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Strawberry Panic 13
Friday, June 30, 2006
Ah, Spica, Spica, the school where the characters are actually interesting and there's.. y'know what's it called? ..Oh yes! A PLOT buried under the endless procession of yuri cliches.

So it is time for "evil plan mark II" for Kaname and Momomi this week as they set to bring apart our prince and princess of Spica in the forms of Amane and Hikari. The fact that their plan turns out to be pretty much exactly the same as last time round except inside instead of out certainly casts a bit of a shadow on their ability to be original though. So anyway, the duo seem to be plotting to get in the way of a date Hikari and Amane are having together.

So Hikari is obviously pretty excited about her date with Amane and is selecting her clothing and generally being hyped in the building up to it. Yaya seems to spend most of the time here staring at Hikari and doing her best efforts to stop her jaw from smacking her in the kneecaps as she gazes on adoringly (as Zyl says Yaya is "utterly besotted"). Yaya also encourages Hikari as she selects her clothes, even helping her choose the final outfit and helping her put it on. I have to say I felt the similarities to Chikane (from KnM) by this point were retina seeringly obvious and Yaya is obviously pretty much harming herself more and more emotionally for the sake of Himeko... erm Hikari.

"The most yurified plan" springs into action shortly after Hikari leaves the room to be promplty bundled into one almost right next to hers by Momoni and Kaname. Momoni skips merrily off to talk to Amane while psycho lesbian amateur snake impersonator Kaname proceeds to "seduce" Hikari. By seduce of course I mean grab her aggressively and proceed to talk complete and utter bollocks. Meanwhile Momomi tells Amane to resign publicly from the Etoile battle (Amane didn't want to do it anyway, but Momomi wants everyone to know it seems) and reminds her that people could get hurt by her actions, pretty much threatening her. Jumping back to Kaname we see that she continues to talk out of her ass.

With our handsome prince talking to Momomi the banner of rescuer must fly for Yaya this time round! First of all Yaya notices Hikari left her hankerchief behind and realizing that the entire universe will be thrown out of balance because Hikari doesn't have her hankerchief on a first date goes after her! However, it is the presence of a button (ripped of Hikari's clothing as she is bundled into the room) on the floor that leads Yaya to work out something isn't up and she soon rushes in and saves Hikari from Kaname in the nick of time (just like Amane last time)! Hikari runs off to catch up with Amane while Yaya confronts Kaname. Cue important moment. Somewhere in the stream of crap that flows freely from Kaname's mouth comes the point that the only way to defeat love is with love which seems to have a profound effect on Yaya. Could Kaname have unknowingly planted the seeds of something in Yaya's mind? Could she have given Yaya a mental kick up the backside to pursue Hikari herself? Of course she has. But more of that later.

Sooo, like in all good love stories (not that StoPani is particularly good) Hikari gets to the station while Amane is still there and the two head off on a different "date" to what they had planned. Uncomfortable much? The atmosphere at the start here was so awkward.. no hand holding? Barely any talking? I mean what's it going to take break the ice, a flamethrower maybe?

Ah a thunderstorm what a wonderful ice breaker. The pair take shelter in a handy cave (there's always caves when there needs to be a chance to shelter from the rain) and while Hikari spends a great deal of time looking like she may have a seizure from fear of the storm she manages to apologize to Amane for being late. Amane replies that it's unrelated to that although she still hasn't mentioned why Hikari has the buttons ripped off the back of her dress. Perhaps she thinks it's a new style? Anyway.. the storm seems to do the trick as the two wander down the shoreline hand in hand the sun beating down on them as they talk (about Kaname and Momomi of all things). It's quite a sweet and romantic scene so I'm afraid I have to say HikariXAmane FTW! The two head home eventually on train (first train I've seen that has a station that should be called "In the middle of nowhere" incidentally).

"Curses our plan failed! Maybe next time we should try some sort of variation"

They'll be back, the baddies always come back.

Awww how sweet, Hikari has a shell for Yaya-chan! What was that other yuri anime with a shell in it? Oh rightttttt... now I remember. Obviously Yaya see's the shell as a cue for yuri too as she makes the step of combating love with love and proceeds to shoves her tongue down Hikari's throat. So that's where the episode ends, Chikane kissing Himeko and Himeko looking more than a little surprised by the whole experience. Gah.. I seem to be getting a bit confused... oh well easy mistake to make...

