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Strawberry Panic – 26 (END)

The night before the Étoile selection, Nagisa is thinking about what would happen if morning never came and no one won or lost at becoming Étoile. At the same time, Miyuki is thinking about what expression will be on her face when someone becomes Étoile tomorrow and remembering long ago when Shizuma won. Early the next day, Chikaru, Kizuna, Remon, and Kagome are waiting in the snow outside the auditorium, first in line for their seats. Chikaru doesn’t actually need one since she’s a student council president, so she offers it to Kagome’s Percival. The girls are meanwhile all getting ready for the big day. As Yaya is tying Hikari’s hair up with a blue ribbon that represents Spica, she claims that Hikari is like an angel and urges her to do her best. Hikari goes when Amane comes to pick her up, leaving Yaya alone in their room. Over at Nagisa’s room, Tamao has tied the red ribbon into Nagisa’s hair. After Tsubomi and Chiyo see off the girls, Chiyo goes to prepare for tonight. Tsubomi is surprised that they would have a tea party after the Étoile selection, but Chiyo says that they should relax after a hard day just like always and she believes that they’ll all still be friends after this. Tsubomi ends up staying with Yaya instead of going to the auditorium.
When the Étoile selection begins, Amane and Hikari are the first on-stage. As the crowd cheers for the Spica pair, Tamao asks Nagisa backstage if she’s ok. Nagisa claims to be fine, but Tamao takes her hand anyway and asks Nagisa to look at her. The crowd cheers equally loud for the Miator pair as they did for Amane and Hikari, and then Shizuma goes up to hand a bouquet to both sides. Shizuma gets caught up in Nagisa’s stare, but Tamao interrupts her and gives her a determined look. Clenching Nagisa’s hand tighter, Tamao says that they’ll do their best for Miator’s sake. After another look at Nagisa, Shizuma leaves the stage and the auditorium. Still on stage, Amane lifts Hikari up and vows to protect her, an act which drives the crowd wild. Shizuma meanwhile heads to the greenhouse where she becomes flooded with memories she’s shared there with Nagisa. After the opening ceremony, the girls head to the dance hall where the two couples perform for everyone else. As she’s dancing, Nagisa remembers the one practice run she had with Shizuma, something which Miyuki is also reminded of.
By the time the dance is over, the votes have been cast, and all the girls head are in cathedral to hear the results, Shizuma has gone all around the school to places where she shares memories with Nagisa, including the piano and the tree in the forest. She starts running towards the cathedral and bursts in just as the results are about to be announced. Everyone is surprised to see Shizuma, who immediately calls out to Nagisa. She walks up the aisle and announces up front that she loves Nagisa. Nagisa is unsure of what to do until Tamao pulls her back for one last hug, saying that it can’t be helped. Tamao tells Nagisa itterasshai, and then pulls the ribbon out of Nagisa’s hair while pushing her away. With Tamao’s blessing, Nagisa runs into Shizuma’s arms and the two leave the cathedral after Shizuma briefly looks and smiles at Miyuki. Chikaru and Shion are surprised by Shizuma’s behavior, but Miyuki explains that that is Shizuma. Left alone, Tamao quietly says “Congratulations, Nagisa-chan, congratulations.”
Shizuma and Nagisa run until they get to the lake and Nagisa is out of breath. She wonders what they’re going to do from now on, but Shizuma blushes because she hadn’t thought ahead. But for the time being, Shizuma suggests that they run a little more. Back in the cathedral, Amane and Hikari are announced to be the winners of the Étoile selection. The two are presented with the Étoile necklaces, and Shion puts the red one on Hikari. Singing with Tsubomi and the rest of the choir, Yaya winks at Hikari, causing her to smile. Shizuma and Nagisa meanwhile make necklaces for each other out of flowers and give them to each other. With their arms around each other, the two girls kiss and fall onto the grass. In the aftermath, Amane and Hikari take care of the greenhouse, Yaya teases Tsubomi in the choir, Chiyo slips and falls while cleaning, Tamao keeps Nagisa back when they’re near Shizuma, and Chikaru and the other Lulim girls in the tea drinking club have a costume party. But back on that night after the Étoile selection, Nagisa and Tamao had been leaning on opposite sides of the door to their room until Tamao had said, “Welcome home, Nagisa-chan.”

