Strawberry Marshmallow is a slice of life anime series based on the manga series by Barasui. The story follows the day-to-day adventures of four adolescent girls and their college-aged sister-figure who has her hands full watching over them and holding down part-time jobs to have enough pocket change to pay for her smoking habit. Itō Nobue is the older sister of twelve-year-old Chika and a twenty-year-old junior in college. While not attending classes or at her part-time job, she watches over Chika and her friends. Chika’s friends include the twelve-year-old Miu who lives next door, is quite troublesome in nature, loves to be the center of attention, and loves playing wild pranks. Chika’s other two friends are the eleven-year-old Matsuri, a very timid and clumsy girl with a pet ferret named John, and Ana Coppola, an eleven-year-old girl who moved to Japan from Cornwall, England five years earlier, but has now forgotten how to speak English. She wants people to believe she can’t speak Japanese and lies to kids at school that she doesn’t understand Japanese, but her efforts to re-learn her native language and pretend she can’t speak Japanese flawlessly don’t always work out. The series basically follows the girls as they do everyday things like eat, have sleepovers, try to make birthday cards for Nobue, get into arguments over silly stuff, or get jealous over who is getting the most attention from Nobue. Basically, Strawberry Marshmallow is 12 episodes of fluff – but in a good way. There’s nothing here to gross you out, draw you into a mystery, or give you nightmares at night. There’s no fan service, although there is certainly an overdose of moe and it is implied more than once that Nobue derives just a bit of erotic pleasure from the moe ideal, in particular she can’t seem to get enough of Ana-chan and Matsuri-chan – but it is never taken to any perverted level in this series of wholesome fun.
We get fine 1080p AVC transfer of Strawberry Marshmallow’s digital animation on Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks. There is sometimes a hint of softness in background and distance shots, but for the most part this transfer is very pleasing, with good color and free from aliasing and motion artifacts.
The original Japanese mix and English dub are provided in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo mixes. The Japanese voice cast just sounds much cuter to my ears than the English cast, but it’s all relative. Both mixes do a good job from an audio quality perspective providing clean dialogue and excellent dynamic range.
The music videos are particularly effective in playing up the moe aspects of the series and highlighting each character’s specific personality.
- Episode “0”
- Episode 1 & 2 Digest
- Music Videos:
- Ana (1.78:1; SD; 00:02:04)
- Chika (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:56)
- Matsuri (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:59)
- Miu (1.78:1; SD; 00:02:05)
- Nobue (1.78:1; SD; 00:02:05)
- Promo Video (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:35)
- TV Spots (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:27)
- Clean Opening Animation
- Clean Closing Animation
- Sentai Filmworks Trailers
The Final Assessment
If you’re looking for a palette cleanser from the likes of Akame ga Kill or When they Cry, for instance, or the hordes of mecha and fan service series out there, then Marshmallow is a sugary sweet and very funny diversion. These cuties are sure to keep even the most macho anime viewer well entertained and amused if they are willing to give them a chance.
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