Panic: Swimsuits, ghosts, and Tamao's dreams seem to have a habit of becoming true.






On one of their little jaunts round to Tamao and Nagisa's bedroom Hikari and Yaya bring cakes, but much to their surprise Nagisa is hiding in a side room from them. Has Nagisa finally twigged that everybody in this school with the exception of her is gay and their calls of "kawaii" are merely a disguise to conceal the sound of their drool hitting the floor as they gaze at her and is thus hiding? Of course not, it would take the point out of the whole anime! Instead the much more pointless reason (especially as it's almost entirely unrelated to the episode in general) is Nagisa is shy about how she looks in her swimsuit. With promises of cakes she is soon dragged out though, causing Tamao's letchometer to burst as she stares in awe. Throughout this episode I thought just about everything went right for Tamao to the point she could even be considered "in the lead" in the "Who will seduce Nagisa" game four participants have made a stake in.




Upon leaving the room after their usual midnight yurified tea party Yaya and Hikari head back to their room talking about Nagisa in her swimsuit and Yaya teasing Hikari when suddenly things get.. REALLY SPOOKY!

Well, no.. not really spooky... in fact not particularly spooky in general, the girls hear an odd crying around them Hikari looks nervous and they wander off eventually. But hey the "plot" of the episode is now set in motion, hurray! Oh and it doesn't feature umbrellas. Not even ones with rotating hearts on top, sorry everyone.




Basically, it turns out the school has loads of ghost stories as all schools in anime seem to have, I'd heard the majority of them before in some anime and manga and Nagisa endlessly looking like she was going to soil herself over something so trivial didn't really add to the scare factor. Tamao decides to investigate these stories of course, and try and see where they originated and if *gasp* what Yaya and Hikari really heard was real! Ghostbuster Tamao is on the case, complete with her little book (the same one she keeps pervy measurements of other girls in?) to take note of the situation, and her wet as a wet blanket dropped in a wet puddle sidekick Nagisa is with her. Tremble with fear beings of the supernatural realms!






Swimming, (you can tell its summer as of the even gayer than ever before uniforms remember) and Yaya is hurling herself at Hikari in the pool. Cue slightly romantic moments as they float on their backs holding hands, I thought this was fairly odd behaviour for Hikari as it's pretty much encouraging her friend to like her more. The complete opposite to her behaviour last episode. But hey, this is Strawberry Panic plot doesn't actually matter anyway, as to be fair it isn't really going to ascend to any lofty heights story wise. Still this was confusing. After their dip Tamao and Nagisa approach them in the locker room and start rambling about ghosts, Yaya scares them both and loses her towel in the process. It appears looking at nude Yaya has a profound effect on Nagisa who stands there frozen and staring. Nah, I didn't find it that funny myself, but hey as the only bit of (mild) fanservice in an episode where there's swimsuits I was actually quite impressed by the restraint showed by the creators.






As I said Tamao's fantasies seem to be fulfilled more and more this week as Nagisa (who is still totally terrified by any talk relating to ghosts and was getting to the point of being irritating by now) sleeps in the same bed for her as security. O.K so it was quite sweet but the look in Tamao's eyes freaks me out. She always looks so adoring around Nagisa, creepily so and I can't help but think of her as a mildly disturbed stalker when things like this happen. Nagisa who is obliviously totally thick as a whale omelette oblivious to how Tamao looks at her STILL falls asleep peacefully next to her friend.




It's a cover up! Shock! Horror! Rokojou tells Tamao off for investigating something so stupid when she presents her report on the crying in the corridor to her. It's worth pointing out that Tamao's finding indicated the story is only a few years old so that presumably when the crying started... when Rokojou was young and starting school. Could Rokojou know what the crying is? Be "covering" it up? Shizuma's response is equally as suspicious siding with Rokojou. Meanwhile the only important girl to show the vast levels of irresponsibility needed to encourage two younger girls on a ghost hunt is of course provided in Chikaru. I'm starting to like Chikaru more and more as the weeks go on, lets hope she has a plot for the obvious upcoming Etoile battle "main plotline" too.






Tamao's Fantasyland Part III, scared Nagisa clings to her endlessly as they investigate the crying that night. "ZOMG DO YOU HEAR THAT?", Yes! They hear the crying! What is the creepy supernatural explanation to this all? Well after it stops the girls see a cat so, seeing as whenever I hear a cat mewing I automatically think "Wow that must be some human girl crying" they obviously think the same and say the cat was making the noise. Yes the sarcasm level was very high just then, but it's hard to convey in text.