Well, as previously predicted (even though I had a few doubts coming into this episode), Shizuma ended up with Nagisa while Amane and Hikari became the Étoiles. There really weren’t any huge surprises unless you count Shizuma bursting into the cathedral like she’s breaking up a wedding. Actually, I really enjoyed watching that sequence, partially because it finally concluded all of the relationships and partially because I thought they executed it rather well, especially with the music and the slow version of the first OP. Heck, by now I’ve watched the final seven minutes about ten straight times now.
The only problem is that it makes me feel REALLY bad for Tamao, who was almost literally left at the altar once Shizuma took her love. What ended up being one of my favorite parts of the episode was how Tamao sent Nagisa off with the itterasshai and then welcomed her back with the okaerinasai at the end. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but I thought it was a nice way to show how much Tamao really cares about Nagisa. I would say that it’s a shame that there wasn’t a Canvas2-style surprise with Tamao, but I think it’s probably better this way. After building up to this for so long, Nagisa and Shizuma finally get their happy ending, however short or long-lived it may be.

Final Thoughts: Remembering back half a year, I seem to recall this past spring season having quite a bit of yuri, anchored by this show and Simoun. At first, I blogged this series because it was one of those niche shows that was easy to write about. I didn’t think that the story got good until around halfway through the series, and it was a little after that (the vacation home episode) that the popularity for this show just exploded. Ultimately, Strawberry Panic isn’t the best show in the world nor is it the most unique (some of you may recall a similar series called Maria-sama ga Miteru), but it certainly pushed the envelope as far as yuri goes without an R-15 rating, and it managed to be quite entertaining once the story got going. As my friend Mentar would tell me, this is another example of a show that didn’t start off the best, but matured quite well. And as much as I hate to admit it, this finale did leave me wanting to see more.
Incidentally, the next anime airing on tvk in roughly this time slot (not quite the same) is going to be Pumpkin Scissors. See my Fall 2006 Anime Preview for more information.

September 25, 2006 at 11:56 pm
  • July 9, 2007 at 11:23 am•••Shadow•••

    Repairing some mistakes in last post:
    I wish •I• could have personality like Chikaru… It looks like she thinks that everything ended happily…

    Amane x ? … Again I don’t know… No one • said it have to be someone from SP! …

  • July 26, 2007 at 12:45 pmanonymous

    Wow. OK, I’ve just watched fansubs for the whole series and I’m sad to say I didn’t really like the ending. Not so much the ending itself, but the way things were set up, with all those complex relationship webs – that just makes it impossible to end happily. No matter what happens, at least someone has to end up heartbroken. What really got to me was when Kaori died. I don’t know what was so special about the way SP portrayed this very typical love-and-death story, but I came out feeling that no one, not even the stupidest, basest, most lowlife criminal, deserves to have the one they love die so young. T_T But hey, it wouldn’t be the same without all the tragedy, I guess?

  • July 28, 2007 at 8:20 pm•••Shadow•••

    “No matter what happens, at least someone has to end up heartbroken.”… Yeah.. T_T .. That’s why i hate SP! so much….. I was also sad when Kaori died ;_; … for a whole a lot of reasons… If she haven’t died, she could have stayed with Shizuma and Nagisa with Tamao… Well but there would still be Miyuki (who – how it looks like, love Shizuma.. or at least loved.)

  • August 14, 2007 at 8:59 amninemil

    Desperately hope there’ll be another season; the end is beautifully executed. It’d be nice to know how things end for the others tho, and what happens when Shizuma graduates.

    It’s also highly amusing reading back through the blogs having seen the entire series now, and watching the majority of people absolutely slaughter the show for being nothing more than cheap fan service, right up until Kaori makes her entrance. Suddenly after that everyone was sitting up and paying attention ;)

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Still, here’s hoping there’s more. Will also be nice to see the english dub, although I don’t know if I could stomach someone else voicing Shizuma – she sounds perfectly tempestous to Nagisa’s innocence. But an offical take on the translations will be nice; each rip I’ve seen has slightly different translations, especially with the songs.

