One afternoon, something incredible happens to Manaka Junpei. As he steps onto the school roof, a beautiful girl sails down from the reddening sky, her skirt thrashing wildly in the wind as her scrumptious strawberry panties are displayed to the world. Embarrassed, she runs away, and the awestruck Junpei sets off on a mission to discover the girl’s identity. Sound interesting? Why, yes it does, even for me. What I don’t understand is how a show with such promising, ecchi-tastic beginnings can melt into one of the blandest pieces of fruit I’ve had the misfortune (or insanity) to sample.
The main reason for Ichigo 100%'s letdown is its lack – yes, lack – of ecchi. Barely springing off the whole “strawberry panties” concept, the plot instead putters off in another direction, where eventually it lands into the turgid gelatin of “just another bad harem anime.” Three additional girls are introduced, and the interplay between both themselves and the male protagonist gets the water running – only to dry up like a spent fountain. Ichigo 100%’s story evolves into nothing more than a fragmented, emotionally drained quadrangle: Junpei spends his days sharing “moments” with each of the girls in patterned succession, continues to monopolize their feelings, and wavers back and forth ad infinitum on which shallow female to choose. In the wise words of Junpei himself as he walks down the school hallway, “I can’t decide who’s the best!” And folks, that’s pretty much all there is to it.
While Junpei angsts about such momentous matters, brief instances of giggle-worthy ecchi fan service pop up every so often, keeping the show barely alive. As it stands, the rest of the plot remains so dull that these rare fan service moments stand in stark contrast and become the high points of the episode. Unfortunately, Ichigo 100% glosses over such deliciousness (not to mention completely discarding its strawberry motif after episode four). Instead, the script is devoted to four stagnant sub-plots, each concerning a different girl, which run throughout the show like an endlessly repeating 4-song CD track, albeit in slightly different forms at each scheduled occurrence. To cap off the refrigerated mess, Ichigo 100%’s senseless conclusion leaves absolutely no closure. To both the virgin fanboy and the romance junkie, this steaming pile of mediocrity will disappoint.
For a show aimed at young virginal males, I don’t see how the character designs could ever arouse even its most sexually frustrated viewers. In short, the main cast of Ichigo are ugly little creatures with shrunken eyes, overly round faces, and chubby, compact bodies. Okay, perhaps I’m slightly exaggerating, but strangely, the characters formulate in my mind off-screen as uglier versions of their drawn selves. Regardless of my personal foibles, a question should be considered: Are the characters pleasing to look at? I say not in the slightest.
The show does contain brief flashes of visual beauty in the form of sparkling glamour shots, glistening boobs, and occasional shading techniques. However, these passing moments are spread much too thinly over the more frequent animation style of Ichigo 100%: Immobile backgrounds set against characters’ moving mouths. We are left staring at an inert screen, while the characters hold cheap poses that change into other cheap poses every time they begin a new sentence. If the dialogue were to actually maintain my interest, these mishaps would be somewhat forgivable, but with such an abysmal script, it only radiates the feeling of a flipbook on slow-motion.
Let me make this clear: I would prefer listening to a banshee than having to stomach Ichigo’s soundtrack again. Ranging from inconsequential mallet pings to anachronistic epic fanfares to god-awful “da-da-da”s, the series’ choice in music embeds the already rotting storyline in an additional layer of mold. What makes the situation worse is that the selections, as obnoxious as they are, also catch the ear and continue to croon from one’s mental radio hours after last watching the show. Voice acting is passable, and I’ll even go so far as to say it succeeds tremendously if the aim of the seiyuu were to annoy the hell out of you. Kenichi Suzumura, for example, brings his characteristic lilt so beloved in Ouran High School Host Club to Ichigo and performs Junpei in such a way that I wanted to throttle the character.
Let us commence an exhaustive personality analysis for each principal cast member:
1) Toujou (Girl #1): intelligent and timid, typical “girl with glasses”
2) Kitaoji (Girl #2): your everyday voluptuous, loud-mouthed bitch
3) Nishino (Girl #3): ......
4) Yui (Girl #4): naive, cute childhood friend, has habit of undressing in her sleep (particularly when Junpei is sharing the bed)
5) Junpei (Boy): “I can’t decide who’s the best!” Oh, and also likes film.
6) Junpei’s buddies: loathsome, unabashed pervert-creepers
7) Female teacher: eye-popping mammaries
I think that just about covers it. For all the time Junpei spends with his harem, astoundingly little progress is made in developing these characters past their first-encounter stereotype. (A case can maybe form for Nishino). At first, it is pleasantly refreshing to witness Junpei’s primary interest directed towards sweet, quiet Toujou; very soon, however, the girl lapses into an overly sensitive bore. The rest of the cast, excepting the perverted teacher and perhaps Yui, become even more unappealing to see on screen, as their overly simplistic personas do nothing more than protract the episode. Needless to say, it’s an inauspicious sign if the chief factor that enlivens a character is the frequency of her panty shots.
