Yumeiro Patissiere embraces every shoujo cliché in the book- A clumsy yet hardworking girl with a quaint dream arrives at an ornate boarding school in the middle of a forest. She encounters prodigies, "princely" boys whose every blink and smile are accompanied by sparkles and roses, jealous Queen Bees, and fairies. It's a near carbon-copy of every shoujo series out there, which is fine if you're accustomed to tripe.
To its credit, the series eschews the trap of becoming a simple fluffy wish-fulfillment shoujo. Instead of granting her magical baking powers, thus dooming the show to atrocity instead of merely mediocrity, the sweets spirits give Ichigo extra tutoring sessions. Despite this, Ichigo still masters techniques a bit too quickly. I would prefer a show where the protagonist just mans up and accomplishes her goal on her own, but the light dusting of magical realism isn't too onerous, all considered.
The rest of the plot is less palatable. The Cake Grand Prix, an Iron Chef-esque baking showdown, occupies almost the entirety of the series' run. Episode after episode that could have been spent on character development, comedy, or a variety of drama is instead relegated to Ichigo and team having yet another baking showdown against even more "impossible" odds. A few contests would be admissible, even welcomed, but to devote such a majority of time to them seems merely a way to disguise filler as something relevant.
Even the lackluster plot would be slightly admissible were it accompanied by a shred of believability. Fans of the genre may have no trouble ignoring all the happy coincidences that Ichigo runs abreast of, but the rest of us will have to buff up our suspension of disbelief to accept some of them. When the main characters' specialties are fruits, chocolate, cake, and Asian fusion, of course the upcoming competition just happens to center around those ingredients. And despite the school's claims of being a meritocracy, where students are grouped as determined by their relative baking skill, the teacher arbitrarily places Ichigo in the highest-level group without attempting to assess her skill level. Needless to say, the three ultra-handsome/talented/sophisticated "Sweets Princes" of the school occupy said group.
No expense was taken in making this series look fantastic. Episodes are full of still-frames, blandly-animated movements, and oftentimes only the characters' hair provides clues as to who they are. This is a blessing in disguise, however, as had the animation been better I would have been constantly craving the sweets featured in each episode. For this, my waistline is thankful.
Everything about the visuals augments the series' bland cute factor. Each character sports an abnormally large head replete with almost equally-huge eyes, and the cast and scenery alike are decorated with a washed-out palette of pastels and copious amounts of sparkles.
With a fluffy and unsubstantial opening track, and a score to match, Yumeiro Patissiere's music staunchly refuses to be memorable.
If only the vocal work was so forgettable. The high-pitched chirpy voices of the cast sound like they were recorded in a vat of helium. Caramel's voice actor is the most egregious example- I'd swear she stuffed her mouth with cottonballs (or perhaps Novocaine) before recording.
The lead character Ichigo is such a stereotypical shoujo protagonist that it hurts. She's clumsy, scatterbrained, terrible at math, French, baking, and pretty much every other subject the school teaches. Luckily for her, everyone finds her klutziness "refreshing" and loves her anyway because she's adorable, optimistic, and always tries her best. In a word, she's boring.
Speaking of shoujo clichés- you know the "Prince of the School" that every shoujo series has? Yumeiro Patissiere has three. Between the tsundere boy, reserved gentleman, and overly-exaggerated fop, every single preteen girl in the show's target demographic can find a suitor worthy of fawning over. Were I twelve, I'd be all woozy with hormones over this selection, but armed with few other personality traits, the "Sweets Princes" will have difficulty endearing themselves to a more seasoned audience.
Furthermore, the fairies who serve as the series mascots never rise above being a cloyingly cutesy gimmick. While these type of characters rarely get any development, the show does make attempts at fleshing out the Fairy World yet fails to pay its inhabitants equal courtesy, making them feel especially half-baked. It's impossible to ignore glaring inadequacy in characterization when both the main and tacked-on secondary casts are so vapid and vexing.
Story: Very original, very touching, very beautiful. Yumeiro Patissiere is one of the anime with the most emotion put into it. The story develops as the episodes pile one after another and in the end you just can't wait for the conclusion but in the same time are afraid of it and the end of everything. Speaking of emotion, this anime really had me experiencing all kinds of feelings as I continued watching, stopping and continuing watching again. Following the young girl protagonist facing hardships right from the begining and slowly turning every foe into a friend has been shown incredibly picturesque and colourful. The dream of success, the fear of the new enviroment, the rejection, pain and broken will, rebirth of the will to fight and steep falls all over again, all this is shown as a process of growing up not only the main character, but also all characters in the series and even the watcher through their example.
Animation: Although the story has captured my heart, I can't say the same for the animation. Rough motion and plain colours made me really disatisfied almost as much as the story made me awe. However, I must say that the animation gets slightly better when the series reaches its climax and more work is done to the background animation and fatial expressions.
