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Strawberry Panic 12
Saturday, June 24, 2006
So anyway, yep, this is it. Everyone probably knows by now as I'm late blogging this episode but this is the SP episode where Shizuma finally gets her talons into Nagisa and manages to pull off a kiss without them being interrupted by a leaf blowing in one of their eyes or something. Now that's out the way, I'll also say while it wasn't my favourite SP episode it is probably the one most significant to the overall story as Shizuma's past rears it's ugly head.






It's summertime and the school that so far I can only tell has two actual teachers (with non class time spent on lesbian seduction of course) has broken up for a month as the girls all head home. Nagisa is staying behind because her parents aren't around and apparently Shizuma and Rokujou are too as they haven't ever gone home since beginning school there. The general ultra gay atmosphere perhaps makes Shizuma feel a lot more at home than when she is actually at home. Anyway, Tamao is worried for "her" Nagisa-san! Nagisa all alone in the school with Shizuma? Surely nothing will happen? What's to worry about Tamao-san? Tamao is reassured that her Nagisa-san won't be preyed upon (after all Tamao wants to be the one to do that, right?) by Rokujou who insists Nagisa take extra French lessons. Tamao decides to head home briefly giving Nagisa a ribbon to protect her from various things *coughs* Shizuma *coughs*.




Nagisa has brain ache as you see she is being forced to think once again. Personally if I had to sit through the mind numbing French lessons the girl has to sit through this episode I'm afraid my brain might leak out my ears. To begin with Nagisa doesn't even get to drool over Shizuma while she's working but gets miss misery-guts Rokujou herself drumming the endless stream of French phrases into her. What a fun way to spend summer holidays.





*Fangirl Overload* Yay, Amane-san! In her break between lessons Nagisa bumps into Spica's prince as she wanders the corridors. It turns out Amane is staying behind to look her horse makes me wonder if she is rich enough to own a horse in the first place surely she could afford to transport it home with her anyway? Anyway Amane reveals the shocking revelation that there might actually be people of the opposite sex in this world! She talks about the fact Rokujou is getting married after she leaves school although I found it mildly amusing that Amane herself could easily fit the male shaped shadow behind Rokujou as she talks about this. Just when you thought this scene was going serious Nagisa takes the opportunity to once again hurl herself on the floor (backwards this time) and injure herself so that Amane leans over her suggestively to "check she's ok". There's the obligatory "be still my beating heart" blush that Nagisa has been doing endlessly for Shizuma and Amane talks about how Nagisa is different from other girls at Miatre. Obviously this brief exchange between them is enough to make Shizuma jealous! Her gay-dar has lead her right to her beloved and she is mildly rude to Amane as she leads Nagisa away back into the depths of her lair into the school.




More lessons. This team with Shizuma sitting beside her. Poor Nagisa-san, she just cant focus as her heart pounds in her chest and she ends up writing diagonally across the page as she an only think about Shizuma. Shizuma (other than pointing out that Nagisa is writing sideways) seems to pretend to be blissfully unaware that Nagisa is so effected by her presence. Of course, Shizuma (who seems to possess an IQ higher than Nagisa's which I'm beginning to believe is comparable to that of a rock) knows that she's making the other girl a little hot and bothered but like a spider spinning a web she's waiting for the right moment.


Which would be about 3 minutes further into the episode.




I never knew "I'll take you to the festival" was code for "I'll take you up to the roof, grab your hands, shove you in a swimming pool and make out with you underwater" but you learn something every day in the world of Sto Pani. Yep it's "that moment" Shizuma and Nagisa while watching fireworks confess how lonely they felt without the other by their side, Shizuma pulls Nagisa close and tries to remove Tamao's "protection talisman" from her only to push them both in the pool in the process. Shizuma was obviously pretty annoyed about Tamao giving the talisman to Nagisa which is the first time I thought Tamao had actually got to her. Sneaky stalking Tamao, managing to annoy Shizuma from a distance.





So yeh, here's the kissing scene. It took 12 episodes but they finally got there. Bit of an unusual location mind. I mean they could have chose somewhere slightly less damp.





