Strawberry Panic! – 16
Preparations for the play are well underway as the girls start having rehearsals. However, Kaname and Momomi are causing all sorts of problems with their attitudes. Kaname gets mad after her prop sword breaks, and doesn’t like that Nagisa brings her back a broom as a replacement. Momomi meanwhile makes Nagisa go get the milk tea that she likes instead of the regular bottled tea. Miyuki sees this and talks to them about it, but they confront her with more hostility. The two girls start to walk out until Nagisa tries to stop them because she wants them all to work together. Momomi pushes Nagisa out of their way, right into the background set piece beside them. This causes the huge background piece to start falling forward, and Nagisa is standing right under it. Fortunately, Shizuma saves Nagisa in the nick of time. But the now-ruined background took a week to make and the festival is tomorrow. Kaname thinks that they won’t make it in time and that this is puts an end to everything. Shizuma disagrees, and the girls work through the night rebuilding the set.
When the time comes, the play starts without a hitch. Chikaru’s version of Carmen and Shizuma’s Don José impresses both the audience and the other cast members, including Nagisa. One of the highlights of the play is when Escamillo, played by Amane, defeats a bull, played by Shion, and then tosses a ribbon out into the audience. When that ribbon is caught by Carmen, who is now standing in the middle of the theater, all the girls in the audience go wild. The next part of that scene has Carmen and Escamillo declaring their love for each other. However, when Chikaru leans forward, Amane’s shoe’s heel breaks, causing both to lose their balance. Chikaru tries to make a save by catching Amane, but her foot ends up in an awkward position and the two go tumbling down anyways. Chikaru realizes that she’s broken her foot and can’t move anymore. Amane salvages the scene by carrying Chikaru off stage.
With no other choice, Shizuma and Amane ad lib a fight scene. Seeing how Shizuma’s sword is pointed towards Nagisa, Tamao remembers that Nagisa helped Shizuma practice her lines, meaning that Nagisa knows Carmen’s lines. And so, Tamao asks Nagisa to substitute in for Chikaru. Nagisa’s version of Carmen enters the scene and stops the fight between the two. Amane then makes her exit, leaving Shizuma and Nagisa to finish out the play. In the final scene, Don José declares his love once more for Carmen, but she says that she’s a free woman. Carmen then takes off the ring she got from him and throws it away. The cheers from inside the stadium signal that Escamillo won, so Carmen starts heading there. In a rage, Don José runs her through with his sword, killing her. The tragedy ends with Don José screaming out Carmen’s name. As thunderous applause fills the theater, Shizuma and Nagisa are surrounded by the rest of the cast.
That night, the girls gather and sing by a bonfire. Hikari spends time with Amane as Yaya sits alone nearby. Noticeably absent are Shizuma and Nagisa; those two are actually together in the greenhouse, hands locked together and staring longingly at each other.
Ah ha! I was right! Nagisa did get to play Carmen. They were just setting something up like this by casting Shizuma as Don José and having Nagisa help her practice her lines. Fortunately, Nagisa’s acting this time was far better than last time. She also looks so much cooler when her eyes are drawn that way – she was almost evil in this shot. The same can be said for Chikaru too.
I’m surprised the evil duo didn’t do something more than just sabotage Amane’s shoe. I guess it’s all part of their plot against Amane. I also thought that Shizuma would go over and smack Momomi for pushing Nagisa and endangering her life, but alas, that didn’t happen.
As a random side note, I noticed that even in this festival, there were no men attending. I don’t think we’ve seen a man yet in this series, not counting the black outline of one a few episodes ago. The moral of this story? No males in the world means that yuri can run rampant.
As for the preview for next week, what is Shizuma doing undressing Miyuki?!