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Strawberry Panic 14
Friday, July 07, 2006
New OP. It's sweet it's cheerful, its probably slightly more crap than the last one. Still it has a good AmanexHikari part in it's animation. Hooray!

So here we have the episode following up Yaya kissing Hikari last week. I thought there would be lots of angst, lots of drama and it would be entertaining. Sadly it didn't turn out this way. In what is probably my least favourite StoPani episode so far there are a few moments to laugh at but mostly this episode is used just to put things back exactly how they were before... zzzzz. Just when Yaya was getting more interesting too.

Tamao: "Why isn't Hikari at our midnight yuri party Yaya-chan?"
Nagisa: "Who cares, I want her slice of cake"

Yeh that pretty much sums up the first scene here. Tamao and Nagisa end up sharing a bed too (although this seems to be a nightly occurrence by this point) as Yaya asks to sleep in their room. Of course Yaya hasn't exactly explained why Hikari isn't there in the first place. Considering the world of StoPani I'd have thought that "Oh she obviously kissed Hikari out of the blue, shoved her against a wall before being pushed away to the floor" was a fairly easy thing to guess.

So anyway, we get a brief replay of the whole Yaya and Hikari episode from last week except a bit longer with Yaya evidentially getting more than a bit more carried away than first appeared. Hikari shoves Yaya to the floor and we basically get Yaya looking in a complete daze (either in shock at rejection or shock at what she just did, can't really tell at this point). Yaya looks pretty sad when we see her at the tea party so presumably she is feeling guilty by this point?

The next morning Yaya for some obscure reason goes to add more to her inner pain by going to see Amane the real object of Hikari's love. Amane is evidently un-aware at what's transpired and the two have a fairly cold and totally pointless conversation. I felt this really summed up this episode well, lots of totally pointless conversations, there could at least been some kind of confrontation here but there was zip, zero, nothing.

Ahah, just when you thought Tamao wasn't any creepier this scene turns up! First off Nagisa realizes that "zomg I lost the ribbon that Tamao gave me to protect me as a charm, but turned out to be totally utterly useless against Shizuma anyway as I ended up with her tongue halfway down my throat while underwater" and goes off to find it. While she is scrabbling around in the now empty pool we catch one of the rarer sites of the StoPani world. A teacher. You know.. a teacher. The same teachers that never get informed about things like Kaname and Momomi's behaviour, ever. She directs Nagisa to the lost property box of things found in the pool and there is Tamao's ribbon. Upon returning it to Tamao the first thing Tamao does is attatch one end to Nagisa and one end to herself. I half expected her to give a mad cackle and shriek "You'll never escape me now BUAHAHAHAHHA" and while she says something similar to that (albeit slightly less insane) if I were Nagisa I would have bolted for the door when she first started tying one end to me. Of course Nagisa just blushes and laughs before being dragged into the same bed as Tamao once more. She really is an idiot.

Pointless scenes are just so pointless. I can't even remember who these two girls are, and even if I did I don't actually care about them anyway. Why was this even included? I'll probably find they prove key to the plot later and I'll have to search their names and try and remember what they actually did in this scene. I assume it was done to highlight that friends can be reunited (they were arguing earlier in the episode and end up making up in this scene) and so Yaya and Hikari can be (although I felt kissing your friend uninvited was a bit more of a serious issue than just some petty arguing).

Anyway, back to Yaya and Hikari. Tamao, Nagisa and Tsubomi seem to work together here to reunite them. Yaya and Tamao are standing in the place that Yaya met Hikari and Yaya is getting all depressed, angsty and evidently filled with regret and guilt. Just as Yaya reaches further levels of angst who should walk around the other corner with Tsubomi and Nagisa? Hikari of course! Just when an awkward moment such as this arises it's always handy for a flashback to come along. Oh look here's one now...

Yep its a flashback to how Yaya and Hikari first met. I won't go into details but the two girls run around, fall over, sing some songs and there's generally a nice atmosphere. The scenes were quite "awww" as both of them obviously like each other instantly (although in Yaya's case like needs to be in inverted commas) and have a good (if very cliched) time for their first ever meeting.

So it's obvious by now that the two are going to make up. Yaya apologizes, the two of them hug, and Hikari says they shall be best friends forever. Awwwww...... . Yeh it was boring, some great angst and plotline could have materialized from all this and it doesn't (yet anyway). I felt the whole thing was a bit of a wasted opportunity for Yaya to develop and the only way I can see more Yaya lovesick angst creeping back into the plot now is if Kaname and Momomi realize what she did. Still I suppose there's still a chance, but either way this seemed like a wasted episode to me. Everyone's friends again.