O.K fast forward to after Nagisa and Shizuma have swapped saliva and Nagisa who seems in a total daze is in Shizuma's bedroom/bathroom a.k.a The Spiders Den. After getting showered they both put on summer style dresses which seemed more than a little pointless as its rather clear that Shizuma's next intention is for them to not be wearing them again after 5 more minutes. Apparently this won't be Shizuma's "first time" you wouldn't think it by all that non-predatory behaviour right? Anyway, its fairly clear what Shizuma's intent is as she lowers herself down onto Nagisa and starts to get more than a little affectionate. Nagisa does her usual display of blushing, swooning and generally not really doing anything whatsoever. However, just as Shizuma is on the verge of removing the dress from Nagisa's top half it's... *drumroll* FLASHBACK PART ONE!






Yeh Shizuma has a flashback, of another girl calling out her name in a supposedly compromising situation. She pulls away from Nagisa who almost comes round from a trance and hurriedly gets to her feet looking embarrassed. Now I'm not fully up to date with the manga but I have more than a vague idea what's going on here and who this other girl is. To say Shizuma's past isn't happy is an understatement and it is now coming into the story . Shizuma stays on the bed.. almost frozen in horror by her flashback as Nagisa makes a nervous exit leaving her alone. Obviously there is a big plotline (heh, plot in StoPani?) to be explored here and I'm guessing the only person to heal Shizuma's pain is going to be our very own irritating heroine.




Tamao comes back to school pretty soon after, finding Nagisa rather shocked and confused by her experiences. Nagisa and Tamao embrace as the episode comes to its close. Tamao almost seems to have set herself up to be there for Nagisa here? Maybe she knew what transpired would happen? It certainly stacks evidence that Tamao could be a master manipulator after all.




Anyway, it's a decent episode. I didn't find it particularly "lol" which is the kind of StoPani episode I prefer but it was good. Shizuma and Nagisa seem mildly more interesting than they previously did and I actually am interested to see where things go from here. Oh and the endless kissing interruptions finally came to an end which is certainly a good thing as now their relationship can actually go somewhere other than nowhere. Next week it looks like we skip merrily back to Spica storyline (Amane! Yaya!, hooray characters that are actually quite good) and psychotic lesbian Kaname seems to be making her reappearance.

posted by Mangaminx On Saturday, June 24, 2006  
14 Comments:
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Blogger Sarahbeth said…

    I'll be the first to admit here that I was wrong about my 26th episode kiss prediction. However I am glad that things are finally going somewhere, and that the manga storyline is rearing its head for some drama.

    In other news, after reading so much about how great mari-mite is, i finally watched it, and i finally get all the references to "strawberry panic stole this!!" : ) It was pretty good. Too 'modest' and low-key at times (for lack of a better word) so that when funny things happened it seemed out of character for the general tone of the show. I loved it though : )

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    Don't you dare to seduce Nagisa too Amane! Fortunately Shizuma save her with "gay-dar". =) Good episode, now SP just need little more Tamao's stalking and later half of the series is guaranteed to be entertaining.

    NagisaxShizuma FTW!

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Anonymous Saki said…

    >>Anyway Amane reveals the shocking revelation that there might actually be people of the opposite sex in this world! She talks about the fact Rokujou is getting married after she leaves school.

    I think this point wasn't brought across well in one of the subs. The truth is Miyuki was rather unhappy as what she had agreed to was an arranged marraige where she dosen't even have an idea who on earth she is marrying.
    This aside, I wonder when miyuki will show more signs of her feelings towards Shizuma.

    >>I found it mildly amusing that Amane herself could easily fit the male shaped shadow behind Rokujou as she talks about this

    LOL. That crossed my mind too! :)

    An enjoyable episode. Looks like Shizuma is serious about Nagisa. Poor Shizuma too! She looked like she's just been shot. Obviously, she's still unable to forget her late lover Kaori,the girl she loved deeply. I like the serious way the anime is portraying Shizuma's past. I would like to see how the rest will play out.

