Strawberry Panic 21

The final episode of the Shizuma Gets Over Kaori arc. While it’s been a bit draggy and Yaya-less, I’ve still found it enjoyable because it was fun to see Shizuma in all her seasons especially pre-Kaori when she was light and free and during her relationship with Kaori when she was so sooo in love. Best bits were the Miyuki parts as she actively cheerleads her beloved Shizuma’s romance with Kaori.

Always fun when Tsubomi clashes with Chiyo. We need to see more styles of jammies though. I know that it’s plausible that people like to stick with their favourite bed clothes but come on! This is supposed to be a girly show, bring on the fashion parade fan service!

One of the more enjoyable scenes of this series. Shizuma lashes out quite cruelly at Miyuki for all her nagging but then unwittingly hurts her at her most vulnerable point. The strong shell crumbles in an instant.

Kaori wants Shizuma to have Freedom.

Shizuma: Hey, we can’t be lovers but you can be my Special Friend. *wink*
Miyuki: Oh, Shizuma! *sob*
Zyl: Wah lao, Miyuki, you’re easily pleased. Then again, being easily pleased is the secret of happiness.

This is just such a good metaphor for Yaya’s role in this arc – akin to background music. Things look up for her in the following episode!

5 thoughts on “Strawberry Panic 21

  1. The best part of this arc is at some point Miyuki realized Shizuma has genuinely fallen for Kaori and that by introducing the 2 she had inadverdently shut the door on her own shot at Shizuma. The ‘oh crap’ look on her face when that happened is priceless. Of course she recovers gracefully, that’s what I love about her.

  2. Already wrote about Ep21 and saved it in Notepad, so copy-pasto!
    ~~~~ ~~~~

    Episode 21:
    Like a Flower

    Very little Tamao moments in this episode, so no episode summary. Instead, I will be going over the highlights( to me) point by point.
    ~~~~ ~~~~

    **) We get a new opening narrator for this episode. A dead one no less. If you still haven’t figure it out, it’s Kaori.

    **) Shizuma continued to be emo in the beginning of the episode. It really surprises me that so many people are supporting the Shizuma&Nagisa pairing. Ep21 seems to indicate that Shizuma might end up with Miyuki, although I also don’t know how that would work out, since Miyuki is already in an arranged marriage.

    **) Nagisa has apparently not fully recovered yet. You can feel the uncertainty in her voice as she tries to convince herself that Shizuma is fine. Given Tamao’s expression during the obligatory tea party, it would seem that Tamao is also aware of this. No big surprise there.

    **) Shizuma and Miyuki had an argument over Kaori, in which Shizuma was particularly biting towards Miyuki. To make things worse, Shizuma toyed with Miyuki by kissing her, which earned her a slap from Miyuki. As the saying goes, misery loves company. If anything, this scene reinforces the idea that Shizuma knows about Miyuki’s feelings for her, and how it must torment Miyuki that she had to give way to Kaori.

    **) More linkage to past episodes when Amane shares her umbrella with Shizuma to return back the favour. That piece of setup in Ep08 enabled the storyline to get Amane to question Shizuma about being an Etoile. If anything, this shows that the production team did bother to put in effort into the anime, by linking the episodes together.

    **) Kaori’s final letter proves to be instrumental in mending the relationship between Shizuma and Miyuki. Without being explicit, Kaori has more or less given her blessing for the Shizuma and Miyuki pairing. Yay. This of course, makes Miyuki very happy to the point of tears, while Shizuma finally realises what a bitch she has been to Miyuki.

    **) More guarded jealousy from Tamao in the preview as she shoots down the idea of getting flowers from Shizuma’s greenhouse.

    **) Miyuki is this episode’s Ending Eyecatch.
    ~~~~ ~~~~

    Random Thoughts on Ep21:
    —- —-

    ..) During the tea party, the girls begin to discuss Chihaya’s habit of adding lots of butter to her cookies because Mizushima likes butter. When Nagisa wondered why Mizushima likes butter so much, a lot of naughty thoughts began to dance in my mind. Mmmm… butter.

    ..) Best scene of Ep21,
    S: “Don’t make such a ruckus in the morning. You’re disturbing the neighbours.”
    M: “Unfortunately, I’m in the neighbouring room.”

