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Everytime Strawberry is in a title, it’s fair game to assume that there will be some scandalous situations and…ahem…unique camera angles. Strawberry Panic definitely doesn’t disappoint in that department, but it’s more than a little peep show. Rather than a focus on antics, Strawberry Panic takes a lot of cues from its more dramatic ancestors. A little shout out is due for Kannazuki no Miko that didn’t quite make the cut as such a list deserves as many contemporaries as possible.
Primarily focused on Aoi Nagisa as she enters a new school and finds herself in the midst of several intimate and complex relationships at the three all-girl Catholic schools built on Astrea Hill. Things are never simple in high school, but Nagisa’s troubles are doubled when Shizuma Hanazono, the sole Etoile (student representative of the three schools) of Astraea Hill, finds herself drawn to Nagisa. With school, clubs, and love in the air there is quite a bit of drama, romance, and laughter filling this series.
Similar Anime to Strawberry Panic
1. Sakura Trick
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2014 – Mar. 2014
Sakura Trick is first and foremost about the relationship between Haruka and Yuu, two best friends that are embarking into high school life. Immediately Haruka, who has deep feelings for Yuu and is a yuri fangirl, becomes concerned that two will move on quickly from one another as they sit apart. To share something special, which won’t be replicated in any of their other relationship between them, they share a kiss. From that point the show covers the increasing intimacy of their relationship as well as the other relationships in their group of friends.
Sharing the common thread of school-life yuri, both shows enjoy a mixture of relationships and off-beat interactions to lighten the mood. It is always enjoyable when a show does a good job maintaining relationships outside of the core two. However, while Sakura Trick clearly keeps the line between friend and lover strict, Strawberry Panic does show off a little harem-like vibe. To offset this quality, it also takes a more in-depth time portraying each character’s feeling. That’s not to say that Sakura Trick doesn’t portray their characters well. Sakura Trick simply has less characters and less inherent drama, which explains the 12-episode story.
Strawberry Panic and Sakura Trick are both also able to maintain a sense of seriousness as most characters struggle with their relationship decisions. In truth each show is mainly focused about maintaining relationships and individual growth. For example, at the beginning of Strawberry Panic, Nagisa is simply confused and bouncing back and forth without any real personal desire, but becomes much more certain throughout. Yuu, in Sakura Trick, learns to express her desires more clearly as well. The biggest difference is the overall sense of lightness that pervades Sakura Trick due to its over-the-top expressions and situations.
Sakura Trick Trailer
2. Maria-sama ga Miteru (Maria Watches Over Us)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan. 2004 – Apr. 2004
So this is a classic, but it’s possibly the most similar show to Strawberry Panic both in this list and out of all the classic yuri dramas. That’s why Kannazuki no Miko received a shout out and this one was included. Let’s just take a look at the premise to point out some similarities. The main character Yumi Fukuzawa has just entered an all-girls Catholic school, Lillian Girls’ Academy, and has caught the eye of the most popular girl, Sachiko Ogasawara. Once again the hardships of attending high school are increased as Sachiko’s displays of interest have everyone looking at Yumi. Sounds familiar right?
Well, not only is the premise similar, but so is the execution. These shows each unveil a much more dramatic and heartfelt side to the relationships that are being portrayed. Though both do have lighthearted moments, these are the type of shows that will depict a blush rather than a nosebleed, and that says quite a lot about the direction and guiding principle of the shows. Also, both have a slightly slower pace compared to a lot of recent anime. Fair warning though, Maria Watches Over Us is particularly slow. The title, Maria Watches Over Us, really says it all. It’s extremely innocent and caring with most of the yuri aspects taken through subtext rather than any physical intimacy. Strawberry Panic, on the other hand, is a little more sex-fueled and rambunctious. The real special relationship between these two is that you can feel how Maria Watches Over Us acted as a stepping stone for something like Strawberry Panic.
Maria Watches Over Us (Maria-sama ga Miteru) - Trailer 1
3. Yuru Yuri (YuruYuri: Happy Go Lily)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2011 – Sep. 2011
Yuru Yuri officially stole hearts when it debuted back in 2011. People just could not resist the adorable and ridiculous nature of the show’s main cast. Everyone simply fell in love instantly as they watched Akari Akaza, a first-year middle school student, reunite with her elementary school friends by joining the “Amusement Club” at an all-girls school. Let the amusement ensue, as this club goes episode-to-episode with some crazy antics.
However, it’s the use of such crazy moments that allow it to draw so many ties with Strawberry Panic. This is because the Doga Kobo uses these crazy situations to ingrain each character’s personality. Thus, despite a reliance on comedy, Yuru Yuri will get you attached to a character and their particular struggles, just as much as Strawberry Panic.
