Archive | October, 2008

ichigo mashimaro: cuteness overload

11 Oct

if you think this post will be loaded with references to chibis and impossibly cute girls in the fairy tale mode, you can get rid of that notion right now. the kind of cuteness you will find in Ichigo Mahimaro (Strawberry Marshmallow) is the type that’s easy to appreciate but a bit tricky to explain.

ichigo mashimaro cast

the Ichigo Mashimaro girls — who can be adorably cute in varying degrees — are not placed in impossible situations so as to render them heroically fair and virtuous, nor are they denizens of some magical kingdom, endowed with superpowers and spiffy costumes. and no, they’re not from outer space either. Anna (11), Matsuri (11), Miu (12) and Chi (12) are your typical schoolgirls who more or less look up to Nobue (20), Chi’s older sister.

cute ichigo mashimarou girls

what makes these girls leap out of the screen and engage your attention right away is the manner in which they are portrayed: as real characters with their respective hang-ups and quirky personality issues.

ichigo mashimaro girls

  • nobue ito is a college coed who works part-time and who on occasion likes to pull pranks on her younger sister and her cohorts. she likes to drink and smoke and drives a scooter to work. although she can be a bit of a slacker, she does look out for the younger girls.
  • chi ito is the intelligent and studious type who is basically the long-suffering voice of reason in this series. she is conscientious and very organized. in a sense, her normality almost makes her an ‘uninteresting’ person when compared to the rest of her friends.
  • miu matsuoka is chi’s impulsive and restless classmate who has an unfortunate knack of saying and doing annoying things (in the tradition of Azumanga Daioh‘s Tomo Takino and Minami-ke‘s Kana Minami). she instigates most of their activities with predictably disastrous and hilarious results, although occasionally she can come up with good ideas, too.
  • matsuri sakuragi is a sweet, bespectacled girl who looks and acts younger than her age. she is the most timid of the group and is easily flustered by miu’s antics. she has a pet ferret that she calls John. (she’d look right at home in a Precious Moments greeting card.)
  • anna coppola is the blond, blue-eyed anglo-japanese transferee who — with her extensive knowledge of local culture and customs — ironically seems more ‘japanese’ compared to her friends. the fact that she’s very good in japanese and matsuri speaks better english is an exquisite source of gags in a couple of episodes.
  • cute anime girls

    oh. about that “cuteness” tag? you will find that quality entrenched in this series in a most unobtrusive fashion. these girls are cute alright — but in a funny, matter-of-fact, insidious, clever, and effortless way.