In Ichigo 100%’s odorous wake, one will be left to ask in wonder, “Why on earth is the thing called what it is?” As the fascinating “strawberry panties” idea never blossoms, one should more likely revise the title as “Ichigo 20%,” or perhaps even more accurately, “Bad Harem Anime No. ___”. Bottom line: Please forgo this mound of strawberry-tinted vomit. The likes of Kanon (2006) or even True Tears will prove infinitely superior.
Ichigo 100% is an ecchi harem, featuring some *sigh* panty shots, about a boy and a few romantic interests. Viewers be warned. Also when reading the following review, please take into account that I generally don't enjoy ecchi or harem anime and this will definitely affect my opinion of this anime. A few spoilers are required to explain some of the characters especially as most of the story revelations happens in the first few episodes.
Simple stuff first, sound is OK. This anime is only available in Japanese but thats fine. None of the voices are too annoying though Komiyama sounds like he's an old man sometimes. Music is OK too, though nothing extraordinary.
The animation itself was done rather well. The quality is good for something from 2005 and the style of anime was unepectedly pleasant, despite being an ecchi harem. It could have easily been a serious romance (and a decent one at that) without any of the ecchi (and harem) aspects. Of course there have been better animated series from that time period. Characters changing things about themselves like hairstyle, is done well and somewhat realistically.
Of the important characters, there's only 4 female characters and the main male character. Of these 5, the least important would be Yui Minamito. She is childhood friend of Junpei's who is a year younger and used to live next door. She has a habit of not only, sleeping in his room, but in his bed and she has a habit of sleep-stripping. Yes, she ends up in Junpei's bed and takes off her clothes while she sleeps, I don't need to say much of how shit an idea this is. The closest stereotype that would best describe this character is the annoying little sister. And that's accurate because she thankfully isn't actually a love interest in this anime. SPOILER< She even surprisingly in one instance, leaves to allow Junpei to be alone with a girl >SPOILER
Tsukasa Nishino is a blonde chick who Junpei confesses to at the beginning, as a joke expecting her to turn him down. SPOILER< She accepts the confession and becomes his girlfriend for a while, though they never progress and split due to long distance as she ends up at a different high school >SPOILER She is good at cooking and is a surprisingly pleasant character, being honest with Junpei and acting rather normal in general.
Satsuki Kitaoji is a girl in Junpei's class in high-school who initially seems to be a tsundere character. She actually turns out to be very honest to Junpei about her feelings (therefore not being tsundere) and is a bit agressive/hot-headed about it. She even seems clingy at times trying to seduce him and what not.
Aya Toujou is a shy, bookworm girl who aspires to be a writer. It's obvious fairly early on that she has feelings for Junpei but is too shy to ever reveal them to him. SPOILER< It turns out that she was the girl with the strawberry panties at the start and she looked different due to her hairstyle and lack of glasses >SPOILER Throughout the anime she writes a novel which Junpei enjoys reading and also helps with studying due to her smarts.
The main character is Junpei Manaka, who is a rather confusing character to be honest. Half the time he seems to be a serious nice guy with no malicious intent and the other time he seems to be a pervert with his mind in the gutter. I didn't like this mix of personality, IMO he should have been one or the other. It seems his dream in life is to make (innocent) movies with Toujou writing the scripts. He has one quirk which is cliche of harem animes: he is indecisive. Which results in this anime being pointless and terrible, since the viewer expects for a girl to be chosen by the end.
The other characters are mostly terrible, the female teacher unfortunately turns out to be rather perverted and the other male characters, except one, are all perverts. A disappointing supporting cast.
The story itself is rather fast paced intially with a lot going on and a lot of revelations being made. As mentioned, the main character has 3 girls to choose from. Once the characters get to high school though, things slow down and pretty much nothing develops. At least there is some story, but in the end most of it amounts to nothing. SPOILER< He doesn't choose a girl and he never gets anywhere with them, not even a kiss. The ending may be left hanging, but there is an OVA sequel that shows what happens >SPOILER
A disappointment IMO, since it seemed that this anime had potential. It would have been multitudes better with an actual ending. Depsite being harem ecchi, for the most part it was tolerable and seemed chilled out. I was very surprised that I didn't hate this anime so much.
Family-friendliness Rating: 3.5/5 A few panty shots and some big boobs and near nudes here and there. These don't appear to often though (lower is better)
Overall Rating: 5/10 (higher is better)
Story: Let me set the tone for this review, like all other reviews of it's like. It's terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE. I suffered an existential crisis of a sort as I wasn't too sure if the manga was really good after watching this show. It was so bad that I had to think on that! A show shouldn't let you think poorly about another adaptation you have gone through and thought moderately highly of! THAT IS NOT HOW YOU CREATE ANOTHER ADAPTATION.
Now that's done, lets get onto the less important parts with occasional profanity.
