Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Strawberry Panic

(Originally 11 October 2006)

I'm a sucker for getting caught up in the moment, brief instances in time that make me pause to reread a line, or even rewind and rewatch.

Strawberry Panic has tons of those moments, little scenes that stood out because they mixed the rights elements together, but when you step back, appear pretty isolated, or don't make much sense in context. They're good for making AMV's, but little much else. It's difficult to put forth the case that they make an episode, let alone arcs.

The series has been panned by plenty of people, plot (what plot?) and premise (how does losing an umbrella form the basis for an entire episode?) being the main gripe, and characters (too emo, too often, without any compelling reason) a fairly close secondary complaint.

The soundtrack was good, just way over used. I felt like I was being beaten over the head every time they broke out the same choral track, sometimes for no good reason (premise plz!). It's a good track, but Spica's choir must have a repertoire of all of...3 pieces and change. Not exactly ace private academy calibre.

I'm also a sucker for history and mysterious pasts. And tragic characters. Combined, they made for lots of good moments. Good, isolated, moments. The last 13 episodes were better than the first 13 in that regard, and things got really good towards the end but whoever animated the thing couldn't really execute well. Episode 18 could have been decent, but it was hard to buy in when there was so much blinding rain and deafening thunder, and waves crashing against the rock face. Leave it to episode 19 to actually get a decent backstory.

From episode 19 to the finale was the closing arc, and it started off well, but petered out. The end was good, with good choice of music leading into the final credits. The ending episode, though, was average (other commentators are not so nice).