Tag Archives: anime comedy

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.

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    full metal panic!: a rip-roaring experience

    13 Aug

    it’s been a while since i had last made changes here. i think this is the first this is the first post i had written in a long time. and what a pleasure it is to go back to a long-time favorite anime that has given me a lot of pleasant memories…

    fmp1.jpg

    cast of characters. one of Full Metal Panic‘s (FMP) main selling point is the fantastic chemistry between the main protagonists: sgt. sosuke sagara, a highly trained 17-year-old combat expert sent by MITHRIL to protect kaname chidori, a beautiful and brilliant but temperamental high school student. In theory, they’re like oil and water. And given their respective backgrounds, you know that there are bound to be some explosive confrontations. but when sparks begin to fly, the interplay between these two can range from funny, violent, touching, to ludicrous, and occasionally sweet.

    so, what makes this pair special? hmm, let’s see… how about sosuke‘s hilarious inability to blend in with his new surroundings and his over-the-top misinterpretation of ordinary events? sprinkle that with kaname‘s often violent and exasperated response (which isn’t all that hard to understand, mind you) as she tries her best to minimize the damage that sosuke’s actions invariably create. to put it simply, they are a joy to watch. no other anime couple has completely and effortlessly won me over as much as sosuke and kaname have.

    other notable characters include the cute but klutzy capt. tessa testarossa, skirt-chasing kurz weber, the highly capable and sexy military babe melissa mao, kaname’s best friend kyoko tokiwa, etc. most of the major characters act and sound like real people; they are vividly brought to life, thanks mostly to the spot-on performance of their seiyuus.

    the story. this anime combines hardcore action (battle scenes involving robots [arm slaves!], tanks, planes, surface ships, submarines and plenty of infantry hardware), comedy, romance and science fiction, which accounts for its continuing popularity among its legion of male and female fans. It is loosely based on our own timeline (parallel reality) with many notable differences. basically it deals with MITHRIL (this name should ring a bell among tolkien fans; another familiar term: Tuatha de Danaan), a stealthy and powerful paramilitary organization whose agenda includes fighting against various terrorist groups and ensuring that the “whispered” (individuals with special knowledge and abilities) do not fall into wrong hands. sosuke, melissa, tessa and kurz are members of this organization. both tessa and kaname are “whispered”.

    fmp10.jpg

    animation. great artwork! FMP looks and sounds far better than most of its contemporaries. animation is crisp and clear, and you can see that considerable attention has been to devoted to make the action scenes look dynamic and free-flowing.

    other points. the dubbed version (english) of this anime is topnotch; it’s one of a few titles that i would willingly watch both in english and japanese.

    FMP, which is adapted from the popular light novel series penned by Shouji Gatou, is available 3 anime adaptations: Full Metal Panic!, FMP? Fumoffu, and FMP: The Second Raid. There is also a short OVA: The Second Raid OVA.i’ve watched all three at least 5 times. my favorite is FMP? Fumoffu.