Strawberry Panic! – 04
At St. Spica, there is a girl named Konohana Hikari who came to the school one year ago. She believes in the existence of angels, especially after seeing the school’s star horse-back rider, Ootori Amane. Hikari is currently in the choir along with her roommate Nanto Yaya, and the choir is going to be singing for Amane and the equestrian team. In anticipation, Hikaru is unable to sleep the night before and, upon seeing Amane’s gaze during concert, she accidentally starts to sing prematurely. Amane has to stand up and quiet the subsequent murmuring in the room so that the concert can go on. However, Hikari is too embarrassed to continue singing. Meanwhile, the St. Spica student council president Toumori Shion wants Amane to be the next Étoile, but her vice-president and secretary think that Amane is still a bit unqualified.
That night, Hikari tells Yaya that she’s quitting the choir. After Yaya falls asleep, Hikari goes out alone and thinks about the angel (Amane) that she saw a year ago. She starts singing to herself, and much to her surprise, Amane rides up to where she is. Amane, who was out practicing her riding this early in the morning, compares Hikari’s singing to that of an angel. Hikari tries to address her as Ootori-sama, but Amane insists on being called just Amane, so Hikari settles on Amane-senpai. Amane reveals that she doesn’t like to be the center of attention because it’s embarrassing. She is glad that Hikari can laugh at a statement like that because Hikari had seemed sad. After Hikari explains what happened, Amane recounts how she was nervous too when she was in her first riding tournament and had performed poorly. Like Hikari, she had wanted to quit, but despite the sadness, she had also experienced a lot of happy times.
As she’s taken back to her dorm on horseback, Hikari tries to apologize for not singing at the celebration, but Amane considers the singing Hikari was doing earlier to be just as good. After dropping Hikari off, Amane asks Hikari to sing for her (and her horse) again. Watching Amane ride off, Hikari thinks that the angel is not herself, but rather Amane. She returns to her room, but Yaya pushes her on the bed, wanting to know what happened. In the end, Hikari does indeed continue on in the choir. She believes that the day will come when an angel will smile at her.
The shot of Hikari in the shower reminds me of Aisia from DCSS in the shower.
I’m not that familiar with the story, so I was surprised to see that they’re going to have a second storyline/love-triangle. Perhaps there’s a third one in store for St. Le Rim? Anyway, the developing relationship between Amane and Hikari is very different from the one between Shizuma and Nagisa, the yuri aspect aside. Shizuma seems to be actively pursuing/stalking Nagisa (which is fun to watch), but Amane’s role is, well, much more like a prince sweeping Hikari off her feet. It’s hard to say which pairing I like better. Those two will probably clash when it comes time for the Étoile competition.
Next week, more of Saitou Chiwa’s character!