Flashback! Who's brain are we inside? Rokujou's thats who! Years ago on one of her first nights in the dorms we see her young self crying and sounding suspiciously like the crying that haunts the halls to this present day. A young Shizuma appears and comforts her, taking her back to their room calming her all the way. I wasn't really sure of the significance of this. Is it related to the crying? Or was this something totally different for a future plotline? Maybe I can get a few other views on this. The key point here is that Rokujou is daydreaming about it in class and is surprised by the teacher suddenly talking to her. Shizuma is evidently praying on her mind a great deal for some reason. She seems visibly shaken by the fact she's daydreaming about it.




Wrapping up the episode we have Nagisa and Tamao by the pool and Tamao announcing she's going to check out more ghost stories. Cue scared Nagisa once again... . Personally I'd like to see a ghost story where a phantom grabs stuffed bears named Ohshibaru and removes all their stuffing. But hey, we got stuck with this instead. Not a bad episode, overall, with possible plot implications regarding Shizuma and Rokujou but still it mostly had a "fillerish" feel to it all. Tamao's stream of "luck" in getting close to Nagisa was fairly amusing to see, although I still don't think she has a chance of winning her from Shizuma. Next week it's time for exams! Erm.. around this time of year many people seem to have had their fill of those, but they will probably be yurified exams at the rate this shows going.

posted by Mangaminx On Thursday, June 01, 2006  
13 Comments:
  • On Thursday, 01 June, 2006, Anonymous lolikitsune said…

    >>Has Nagisa finally twigged that everybody in this school with the exception of her is gay

    Naw, Nagisa's gay too. She just doesn't know it yet.

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Anonymous Matrim said…

    "Well after it stops the girls see a cat so, seeing as whenever I hear a cat mewing I automatically think "Wow that must be some human girl crying" they obviously think the same and say the cat was making the noise. "

    Well, that is Nagisa for you. Is it only me or she seems ever more stupid and behaves more childishly with each passing episode? Must be the effect of spending time together with Kagome and Chiyo. :)

    " Tamao's stream of "luck" in getting close to Nagisa was fairly amusing to see, although I still don't think she has a chance of winning her from Shizuma."

    Of course Tamao has no chance whatsover, one needs to just watch the opening of the show.

    "Rokujou's thats who! Years ago on one of her first nights in the dorms we see her young self crying and sounding suspiciously like the crying that haunts the halls to this present day. A young Shizuma appears and comforts her, taking her back to their room calming her all the way. I wasn't really sure of the significance of this. Is it related to the crying?"

    Since StoPani has the subtlety of a brick wall it must be related. In previous episodes it was strongly hinted that Shizuma and Rokujou know something about some dark incident from the past. Or maybe Rokujou was crying because Shizuma had rejected her. :)I think the point of this ghost story was to increase the interest of the viewers towards Shizuma's past but I found it mostly boring except for Tamao and Yaya's usual hilarious antics.

    "Has Nagisa finally twigged that everybody in this school with the exception of her is gay and their calls of "kawaii" are merely a disguise to conceal the sound of their drool hitting the floor as they gaze at her and is thus hiding?"

    Of course not. I wonder what will take for her to realise it since the experience of Shizuma virtually molesting her in the first episodes and Tamao stalking her day and night hasn't been enough. Maybe it will dawn on her if Kagome gives her Oshibaru as a proof of her love?

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Anonymous Keira said…

    >>Naw, Nagisa's gay too. She just doesn't know it yet.

    *nods* I agree, she's just clueless. At least, judging from her reactions among other things she isn't completely stick straight.

    >> I wasn't really sure of the significance of this. Is it related to the crying? Or was this something totally different for a future plotline?

    I wish I had answers for you too as I find this a point of interest as well. Their relationship is intruiging in a way to me and it would be nice to see it explored a bit more. I will post if any theories come to mind.

    >>Tamao's stream of "luck" in getting close to Nagisa was fairly amusing to see, although I still don't think she has a chance of winning her from Shizuma.

    That might actually be fact if they were to follow the original storylines. From what I know, by the end of the original one, Nagisa and Shizuma were a canon couple. Shizuma even said she's serious about her. Since this is anime though, anything could happen.

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Anonymous Tomoko-chan said…

    A rather fluffy filler episode this week; I kind of liked it. Mmmmm, I love cake. But would it tempt me out of the bathroom wearing a bathing suit to the leering eyes of a roomful of gay chicks, I don't know. I wonder how long Tamao will work the talisman of scary ghost stories to get some more snuggling and cuddling in bed with Nagisa.

    Tamao: Nagisa... come sleep with me tonight.

    Nagisa: Uh, no thanks. My pyjama buttons always seem to get mysteriously undone in your bed.

    Tamao: Bloodyyyyy Maryyyyy...

    Nagisa: Ok, ok (glomp)

    Tamao: Muhahahaha, your ass is mine!

    Yeah, I totally think Nagisa is gay, she just hasn't met the right pair of breasts yet (Yaya's bouncy pair notwithstanding).