Ah Spica throws up the most interesting episodes, I actually really enjoyed Hikari and Amane's date together just because it seemed mildly normal and romantic compared to the other relationships in the show. Yaya managed to steal the show here too with her huge levels of angst and taking her first full step into being a big cause of drama between Hikari and Amane. It was mildly clever how Kaname pushed her into it entirely accidentally too. Next weeks episode could be good with more Hikari and Yaya angst but yes Nagisa sadly you are the main character.

posted by Mangaminx On Friday, June 30, 2006  
  • On Friday, 30 June, 2006, Blogger Fencedude said…

    This was so amusingly similar to Kannaduki episodes 7 and 8.

    Anyway...where's the giant robot?

  • On Friday, 30 June, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    Ohoho. It looks like our theory of the Evil Lesbians Duo somewhat using Yaya as a pawn to break Amane and Hikari apart is becoming true. There was a possibility of it happening but I didn't expect it to occur this quickly. I agree with you that Kaname and Momomi's strategy is turning utterly dry. I'll give credit to Momomi for playing dark mind games on Amane but Kaname's cr@p fest was too blatantly ridiculous (Winning a girl's heart by proclaiming how magnificent you are and then raping her? Puh-leeeeeez).

    Yay for Yaya as she managed to snag herself a kiss from Hikari (I sound as though I'm betraying my hardcore fandom of Amane X Hikari here. LOL). All that angst finally got to her. Hints are definitely not enough. However, I would have preferred it if Yaya hadn't taken Kaname's words to heart. It might have made her a stronger person and I would root for her more, but this was certainly an interesting twist as well. I'd like to see how Yaya and Hikari's friendship turn out in the next episode as it seems that the both of them started acting like zombies in Ep 14 (The after-effect of shock-kissing???). Lets see how they will work their way around this. I can imagine the tension...

    And, as much as I am a fan of Amane, I was feeling slightly irritated by her behavior in this episode. How true that the atmosphere at the beginning of her date with Hikari was oh-so-awkward. I also find it strange how they seem not to walk in pace with one another at first, with one of them walking ahead and the other tagging a few steps behind. Well, I won't blame Amane too much coz that's her personality anyway, being the quiet and reserved type that is, but she should at least have talked to Hikari a bit instead of just silently gazing at her (It made poor Hikari think as though she was angry with her. Bad! Baaaaaaaad!). However, I must admit the scene at the end of their date was really sweet and it shows that Amane's love for the younger girl is very genuine (The prince is just slooooow, I guess). One of my rants and hope for this ep and possibly future eps featuring Amane is for her to be more open with Hikari if they want to solidify their relationship. Hmm... Maybe I'm just too used to Amane's behavior in the novels and Manga... She is definitely more romantic and direct there although it's best not to compare them with the Anime. But still... I really wish Amane would be more straightforward in her approaches. Wonder whether she would take bolder actions if she finds out about Yaya and Hikari?

  • On Friday, 30 June, 2006, Blogger Ragnarok-Ex said…

    the train station looks like the one in kashimasi girl meets girl (the one where yasuna catches tomari + boy2girl whats-her-name kissing and yasuna catch tomari+whats-her-name kissing.... urgh.. lol )

  • On Friday, 30 June, 2006, Blogger Sarahbeth said…

    i think train stations might just look the same in EVERY anime... more or less : )

    I find myself wondering if Amane and Hikari's relationship, in any other setting (I mean in a world (anime) where yuri is NOT necessarily the norm) could even be considered more than a growing deep friendship. It's very sweet and heartwarming, and there's plenty of cute anticipation and blushing but I think they have a different type of relationship than the "Evil Lesbians." Set in the background of the Strawberry Panic world, makes you just expect them to jump in bed together eventually. In any other show? I dunno.

    On that note, the manga clears up any suspicion of Hikari being lesbian after she had some fun in the library with Yaya. I think the anime is more ambiguous. Or maybe the producers are just trying to tone it down.

