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Strawberry Marshmallow
Strawberry Marshmallow
Strawberry Marshmallow
Anime DVD Review

Nobue Ito is twenty years old going on ninety. She smokes too much, and can't hold down a job. She's beginning to look at the world with the jaded eyes of a cynic. She'd have given in to her depression if it weren't for her kid sister. 10-year-old Chika and her equally kid friends, Miu, Matsuri, and Ana don't see a rotten world yet. They're still running about getting as much play-time as possible.

There is no way you can watch these little children play and not smile. Even when their off-the-wall antics get in your hair, they still manage to give a grin. Miu, the sixth-grader, is the most annoying. She gets into everyone's business like nobody's business. She provokes the most trouble, and incites the most violence. Matsuri's the shy one in the back. Still, it's not wise to turn your back on her. Add to this mix a British girl who has no idea how British people act, and you got yourself a street gang that can't shoot straight before bedtime.

Strawberry MarshmallowWe're talking four little girls that are a force to be reckoned with. Their goofiness grounds Nobue as well as frustrates her. These children might help her re-connect with her inner child. They certainly help her take life a little less seriously.

If it weren't for the chain smoking by the oldest of the main characters, (20 year old Nobue is 16 in the original manga by Barasui) you could run Strawberry Marshmallow on Nickelodeon. There's nothing else here that will offend too many sensibilities. Don't expect anyone to dawn costumes and fight the forces of evil. The children do stuff that children normally do in a Japanese, suburban setting. It's slice-of-life time and it makes this anime series all the more appealing.

Strawberry Marshmallow could have been a British sitcom back in the seventies. As anime, it looks like what would have happened if Sailor Moon had been more like Seinfeld. It's surprisingly low-key, offering a relaxing pace to its silly fun. After one too many tense encounters with super sonic giant robots with excessive personal problems, perhaps it's best to curl up with a nice, Strawberry Marshmallow. It might help you relax and loosen up, ya' know.

Reviewed by Lawrence Sufrin, October 2006

Below: Scenes from Strawberry Marshmallow.

Strawberry Marshmallow

Strawberry Marshmallow

Strawberry Marshmallow

Strawberry Marshmallow

Strawberry Marshmallow Website Links:

Strawberry Marshmallow Official Site (Japanense)

Ichigo Mashimaro Official Site (Japanese)

Anime News Network entry
for Strawberry Marshmallow (TV)

Anime News Network entry
for Ichigo Mashimaro (Manga)

Ichigo Mashimaro Opening

Ichigo Mashimaro Episode One Part One

Strawberry Marshmallow

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