    “I wanted to believe, so I believed in her, and I promised there would be a tomorrow”

    Thanks for blogging this season – great job /

  • September 30, 2007 at 9:37 pmMG

    sad, sad, sad… i wanted miyuki and shizuma together!!!

  • October 9, 2007 at 6:40 pmMiria

    Amane sucks!!

  • October 25, 2007 at 7:04 amAquarius Heaven

    OMG!!! I din love an anime b4!!!! My GOD!!! What a nice anime!!!!
    Shizuma n Nagisa are perfect couple!!!
    However, i feel sorry for the person who can’t get true love..
    Like Tamao, Miyuki, Yaya…

  • December 10, 2007 at 3:17 amSindaleion

    Anyone know the song that played during the end of this episode?? Thanks in advance!

    Also to Sachi, the song is The Maiden’s Prayer.

  • January 18, 2008 at 6:35 pmKaE

    if u all guys don’t get enuff wif the first season,pleae visit http://www.fanfiction.net/anime . i’ve wrote something on it too. ;)

  • March 12, 2008 at 10:13 pmurmom

    DAMNIT! i wanna see sum lesbo sex!

  • April 5, 2008 at 11:38 amLaur

    I Think It’s Beautiful How Shizuma And Nagisa Got Together At The End Of The Series. I Am SO GLAD Tamaoaoaoo Or Whatever Her Name Is Didnt. I Hope You Guys Realize She’s A Freaking Stalker. Earlier In The Series She Scared Nagisa And Recorded Her Scream Just To Listen To It. HAHAHA CREEPY. I Think The Ending Was Great But I Really Wanted A Second Season.. ]:

    Oh Well, ShizumaxNagisa Forever. [:

  • May 6, 2008 at 6:53 pm=] =[

    This was a pretty good series although im left wanting another sigh* i didnt like how they left tamao she seems to be hurting :( i wanna see what happens after between her and Nagisa

  • July 8, 2008 at 11:59 amnagisa xD

    That was absolutely an excellent review. I loved this anime. Thanks.

  • September 3, 2008 at 3:20 pmMimp

    I love this anime! I just wish there was more Chikaru…I have a girl crush on her! xD The only part I didn’t like was that Nagisa ditched Tamao. :(

  • September 27, 2008 at 1:21 am=[

    Tamao dam that makes me sad, can’t forget about this anime :(.
    Every thing builds up throughout the series and the anime finally ends, Then I go to do something else and I just felt empty and sad…

    Does anyone have any news about another season?
    Also does anyone know the song name for the slow remix kind of thing that happens in the final episode?

    I have so much emotion for this series, it’s like there my real life friends and this is happening as lame as that sounds…

    Bugs me when series have unfinished endings :(.

  • November 25, 2008 at 6:13 pmE.Andersson

    This was a wonderful Anime. The story evolved and what looked to be a pretty simple anime turned out to be a deep and extremely good one. I still don’t like the open ending. Yaya’s got her 1st year lovey dovey student. but Tamao-chan is as sad as she was before the story started. Alone again. Maybe Miyuki and Tamao would make a good pair? ^^

    This anime = 10/10

  • February 1, 2009 at 7:05 pmninemil

  • March 20, 2009 at 6:24 pmFredrik.k

    just re watched the anime and i still think its ShizumaxNagisa Forever :)
    A lovly anime, its easily get 10/10 from me, cant forget about strawberry panic,
    strawberry panic allways gonna have a place in my heart :)

  • May 6, 2009 at 9:18 amtamao

    i love this ending i love tamao very much what happend to tamao

  • May 7, 2009 at 3:57 amtamao

    this is great ending but what happend for tamao i love tamao very much and i want to know

