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Strawberry Panic

Aoi Nagisa transfers to one of the three affiliated all-girl Catholic schools on Astraea Hill, St. Miator's Girls' Academy. There, she discovers a community of fellow students entwined in an intricate hierarchy, in which two Etoiles represent the three schools. In order to fit in, Nagisa must go to class, join clubs, and make new friends. Meanwhile, Shizuma Hanazono, the sole Etoile of Astraea Hill, finds herself drawn to this new, exciting transfer student. As Shizuma and Nagisa get to know each other, Shizuma finally decides it is time to face her troubled past.
User Count8482
Favorites Count111
Start Date4th Apr 2006
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1362
Rating Rank3423
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

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Reviews

* Strawberry Panic! is a shoujo-ai and Yuri genre.It's about a transfer student arriving at Ichigo-sha,a hill with three all-girls schools,Miator,Spica and Lilim.There are many yuri couples and sweet scenes.But If you don' like that stuff,just shoo.Well if you love animes with ONLY female characters,slice-of life,romance,and of course Yuri,this will definitely be you're cup of tea.Just watch it like,right now. * The storyline was well developed,thought quite slow-paced.Each episode has it's unique theme.There were angst and drama,romance and friendship,and of course over-dramatic times.That is minor,though. * The music is nice and compatible,and the characters all have their unique personalities.Thought they're not really well-developed,and must be re-watched to fully appreciate. * The animation is,well,average.The only thing nice about it is the(what I consider)pretty art style,but maybe everybody's a little too skinny. * All seiyuus have done excellent jobs,and their voices really matched the characters. * And lastly again,I really like the soundtracks. * Overall,this is that type of anime that you either like or dislike.You may even find plot holes thought I personally spotted them but didn't really mind.You'll certainly enjoy this gentle,slice-of-life genre of Shoujo-ai,if you're a fan of Yuri. * * * Because,basically everyone in Strawberry Panic! Is a Lesbian.