Include with that the familiar premises of an all-girl school and multiple relationships and you’ve practically got the same show. Alright, so they are not that closely related, but both definitely show the importance of friendship as well as love in self-development. Basically, at the core of each show, there is a testament to the impact that school relationships will have on a person’s personal growth. Yuru Yuri and Strawberry Panic just deal with those moments that build relationships and self-confidence in different styles. Both can easily be enjoyed, but it requires the viewer to have some idea of what’s going to be shown.
YURUYURI Season 1 - Official Trailer
Any Animes Like Strawberry Panic ?
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2009 – Mar. 2009
This 2009 shoujo ai/comedy series was one of the first to put a delightful twist on its more drama-infused predecessors. It follows the school life of Kanako who decided that she must attend an all-girls Catholic school in order to end up with her dream girl. Well, public school might have been easier as she not only catches the attention of the most popular girl in school, bringing with it the wrath of a lot of girls; but also has a sadistic roommate who happens to be a guy in drag and a cat-eared dorm leader. The amount of subplots and unending torment for Kanako will leave you in stitches.
One issue must be addressed before all others. Apparently, the best way for a girl to get a girlfriend is to go to an all-girls Catholic school. Is this true? This list insinuates such reasoning as once again the setting for this yuri tale is that exact type of location. Nonetheless, the backdrop is not the only similarity between these two. Both rely heavily on the conflict that surrounds becoming the center of attention due to the adoration of a senpai. In doing so both shows depend on the protagonist’s inability to properly function in relationships at the very beginning.
Another likeness between Maria†Holic and Strawberry Panic is the host wide array of side characters. In each anime, these side characters not only provide some tension relief, but act as foils to better comprehend the emotions and struggles of other characters. Either way, the amount of possible pairings give fans quite a few opportunities to ship couples or scream at character choices that don’t seem to follow suit.
(Maria Holic Trailer)
5. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2014 – Jun. 2014
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san is another school life yuri that focuses 100% of its time on the relationships between yuri couples. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it doesn’t hold back as it primarily follows the ins-and-outs of the relationship between Inugami Yachiyo (a girl with the inherent qualities of a dog) and Nekoyama Suzu(a girl with the inherent characteristics of a cat). How this relationship works is that each character enjoys the qualities of the other so much more that they can’t help but fall in love. As to why their attractions happen to go against all reason, Yachiyo says it best when she declares that she is a “super masochist”.
The parallels between these shows are pretty clear from the get go. They focus on school relationships, they have comedy, and they obviously have yuri. The most important aspect that is shared between the two is that neither turn their eyes from possible yuri content. This focus is truly important as many anime don’t quite include such relationships, or if they do it’s heavily through subtext. Thus, in premise the two shows are very much alike.
However, Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san handles itself way differently from Strawberry Panic. It’s short, with each episode running just over 3 minutes, and thus its style is inherently different. There is not time for drawn out thoughts and no time for prolonged drama. The characters’ personalities do get some screen time, but they are rather static, and this works. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san’s main goal is to make you laugh and in this it succeeds tremendously.
Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san Trailer
6. Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku (Mikagura School Suite)
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Apr. 2015 – Jun. 2015
From the great minds at Doga Kobo, Mikagura School Suite is a fun, fantasy fueled jump into high school life. Following the protagonist, Eruna Ichinomiya, Mikagura School Suite takes us into a high school where there are only cultural clubs. However, that’s not the only thing that sets this high school apart from most others. The students each have magical powers that generally have a relationship with the type of club they are in. It’s very much 2015’s Baka and Test, but with some interesting twists.
There is no doubt that Mikagura School Suite diverges from the rest of the list as yuri relationships are simply not the primary focus of the show. However, as a school anime, it still relies heavily on the relationships between the students, whether male or female, to progress the plot. Plus, our protagonist, Eruna, is a boisterous girl who fantasizes nonstop about having a relationship with other girls. Daydreams are a constant through the whole plot and it’s her desire to be close to her senpai that drives her forward. In other words, yuri fans will definitely get a heaping side of what they are looking for as they sit back and watch people engage in epic battles.
There’s also one more particular interesting trait between the two protagonists. It’s not entirely unique, but both clearly state in the first episode an admiration for their school’s uniform.
[Mikagura School Suite] TV animation PV Part 1
Yuri and is definitely growing in anime as more and more shows that handle such topics are being released. Still the amount of such content that has been collected within anime doesn’t hold a candle to the massive collection of related material that manga has. So are there any Yuri manga that you are dying for an anime adaptation of? Let us know in the comments below!