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

Strawberry Marshmallow: Episode 6 Commentary

Hot Summer Day

Collage of Strawberry Marshmallow screenshots.

The chirp of the cicada. The twang of a guitar. Summer has arrived for the Strawberry Girls.

I think I’ve seen (heard) crossing lights that play music back home in San Diego, although I could be wrong. They do seem familiar somehow. Maybe a different Japanese animation series I’ve seen had them? Most of the audio ones back home have a chirping sound and another sound. One sound is for crossing east and west, the other for north and south.

It’s suprising how many times the girls tie in rock-paper-scissors. Chika and Miu go paper, scissors, scissors, paper, so the pattern’s easy to see. “Oh, she used paper, too. She might use paper again, so I’ll use scissors. Oh, she also used scissors. She might expect me to go with rock next, so she’ll use papers and I’ll use scissors. Oops, she used scissors again, so she has to use rock next. I’ll finish it with paper!”

Chika and Ana had to feel bad after Matsuri collapsed trying to carry all the bags. Ana knows Matsuri isn’t very strong from seeing her at school trying to open that shed back when they first met. And Chika has to know it, as well. And Miu is just not a good person. Without Miu, Matsuri wouldn’t have to fear losing in rock-paper-scissors leading to having to carry all the bags, as Chika and Ana on their own wouldn’t put her in that situation. At least Miu gets what’s coming to her.

Something Chika has yet to learn is that saying weird things works for Miu because Miu is Miu. Saying about dinosaurs without air conditioning works when Miu says it, but if someone else tries saying about dinosaurs without ice cream, it just isn’t the same. Maybe Ana could get by, and Matsuri possibly could (unintentionally) find the right situation. Chika’s too level-headed for it, so she simply cannot pull it off. On top of that, she was basing her line off of Miu’s line, which is destined to fail. A level-headed person cannot ride the tail of someone who, as Ana suggests on paper, isn’t right in the head.

Every now and then, Miu will have a “nice” scene. One where she’s filled with an adorable childish delight, or one where you genuinely feel bad for her. There are no such scenes in this episode, as she’s a troublemaker on and on. At least her playing on the bed while Chika and Nobue are reading is innocent enough. It’s hard to tell when she’s purposely causing trouble or is just playing, seen both with opening the window and with trying to make Chika laugh after devising a way for everyone to comunicate without sound. Or with her attempt to keep Matsuri from going to the bathroom. And the phone calls, as well as playing with Nobue’s phone. I don’t expect Miu to get any sympathy from Nobue after calling her and having that pre-recorded message sounding throughout the store. Miu, face, meet floor.

The further I read in the manga, the more and more I see where the anime uses stories from the manga wherever they can be fit into an episode, even switching them all out of order, and changing around which characters are in which scenes. Nothing wrong with this of course. I do wonder if the drink machine Matsuri stops at is related to the one in the manga, which always gives something other than a drink. What catches my eye is the prices. Depending on the vending machine, a 12 ounce can of soda here in the USA can be anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar, although normally not higher than 75 cents. The drinks Matsuri sees in the machine are ¥125, or about US$1.13, and they don’t look any bigger that a 12 ounce can. Hopefully the drink Matsuri bought wasn’t carbonated (it looked like a “power drink”, so probably not carbonated). It might be warm, if not hot, by the time she reached it, unfortunately. And for some reason, after Matsuri goes down the hill and retrieves the can, she goes back up the hill again to the drink machine. Maybe down the hill was the opposite direction from Chika’s house, so she had to go back up and that’s where Ana came across her.

I’m glad to see the old man return. He’s almost creepy-sounding when he speaks, and then considering his face, it’s no wonder Ana went running. What Ana should have said was, “It wasn’t me who caused the trouble, it was Miu Matsuoka. Let me show you to her.” If he didn’t pass out from the heat walking to Miu’s house, then he’d make it there to have it out against Miu. How would a competition between the old man and the young brat turn out, anyway?

Since I’ve never owned a cell phone, I didn’t know what manner mode (マナーモード) was. From what I can gather, this is also known as “silent mode” in English, and refers to a mode where a phone will not ring. The term “manner mode” would be due to it being good manners to not have ones cell phone ring at certain times or places (such as in a meeting, or at a library).

My favorite part of this episode is Ana’s quest to learn if ginger ale has frogs in it. It made for a good way to connect the latter half of the episode with the first half.

If I haven’t already said so, it’s nice to see the characters wearing different outfits each day. So many shows stick to one outfit only, which I’m sure is nice for branding, but I prefer the different outfits seen, and all the colored artwork from Barasui of the characters in different outfits for different seasons and situations.

Comments are closed.