  • May 20, 2009 at 10:44 amV_V

    want more, want more :((

  • May 21, 2009 at 12:17 pmhauptmann

    I watched the last episode of Strawberry Panic a couple of days ago. I am now suffering from post-anime depression syndrome, lol. Contrary to popular opinion, I was actually hoping for Nagisa and Tamao to end up together, even though I knew it wouldn’t end up like that in the end. For some reason, Shizuma and Nagisa being together didn’t work for me. Shizuma seemed aggressive and only saw Nagisa as some kind of comfort to get her mind/feelings away from Kaori.
    Yes, many see Tamao as a stalker and her behavior has proved this. However, it wasn’t the “creepy” kind of stalker but the kind of stalker that admires someone (i.e. Nagisa) from far away, suffering from unrequited love. If you remember her past story that she told to Nagisa, she didn’t have a room mate for a long time and felt it was a blessing when Nagisa finally entered her life. She really sacrificed her happiness for Nagisa, just like Yaya did for Hikari. It was just really depressing for both Tamao and Yaya; it seemed like they had no closure to the series. The very last segment of the last episode was particularly depressing because it was like “adding salt to the open wound” because Tamao has to endure living with Nagisa until they both graduate. She is very strong indeed. I’m not sure a second season would be viable, but it sucks to have to rely on your imagination and only wonder how Tamao and Yaya and the others are doing “now”. Heh, I guess that’s what fan fictions are for…
    Two other characters I’d like to point out are Rokujou and Chikaru. They both stood out for me, and sometimes if I lose touch with reality, I sometimes wish they were real. I admire Rokujou’s firm and upright behavior, yet enjoy her hidden emotional instabilities (she was called a “crybaby” by Shizuma) that hints she has had some kind of feelings for Shizuma. There’s something about her that I find tantalizing or kinky, if you will.
    I enjoyed that one part where Shizuma goes all aggressive on Rokujou, “cracking open” her tough exterior by kissing her on the lips and exposing her vulnerable interior.

    Chikaru on the other hand, she was like the ultimate fantasy. Seriously. Her “maternal” nature is what did it for me. I could lie my head on her lap for hours on end, while she pats my hair, lol. Yea, it sounds weird and morbid, but that’s what fantasy does to you. She’s just so cheerful and optimistic. Having long black hair with flowers and a short skirt helps also.
    Sometimes I hate getting lost in this fantasy world because when I return to reality, I measure up the women in reality to the standards of the women in SB, argh!
    (chants to self….”must get back to reality, must get back to reality, must get back to reality…..”

  • June 7, 2009 at 9:32 pmmeow

    OMGOSH!! Nagisa should have fallen in love with Tamao! I feel so sorry for her…there has to be a second season! Tamao is too kind so loose Nagisa

  • June 9, 2009 at 3:04 am:( ?

    aww i really do wish for more to but.. i am sure there won’t be any more i watched the end episode like.. 1 year ago and it’s still with me xD i think its a good ending in the end to bad their won’t be any more :(

  • June 9, 2009 at 3:10 amgo SHIZUMA !

    i think it was to late for tamao she tried to get her to late she made nagisa reallly confused and i really wanted shizuma to get her in the end because she show’ed she really did like her by telling her about her other love i’m sure tamao will find some one else OR she will have to kill shizuma >:3

  • June 16, 2009 at 12:22 pmshisuky


  • August 6, 2009 at 9:46 pmSnakeEyes

    Great series. About time Shizuma realized her feelings for Nagisa. I thought it would have happened sooner after Shizuma read Kaori’s letter. Feel bad for Tamao but I think it was good she gave up on Nagisa(Taking off the ribbon as symbolism since she was still in love with Shizuma so much even after everything. I think its going to be awkward between Nagisa and Tamao because of Nagisa and Shizuma relationship. Nagisa didn’t want to pair up with Tamao originally since she only thought of Tamao as an friend and she just wanted to be with Shizuma.

    I see Shizuma and Nagisa staying together. Everyone at school knows how much they love one another especially Tamao. Even though Shizuma will graduate soon I expect her to be waiting for Nagisa. She’ll probably visit as much as possible as well. I think the only issues would be from their family and marriage. Since Miyuki is getting married when she leaves school. Shizuma bond with Nagisa will continue to grow.

    Too bad there won’t be an OVA or sequel. :(

  • September 5, 2009 at 3:50 pmalex

    but it kinda left a big thing at the end of the episode i wish they had more scene’s of nagisa and shizuma together

  • October 11, 2009 at 11:48 pmavexmode

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