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Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete OVA Series (anime review)

strawberry-marshmallow-ovareview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete OVA Series

Director: Takuya Sato

Studio: Dauma

Author: Barasui

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: July 12, 2016

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 5 OVA Episodes / 130 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, School

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Strawberry Marshmallow, Lucky Star, Place to Place, K-On!

Good friends are like marshmallows: whether they are being whipped into a frenzy or getting all warm and gooey inside they will stick beside each other, no matter what!

Synopsis:

There is rarely a dull moment when Chika Ito and her friends get together. Whether they are telling ghost stories, playing games, or taking trips to the beach and park, every day brings a new adventure. Of course, not everyone appreciates the constant presence of a pack of 12-year-olds, and Nobue, Chika’s big sister, might sometimes wish that Chika’s friends were not always underfoot. That is especially true of the troublemaking Miu, whose ‘help’ with Nobue’s job hunt is definitely not appreciated! Then again, Miu can cause problems just about anywhere, even when she hits her head and thinks she is in Heaven! Does anyone actually think the girls will make a clean escape and scrub away every single piece of evidence when they make a trip to the public baths? More than likely, no! Either way, the fun is sure to continue as the whole gang reunites in Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete OVA Series.

Commentary:

Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete OVA Series is the continuation of the Strawberry Marshmallow and basically continues the “cute girls doing cute things in cute ways” slice-of-life episodes that came before it. These five episodes could actually be placed anywhere within the original series as well since it is a slice-of-life series and there is no real plot between episodes. Each episode flows together well but then a new storyline starts with the next episode.

All the characters are back from the original series and they continue to entertain themselves with the activities they do and the things they say on a daily basis are still as funny as ever. Actually, each character contributed to the comedy this time instead of relying solely on Miu, which is a good thing because the comedy seemed much more polished this time around.

The opening and closing songs were changed but they lost a little bit of life this time around. However, they were still enjoyable and the voice actresses actually sang them. Speaking of the voice actresses, they did a wonderful job with the characters and brought them to life. I love the animation style for Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete OVA Series because it is really cute.

Extras:

Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete OVA Series includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language option.

Overall Grade: A-

I absolutely loved Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete OVA Series and I would recommend this series/OVA to anyone who loves the slice-of-life genre.

Strawberry Marshmallow (anime review)

strawberry-marshmallowreview provided by Andrew and Katie

Title: Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete TV Series

Director: Takuya Sato

Studio: Daume

Author: Miharu Hirami

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: May 10, 2016

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Lucky Star, Place to Place, K-On!, Kiniro Mosaic

Sweet, delectable and mixed with a random selection of exotic nuts, (Is this a household or a fruit salad?)

Synopsis:

Nobue Itou may be attending college, but her real lessons come from dealing with her 12-year-old sister Chika and her equally adorable friends. There’s Miu Matsuoka, the troublemaking girl next door who’s never found a diabolical plan that she wasn’t willing to hatch. Then there’s the perplexing Ana Coppola, who was born in England but has lived in Japan for so long that she’s forgotten most of her English and is unsuccessfully attempting to re-learn her British heritage based on some rather erroneous assumptions. After those two handfuls, shy, sensitive Matsuri Sakuragi should be a welcome dose of normality, but unfortunately Matsuri is also incredibly gullible. And then there’s Chika herself, who’s actually the most mature and sensible person in the Itou household… which comes in handy when her older sister attempts to raid Chika’s savings in order to buy cigarettes! Get ready for a cute overload so intense that it can be used as a deadly weapon when slices of everyday life get whipped to frothy perfection in Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete TV Series!

Commentary:

The slice of life genre is usually a very hard genre for some to watch or like. They are literally covering every day situations, and that can be boring for some. If you like the slice of life genre, you are aware that life itself is never boring, and that simple every day life can trigger emotional responses. The premise of Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete TV Series is really quite simple. We drop in and out of the everyday lives of Nobue, the slacking college student and so called adult, and her younger sister Chika and three of her best friends Miu, Ana, and Matsuri. Do not expect a complex plot here as each episode is filled with the everyday things we all have done like going to school, enjoying cake, shoveling snow, getting lost and playing sports. However, it never gets boring as mischief is just right around the corner and it will have you laughing your head off from the silliness. The other thing about this series is its one of the first to fall into the “cute girls doing cute things” genre, a pretty recent addition to a long list of all the genres anime covers. The simplicity of plot can be a strong point but it can also be its downfall if you one of those that finds “cute girls doing cute things” to be annoying.

This being a re-release (thank you very much Sentai for getting the older out of print series back into print for everyone to enjoy again) of an older anime, the art work is what you can expect it to be from a series originally from 10 years ago. Not overly done but well done. The music tends to be catchy and not annoying. The voice acting is one of the high points as they did a good job with the characters, and with keeping in character well while dealing with the ages of the characters. Voice acting younger characters and keeping it believable can be very hard. The characters are well developed over the series and you notice trends, and with some you can start seeing what they are going to do. The characters are well written and completely believable.
Extras:

Strawberry Marshmallow: The Complete TV Series includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with English and Japanese with English Subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: A-