Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yuri Mania 27: Strawberry Panic Ending

Gokigenyou! It's about time I finish this yuri post about Strawberry Panic. Unlike the last Strawberry Panic post, this one will include a LOT of spoilers. I figured this is a four year old show and a lot of people have seen this already, but in case you haven't; I have warned you. If you haven't seen this show, don't go past the second opening and ending songs. It's not that I don't welcome you to read it, it will just spoil everything if you haven't seen it ^^; Oh and there will be some NSFW pictures...

Once again they went for the live action ending video (this is the full version video, not the original ending, btw). Very rare in anime.

Since this is a spoiler post, I'm going to cut straight to the chase without explaining much of what happened. Hopefully people who are reading this still remembers what happened ^^;

The End is the Beginning is the End
First up is the one that surprised me the most: the ending. The second opening song certainly threw me off the actual Shizuma X Nagisa pairing, especially with the picture above. I was so sure that Nagisa will end up with Tamao... Perhaps because I really liked Tamao as well.

The lack of affection between Nagisa and Shizuma really made me thought it wasn't meant to be. Oh how wrong I was!

Of course there were many clues about Shizuma who still desired Nagisa, but somehow I really wanted to see a Tamao X Nagisa ending that I didn't take notice of the clues; not that I didn't like the ShizNagi pairing, mind you. Flashbacks between Shizuma's meeting with Nagisa were more obvious clues when I watched it the second time.

No, maybe I did know that it was going to be a Shizuma X Nagisa ending, but it was this ending where Shizuma burst into the chapel and professed her love for Nagisa in public that just shocked and tickled me. It was just so out of the blue and I didn't expect this at all that I laughed like an idiot!

It was gracious of Tamao to actually release Nagisa too. I was expecting Tamao to put up a little fight (I almost did because of the first picture), but I guess keeping the last étoile's lover away from her in front of 3 schools sorta looks evil, don't it? :P

It's quite funny how Shizuma looks like she just kidna... snatched a bride from the altar! It's really nice that Shizuma has that very cute expression on her (second picture above) after seeing her in that always cold or sad face.

And finally the happy ending! It was quite a struggle from the beginning up to this point. My emotions were being pulled back and forth from their first kiss to the cottage scene and to this ending. I was mislead right to the very end. Hey, I'm happy for these two, but I feel quite sorry for Tamao... Maybe she can play around with Nagisa some more after Shizuma graduates, eh? :P

The whole étoile election thing was actually quite early in the manga, so having it at the end was strange to me. It was a good setup for a nice ending though, which makes me wonder how far the manga went since they never finished publishing it here... Guess it's time to track some scanlations down...

As for the other main couple... Meh. I'd rather have Hikari ended up with Yaya. Still, I gotta say it's nice of Hikari to stick to her devotion/crush til the very end, even though it looked unattainable in the beginning.

But of course they always had to have a last minute complication near the end. Minor case of amnesia, another overused plotline. Heh, can't help but think that perhaps it's a possibility for Yaya to win Hikari, but only wishful thinking.

Especially after this... The ecchiness of the show always surprised me, plus I didn't think this would happen right away! Hikari and Amane getting it on... while other people stayed up back in the dorms waiting for their return! What a bunch of inconsiderate... Anyway... No chance for Yaya then =(  Speaking of Yaya...

Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood
There's always a character that stand out for me in every anime I watched. In Popotan, it's Mai; in Strawberry Panic, it's Yaya. Perhaps because both of them are tragic characters. I really felt for Yaya the whole time. She tries so hard to no avail...

Ok, a bit too hard, when she forced herself on Hikari... Sure it was hot, but that was painful too since it's a betrayal of trust between two very good friends.

It was nice for them to go back as friends again... but perhaps it was too easy? I mean, wow, your friend pretty much just about finished second base and about to go third base, but forgave her just like that? Well I suppose it's much better than several episodes of both of them in constant uncomfortable state of mind. Plus it's anime...

So is that it for Yaya? Nothing for her in the end, just like Tamao? Oh, no I don't think so! So here are 4 pictures that helps my theory that there is a happy ending for Yaya with Tsubomi! Deshou? Looks like it's a possibility, right? I know Tsubomi looked like she likes Hikari too, but I think she likes both of them, and since Hikari's taken... Yaya is free! It looks like Yaya is being playful with Tsubomi in the last picture taken from the epilogue ending animation. Yes or no on Yaya X Tsubomi?