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    Yeah, the overall episode itself wasn't laughable material although I did enjoy the front bit where Chiyo tried to gain as much favor from Nagisa as possible. Haha, that little cad. Seizing every opportunity to hog Nagisa by making herself look extra meek. It's always the small, cute, shy and quiet ones with the most evil intentions. Tsubomi meanly shoving Chiyo aside was an amusing bonus. No offense to Chiyo fans. ^^;

    But of course the star of this episode was none other than Tamao. LOL, such a brilliant and manipulative pervert she is. I agree with Skane's analysis of her behavior over at Zyl's review for this episode. Couldn't have said it better myself. However, it still remains to be seen whether Tamao would really cross the line and have Nagisa realize her true feelings for the latter one day (Maybe it's better than always having Tamao giving hints by molesting her prey? :p). The situation turned out to be somewhat serious for Tamao in the previous episode where she actually angsted over Nagisa's less-than-usual-attention-paid of her. Besides that, other interesting events included that little incident where Tamao claimed possession over Nagisa and blatantly declared it right in front of Shizuma's face, although I still prefer the Manga version of that scene. Oh... And also her boobs-groping of Nagisa by giving the "Your heart is pounding so hard" excuse. TAMAO FTW!!

    Finally, they brought the dark plot into the series. It's about time though. Looking forward to see how the writers would handle Shizuma's past in the Anime.

    YES!! Next episode is Amane and Hikari's date! Can't wait! Can't wait! And of course, MORE YAYA!!

    Thanks for the great review, Minx!

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Anonymous Skane said…

    At heart, I am rooting for Tamao. I just find her mannerisms adorable. The Shizuma&Nagisa pairing is just so passe. :P When was the last time a mentally-unbalanced girl won in the game of love anyway? Elfen Lied?

    I have expanded on my Tamao theories for Ep12. It is a bit lengthy, so I will just provide a link to the comment instead.

    The Suzumi Tamao Conspiracy

    Cheers.

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Anonymous Skane said…

    Narf!

    I forgot to reply to one part of your review,

    "Anyway Amane reveals the shocking revelation that there might actually be people of the opposite sex in this world!"

    Until SPanic produces a guy that announces to the world, "I am male." I will operate under the assumption that everybody, EVERYBODY, is female in the SPanic world.

    Amane was ambiguous over the gender of Miyuki's future marriage partner, and the shadow could be that of a woman for all we know.

    No mention of fathers when they left for their families. No mention of brothers. No pictures. HECK, maybe even the horses are ALL female, and the birds and the bees. Reproduction is apparently done by asexual means in the SPanic world. :P

    The producers of SPanic have really gone out of their way to eliminate all references to males in the anime so far.

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Anonymous Carrie said…

    -Skane-The producers of SPanic have really gone out of their way to eliminate all references to males in the anime so far.

    If they plan to make this show a shoujo-ai one, unfortunately this is the safest way. Really, with the male factor included, mostly one of these lousy results will happen- 1 : this will turn into a harem, 2 : It will have a totally heterosexual ending thus all shoujoai-ness will go to waste. Unless said males are gay. Now, shounnen-ai mixed with shoujo-ai that I like. :)

    At this junture, I have to say I for one am against any more male or female characters for the matter appearing as they will ruin the consistancy of the show. Especially, if they have the annoying habit of suddenly becoming the center of attraction out of nowhere. If they wanted to introduce males, aliens and whatnot, they should do so at the beginning.

    Actually, the all female factor shouldn't be so surprising. Both the manga and the new novel proper storylines from which the anime is adapted from feature little to no males as well.

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Blogger p4fan said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anyway, having no men in Stopani is no more unusual than the Peanuts comic strip not having a single adult in its' 50 year run.

    Btw, Nagisa winks at Amane after she falls off the fence. Go figure.

     
  • On Saturday, 24 June, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Plenty of comments here! I'll reply in more detail tomorrow when I have the time but I must say I love your "Suzumu Tamao" conspiracy Skane. The more I see Tamao's actions the more I feel you are correct, perhaps she isn't the one trick comedy character I once thought she was. Shizuma has a real rival it seems, and fortunately one without a bear.