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

    "I have to say I felt the similarities to Chikane (from KnM) by this point were retina seeringly obvious and Yaya is obviously pretty much harming herself more and more emotionally for the sake of Himeko... erm Hikari."

    lol I completely agree, many similarites to kannazuki no miko in this episode. it was as if yaya heart was breakin as she helped hikari get all dressed up for her date with amane *cough* souma *cough* anyway, I have a feelin that both spica and miator plots are gonna join for episode 14. I dont know why, it just seems as if both plots have climaxed now and the etoile battle is goin to connect them and add mure yuri angst! I know that not much yuri goes on there, but I'd like to see some of the le rim girls get a line or two every now and then as well >_<

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

    Man, for the sake of my yuri-loving fangirlism, I've given up comparing SP to other anime. For now I'm just going to go along with the fancervicey cliche (Yet enjoyable) romp and pray for more YayaXHikari after I saw Hikari's feet were tilted into the kiss during the shell scene.

    The power of yuri compels you!

  • On Saturday, 01 July, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Dav - Despite my AnamexHikari fangirlism I cheered Yaya a little too, I feel pretty sorry for her at times although I worry where things will go for her. She could very easily now be used as a tool by Kaname and Momomi now her presence is more aware to the pair of them. Amane's behaviour is certainly a bit irritating this episode but the overall sweetness (and rampant fangirlism in me) of the moment made things fine by the end of the date.

    Ragnarok - Yup it does look like the Kashimashi one.

    Sarahbeth - There relationship seems pretty out of place in the StoPani world as as you say its cute and sweet and different to all the others. Personally I think it will remain this way as both Amane and Hikari and essentially fairly nice and stable people.

    Natalie - Yeh I wouldnt be surprised if the two plots of the main schools connect soon either. Can't say I care about Le Rim though... aside from Chikaru I wouldn't mind if the rest of the chracters from there never appeared again.

    Anon - I mainly compare SP to other shows for parodies sake, when I watch the show I tend to sit back, relax and laugh.

  • On Sunday, 02 July, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    Duh, this is first time I skipped at least 5 minutes. The fact that this episode gave lot of screentime to Amane would have been enough already, but someone, please remove Kaname and Momomi that I don't have to ever see those two again. They almost managed to ruin whole episode. Few positive things though, more Yaya. After Nagisa she is probably one of my favourite girls, Yaya just resemble so much Chikane's personality that I have to love it.

  • On Monday, 03 July, 2006, Anonymous Skane said…

    Supreme lack of Tamao in this episode, so I feel... less enthusiastic about writing a prolonged entry for this episode. I now empathise with Jason when he complained about a lack of Mikuru in recent 'TMoSHaruhi' episodes.

    Judging from the various entries I have personally read over Strawberry Panic(SPanic), it would seem that most people favour the Spica-focused episodes. I like them too, but I prefer the Miator-focused ones, if only because there are more genuine basket cases there. Spica is the most 'normal' school among the three really. If Miator is Arkum Asylum, then Le Rim is Disneyland.

    Favourite moment of Ep13 for me was early in the beginning...

    That cracking sound you hear? It's the shattering of Yaya's 'Shell of Self-Denial'

    Man... Hikari most probably did it unknowingly, but if it was on purpose, it would have been exceedingly cruel of her. :P

    And so the show went on, blah, blah, blah... one pair of incompetent lesbian psychos dispatched later, blah, blah, blah, we get to the 'It's not a date' part. I always wondered why the Amane&Hikari pairing was so sweet to me, and then I suddenly realised something. Their pairing was the only NORMAL one...

    Well... normal lesbian one.

    Let us briefly examine the other 'main' pairings...

    ..) Nagisa&Tamao, one's a fetish toy, the other's a nut.
    ..) Nagisa&Shizuma, one's in denial, the other has issues from her past.
    ..) Nagisa&Chiyo, one has zilch feelings for the other, the other has an onee-sama complex.
    ..) Nagisa&Kagome, one's currently unaware of the other's existence, the other barely has existence.

    ..) Hikari&Yaya, one's constantly stabbing the other's heart, the other has a martyr complex.
    ..) Hikari&Kaname, one's unwilling, the other's delusional.
    ..) Hikari&Tsubomi, one's already devoted to another, the other also has an onee-sama complex.

    ..) Shizuma&Miyuki, one's obsessed with a vegetable, the other needs anger management.
    ..) Kaname&Momomi, one's a delusional wacko, the other's a conniving witch.

    Hmm... did I leave out anyone?

    Anyway, what I like about the Hikari&Amane pairing is that both are open about it, and both are sincere about it. None of that indecisive crap we usually get. Quite a breath of fresh air, after watching so many typical romance animes.

    Cheers. :P

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