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

Strawberry Marshmallow: Episode 5 Commentary


Collage of Strawberry Marshmallow screenshots.

The main thing I picked up from this episode was the mention of parents. Apparently Nobue and Chika’s parents simply haven’t been seen. They’re always either in another room or at work or elsewhere, although it’s appeared just as likely that their parents weren’t living in the same house as them. It was obvious enough that they had to have parents, as someone has to pay the electric bill, pay for food, etc.

With the format of two stories per episode, I look back wondering if maybe I should have done commentary that way: one commentary per half-episode. It certainly would have made it easier selecting screenshots, as I’d have twice as many per full episode.

The dual-part episode gives a nice contrast between Miu being someone to despise in the first half and someone to pity in the second half. I wonder which idea came into being first. Was there the decision of “we have a story about Miu as a bad person, so let’s make the viewer feel bad for her,” or was it more of a “the viewer will feel bad for Miu, so let’s have her do something bad first”?

With as simple as the English in the love letter was, I’m surprised Matsuri didn’t pick out more words. She had to have known at least a few of them, but with as few different words as the letter contained, that’s about all of them.

Poor Sasazuka ends up outside again. Cracks me up every time, as he has to do less and less to get sent outside. The teacher must have a grudge against him. From asking a question to almost speaking to simply being, this kid just doesn’t get a break.

While Matsuri and her classmates talk about cosplay, Ana is rather casual about writing Japanese while sketching. Part of it’s writing what she hears, but other parts are writing what she’s thinking. By reading in class earlier, she’s shown that she knows how to read Japanese characters (keeping in mind that she’s fluent in Japanese, and probably knows more kanji than any of her classmates, but she is going with the charade of not knowing Japanese); if she can present an illusion of slowly picking up Japanese, she should be able to communicate at least a little with her classmates by episode 15. Maybe she’ll get a resolve by episode 12, though, as that’s where the series ends.

There’s no way Miu could have aimed to hit the ball through Matsuri and Ana’s classroom window, right? That much had to have been a coincidence, right? Knowing her, you never know (although she did look surprised to see the ball go behind her when she hit it). Just imagine a world without Miu. Without Miu, Ana’s class wouldn’t know her last name. And without Miu, Sasazuka wouldn’t have had to stand out in the hall again. (That last point is debatable.)

When deciding who to be stuck on a stranded island with, I can understand Nobue picking Matsuri and Ana. There the sweet, helpless one, and the exotic foreigner. Chika is jaded, sarcastic, and Nobue’s little sister, so she’d never be picked. And Miu, well, she’s a little brat. And she makes those faces. Not cute.

What I don’t understand is why Nobue wouldn’t buy the cheesecake for Miu. She gave no good reason, and Miu really, really wanted it.. It wasn’t overly expensive, and it’s not like it was money out of Nobue’s wallet. I’m also surprised when Miu chose milk of all things, without sneaking the cheesecake in behind or under them.

Without Miu, Matsuri could actually have a hotpot dinner in peace. Even though Miu may have been a brat even at dinner, the unfair treatment Nobue gave at the store as well as the events after the bath and in Nobue’s room, it’s simply hard not to feel bad for her. But, everything is resolved by the last minute. Now to see if Nobue continues to give more attention to Matsuri and Ana (which I’m sure is easy to do, what with Miu being such a brat all the time).

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