Friday, June 26, 2009

Review | Anime | Ichigo Mashimaro

ICHIGO MASHIMARO : Ichigo Mashimaro follows the lives of 20-year-old Nobue
Itoh, her sister Chika, and Chika's three school friends Ana, Matsuri and Miu
and we join them in the hilarious adventures of their everyday lives.
MAL is a truly magical thing; this recommendation was made for me based on my high rating of the Azumanga Daioh series, and Ichigo Mashimaro is almost exactly like it. Even the music sounds the same. Ichigo Mashimaro is one of the rare occasions I will laugh out loud while watching funny instances in an anime, and I must say I'm not only impressed, but satisfied as well.

Accompanied by 2 sets of OVAs and an "episode 0", Ichigo Mashimaro plays out the everyday life of Nobue Itoh, whose everyday life includes going to her college classes, drinking, smoking, more smoking, riding her moped, even more smoking, and acting as a chaperon, transporter, and general onlooker of her little sister Chika and her fellow grade-school friends. Chika is one of the more mature of the group, willingly doing her studies while her friends are terrorized by Chika's obnoxious, dirty-minded childhood friend Miu. The victims of the latter are calm-spirited (and irresistibly adorable) Matsuri, who still looks forward to Santa-san every Christmas, and England native Ana, who has lived in Japan for so long, she has almost forgotten how to speak English. All four are constantly at war with Miu's perks, whether it be playing a role in an unrealistic fantasy, blatantly pointing out embarrassing facts, or receiving cell phone texts with cryptic messages, such as the word "ribcage" bombarded by a sea of hearts.

Despite the simplicity of the anime and its plotless storyline, Ichigo Mashimaro was lots of fun to watch. There was never a dull moment, and from the very first episode, I was hooked. I took a liking almost immediately to soft-spoken Matsuri Sakuragi, whose every cute whim from chasing her pet ferret to wishing Santa-san good luck on his travels drew me in and kept me that much more attached to the show.

With a name like "Strawberry Marshmallow", this is without doubt a show that would come across as appealing to young girls, but do take precautions. Miu and Nobue have their quirks. Nobue is a chain smoker and drinker, and borrows money from her little sister several times in the show to buy cigarettes, and is also seen drinking beer and appears buzzed in one scene. Miu is, for lack of a more appropriate term, "knowledgeable" for her age. She talks about becoming a bikini model, and in one scene talks about how "sexy" she looks in her two-piece bathing suit. Nobue mocks Miu by calling her "flat-chested", and in a dream sequence she wishes for "breasts that hop up and down." In one scene Miu goes through Ana's closet and examines her clothing, and later feels Ana breasts to confirm their size. She later lifts up Ana's dress and asks if she's wearing underwear. I'll keep it short by mentioning Miu does appear to have some infatuation with breasts, due to the fact she apparently has none.

Other than Miu's array of oddities, I thoroughly enjoyed Ichigo Mashimaro. This show is a great joy to watch, and if you're looking to laugh, you've found the right anime.

Overall Rating:
/ 5


Livejournal Icons

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

No comments: