Strawberry Marshmallow — Anime Review

3.5 stars
This show has no particular ambition other than to be very funny, and to a large extent it succeeds. The episodes on the first two DVDs are the funniest things I have ever seen in an anime series.

After that it loses some of its comic energy. The biggest laugh on the last DVD is probably unintentional (and only occurs on the Japanese soundtrack). By the final episode they have sunk to using cheap sentimentality in the hope of producing a lump in the viewer’s throat. It’s sort of like putting a heart-warming ending on a Three Stooges movie (which doubtless has been done, and didn’t work any better there).

  • Original Title
    Ichigo Mashimaro
  • Demographic
    Seinen
  • Genres
    Comedy
  • Contents
    12 Episodes on 3 DVDs
  • Languages
    Japanese with subtitles, English
  • Based on
    A manga by “Barasui”
  • Director
    Takuya Sato
  • Broadcast
    TBS, 2005
  • Region 1 Publisher
    Geneon

Synopsis

Some impossibly cute girls do things that are not always entirely praiseworthy, and get into mild sorts of trouble.

I couldn’t resist transcribing a sample here. Note that you really need to hear the Japanese soundtrack to get the full effect.

DVD Notes

This is a LOT funnier if you listen to the Japanese sound track with subtitles. Not only do the Japanese voice actresses have much greater comedic skills, but a number of jokes are based on one character’s clumsy attempts to speak English, and this really doesn’t work if everyone is already speaking English.

Parental Advisory

This is not really intended for young children, but they will want to watch it anyway due to the very high cuteness level, and it probably will not do them any great harm.

However parents should be aware that the only adult role-model in this show smokes heavily, drinks and is generally irresponsible.

Characters

NobueNobue Itou is a 20-year-old college student who lives at home. She borrows money from her little sister to buy cigarettes, and is generally a poor role model. She has a terrible weakness for anything cute, which makes her putty in the hands of the younger girls.
Chika12-year-old Chika Itou is Nobue’s sister. She is the most sensible of the characters.
Miu12-year-old Miu Matsuoka lives next door and is a born trouble-maker. She’s not really evil; she just immediately says or does whatever pops into her head. She normally arrives through the window of Chika’s bedroom having run across the roofs. She secretly worships Nobue and will do anything to get her attention.
MatsuriAnother of Chika’s friends, 11-year-old Matsuri Sakuragi is timid, sensitive and very gullible.
Ana11-year-old Ana Coppola was born in England and moved to Japan when she was six. Because of her appearance people are surprised to discover that she speaks perfect Japanese. Ana would love to play the role of the cool Westerner but she is hampered by the fact that she is totally assimilated and has mostly forgotten how to speak English.

(Presumably her real name is “Anna”, but she is so far gone that she writes it in Hiragana and converts that to Romaji.)

Links

Anime News Network.