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Strawberry Eggs (I My Me!) Vol. 1: Make-Up Exam (2002)

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Studio: Geneon
Genre: Anime, Comedy Anime
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
Hibiki Amawa needs a job! If he wants to avoid being shot by his landlady, Hibiki has to get a job teaching at the local high school. Unfortunately, this high shool accepts female teachers... From the creators of Hand Maid May, comes a new dramatic comedy of a man's goal to fill his desire to teach in conflict with a school's strict traditions and his own male image.

Contains episodes 1-4:

  • Desperate First Lipstick
  • Forbidden Narrow Eyeliner
  • Selfish Blush Magic
  • Delicate Tear Concealer
Special Features:
  • Full Color Art Gallery
  • Clean opening animation


GreenCine Member Reviews

Ridiculous Premise, but Well Done by hamano March 18, 2004 - 8:05 AM PST
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15 out of 18 members found this review helpful
OK, I have to jump to the defense of this lighthearted and breezy comic soap opera, because it's well worth the rental, in my opinion (I bought the whole series). First off, this is not a shoujo title despite the romantic storyline... This is a moe-themed shounen-targeted romantic comedy, so there's plenty of fan service. Moe is a term recently coined in anime when male fans realized the emergence of heroines and storylines that are largely, if not entirely romantic in nature (Ai yori aoshi is a good example). This trend seems to be driven by a parallel emergence of video/computer games popularly called "dating sims" and many anime titles with attractive young characters seem to have related romantic role-playing games, ranging anywhere from G/PG to X in explicitness. GAINAX has a best-seller with a PG dating sim based on characters from Evangelion, Sakura Wars is another G/PG rated anime/game franchise. Anime shows with R/X rated dating sims include Kimi ga nozomu eien and Kanon which are available as fan subs (the anime are much less racy than the games).

A lot of anime fans in this country think that shows with children are always kid's shows (but have you seen Now and Then, Here and There?) and shows about love/romance are always shoujo. But the world of anime is always evolving, and creative people are always tending to blur or blend traditional genre lines, rather than conservatively preserve them. I think with a show like this, you have to understand the audience it's trying to reach in order to let its charms overcome the inherent absurdity (and yes, CREEPINESS) of its premise.

In this country, romance between a student and a teacher is totally taboo, something reserved for tabloid headlines, porn, and shows that court controversy, like Boston Public. People have forgotten that it was once a popular romantic fantasy, a mainstay of soapy romance novels along with the fantasies of things like dashing gentleman pirates, chivalrous bikers, and even "dating a college boy"... Romance fantasy by its very nature explored socially taboo relationships that crossed socio-economic lines or racial/religious lines. But today in America in the drive to achieve "political correctness" in all aspects of society, I think we've lost the capacity to differentiate the line between reality and fantasy. People look at a show like this and we've been conditioned to think, student-teacher romance? Ick. The American version of Card Captor Sakura made sure to do away with any mention that Sakura's mother Nadeshiko had been a student of her dad in high school, the kind of classic situation that the romance fantasy veterans at CLAMP weren't gonna miss exploiting.

Getting back to the show in question, of course this is not in the league of titles like Fruits Basket or Ah, My Goddess. But I thought it was better than a lot of romantic comedy high-school anime shows out there. Over the 13 episodes on 4 DVDs, the main story arc and character arcs are very well developed and resolved if you give it a chance past the first volume. Once you accept the dumb situation and some of the dumb/annoying supporting characters, you're treated to a charming example of teacher/student Japanese seishun dorama (youth drama). Of course the young, inexperienced teacher helps our naive, initially helpless moe heroine break out of her shell and grow. Of course LOVE triumphs over EVIL (well, over the nasty headmistress of the school). Of course the core cast of characters learn important lessons about love and friendship. And it's all done very chastely and neatly, with a story that builds a lot of momentum over the last 4 or so episodes and ends with a clever sequence that echoes visual elements in the OP credit animation that we've been watching from the beginning, and also resonates from the early scene where candidate-gym-teacher Hibiki first teaches Fuko something new. I was helped to a great extent to stay with this show by the voice actors who did the male/female voices for the cross-dressing teacher, Hibiki Amawa, who were excellent. And Fuko is sooooo cuuute (this is the raison d'etre for a moe heroine). Incidentally, I'm usually very disdainful of the dub actors and English scripts a lot of my favorite anime shows are saddled with, but I must say the dub actors for Hibiki were almost as good as the Japanese ones, and the English script impressed me by refraining from using profanity, an unfortunate byproduct of the desperation to appeal to a young American audience. The word "shit" is used just once, by a male student, in a very emotionally appropriate moment, and the impact of the word is all the more powerful for the restraint in the rest of the script.

The series has excellent OP/ED songs in my opinion, and the extras provided for this series are really a lot of fun, especially the ad-libbed character introductions by the voice actors, who obviously had a ball recording them. The dub simulation of the ad-libbing wasn't half bad either. Overall, a fun show with a satisfying, emotional climax and a neat ending that wraps up the story nicely, all the elements that make up a good anime series for me.

Ugh by kamapuaa February 9, 2004 - 1:56 AM PST
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4 out of 8 members found this review helpful
I really didn't like this anime, and don't understand how it's gotten such good word of mouth and ratings. There's no character depth at all, and the situations are as cliched as the come. The jokes aren't funny. The animation is generic.

More than that, the show is full-on-creepy. The character hides himself out as a female teacher, and immediately gets to business, which is composed of getting his girl students to wear short shorts, sharing a bed with a student, and delivering cheesy romantic lines about an underdeveloped girl in his class. But, you're supposed to take the melodrama at face value! Too stupid to watch.

Cool title, no character depth by hneline1 November 4, 2002 - 10:57 PM PST
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8 out of 11 members found this review helpful
It's such a cool title for a show. It's too bad that the content doesn't match that innovation and silliness. For example, the landlady is a combat-boots-wearing granny who seems to be a mixture of Genkai from Yu Yu Hakusho (same look, same grumpy attitude), Alfred the butler from Batman (a tool for every need), and Rambo (guns and a chrome-heaven hog). The head mistress is a frigid dame. Fuko the klutzy student is the class doormat and smiles through it all. And Hibiki Amawa makes it his personal mission to prove that men can teach too, although he's still teaching in drag. As much as there is potential for a good comedy, I didn't feel like this show achieved anything new or created much character depth -- we've seen these stereotypical characters often enough already. Yes, there are some touching moments, like when Amawa starts seeing his students as individuals rather than blank slates for his teaching ideals, but those moments are too few and far between. Also, what's with all those panty shots? It's almost as if this is a shonen anime masquerading as a shoujo anime. It's just uneven.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.54)
162 Votes
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