Manga Village

Strawberry 100% Volume 1

April 13, 2009

Junpei Manaka has a thing for film. So when a beautiful mystery girl in strawberry print panties falls on him on the roof and he gets a voyeuristic peek, what does he do? He decides to find out who she is, of course, so he can make a film of the act.

By: Mizuki Kawashita
Publisher: Viz Media – Shonen Jump Advanced
Age Rating: Teen Plus (16+)
Genre: Comedy
Price: $7.99

So begins the high school melodrama of Strawberry 100%; Junpei and his friends begin the hunt for the mystery girl and her strawberry panties, and everyone gets mixed up in a strange, all to familiar love circle where everyone is sure that two people are perfect for each other, but intervening relationships, arguments, and other such tomfoolery end up keeping them away from each other.

Strawberry 100% is primarily a romantic comedy, and it’s got its bright moments. The slapstick and situational humor, along with well translated, witty dialog can make for some good laughs. On the downside, it’s got some unrealistic, harem-manga qualities that I hope get weeded out in the upcoming books. Focusing on the interplay between all the characters is what makes this kind of story interesting, and the fan service is distracting.

The book leads with a pretty basic cliff hanger that shows off the basis of all the characters, and in a sense, I think it’s pretty well done. Hopefully, the author can develop the series and all the characters without jumping the shark.

As far as art goes, Mizuki Kawashita is good at drawing cute girls, but the designs for some of the more minor characters, especially Komiyama, are kind of… bad. Overuse of speed lines makes many of the panels look the same, and the toner use is definitely not on par with other manga. Overall, the scenes are well drawn, and the author has given much attention to detail with backgrounds and clothing.

Viz did a good job with the book, but I hate the fact that the parental advisory warning has to be printed on the book. I prefer that a sticker be placed on the book’s heat shrink wrapping.

About the author

Alex is a comics critic and writer at the blog Sequential State. His previous writing has included work for Manga Village and for the now defunct Manga Widget.

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