Ahh, the life of an elementary school student. Though Chika, Matsuri, Miu and Ana should focus on schoolwork, they’d much rather have fun instead. Whether it’s outings with 20-year-old-chain-smoker Noboe, holding each other hostage or learning to speak English with Ana’s foreign-born skills, there’s never a dull moment in the life of the girls. Join this cute quartet as they do cute (and often devious) things in cute and quirky ways!
-Story-In Slice-of -life animes, the plot is not as critical and is more dependent on comedy instead of leaving the audience on the edge of their seats. So it may seem that the plot is non-existant in Strawberry Marshmallow, but it doesnt need a big and grand plot to be good, it needs great humor, which Strawberry Marshmallow is not short on at all. There were some instances when I just cracked up laughing at the antics of all the girls. Most of the jokes were quite funny. Also the stories in each individual episode portrayed simple things which can be a welcome change to plot driven animes as opposed to humor and character driven animes like Strawberry Marshmallow is. -Animation-Not a whole to to piss and moan about in Strawberry Marshmallow's animation. I found it to be well drawn and had a flowing feeling to it. There were a couple of instances where the background seemed static, but that is mostly not noticable. The designs of the characters were well suited for the personalities of each individual characters, and I found them to be quite original. -Characters-There is not much to say about the characters except that they were amazing. With slice of life animes being more humor and character driven, they cannot get away with having a mediocre cast of characters, but Strawberry Marshmallow has a great cast of characters, even the few minor characters. Mui was annoying, but she was a neccasary type of annoying, which set up many of Strawberry Marshmallow's good jokes. Ana was an interesting character, being that she is English yet she has forgotten how to speak english. Chika is a normal girl who often plays the straight man to Mui's out of control attitude. Matsuri was a cute and kind character who made the show much more interesting with her presense and her character drove the story of my favorite episode, which was the last one. I liked Nobue's character. She's so cool that she doesnt mind hanging out with her little sister and her friends, and actually enjoys it. As much as I despise smoking, it was a something that fit Nobue's character more convincing. As for pretty much the only minor character was the little boy sitting behind Matsuri in class, who was always sent to the hall for stupid, and quite hilarious reasons, and it made me laugh every time.-Overall-This anime was great. The characters and humor drove the stories along nicely, and provided me with some good laughs. I would recomend this anime highly. This one is definatly worth your time to watch.
This show, despite it's cute demeanor has a dry wit about it that makes it so fun to watch. It even talks about popular american bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.Since once again, this show has no plot, I will have to talk about the characters. However, in this anime, there are only five main characters, so I can name all of them. Main character, Chika Ito is probably the most mature out of all the girls, mostly acting as a foil for the other character's antics. Not much else to say about her, even her older sister thinks there isn't much to say about her. Speaking of, Nobue Ito, the oldest at 16 or 20 depending on whether you are reading the manga or watching the anime. She's a the babysitter, but at the same time, she should not be allowed anywhere near children. She drinks, smokes, and seems to have an eye for moe, so she tries to exploit the cuter characters. The only thing she does that is anywhere near positive is beating Miu Matsuoka when she goes out of line. As she is wild and infinitely annoying, she pesters everyone around her to play with her and call her awesome. At many times, she is shown doing something really stupid, then in the next frame, lying face down on the floor, implying that she was smacked down by Nobue. Mostly she picks on the weakest of the group, Matsuri Sakuragi. She bugs me because of all the parallels you can draw from her to me, despite our differing personalities: when this anime came out she was the exact same age as me, we sing the same (i guess), she has a ferret with the same name as me, etc. She's weak and shy and easily exploited by Miu or Nobue. Not much else to say, except she's close friends with the british girl, Ana Copola. Ana cannot speak english, but because she wants to be seen as a foreigner, claims she cannot speak japanese and is a proper British girl. She's not, she loves bread and miso soup and is so assimilated into japan that it's almost painful to watch her try and bluff her way into claiming that she's foreign.The art isn't anything special in the first season, it gets better with the following seasons, but the main 12 episodes look kinda simple. It gets the job done, but you feel like it could have done it better.Music, is cute and bubbly or calm and nostalgic. The BGM isn't noticeable, but the ending theme makes you feel sad that you aren't that young anymore. But the opening is always bright and cheerful to get you going for the show, not like you need to be worked up for it, kinda going for the hidamari sketch approach on this one. Both dub casts aren't big name nor are they bad. The english dub is about the same as the japanese one. So either way you win. But I just love the english dub for having Ana complain how she can't speak English, while speaking perfect english.Once again, it's slow, and not as easily excepted as sketchbook. It's hard to hate, but if you can't handle much cuteness then you might pass out pretty quickly. Also, Miu is a bit too over powering in a cast of shy or mature girls, seeing as she's the only one who is bursting with energy.This one would probably be further down on the list, but really, it's like chibi-azumanga, sure, the new flavor might not be good on everybody's pallet, but if you can handle it, it will sure get you a bunch of laughs.
To be honest, I strongly disklike Moe characters and lolicons. In my opinion, an anime can live and prosper without it. However, in a few cases, it is rare that moe actually works in an anime. This is why I'm reviewing Ichigo Mashimaro. The premise of the show is that a twenty-one-year-old college student named Nobue lives with her younger sister Chika in the same house. Nobue is a smoker, and often asks for money from her younger sister. They live next door to their obnoxious friend Miu, who is mostly used for comic relief in the show. Anyway, two more girls are involved in the plot: Matsuri, a shy girl with glasses, and Ana, a wealthy girl from Cornswall, England. She is fluent in Japanese, however, she does not want to throw her English heritage down the gutter, and feigns on not knowing Japanese. Matsuri and Ana are also often the center of Nobue's lolicon craves. Often when they are involved, Miu would get jealous and would often try to get Nobue's attention. However, the plot isn't really that grand, and would typically seem that it is just another of your common slice-of life animes. And thus, for story, I give it an 8/10. For the animation, it isn't groundbreaking, and is standard. However, I must say that the animation does help to provide a cutesy feel to the show. The characters all look rather adorable, and the scenery's also pretty well drawn. For animation I give it a 7/10. For starters, the sounds are pleasant. My favorite types of sounds is the music itself. I absolutely fell in love with the opening theme and it is also rather hard to get it out of your head. And also look up the characters' image songs, they are pretty decent. I give the sound 9/10. Now for the characters. I have absolutely no hateful comments for any of the characters. Everyone, except for Miu. Have you ever had a friend whom you considered annoying and you don't really want to hang out with, but unfortunately you do anyway? Miu would be that friend. While being cute, she was annoying, and never knew when to shut up. She acts like a jerkass to her other friends, and was just plain stupid. The most despicable thing she did was to try to break Matsuri's belief in Santa by telling her that he didn't exist, and she also made fun of Ana's named Coppola. I mean what a b***ch! Another one of my least favorite characters is the teacher that kept telling Suzaku to go out into the hall, even though he wasn't doing anything wrong in the first place. I was happy that he finally went into the hall instead. So I love every character except these two. Therefore I give the characters 8/10. Overall, Strawberry Marshmallow is a very out going moe anime. It has great characters, great comedy, great music, and lastly heart. I absolutely recommend it to anyone as their first anime, or if you just love moe. Some episodes are on YouTube. So if you're searching for an anime to watch, please type this in. I assure you that you will not regret it! 8/10!
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