So, story. It's your typical harem anime. Guy does something perverted to the girl, sees her strawberry (Lol Ichigo) panties, girl runs but girl inexplicably falls in love with pervert. And more women join in because the pervert radiates a sexual aura that attracts women. As his harem grows, so does his inability to choose and thus the amount of perverted situations and strawberry panties. Being your typical harem anime, it surprisingly lacks a sufficient amount of ecchi, to my taste. It's unfaithful to the consistently fanservicey manga in this aspect and while it should have used more ecchi, it wouldn't have saved the painful plot of it all.
The plot's what you would expect; classic high school crap and a film club, because you need a way to film babes in swimsuits and an underground porn development studio. And some of the most gut-mauling contrived coincidences. I'm talking about people just randomly appearing at a random intersection in the middle of buttfuck nowhere, every. SINGLE. PERSON introduced, meeting up at that one time, nearly at the same exact time. Even at Junpei's house! The fuck is with that? And perverted hijinks ensue with a way too long face in crotch shot.
Yes. It was too long. And I don't mean his face in a girls.
Oh, and 12 episodes, it doesn't get far enough to add all the women that surround Junpei or any other perverts, let alone a conclusive ending, but it covers some chapters and as far as I can remember, somewhat faithfully and I can barely remember it. I can't really call it funny but it has a moment or few, more misses than hits though.
And not enough Nishino.
Animation: Ouch. I don't have many nice things to say so I'll get those over first.
1) Nishino. Love that short hair of hers. Love when she grew it out a bit and easily the most gorgeous of the bunch. And Nishino in a maid outfit? Bonus points!
2) Naaah, forget about 2.
3) I'm drawing a blank. Maybe the fanservice or something. Or when Manaka gets kicked in the balls, that's always fun.
Fun time; in general, the animation is shit. It looks ugly for the most part and while I thought Satsuki was a red-head, she was really a brunette. Huh. Stupidity aside, the characters resemble the ones in the manga but holy fuck Sausage Lips is so ugly it's funny. Sausage Lips because I couldn't give two craps to remember his name. I shouldn't be singling out a guy and pinning the blame on his horrific visage but it wasn't just the design. The way he moved, the way he spoke, was way creepy.
The other characters didn't look too good, the animation was poor, some of the facial expressions got way messed up and it was sloppy overall.
Sound: This is extremely questionable. The music, I really shouldn't care about it but there's a surprisingly decent EP, a catchy tune, an OP that uses gratuitous English with questionable wording (Which I love, guilty pleasure) and some truly moment ruining Chuu-chu-waa~ and a duet of sorts at the end of nearly half the episodes that is so hilariously bad that it's good. I don't even know how I enjoy it but whenever someone sings some nonsense syllables at a tender moment, I start to crack.
And that bit about how it ruins moments? I'm not docking points for that. It transcends terrible right into good, as bad as it really is.
Voices? They're alright. Don't like Lips though.
Characters: Let me start off by saying I love Nishino. The thread loved Nishino. Nishino was the best, the best by far and Manaka was a dumbass for not choosing her. Makes me want to punch him in the face. And... she was the one who wasn't... how should I put it... the one who was the least ruined by the show while having a chance to "win".
The other girls, Toujou and Satsuki, the two who really had a shot, got kinda screwed over. Toujou became bland, boring and kinda bleh despite her knockers. Also Junpei couldn't recognize her when she dressed like a nerd but that's his fault, not hers. Satsuki, who I liked, jumped on the Manaka wagon quickly and was orbiting his nuts like no other. She was determined to win, to the point where it almost got painful to watch. Hell, I wanted him to pick her before she got flanderized (By my opinion). Her Manaka-centric desire got a bit much.
Yui, she's cool. One of the least annoying gals of the bunch and one who climbs into Junichi's bed and strip sleeps. I stopped asking questions a while ago.
The guys aren't worth mentioning apart from Lip's inability to get anything but looks of disgust, horror and sheer revulsion as he tries to "get r done". Nobody falls for his perverted, creepy lack of charms. And by guys I mean guys that aren't Junpei, who deserves a kick in the nuts. Guy can't make a decision on picking Nishino and decides to drag shit out, making dumbfuck decisions that hurt others, sleazes it up, attempts to shoot smut and is all-around so easy to hate in the anime. really makes you want to punch him, and that's one of the best things I can think about him: He's punchable.
So why a 3? Easy. Nishino and Yui.
Overall: The reason it gets a 3 is because I haven't reviewed the OVAs. The series is shit, a pisspoor adaptation of the vastly superior manga. Everything about it is generally terrible and the music is questionable at best where your enjoyment varies wildly. Very few things are redeemable here and if you do decide to watch it, watch it with some friends. Misery loves company after all.
The series was never finished... very disapointing.
Also, the story line seemed VERY dragged out and in the end it just got very frustrating when he didn't deide on a girl.
I expected a lot more from this anime... plus you never find out who he ends up with, it just kind of stops.
I wouldn't recommend this anime... which sucks, I was expecting much more.
The main guy in this anime pisses me off, I would once like to see an anime where the main guys actually isnt a homo and can actually feel a boob or get close to a chick with out freaking out and getting stupid. jeez. who writes this shit.