A wrap up scene with the now ever familiar midnight tea party. Both Yaya and Hikari are there. Everything seems to be back to normal. The End.

I've already stated my opinions on the episode throughout the post so I won't do the usual wrap up I do here instead I'm going to complain about the barrage my eyes and ears both receive at the end of this episode. Himitsu Dolls was bad... the video was hilarious... this is worse... the video was hilarious but unlike Himitsu Dolls it came worryingly close to making my eyes bleed. How can anything this bad be produced? It's so bad, it's good! It shall be forever stuck in my mind as "crappiest ending theme ever".
Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu look hilariously awkward again too.
posted by Mangaminx On Friday, July 07, 2006  
  • On Friday, 07 July, 2006, Anonymous Natalie said…

    lol, I dont know, I loved the new op! the song is catchy, but as for the new ed can someone say "acid trip"? made me laugh so hard XD and I agree, ep 14 was so boring! I expected things to happen, but sadly no. there was no shizuma/tamao catfight or even the slightest bit of conflict between yaya and amane >_< oh well, that review made me giggle XD

    "Upon returning it to Tamao the first thing Tamao does is attatch one end to Nagisa and one end to herself. I half expected her to give a mad cackle and shriek "You'll never escape me now BUAHAHAHAHHA" and while she says something similar to that (albeit slightly less insane) if I were Nagisa I would have bolted for the door when she first started tying one end to me. Of course Nagisa just blushes and laughs before being dragged into the same bed as Tamao once more. She really is an idiot."

    rofl, thats what makes your review blogs so enjoyable to read XD

  • On Friday, 07 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The red ribbon thing is due to the fact that in japanese mythos an invisible "red ribbon" unites lovers.

    - mangamuscle

  • On Friday, 07 July, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    Huh, no angst? Few scenes that Yaya had would have been much better with it. Yeah, it felt like wasted chance for her to develop, but I guess they did so in order to keep Hikari and Amane closer. If Yaya would get temporarily upper hand on Hikari they probably would have to do same to Amane and that clearly take too much script writer's time... And new ED's animation sucks, first one was much better.

  • On Friday, 07 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tsubomi is starting to get interesting, though. Pink-haired girl? Yeah. She's starting to dig Yaya, if she hasn't ALWAYS digged her. And I like the new opening! The threesome at the beginning was God-awful, but it has an awesome still-shot of the oh-so-manly Amane and Hikari. YESSS! Plus it shows more hints of Yaya/Tsubomi (I always figured Tsubomi and Chiyo would hook up, but I like this MUCH better!). And Shizuma and Nagisa hold hands. AND Kaori makes a brief appearance. AND THE RETURN OF THE EVIL LESBIANS! YEAAHHH!

    And ( I love that word- 'and'!) In the weird-o threesome beginning, you can see the red ribbon tied between Tamao and Nagisa's fingers. Cool... But it should be Shizuma lying there half-naked, not CHIYO! YE GODS, MY EYES WERE BLEEDING!

  • On Saturday, 08 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If mollusks are the most dangerous things in all of Creation then the 'Red String (Ribbon) of Fate' run in as a close second. Now that SP has somewhat predictably and boringly defused a Yaya meltdown all of my hopes lies in Tamao. Sp is just not using Kaname and Momomi efficiently at this point. To be honest Tamao's always have more potential of going over the edge than Yaya. Also as much as I do like Tsubomi I loathe with every fiber of my being the very concept of the concillation prize in relationships, academics, sports, or any competition. Beside Yaya and Tsubomi are too similar for the relationship to work.

  • On Saturday, 08 July, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    Natalie - the ending theme is possibly the worst ending theme ever.

    Anon 1 (so many anon's so I'll call you by number in the order replies came! sorry if it's the same person twice) - ahah I learn something very day!

    Anga - Personally I wanted to see Yaya in emotional torment for a few weeks then the story with Hikari and Amane actually going somewhere. That seems unlikely now.

    Anon 2 - I actually always thought Tsubomi liked Hikari myself.. I suppose there is a chance she likes Yaya mind. There were hints this week.

    Anon 3 - Im going to be pretty fed up with the show if it remains to totally waste any potential it has for good drama (I say "Good" in its loosest possible terms as afterall this is StoPani). Can Tamao be the saviour of the show? That remains to be seen, but she is certainly developing the most unhinged behaviour at this present time.

  • On Saturday, 08 July, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    I love the opening song but I agree the video sequence was awful and filled with spoilers (Well... There is still THAT plot with you-know-who :p). Nevertheless, that hawt and beautiful shot of Amane and Hikari compensated for everything else which is bad. Mmm... Sexily yurilicious...