Triple Ecchi
One thing that struck me different about this yuri anime compared to MariMite, is that it's a lot more sensual. MariMite keeps its innocence throughout with the exception of maybe one pairing, but never any touching that's in Strawberry Panic! Just from Nagisa and Shizuma's first kiss immediately followed with Shizuma having her way with Nagisa. It was surprising, but I gladly welcome it. Not a lot of yuri anime gets this far, especially for something that's shown on television!

The existing couple are great sources for these sensuality in the show, like Kaname and Momomi. Even just normal conversations they talk in the nude in the bathtub or about to sleep! But jeez, they were evil, evil, evil... I gotta say that Kaname was much nicer, but I am curious about all the incidents that Amane were having. Was it their doing?

Shizuma and Kaori's ecchi scene also surprised me. Shizuma really moved fast when she loves somebody, doesn't she?? Especially as someone as sickly as Kaori. Honestly I was annoyed at the cottage episodes with Shizuma and Nagisa. The pacing was far too slow than I hoped for. Oh sure, I should be used to the slow melodramatic scenes from MariMite, but these scenes felt much slower! One cottage episode seemed to be nothing but Nagisa avoiding Shizuma and that was already painful... They didn't have to make it slow AND painful.

A picture of Shizuma from her hikikomori episodes... Those uniforms really hide the sizes quite well, don't they?

Where in the World is Carmen? Not in San Diego
The school festival episodes featuring the Carmen play were my favourite two episodes in the whole series. It gave the spotlight to Chikura for a little while and the drama surrounding it was great! Plus it's also a completely new play I've never heard about. It's good to learn new things! The whole setup was great, especially the scene in the pictures above.

Oh but then Nagisa had to steal the show! Ok, well she looked really awesome with that mean face and Shizuma reacting with an angry face! Great great stuff when the main character had to jump in to save the day ^_^

Very dramatic! I held back in posting a lot of screenshots from this episode even though I took lots! The accident with Chikura was unfortunate, but I really liked the chemistry between Nagisa's Carmen and Shizuka's Don Jose. And there's also Tamao giving the ok for Nagisa to do it with Shizuka, "you are the one" as if it was the Matrix XD

Le Rim Spells Relief
Wow even the younger ones are already ecchi! Shizuma is a great influence... But these Le Rim girls are the best comic relief in the show. There can be quite some serious relationship and drama, but put them in there and they'll just make you laugh!

Chikura being the leader of it all who creates all sorts of club on the spot is hilarious! She's such an underrated character in here because of all the drama that's going on.

Chikura doesn't just serve as the comic relief, but another sort of relief for the main characters' relationship woe... Everybody seems to be crying on her shoulders when something bad happens! Ok, more like her chest, but close enough. She just seems to come out of nowhere near the end to be some kind of support for these two girls.

Anything else you want to discuss? Feel free to add it in the comments... Meanwhile I'm gonna put more Yaya pictures.


  1. and to think i watched this series with my sister :O (male here btw)what the hell was i thinking...

  2. I'm part of the alienated group that can't read the whole post, but I heard there was NSFW material so I took down your police tape.
    Because I'm not going to lie, this is totally what I'm here for.
    I see they haven't skimped on anything, if there's even in-the-woods. I'd call it complete and watch it immediately if there was also in-an-airplane-washroom.

    You know how clever that is? A thumb-war basically has your opponent right where you want them. Light should've challenged L to a thumb-war. Forget I said that.

    The OP is really fluffy too. I see what people mean when one thinks yuri one thinks of the sparkles and gentle wind...
    Apologies to any yuri-fan I'm having fun at the expense of.

  3. @Anonymous: Whose idea was it to watch the show? ^^; It's kinda funny because some yuri shows are targeted for girls so it might've been ok, lol.

