[Spoilers may happen. Avoid if you really, really, really hate
Welcome to the Spring Yuri Showdown! I know you've all been waiting on
pins and needles for this battle - as have I. And here we are at last.
In the red corner we have "Strawberry Panic" based on the short
stories of the same name from Dengeki G's Magazine, home of lots of
loli girls doing bishoujo game poses. Yuri by guys for guys, okay? OK.
In the blue corner we have newcomer "Simoun" from "Yuri Hime", home
of, erm, yuri for women by women.
The red corner comes out swinging with lots of school uniforms! I am
not kidding - we had a solid five minutes of dissussion on the
features and individual cuteness of each school's uniform. Great for
those who can't get enough of detailed discussions of crinoline!
"Strawberry Panic" has every single schoolgirl cliche in the book -
she's late, she's clumsy, she manages to have absolutely NO clue
whatsoever about the schools she entering - she's our heroine Nagisa!
Welcome Nagisa, cute, slightly underachieving girl who is not as
annoying as her manga counterpart, thank heavens. Nagisa is
immediately targeted as a patsy by uber-cool, seductive and strangely
boring Shizuna, who is every girl at all three schools dream.
"Strawberry Panic" weighs in finally with two almost-kisses, some
sexual tension, creepy friendly roommate and uniforms!
Now the blue corner steps forward with - omg! amazing graphics and a
production value I haven't seen since Ghost in the Shell:Innocence. Is
that CGI over watercolor? I feel faint. Screw schoolgirl uniforms -
give me good art any day. Nota Mamiko voices an enemy drone, so that
we get her perspective on the war and a vision of Simoun as the enemy.
And then, oh no! Two kisses in the first few minutes! It's a solid hit
for "Simoun." Ships that don't look like the same-old same-old, could
it be that there is character development too? "Strawberry Panic" is
looking weaker by the moment.
It's the final round - war is brutal my friends, while we watch Nota
Mamiko's character die a not-at-all symbolic death. But the victory is
a Pyrrhic one - our princess is scarred and frightened. Enter
protagonist/catalyst Aru who is again, not as annoying as her manga
counterpart, as she now has some context.
And its a TKO for "Simoun" with a real story, great point-of-view
effect, and excellent art!