     
  • On Sunday, 25 June, 2006, Anonymous Matrim said…

    I can't believe I missed the significance of the fact that Rokujou was getting married. I guess I was too busy thinking that she might look like Youko but in she will be having same fate as Sachiko. :)

    "
    Amane was ambiguous over the gender of Miyuki's future marriage partner, and the shadow could be that of a woman for all we know."

    You have a point here. :)

    This episode wasn't bad, it might have actually been quite enjoyble if Nagisa's character actually resembled a real person rather than a beautiful doll everyone seems to be after.

    Oh, well, at least the next episode seems promising.

    "Of course, Shizuma (who seems to possess an IQ higher than Nagisa's which I'm beginning to believe is comparable to that of a rock)"

    A very stupid rock, mind you.

    " It turns out Amane is staying behind to look her horse makes me wonder if she is rich enough to own a horse in the first place surely she could afford to transport it home with her anyway?"

    That's Strawberry Panic, at least they came up with some explanation why Amane was staying there. I wonder what was Tamao's explanation for staying only a day with her family. Maybe it was something like this: "Dear Mom (and Dad if males exist in this world), I met a great girl in school. She is bit dense and couldn't understand a hint even if it in the form of brick hitting her on the head or a pair of hands groping her all over but I love her. So I am off to keep her from the dirty paws of that bitch Shizuma. I love you! Bye". :)

     
  • On Sunday, 25 June, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    sarahbeth - I said it wouldn't be till a DVD extra OVA the two would kiss to begin with ;) . As for Marimite, only "pretty good" *gasp*. Marimite remains my favourite anime of all time with Simoun now hot on its heels ;). StoPani dosen't even make my top 10 im afraid (or probably top thirty) but stillits fun ;).

    Anga - Amane >>>>>>>>>>>> Shizuma, I'm sorry but it's a fact!

    Saki - Shizuma's past could be what actually makes the show have some vague form of a plot at certain points which could actually improve it if done correctly. I look forward to see how they cover it myself.

    Dav - Chiyo has fans? :p

    Tamao as a manipulator is certainly for me the most interesting possibility for plot direction. Skane makes some excellent points on his analysis over on Zyls blog. Tamao seems to be taking her pursuit of Nagisa a lot more craftily as the series progresses.

    More Yaya and Hikari and Amane is good. Awesome in fact. I'm looking forward to a return to Spica aka The Gayest School.

    Skane - Agree with your Tamao theories as I have detailed above, as for the gender thing it's certainly true Amane was purposefully vague on the gender of who Miyuki is marrying. Personally I think a reference to a male character would spoil the whole ultra gay vibe of the anime. As far as I'm concerned everyone in the Sto Pani world is female still.

    Carrie - Totally agree with you, the cast needs to remain the same now for consistancys sake. With 14 episodes left to go things need to develop properly now.

    The comment was deleted but the author but yeh I suppose it is like Peanuts having no adults and as "Anonymous" says that isn't exactly unusual or anything.

    Matrim - Nagisa is perhaps one of the main issues I have with StoPani. She's stupid, unresponsive and most of all I can't see what ANY of her numerous stalkers see in her.

     
  • On Friday, 30 June, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    >>Nagisa is perhaps one of the main issues I have with StoPani. She's stupid, unresponsive and most of all I can't see what ANY of her numerous stalkers see in her.


    Welcome to harem anime~! :D

     
  • On Monday, 17 December, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why do you all hate Tamao? She is obssesive yes and a little tricky, like yaya BUT she is not as perverted as Shizuma who seems to be trying to force her self on the girl she is suppossed to love. That isn't right, I really like Tamao a verry prity character who is also very loyal. She actually cares about Nagiesa. Also YAYA is basically the exact same as Tamao, the loving friend who wants to be more than lovers, please explain to me what the difference between them is? I have never like Shizuma because she is lustfull, Amane isnt. So I think yaya or amane would be could for hekiri but only Tamao chan would be good for Nagiesa! PS Where is the full scene for this episode without it getting cut?

     
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