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

Strawberry Marshmallow: Episode 8 Commentary


Collage of Strawberry Marshmallow screenshots.

I imagine Miu acts up in class often for the teacher to tolerate it for the duration of the class, but hopefully she’ll keep this distraction in mind when grading the other students’ tests. There’s no telling what’s going on in Miu’s mind when it comes to openly telling the teacher “I copied Chika’s homework” or “Chika won’t let me see her test answers”. Perhaps Chika should have known Miu was up to something with all the drumming practice, but could she even have predicted what Miu would do at the festival? If there were no Miu, Chika’s flute would be safe.

It’s understandable for Ana to not have a yukata, but it wasn’t until the end of the first half of the episode when I realized the reason Miu’s yukata was a better fit for her than for Miu. Somehow, foreigners are able to pull off the yukata look in anime.

Miu’s wearing of the yukata is the first time I’ve ever seen one worn the wrong way. Nobue says she learned about that being bad luck from a boss at a prior part time job. I always took this as common knowledge (in Japan) that it was bad luck to wear it the wrong way. Is that not the case? I can understand the girls not knowing it, but Nobue’s old enough that I’d expect her to have known it prior to that one job. Maybe she knew the yukata is supposed to be worn a certain way, but didn’t know why until the job?

Hopefully it’s Miu’s CDs the ninja thief panda used as weapons against Nobue and Matsuri. I often find people who don’t know much about technology have very scratched CDs, and amazingly the CDs still play. Maybe if CDs didn’t play after being scratched a few times, people would take better care of them. But they’re quite resilient, so Miu will continue to use then as throwing stars. Without Miu, CDs would be…well, they’d still be scratched up, because that’s how a lot of people take care of them.

Back when Matsuri had to get to Ana’s house while keeping it a secret, she had trouble trying to convince the others to look away so she could escape. The “look, a UFO!” routine didn’t work for her, and Miu didn’t fare any better here. The difference is that Matsuri expected it to work, and Miu’s just playing. I don’t imagine she’s playing when Nobue sends it back at Miu by suggesting there really is a UFO, although Miu’s reaction to looking definitely is. I suppose without Miu, life would almost be dull. Or peaceful.

With Nobue’s fondness for cute, I’m surprised she doesn’t use her camera phone more often. Maybe the photos are too low quality to properly catch the cuteness of something? After all, how often will Nobue get to see Ana in a yukata? And after she gave pointers for posing just right. Yeah, I’m a bit worried about Nobue there, and Miu doesn’t help any.

If I were in Miu’s place and tripped on the way to the festival, I’d have to wonder if no one else even noticed, or if they were ignoring me. What if everything fell out of her bag? It would take time to collect everything back into it, and the others would have moved a considerable distance ahead. Were that the case, I don’t doubt Miu’s call out to the others, and let them know what she thinks about being left behind

I like how Matsuri and Nobue continue to explain the festival games to Ana. Even in the US, there are goldfish catching games and shoot-the-prize games at festivals, as well as the ring toss. I don’t know where these games originated (could these games have originated in multiple countries independently of one another and turned out so similar?), but I did miss not seeing any water balloon yo-yo’s.

What must these vendors think with Miu around? There was the grilled corn seller in the prior episode, and now the fish vendor. I must admit, Miu’s ring toss was funny every time a ring landed on someone’s head.

The kanji Ana writes out to explain to Matsuri are 掬う (すくう), meaning to scoop something, and 救う (すくう), meaning “to save”. Rather than scooping (sukuu) the fish, she’s saving (sukuu) the fish. In English (in the Japanese dialogue), Matsuri translates these as “catch” and “help”. I fail to see the necessity for putting the accent to “Richard” and “James” in the dub. It’d be nice if releases had little pamphlets explaining director decisions for these things.

As Miu suggests, Matsuri’s not one for tongue-twisters. It’s not like there was any chance of Matsuri randomly blurting out about buses exploding. No, that Chiyo-ism (Azumanga Daioh) goes to Miu, and unfortunately they had her blurt out the Japanese tongue twister in the dub without even putting a translation in the subtitle, and they continued this with more Japanese tongue twisters in the dub. That left Miu’s operation joke as making no sense. One step forward, one step back. At least Matsuri’s cute failing at tongue twisters in both Japanese and the English dub.

Miu does look to genuinely feel bad that everyone misses out on the fireworks because of her. I’m sure she was over it in on time, though. Nobue saves the day with the other type of fireworks, but really the whole day was because of her. Sure, the girls had their own spending money (for the most part), but Nobue’s the one who chaperoned the event, and she emptied her own wallet to ensure they had a good time.

One minor mistake in the subtitling one point in this episode was spelling “Ana” as “Anna” — I’m surprised there’s nothing in place to catch things like this, considering what all goes into subtitling a DVD. Between this and typos I see from time to time (in other releases), it’s really a wonder they don’t have a way to catch these things. With that said, I’ll be certain not to forget spellchecking this post. Hm, that would be a nice WordPress plug-in, a “spellcheck all posts” plug-in…

This DVD has the “Promo Video”, a combination of scenes to the sound of the opening theme song. The subtitling contains both the romanized Japanese and English translation, something which I think should be done more with the opening theme and ending theme on the episodes. Have the first episode with English, the second with Japanese romanized, the third with both, then back to English alone for the fourth.

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