Strawberry Panic!

Before I start on this book. THE ANIME IS COMPLETELY AND UTTER SHIT! IT IS AN ABOMINABLE CREATION AND IT SHOULDN’T EXSIST! Okay… I’m good… I’m good.

To start this off, if you’re a homophobic, then stop reading. This is a yuri book. If you don’t know what yuri is, then here is what it means: lesbians. I mean, if the cover (up there) didn’t give you an idea.

Basically, this is about a girl in the name of Nagisa Aoi who recently transferred to St. Miator academy. This place is for rich girls. Nagisa isn’t rich. Then she meets the player Shizuma and then… stuff happened. Okay, I got bored. Here’s the summary:

The plot of Strawberry Panic! revolves around the lives of the adolescents who attend one of three affiliated all-girl schools which share a campus and dormitories. The schools are: St. Miator’s Girls’ Academy, St. Spica’s Girls’ Institute, and St. Lulim’s Girls’ School. There are twelve characters the story revolves around, four at each school. The story’s main character is Nagisa Aoi, a young girl entering her fourth year at St. Miator after being transferred from another school. On first entering the campus grounds she is overcome with joy by the overall appearance of the surrounding area, but her joy is soon turned to sorrow as she accidentally stumbles down a hill, causing her to be lost and disoriented. While walking around the grounds trying to work out where she is, Nagisa comes across an older student named Shizuma Hanazono, who happens to be Astraea Hill’s Etoile, a very important person who acts as a representative between the different schools and has specific duties that she must fulfill. Nagisa is instantly overcome by Shizuma’s beauty, and after Shizuma kisses her on the forehead, Nagisa loses consciousness and awakens in the school’s infirmary. In an adjacent chair is another girl of the same age, Tamao Suzumi, who informs her that they are to be roommates in the dormitory.

THAT IS HUGE. Should’ve summarized it.

The plot is, to me, basic. Most of the story is about the Etoile competition. And then [insert drama here]. But then again, what kind of school are these? I MEAN… COME ON? WHAT KIND OF SCHOOL ENCOURAGES LESBIANS? Oh, wait, an all-girl school.

The character is what interest me that most. In the beginning of the pages of the book, they give you small bios of all the characters and a picture of what they look like. Strawberry Panic! have a healthy amount of pictures but not too much where it takes up most of the book. Any who, let me talk of Hikari, a student of St. Spica. She is one of my favorite characters… AND ONE OF THE STUPIDEST CHARACTER I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE FRICKIN’ LIFE!

Then there’s the other main character which is Nagisa, a student of St. Miator, who is–thank god–not as stupid as Hikari. She isn’t one of those typical heroines who are helpless and depends on their love interest. Nagisa knows how to take care of herself and she is quite athletic (Well, she is helpless when it comes to Shizune, heh, who isn’t?). Although she sometimes makes me yell at the darn book. But hey, at least she gets yelled at. I throw the book everywhere just because of Hikari’s stupidity. I’m amazed that this darn book hasn’t tore itself apart due to my abuse.

Okay… okay… back to Hikari… *takes deep breath*

When I saw the anime, I realized how much rape-able Hikari was. Seriously, she gets molested every frickin’ time! And that kind of pisses me off. Now, Hikari is the horrid heroine that depends on her love interest (whose name is Amane). I’m so disappointed with Amane’s character design in the anime. She has some BUFF-ASS (broad) shoulders. That kind of scares the living freak out of me. I can’t remember much about Amane but she’s not as interesting to me as she was in the book. I found the love scenes between her and Hikari to be lacking. I guess it was since the book was the better significant.

And then there’s the main characters of St. Lulim. To me, I thought that they weren’t as interesting as the others. One of my buds said that her favorite was Chikaru who is the president of St. Lulim. There wasn’t much spark for me with these characters of St. Lulim. I guess there weren’t much yuri in there and it’s more about lolis. Yeeeeaaaah…

Now, back to something that makes me so angry about the anime! Shizune changed dramatically! She’s not in love with whatsherface (that sick girl whose name I can never remember)! She’s not playing with Nagisa (well, in the book, maybe a little bit)! Shizune doesn’t fall in love with Nagisa at the END of the goddamn series. And her personality is waaaayy too (excuse my language) bitchy. I actually watch the anime first before reading the book, and I actually stopped watching the anime because of Shizune. Then I read the book and noticed how she’s a completely different person and came to actually like her. After finishing the book, I tried watching the anime again.

Oh… and… where the hell was Makoto? She played a part of the Etoile competition, but I guess since you (the director of the anime) changed so much of the story, you might as well keep her back in Russia. Oh, oh, yeah, you might as well make Kaname and Momoni a couple right? FRICKIN’ A! Kaname is in love with Amane and is jealous of Hikari. And Momoni is… just Momoni. WHY MASAYUKI SAKO? WHY?!

I’m sorry, I’m making too much reference of the anime. But… ughh… it’s so bad…

It’s just like  Rosario+Vampire. Although that’s another story.

I feel like the anime for Strawberry Panic! was just something to fill the yuri fan’s belly with a bunch of love scenes. The book focused more on the story and less of the love scenes. I mean, they still have some to satisfy my yuri needs, which is good.

I think I blabbered on for too long. I don’t know what else am I missing.

Oh yeah! The art.

The sad part of the anime is that the light novel’s art is A LOT better. I dislike both Shizune’s personality and her character design. I already talked about Amane’s BROAD shoulders. I didn’t like the art at all for any of the characters.

Even this ^^^ the starting short story art of Strawberry Panic! is better than the animation.

Volume two (the one with Amane and Hikari) is my favorite cover by the way. They are my favorite couple. Well, rather than that…

Overall, if you’re interested in (or want to try reading a) yuri, this is a good start. It’s a heartwarming, somewhat funny, but an awfully frustrating story. You can’t and shouldn’t be reading this with a logical mind. I mean, if you can’t control you anger like me, you’ll probably tear this book in half just because of how STUPID HIKARI IS!

And there’s actually this pretty funny scene with the first (or second, can’t remember) competition of the Etoiles where Hikari got pushed off of this platform and then Nagisa saved her. Why was it funny? Because they make it so dramatic which was hilarious. Sure, if Hikari fell, she might be disqualified (which wouldn’t make sense). And when Amane did save Hikari, why did Nasiga fell down? She was riding on a horse at a fast speed and she probably grabbed Hikari with a lot of strength and yet Nagisa was still hanging. Then again, Nagisa is pretty athletic. So all in all, Hikari and Nagisa (two idiots) make it seem like they’re hanging off the cliff. The platform isn’t even that high–I mean–if it was, that is seriously dangerous and the school shouldn’t let kids stand on their all nudged together and with no handrails (even though the handrail would get in the way).

Ahem…

If you’re willing to endure the stupidity of this book, there are positive sides to this story. There are some erotic parts which are well written (*coughs*). The good thing about this book at the current moment is that they have that ^^^

It’s the complete novel collection which is really good. It contains all the volumes so you don’t have to go and find and buy all three volumes. 670 pages.

I salute Sakurako Kimino for writing this based on her own experience at an all-girl school. Yeah, she wrote this from personal experience. Kudos to her.

Yep. Read this if you want a good yuri experience.

Oh… and…

“It was an act of friendship.”

If you’re willing to read this, keep this quote in mind. It will haunt you for all of its stupidity. And it makes a good inside joke with friends if you make them read this too. Like how I did it!