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Anonymous Sakura said…

    >>Well after it stops the girls see a cat so, seeing as whenever I hear a cat mewing I automatically think "Wow that must be some human girl crying" they obviously think the same and say the cat was making the noise.

    Actually, only Nagisa thinks so. Tamao obviously doubted it but let it slide for Nagisa's sake.

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    I shall concede to popular opinion here that Nagisa will realize she is gay by the end of the series ;). However she still is a moron for being seemingly oblivious to all the "ultra gay" vibes the rest of the school seem to be producing.

    Matrim - The whole ghost story thing was definately boring, but as you point out it must have a point to it that is relevant to the plot. Whatever "dark incident" happened in the past wont be revealed for ages I'm sure, but its clear by the bomb sized hints they've been dropping that it involves Rokujou and Shizuma.

    Keira - I certainly hope it will be explored a bit more with the apparent importance being placed on it. The way they react around each other at times is certainly intriguing and has potential to be actually interesting and as the past unfolds itself.

    Tomoko-chan - They'd have got her out the room eventually, even without the cakes I fear. Tamao's ultra gay powers would have broken down the door!

    Sakura - Yep, blinded into letting the mystery go by love. Tamao does seem to have totally dismissed the crying by the end of the episode though although hopefully it's importance will be revealed later.

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Anonymous Zyl said…

    I thought it was particularly hilarous that the initial scene with Nagisa paralleled the tale of Sun Goddess Amaterasu who was tempted out of her cave sulk by the sound of festivities. Yay Yaya for doing the forceful dragging out!

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    Once again good episode.

    "I shall concede to popular opinion here that Nagisa will realize she is gay by the end of the series ;)."

    That would be quite good ending. =) Tamao probably doesn't have real chance, but the way she try to seduce Nagisa is definitely a lot funnier than Shizuma's one.

     
  • On Friday, 02 June, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Zyl - Yes ;) , that was certainly a good comparison.

    Anga - Tamao is funny really as she seems to be a comic relief character (although not in a irritating way like Chiyo). For her to have any "serious" potential in getting Nagisa to fall for her she needs to be a serious character... , which I can't see happening.

     
  • On Saturday, 03 June, 2006, Anonymous lolikitsune said…

    >>For her to have any "serious" potential in getting Nagisa to fall for her she needs to be a serious character... , which I can't see happening.

    Because zomg, serious angst and dark pasts turn Nagisa on. It's hard to believe that the show takes itself seriously sometimes.

     
  • On Sunday, 04 June, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    Nagisa: Actually... When I first transferred here, I was very lonely. Somehow, I felt like I wanted to sleep with you so much.
    Tamao: Uwa. ~^^~

    Who said Nagisa wasn't gay? LOL


    Neways, this episode revealed some interesting tidbits about Shizuma and Rokujou's past together. It was slightly unexpected that they were in the same class. Originally, Rokujou is in Year 5, a year below Shizuma. Not sure what to establish about their relationship here but it's obvious that they're very good friends albeit Rokujou's acting a little cold towards Shizuma. There's absolutely no doubt that she's aware of what has happened to Shizuma in the past and I have a feeling that Rokujou is secretly but firmly trying to prevent Shizuma from hurting herself. As you said before Minx, Rokujou is probably lecturing Shizuma for the latter's own good whenever Shizuma fails to behave. I hope to see more development between the two, not the romantic kind of course coz Shizuma obviously has her eyes fixed on Nagisa, but the old friends' type. Apart from that, this wasn't mentioned in the Anime (or it has not been yet), but in the novels, Rokujou has always admired Shizuma but she tends to keep a distance for a professional sake.

    On another topic, Hikari seems to know how to handle Yaya, or maybe that's just my perception. In this episode, she willingly lets Yaya have her way because the latter didn't show any of those kinds of tendencies, which is a stark contrast to the previous episode.

     
  • On Sunday, 04 June, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Now I have a vauge idea what Shizuma's past may be like (going from what I have read of the manga so far), I think it's very likely Rokujou is protecting Shizuma from being hurt as you say Dav. Obviously this isn't going to stop her going after Nagisa though as Shizuma seems to not take heed of the warnings Rokujou has given her.

     
  • On Monday, 05 June, 2006, Blogger amakuramayu said…

    Is shizuma a werewolf or something? She carries many of the symptoms, the mmon is always shown, she played "moonlight sonata", she seems to stay in the single-occupancy room, and they never show her face at night. Her eyes also changed color from er.. "youko's" flashback. maybe she could be that cat too? i dont know, but i cant find anything past episode 9 on the internet. you know where i can? Yah and about the marimite comparisons.. SO obvious right off the bat (im a little late in the series to say this, i know.)

     
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