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

Strawberry Marshmallow: Episode 4 Commentary

Part-Time Job

Collage of Strawberry Marshmallow screenshots.

I reached the manga chapter where Ana is introduced, and the anime episode had followed it nicely. I’m not sure about the manga’s presentation, though. I’ve already had my concerns from in the first volume when Matsuri said “Mew” rather than “Miu” at one point, and things have only stood to get more confusing for a more casual reader. The method for conveying someone speaking English is to write the romanized text, such as Miu’s “Guudo mohningu” greeting. No different font, no anything explaining thing. There wasn’t even a note on Ana’s “Konnichi-waaa-” reply. Further, when Ana accidentally writes あな instead of “ana” on the board, she says “だ” to which the teacher replies, “‘Da’?!” No notes on what だ is, and no reason given why it was left as a Japanese letter (which happens again when Ana sees Matsuri’s friends are Chika and Miu, and once more when Nobue hugs her). Maybe TokyoPop felt the only readers of the series would be people familiar with Japanese to some extent? Unrelated, Miu refers to Satake as female in the manga, whereas Nobue referred to Satake as male in the anime. I wonder if there’s really a gender difference, or if one of the translators got it wrong. As for the episode at hand…

In every group of four to five, there seems to be one person who’s the strange one, and you just have to wonder what the lives of the other three would be like without that one. How would things be for the fairies without Hororo (Bottle Fairy)? What would after-school activities be like without Tomo (AzuManga Daioh)? And what would the Strawberry girls be without Miu?

Without Miu, I suppose there wouldn’t be much of a story. Nothing crazy would happen. It would simply be easygoing times. Chances are I’d watch. However, there is a Miu, so I’m relegated to watching tripping matches and food fights. At least I enjoyed the ice water-to-cheek scenes (with Miu and Chika both), but I was really hoping for Nobue to take two glasses and go double-cheek against Miu.

Without Miu, Chika would still have her money bank. I don’t know if that’s what shattered after being thrown, or if Miu put it through somebody’s window. It’d be nice if she went through her own window with it, but she’s probably lucky enough to not have that happen.

Without Miu, the girls would have to get their own tea. I don’t imagine Chika or Miu would even think of having Matsuri go and prepare tea for them (although she does a good job at serving it).

I’ve wondered about the slow-spoken voice of person such as the hot sweet potato sellers ever since seeing the special short from Saint Tail when Meimi is trying to buy some. Matsuri does seem fit for the task, but I’m not sure she has the voice for it. I’d like to hear the elder guy from the restaraunt give it a try, for comparison purposes.

Without Miu, Chika could uphold her dreams of handing out tissue packets with advertisements inside as being an easy job. Really, she need only find Ayumu (AzuManga Daioh), and she could probably hand out a packet to her on every street corner.

Without Miu, Frusciante wouldn’t have anyone to chase around and around. Wait, wasn’t that last episode? Doesn’t Fu-chan look a bit like Mr. Tadakichi (again, AzuManga Daioh)?

Just as seen in the episode preview prior, Chika once again does the Osakan arm thing. Due to spending two months watching Korean animation rather than Japanese, I don’t recall what an Osakan accent sounds like (perhaps I should watch a little AzuManga Daioh, Ojamajo Doremi, and Detective Conan as a matter of refresher?), but I’m sure I’d know it if I heard it, so I don’t think Chika has any Osakan accent to her. It must simply be a habit she picked up watching late-night Osakan comedies.

Without Miu, skirts would be safe once again. I’m sure Ana would appreciate that. Even more so, without Miu, Ana’s name would be safe once again. Sure, she did have trouble with it at her last school, but considering all the grief Miu gives her now, it’s just not reasonable.

I’m not sure about Nobue. Her mind goes into hanyaaa~ mode over the skirt thing Miu does to Ana, but I take it that’s based on Ana’s startled reaction, not on Miu’s action. Miu’s still a brat, no matter how you look at it.

Without Miu, broccoli…would still be on Ana’s plate. But at least Nobue’s job wouldn’t be on the line as the end result. Not only did Nobue have to repeatedly treat the girls to desserts, but she had to put a lot of money into clean-up. I do admit it was Nobue’s own fault for being the first to trip Miu, though. Paying for an orange drink would have been a small price to pay for putting hot sauce in Miu’s ice cream, which in itself is a mighty wonderful act on her part. If even for only a short time, justice was served. For Nobue, justice is a dish best served cold — with hot sauce.

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