Sound: ...is almost the same as animation. A big minus are the opening and the ending which stay the same throughout the whole 50 episodes (although the ending slightly changes the visual, the song stays the same, and the opening doesn't change at all). The background music is well suited to the scenes being shown, but the palette of the songs is still too small for my taste, and they're not noticable much, although very sweet and when they get stuck in your head, they really get stuck in your head!^^
Characters: Many. many, many of them, and all different. If you're not good with names, you'll get in trouble here. A big plus is that every character that has been selected out of the croud has been carefully developed (with the exception of the adults), main characters more than the supporting, but that's what you'd expect, right? The special accent is made on the main four, the protagonist and her team, and all the others have been completed as much as the plot requiered it to (that means they're rich as a character as long as you don't go into the past, where there's a big hole). The focus is made on the development and growing up in the present, with the exception of the main protagonist, whose past has been detaily explaned (because her late grandmother is highly significant to the plot, so through her past we got to know her grandmother as a character). There are also a lot of family ties, especially in the main character's family and her team members'.
Overall: The accent has been made on the concept of growing up and the will to suceed in life while chasing your dream. Regarding that, I'd say it's a very enjoyable anime to watch when something isn't going as smooth as exepted. If you watch it when everything is OK in your life, it will perhaps turn out a little boring. All in all, a very educational anime and suited for all ages, just like a classical children's story: you can repeat it in different times of your life and it always reminds you of what's important. ^-^
One of the reasons I started watching this anime was because it was about sweets. I love sweets myself, so I thought I'd give this anime a try. At first, I didn't think I would like the anime, but, surprisingly, I did! It made me laugh, cry, and feel happy.
The art of this anime was good. The drawings of all the cakes and sweets just made me want to reach into the computer screen and grab them!
Moving onto characters. I liked Ichigo a lot, she made me laugh, and in some ways, we're similiar. Kashino is one of my favorite characters as well. But I did not like Chocolat. Seriously, she got on my nerves, lol. I also didn't like Miya, she was just annoying. The other characters are okay, at least they didn't make me hate them, lol.
Finally, I'd say if you like light, cheery animes then you should watch this, if you haven't already!
Everything in this anime felt perfectly average and the STORY wasn't any exception. Watch a young girl on her journey to become a world class Patissiere - she moves to the best pastry school in the country and, of course, be-friends the best looking boys in the school. One thing that I LOVED about this anime, however, was the cute little sprites who helped out with the pastry making. I was hoping that there would be little faeries when the first episode hinted at them, and was not disappointed. I would love to recommend this anime... if it wasn't so long! 50 episodes felt much too much for an anime that could have easily been shorted into 12.
Once again, the ANIMATION felt very average. It sort of felt like it wanted to be CG animated, but at the same time, it didn't. I don't know, maybe that's just the way I saw it. I wasn't too impressed with the characters, however everything they baked always was so shiny and wonderfully animated. And the queen always looked very beautiful.
I actually saw this anime quite a bit ago, so I am going off memory, but I do remember liking the SOUND. I don't particularly remember the OP, so it may not have been very striking, but I did like the seiyuu's work. I thought that everyone sounded as they should. I like it when I can predict how a voice character will sound and they sound how I predicted.
CHARACTERS weren't anything substantial. As far as the main body went, it just felt like we were watching a few middle schoolers learn the art of pastry making... which may have been exactly what they were looking to portray. However, I was hoping for a bit of depth to each character. They all felt quite one dimensional. I did like the faeries and I enjoyed when they came into the picture and interacted with the humans. I hated it when it was just them, so go figure.
Overall, Yumeiro Patissiere is a sweet anime that may have been much more enjoyable if it had been 12 or 24 episodes long. However, if you have some free time and want something cute, then this might just be it.
Story: Prior to watching this, I had only ever read one cooking manga- Kitchen Princess (Which was absolutely stunning) so I was slightly worried that this anime would look slightly bad in comparison. My worries were proved valid.
The first few episodes of this show did indeed remind me a lot of Kitchen Princess, I had high hopes for this series. But then after about episode 5 ALL THE WAY to episode 50 almost all of the stories were filler, filler, filler. I have NEVER seen so many fillers in a series all my life. Even the actual story seemed like filler, since it is so simple, predictable and pointless. Amano Ichigo has various cooking tournaments against different cooks of different ranks. And guess what? She wins EVERY SINGLE TOURNAMENT. I did not find this very thought-provoking at all.
I really cannot believe how great this seemed in the first 3 or so episodes, and how unbelieably simple it resulted in being.
Animation: For a 2009 anime, the art looks like something from 2003. The art was not very inspirational, it was not that appealing and looked very low-budget. Sure, it could have been worse. But older anime series like Tokyo Mew Mew or Negima?! looked loads better than Yumeiro Patissiere.
Sound: I only finished watching this show a few days ago, yet the music I struggle to remember. It was not that great. The opening song I have to say I hated, I found it very odd, cheesy and embarrassing to listen to. Other songs were bearable, but blended in and failed to add to the mood for me.
Characters: Amano is like any other Shoujo protagonist out there- clumsy, awkward, yet when she gets inspired she can practically rule the world. For Amano, although this did not annoy me, it didn't exactly make me LIKE her either.
The Sweet Princes were alright, their individual personalities were brought out, yet nothing in terms of romance developed in ANY of them. I found that really irritating.
Overall: I am dissappointed. It really showed promise at first, but its just filler upon filler of endless drab. If you're a young girl who loves cooking and can't tell filler apart from crucial storyline, then this is for you. But otherwise, I would advise against Yumeiro Patissiere for the time being I'm afraid.