Plot: "On Astraea Hill stand 3 prestigious female-only academies known as St. Miatre, Spica, and LeRim; and though the schools are separate, they share a single campus and dormitory. Nagisa Aoi is a 10th grader who has decided to transfer to St. Miatre's Girls' Academy. Though her transition has been smooth so far, while exploring the campus Aoi inadvertently falls down a hill, sees the beautiful Shimuza, and promptly (not to mention embarrassingly) faints. Nagisa continues to see Shimuza out and about, but soon discovers that she is the "Etoile" -- a well respected girl within all of the schools. With Shizuma taking a liking to the new transfer student Nagisa, secrets of Shizuma's past will unravel over the coming school year." (site synopsis)
Well before begining with the usual review, a few words about this anime.Another one of the best shoujo-ai animes that i seen also in my top 20 animes.Infact this was the first shoujo-ai anime that i seen and from that time till now i became a fan of the shoujo-ai animes.
Story: This anime has one of the best and well developed stories, not as good as the one from Maria-sama ga Miteru but near it, a perfect rival for Marimite.The story of this anime is centered on a new transfered high school student Aoi Nagisa.She transfered to a prestigious female-only academy named Saint Miatre situated on Astraea Hill (it isnt the only academy there Spica and LeRim are the other academies situated on Astraea Hill).On her way to school she crosses paths with a misterious girl who wears the St. Miatre's uniform.She was completely shocked when she saw how beautiful she was and embarrassingly she faints! At that time she didn't knew that the student she met was one of the most popular and a model for most of the students, Etoile aka Shizuma.After a while she is informed about her indetity and she gets to meet her room mate Tamao.It is not long until Nagisa and her friends realize that Shizuma took some interest on her.Even though she appears as a respectable, beautiful and inteligent person Shizuma is a complete mystery.Very few people knew about her past and one of those people is Rokujou the Student Council President of St. Miatre's and Shizuma's closest friend.This anime isnt only centered on one couple though (Shizuma and Nagisa), we also have a couple that appears abit later in the anime and is formed by the most popular student in Spica Academy, Amane and Hikari who is a member of Spica's choir.As the story develops the relationship between Nagisa and Shizuma and Amane and Hikari reach deeper levels and develop strong bonds, passing through different obstacles (Nagisa dealing with Shizuma's past and Hikari dealing with Kaname Kenjou and Momomi Kiyashiki two students at Spica who want to participate in the Etoile Selection and want to make sure that Amane wont participate in it.The story is rather interested filled with warm romance/shoujo-ai aspects and with some dramatic points, with some turns of events that makes it even captivating.The ending is also very nice which realy shows the yuri level of this anime.
Animation: In terms of animation, this anime has a better animation than Maria-sama ga Miteru since the production year is 2006 but not perfect of course since it doesnt have the graphic and quality of the ones from nowadays.The character designs were pretty well made, nothing much to complain here i realy liked the design of Shizuma, her long white/gray hair is very distinctive.
Sound: Related to sound this anime is briliant.The openings and endings dont fit too well with the anime environment but are more than listenable, i realy liked them alot.Even though the opening and ending didnt fit too well the background sounds compensate, it fits the anime environment perfectly.Also the song which was singed by the choir was nice so nothing much to complain here.
Characters: Strawberry Panic doesnt have such a good character development.Don't get me wrong it has one but not at the level of Maria-sama ga Miteru, way beyond my expectation as well.However i was impressed of how good the characters were developed individualy and i need to point to Shizuma and Amane here especialy.
Overall: Warm, enjoyable, watchable, sometimes it can be even confusing but nothing out of common related to this anime except the yuri aspects (for some people this stuff are still concidered as out of common).It is very similar with other shoujo-ai animes especialy Marimite and Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru, has the same environment and almost the same story/plot.My advice is that if you love shoujo-ai animes then you need to watch this anime.
~As always just my thoughts~
Here are some pictures:
And a few videos:
And one that i damn realy like with the song Evanescence - Hello (sad one somehow)
And another one with the song Evanescence - All that I'm living for
~Enjoy and Cya Around~