    As for the ending... All I could say was "Holy cr@p!! WTF is this?!" when it came on for the first time. Now I'm beginning to think Himitsu Dolls wasn't that much of trashtastic material compared to this. I couldn't stop laughing my @$$ off.

    And now on to the main meat of the episode which is the story... Like you, I'm rather disappointed with how things turned out. I was also expecting the angst and strain in Yaya and Hikari's relationship to develop and span at least 3 episodes before they start to patch things up together. Unfortunately, the writers accidentally smoked too much cr@p and decided to throw away that golden opportunity. No matter how much of an angel Hikari is, I didn't anticipate her to forgive Yaya so quickly. It's like she miraculously forgot what Yaya did to her not too long ago. If I went through the same kind of experience as Hikari, having someone forcing themselves on me without my consent (not to mention kissing and groping), I would definitely take a long while to recover from the trauma. Ah well... This is fiction after all. Furthermore, Hikari is denser and more naive than I thought. Sigh... To think that she can still be one of my favorites in the Anime just like she is in the Manga and novels, I guess I'll have to observe her more to assess my preference properly. :p

    I did find something interesting though... The building tension between Amane and Yaya. Both of them actually used quite rough words (for well-bred girls) at each other, especially Yaya who sounded a tad bit defensive (even aggressive) imho. Despite that, Amane should have shown appreciation to Yaya for the latter saving Hikari earlier on. If Amane had only thanked Yaya, I doubt Yaya would have been this irritated at her love rival (or perhaps Amane had a reason not to bring this up? Ooh... Subtle jealousy on Amane's part for not being Hikari's hero that time maybe?). I wonder where this would lead later on now that Hikari and Yaya have reconciled with one another. Hmm... It could have been more intriguing if they hadn't yet. What would Hikari have done?

    Still no expansion on the Miator storyline yet, but that will be something which I can't wait for, especially since the brilliant schemer will be pitting her claws against the most influential idol of the whole academy. Tamao, save us all!!

  • On Monday, 10 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Look Dav, in Kannazuki no Miko, Himeko (Hikari) totally got raped by her most trusted friend and even then she never harbored any real anger against Chikane (Yaya), she just got really confused. Realistically that is pure tripe I know but we are operating under japanese yuri logic here. With that in mind Hikari didn't hold anything against Yaya because a bit of groping apparently isn't all that big of a deal between friends.

  • On Monday, 10 July, 2006, Blogger Dav said…

    Yes, you're right. That's why I contradicted myself after my trivial rants by saying "Ah well... This is fiction after all." Morever, it's yuri so forgiveness does come very (in some cases, extremely) quickly. I was just musing the story may develop into something more convincing (or better because quite a few of us were left disappointed with how things turned out at the end of this episode) if they delay the forgiveness part but as you said, it's Japanese yuri logic so anything goes. ^___^

  • On Monday, 10 July, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    I'm hoping that the Spica storyline can somewhat recover itself from the rather large hole it has now flung itself into still. It has without a doubt the best characters in it, and to see it shoot itself in the foot so readily was a major pain.

    As for the "main" plot over with Shizuma and Nagisa (and possibly Tamao of course), my main hopes are now resting on this story wise. SHizuma's dark past better prove dark enough to cause vast amounts of angst, and if the writers have any sense (I'm beginning to doubt that actually) then Tamao will go nuts too.

  • On Sunday, 16 July, 2006, Anonymous Matrim said…

    = How can anything this bad be produced?"

    Yes, that's the question. I knew the new ending was going to be dumb but even I didn't expect to be so indescribably silly.

    As for the episode - Hikari tripped and feel. Again. Amane won the pointless cameo award and after these two episode I think Himeko from KannaMiko should sue Hikari for copyright violation or however you call it when a characters copies the actions of another chacter.:)

    "Realistically that is pure tripe I know but we are operating under japanese yuri logic here. "

    Are you sure logic is the right word to use here, LOL.

    "The same teachers that never get informed about things like Kaname and Momomi's behaviour, ever. "

    That's because in the crazy world of StoPani that would only lead to Kaname and Momomi getting praise from the teachers, I suspect. Kaname might also get an A in Philosophy for her usual babble when groping her victims...

  • On Monday, 17 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm so hoping that Hikari wouldn't forgive in 1 episode coz that doesn't make sense. But anyway thank goodness they can still be best friends.

    Next episode is so good. Yaya still seen to be in love with Hikari and wow Nagisa and Shizuma is a real deal that needs to be structured.

  • On Monday, 24 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    will you update the blog? I'm so desperate

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