    Hmm… doesn’t this mean that Shizuma and Miyuki are neighbours with Kaori? That can’t be the case, since they had to walk along corridors to Kaori, as shown in previous episodes, or does Miyuki have multiple rooms? Without causing a plothole, I guess Kaori was situated next to the Student Council President room so that she would have easy access to help.

    ..) The jewels are finally explained. They belong to the Etoiles.

    ..) Shizuma fails in observation skills. I mean, come on… how could she have missed that letter?

    ..) I loved the weather metaphors used in this episode. When Shizuma was all gloomy and emo, the sky was grey and cloudy. When Shizuma and Miyuki finally made up, the clouds parted and sunlight shone onto the dorms. Very poetic. I like.

    ..) I also loved the significance of the scene where Shizuma returns the Etoile jewels. By saying goodbye to them, she is finally lifting a heavy weight off her shoulders, enabling her to become a free person as Kaori desired in her final letter. It also sets the stage for the next important arc, the actual Etoile elections.

    ..) That said, the scene of Kaori ascending in a bouquet of flowers was too damn corny. I know it is supposed to be touching and stuff, but I was laughing too hard during that part. If there is one thing the production company needs to learn for their future projects, it is the need to be subtle more often. The amount of unintentional humour is high in Strawberry Panic, but I suppose it is one of its’ charms.

    ..) Continuing in the fine tradition of Miator girls, Shizuma became this episode’s Batman when she disappear from Amane’s sight at will. Can all Miator girls do this? Is it because they wear black? I recall the one time I described Miator as the Arkham Asylum of Astraea Hill, but I never expected them to do the Batman trick.

    ..) Loved how the Student Council Presidents looked at each other before walking off in different directions. See? The production company does know how to be subtle when they want to. I look forward to the Etoile campaigns by the various schools.

    ..) The identity of the girl who locks up Kaori’s room is finally confirmed with the scene of Miyuki handling those antique keys. Still disappointed that I never got to see a scene where Miyuki walks in on Nagisa and locks the door behind her. Narf!
    ~~~~ ~~~~

    With that, I conclude the entry for Ep21. Very little Tamao screentime, but I look forward to seeing whether she will become the Etoile. The majority of the fans seem to support the Shizuma&Nagisa pairing, but I just don’t think it will work out well. It will really make my day if the final pairing is Tamao&Nagisa, with Miyuki somehow nullifying her arranged marriage and going off with Shizuma.

    Cheers, and thanks for reading. Onwards to Ep22!

  3. Yay, WB Zyl! Was missing your entries :)

    Skane, I’m afraid that there’s no real hope for Tamao-Nagisa. In fact, Shizuma’s semi-confession is more or less a closure for the Miyuki subplot, it’s very much what Zyl described: No, we can’t be lovers, but I still need you around as best friend. So either it’s Shizuma solo or Shizuma-Nagisa. And with all the buildup over time, I think the latter is inevitable now.

    I’m curious how you will judge the next episodes, because they show Tamao in her best light so far. However, methinks that Yaya and Tamao will end up as the beloved losers, unfortunately.

  4. Zzz… I loved Miyuki’s tortured look when Shizuma flirts with her. It was pretty nice that Shizuma came to understand her feelings even if she couldn’t reciprocate.

    Skane, thanks again for your insights. Though I didn’t a sense of hostile jealousy from Tamao towards Nagisa; I thought of it as Tamao thinking that Nagisa will be hurt even more if she sees Shizuma now thus damage limitation attempts.

    Mentar, internet access is t3h sweetness. It’s good to be back. :) I’m also leaning towards a Shizuma x Nagisa ending. The whole season has been investing so much in their ups and downs and building up towards that. And also because I think the OP’s closing scene shows them holding hands and helping each other cope.

  5. ->Mentar,

    Yeah, it kinda like watching your favourite soccer going up against the tournament favourites. Miracles can happen, but realistically, it seldom does. Still, I have been avoiding the forums because I want to find out the ending on my own, and I look forward to more Tamao moments.
    ~~~~ ~~~~

    -> Zyl,

    It was the tone of the voice, and the sharpness of the response that got to me. :)


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