This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

Strawberry Marshmallow: Episode 2 Commentary


Collage of Strawberry Marshmallow screenshots.

I still haven’t reached the end of reading the first manga volume, so I haven’t reached Ana’s entrance there. I wonder how it will compare with the anime’s.

Whatever style of humor this series is using, I hope it keeps up all the way through. I don’t know why, but the stiff, forced dialogue with Ana and her parents had me laughing through it. It was completely not like any dialogue I’ve ever heard spoken in Japanese before (except maybe for the one episode of The Fuccons I saw, which was in English, but I imagine the Japanese original had the same sound to its dialogue). It has to be the laughter. The English of this episode’s opening didn’t quite catch the sound of the Japanese, but I think it did fine enough.

I watched this episode in Japanese, then afterwards in English, so I knew when the first line of English would arrive. As it approached, I thought of all the ways they could ago about handling it, including using the Japanese voices for the English and putting a subtitle saying that English is being spoken. Turns out they actually did go that route, and I think it works. It might be a bit strange to someone who only watches in English, but Ana gives enough of a composition on her speaking Japanese fluently and not remembering English to inform the viewer about her position. Also, Chika does that Osakan arm thing to Miu again at this point. I wonder if she’s working on her aim. You know, just in case.

I’m not sure why Ana’s dubbed dialogue goes “Now how do I say ‘hitotsu yoroshiku’?” They could have put “Now, how do I say ‘nice to meet you’?” and it should have made perfect sense for anyone watching up to this point. At least, that’s my thoughts on it. It should make a lot more sense than “hitotsu yoroshiku” to a dub watcher, as they probably have no idea what it means to make the connection with what she says and what the teacher says she said. All complaints aside, I am 100% satisfied with this way of handling English spoken by a character in a Japanese animation dubbed into English. Come to think of it, didn’t she already say “Nice to meet you” in English? She must not have realized it herself, as she was probably repeated a memorized phrase without a very strong knowledge or memory of what the individual words meant.

Poor Sasazuka. He understands a decent amount of English, so he gets sent outside. I get the impression the teacher really doesn’t like that poor kid. I do feel bad for Sasazuka, but every time the teacher sends him out, even just thinking about it, I end up laughing. I thought AzuManga Daioh had some funny humor, but some of Strawberry Marshmallow‘s humor tops it for me (keeping in mind that they’re two very different kinds of humor). Likewise, Miu’s attempts to get by without speaking/understanding Japanese are quite funny. I should try an episode of this show out on someone not familiar with Japanese animation and see how they like the humor. It seems much more accessible than AzuManga Daioh‘s humor.

The teacher is quick to play along with Ana’s charade. I wonder what his reason is, or if Ana will keep up the act for the duration of the series which at school.

I don’t understand Miu’s math joke. I realize she wrote “Satake”, the name of the dog, but I don’t see how she arrived at that.

Seeing how Matsuri completely missed out on Ana’s Japanese, maybe she is rather dimwitted. Poor Ana just can’t get a break. Either way, speaking Japanese or pretending to only know English, she has all the Japanese anime faces down strong.

There’s still no explanation to Nobue’s taking care of Chika, but she does seem to like cute things, as Ana finds out. Being drunk must bring it out.

Maybe it’s because I’m an American, but I don’t see the big deal about Ana’s surname. Coppola’s a nice name. It reminds me of Coppélia. At least I got the “new name” joke at the end. Coppola in hiragana would be written as あな こっぽら. Changing the っ to a つ and the ぽ to a ぼ gets あな こつ ぼら, the name Miu wrote out. Don’t worry Ana, I think Coppola sounds a lot better than Kotsubora.

While I still think Miu is evil in the manga, her eccentricities are fun in the anime. Maybe she won’t be so bad, but I know my favorite character will turn out either to be Matsuri or Ana, with Chika as a distant third possibility. It’ll be hard for someone to displace Matsuri as a favorite after the scene with her and Ana in class, and Ana saying hello to her. It’ll be hard for someone to outdo Matsuri’s cute look while watching Ana struggle with the chopsticks. It’ll be difficult for someone to be so adorable trying to open a stuck door that’s surprisingly easy to open.

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