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Ichigo 100%

a.k.a. Strawberry 100%

ichigo100-2
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Company: Studio Madhouse
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 4/5/2005 to 6/21/2005

Manaka Junpei is a man on a mission: he must find the girl who literally fell to him from the sky and captivated his heart with her sultry hair, expressive eyes, hot body and oh so sexy strawberry panties. But alas, this will not be a simple mission, as he soon discovers that strawberry panties seem to be popular among girls in his school! How is he going to recognize her now?

summary by Soundchazer

 

Reviewed: 07/05/2005 by
Grade: 53% av-Soundchazer

Highs: One interesting character; only lasts 12 episodes

Lows: Poor animation; takes itself too seriously; boring protagonist

Although there are a lot of people who criticize shounen romantic comedies, they have a place in the anime cosmos. Just like how teen idols are a part of pop music and pre-Titanic James Cameron films are a part of Hollywood flicks. If you try to look at them as a way to find deeper meaning to your life, richness in subtexts or originality, you will be disappointed. They exist to entertain a certain bracket of the population, whom more often than not will go for face value and not complexity. Y’know, turn your brain off and enjoy.

Ichigo 100% is supposed to be a part of this cosmos. At least, it appeared to be so given the premise that is presented in the first episode: average guy, hot girls attracted to the guy, lots of panty shots, fan service galore, the whole works. Unfortunately, everything seems to spiral out of control after the first episode. The main character never develops into anything remotely interesting as he has no special powers, no incredible insight, no amazing intellect and no good looks. Add to that scenario too many characters that are supposed to be developed in the course of 12 episodes (four main girls, plus one secondary girl whom may or may not become part of the equation), uninspired animation and rushed episodes (two mini-episodes per 24 minutes) and you have a recipe for disaster.

It doesn’t help that the comedy is sporadic, the dramatic tension is increased and the fan service is too pedestrian. Granted, this sounds good on paper but not in a shounen romantic comedy. And therein lies the problem; the producers of this anime don’t seem to have a clue as to what makes this genre tick and instead took the storyline too seriously. They stripped away any entertaining elements that, while being more “bathroom humor” in nature, can be made in a way that can tickle your funny bones, even if you are into more mature themes.

If you want to watch more anime from this genre, go for Green Green for irreverence, Love Hina for production values, Tenchi Muyo! for historical reference and Chobits for that comedy-turned-drama theme. Use Ichigo 100% only as one of your last resorts.

 

Ichigo 100% can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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