    @Ningyo: Hahaha, yah, I didn't mean to exclude anyone, but I figured someone would at least see that keyword and scroll down anyway :P

    It's very stereotypical with all the flowers appearing in the background and some mists suddenly surrounding the screen with a soft focus. It's all normal here, so no need for apologies. I would so put in more of those NSFW pictures, but didn't want to overdo it ^^;

    I'm sure someone made that doujin of Light and L having a "thumb wrestling".

  4. Tis the show that got me hooked into the wonderful world of YURI!!!!

    Glad you posted the second half of your commentary. My brows went up when I saw Hikari and Amane went all the way, which I found totally uncharacteristic. They're both lame by the way. Like you, I'm on Yaya's team.

    Yep, Shizuma does not like to waste time getting down. If she were real, I'd definitely be in the long line of applicants. LOL! My silver haired goddess!

    There are some very nice SP fanfic yuri mate. Feel free to read some of them when you got the time. Let me leave you with CONGRATULATIONS! for Canada's triumph in the 2010 Winter Olympics. :)

  5. This was quite a long time ago and I had kind of forgotten some of the side characters... Such as the younger girls.
    I like Tamao x Nagisa more as well and Yaya is also the star of Strawberry Panic! for me.
    Anyway, my personal theory for Yaya x Tsubomi is that Tsubomi has always liked Yaya. But being a tsundere, she hides that by pretending that she likes Hikari, when in reality, she wants to be closer to Yaya instead. After all, Yaya is the star singer and Tsubomi was awed by the choir.
    Well... I can hope.

    Lastly, these girls really do act fast...

  6. @monzzi3: Ah it's the awakening anime, eh? LoL. Yes, I agree, Hikari and Amane didn't seem like the ones that would do that after fumbling around so much in the beginning of the relationship... LoL Shizuma maniac, eh? :P

    Oooh yeah, I gotta find those fanfics. I don't go searching for them that often though ^^; And thank you! It was a crazy and fun games!

    @Yi: Yeah, sorry, I've been really procrastinating on these ^^; I had to refer back a few times to the anime to know some of the specifics.

    Yes, yes! That's it Tsubomi as a tsundere makes sense. I'm starting to see quite a few of fanart with Yaya and Tsubomi in it ^^ Strawberry Panic sequel?

  7. I felt bad for Tamao.. She did nothing but love, help and support Nagisa till the very end and then when there was omthing she wanted so badly Nagisa and Shizuma selfishly took it away from her. I wonder if she ever really forgave her at the end..?

  8. @Anonymous: She'll have to accept one day that it won't work out... That's how love is, I think. I remember Tamao seem to be having as much fun as she can with Nagisa since she's her roommate near the end credits though. Ah privileges :D

  9. Even though at fist I thought that Tamao x Nagisa was perfect and oh so adorable, later I understood that it would been a very boring relationship that wouldnt have lasted too much. And that's because they both are kinda (KINDA) the same type of girl, right? I mean, none of them would start teasing (provoking) the other one to have... you know... right? They both would end up blushing and doing nothing, right? ._.

  10. OH, by the way. Very nice Yaya picture selection :D VERY VERY nice!

  11. @Paola: Tamao is a bit more assertive than Nagisa at times, but you're right, sometimes even that isn't enough to start anything. It is best when they stay as really, really, really close friends XD

    Thanks! Yaya is my favourite after all :3

  12. Great post, I just finished this anime up and I enjoyed your evaluation.

    It was a pretty bittersweet ending but personally I liked Nagisa/Shizuma coupling.

    Chikaru was my favorite girl, I wish she would of got more time though. I think another underrated character was Miyuki she was basically Shizuma's Tamao, but I guess her having an arranged marriage after she graduates kinda stops her from really pursuing anyone.

    1. It has been so long since I watch Strawberry Panic that I had to look up Miyuki again ^^; But now I remember. She was definitely a great character. She needed more screentime too! Even though it's not in the story, I really hope for good ending for them all ^_^

      Thank you for your comment! It makes me want to watch this series again. So many great moments that I haven't seen for a long time now.

  13. I absolutely love strawberry panic! i personally really like the NagisaxShizuma pairing. i thought they would be together from the very first episode on. the entire time i was just waiting for them to kiss.

    1. LoL they always make you wait, and wait, and wait for that kiss, don't they? But when they do, our hearts would just melt ^_^