**As always, my reviews are spoiler free.** What comes to mind when you hear the word yuri? Recently, it has taken on a meaning of solely fanservice, when two girls are ambiguously paired in an unrelated series to try to cash in the audience’s lesbian fetishes. Sadly, the vast majority of yuri and shoujou ai that has ever been animated falls into this category, and the yuri fans are lucky to get a canonical pairing at all, let alone development of a relationship between them. While there are a multitude of yuri and shoujou ai manga, there are only a few anime that focus on the development of romantic relationships between girls. In the case of Strawberry Panic, however, that is the entire composition of the series. For this reason, it has not only become a staple among yuri fans, but is often considered to be the pinnacle of genre. When I say “pinnacle of the genre,” make no mistake; this anime is targeted at a very specific audience: yuri fans. Others need not apply unless they are interested in diving into the genre headfirst. It follows almost every yuri trope in the book; there is an all girl’s school, a naïve newcomer, an experienced and totally admired school celebrity, love triangles, and traumatic pasts. In fact, it follows so many of these tropes many consider it to actually be a parody of the yuri genre as a whole, a commentary and summary of each aspect combined into a single work. This may or may not be true, but it contains everything a fan of the genre could want and more. **Story** - **10/10** The story begins simply enough, with Nagisa Aoi joining an all girl’s academy on Astraea Hill, St. Miator's Girls' Academy. However, she has a chance encounter with the school’s etoile and celebrity, Shizuma Hanazono which immediately sets the course of anime. Shizuma takes a strong liking to Nagisa, and as with many girls before, Shizuma decides she will make Nagisa her own. The story actually revolves around several couples in three schools on Astraea Hill, all of whom interact freely with one another. In many respects, the early part of the story treads water as a SOL series; each of these girls goes about their daily school lives and they do fun things together. However, with this being a yuri through and through, every single one of them are lesbians. The number of relationships that develop between the girls can actually be a bit hard to keep track of. Some are only friends, but there are many one sided crushes and love triangles to contend with as well. Until roughly the midpoint of the series, character introduction and SOL elements are the focus. There is a distinct shift that takes place; once all the characters have had their introductions and their desires made clear, Strawberry Panic becomes a dramatic romance. This change in tone can be a little startling, but the singular event that marks this change is beautiful and dramatic, and the romance that follows is all the more meaningful because the viewer has had the chance to become attached to the characters. These slowly paced, lighthearted episodes, in addition to being enjoyable in their own right, serve that purpose to great affect without the viewer ever noticing. The romantic plots are all well executed, with characters having clearly defined motivations for their actions and enough development for the viewer to gain a genuine attachment to them. This allows the series to play with your emotions in ways that most other yuri (and romances in general) are unable to. Overall, the story is a fantastic example of how not one, but many, romances can be pulled off almost flawlessly. **Animation - 7/10** Well, sometimes. Strawberry Panic begins to show its age in the animation department. There are more still shots, panning, and zooming than I care for, and the animation can occasionally be choppy. However, the art redeems it somewhat, with detailed character designs and a wide variety of attractive backdrops. The character models can be a bit polarizing; while I like them myself, I have heard them referred to (not-completely-inaccurately) as “noodle people.” While the art is by no means bad, it is completely outclassed by other series of the time such as Code Geass and Death Note. **Sound - 8/10** The Strawberry Panic soundtrack is quite good. The backing tracks are used to great effect, fitting comical and serious scenes alike, and there is actually a significant number of tracks used. I greatly enjoyed both of the OPs, and the EDs are nice as well. The voice acting is done well. Most characters are done by big name, talented actresses with impressive resumes. They show their talent in some of the more passionate and dramatic scenes, as well as some “insert songs” by Yaya and Hikari of the choir club. *OPs* **Characters - 10/10** Strawberry Panic has a wide cast of characters, and while the true stars of the show are Nagisa and Shizuma, there are nearly 10 recurring characters with important roles in romantic subplots or the overarching plot as a whole. Surprisingly, these characters are all given great personalities and motivations, and even the “antagonists” are genuinely likeable. Shizuma is especially well explored. Without getting into spoilers, her tragic past manifests in her personality and actions, and the themes of lost love, regret, and looking to the future are shown in Nagisa and Shizuma’s blossoming relationship. She is one of the strongest and most well developed leads of the romance genre. Nagisa, taking on a role frighteningly close to a harem protagonist, appears much simpler on the surface. Without Shizuma, she would be enjoyable enough as a ditzy lead, but together they become a beautiful couple. She gains the vast majority of her development in the latter half of the series, as she is pivotal in helping Shizuma to face her past and look towards the future. It takes time, but she too becomes a strong character. Tamao, Nagisa’s roommate, is the third lead and the other competitor for Nagisa’s affections. She plays a much bigger role in the early half of the series as characters are introduced, but begins to fade as the focus moves towards more serious topics and the character’s relationships. She is Nagisa’s best friend and guide, and while she is often at Nagisa’s side, she is not explored to the same depth as Shizuma and Nagisa. This does not stop her from being a constant source of entertainment, and she plays a crucial role in acquainting Nagisa with the school and being her constant companion. *Shizuma and Nagisa* It would be too time consuming to go over each of the other characters, but they are, for the most part, done better than even the leads of other romance anime. They go through their own trials and relationships, and the viewer may even feel as invested in them as the main couple. To balance this number of characters and their backgrounds so well is no less than a miracle. **Enjoyment - 10/10** Despite its flaws, Strawberry Panic is unquestionably the go-to anime for someone looking for a yuri romance series. It contains everything that you can want out of a series like this; loveable and developed characters, a serious plot that is lightened by occasional comic relief, and a satisfying conclusion for all parties. In my opinion, it is truly the best the genre has to offer, leading me to give it a perfect 10 and suggest it to any fan of yuri and shoujou ai.

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