Ichigo 100% ~ Review
“A heart-pounding harem comedy that will leave you lonely for love”
If you’re an avid manga reader or anime watcher such as myself, you know that there are those romantic comedies that leaves your heart racing, or as they would call it in Japanese, “doki-doki”? Every anime watcher and every manga reader, whether you’re male, female, young or old, love to read at least a few romance series every now and then. Now, some people may say that romance series are all the same; the main protagonist or heroine falls in love or is loved by someone and has to choose between her love or her friends, or some sh*t like that. Well, yes that is true. But the way the story is presented can be the key between a cr*p series, and a series that draws you in, such as this one series that I am about to review.
Ichigo 100% (or Strawberry 100% as it is called everywhere else) revolves around Manaka Jyunpei, who lives the dreams of becoming a film producer, meets a girl with strawberry panties up on the school rooftop. Quickly being intrigued by this girl, he starts to look for her but is unable to. He believes that the person may be Nishino Tsukasa, the most popular girl in school. His only clue is a notebook with the name Toujyou Aya printed on it; Manaka discovers that Toujyou is an acclaimed writer and soon starts a Film Club. As he meets new members and friends, his feelings begin to switch around as the girls around him start to have feelings for him. Whilst maintaining his goals and ambitions, Jyunpei gets involved in a complicated web of relationships and romance.
With the success of the manga, Ichigo 100% is recognized as one of the few top caliber harem romance anime series
One of the main reasons that is believed to be the key to its success was the fact that the original manga was serialised on the world acclaimed Weekly Shounen Jump Magazine (who brought us some of the most famous manga series including One Piece, Naruto and Dragon Ball). It also gained quick attention from its unique artwork by its author Kawashita Mizuki, and also from its sometimes compelling storyline, which is considered rare in the harem romance genre. The only thing bad I can say about the anime is that it doesn’t cover all of the story as the manga did, which is a shame because the entire story is awesome and adds to the emotions within the story and the character development.
The series is animated by Madhouse Studios, who are experienced pioneers when it comes to anime (giving us such notable anime series as Paranoia Agent, Chobits and Trigun). The anime spanned for 12 episodes, with 4 OVA’s being released thus far. Some notable voice actors include Suzumura Keichi who voices Manaka Jyunpei (and is also known as the voices of Hikaru Hitachiin from Ouran High School Host Club and Chika Akatsuki from Zombie-Loan), Noto Mamiko who voices Toujyou (and is also known as the voices of Kotomi from Clannad and Miyazaki Nodoka from Mahou Sensei Negima!) and Kobayashi Sanae who voices Kitaouji Satsuki (and is also known as the voices of Allen Walker from D.Gray-man and Ennis from Baccano!).
Personally, I have been a huge fan of Ichigo 100% since the manga first came out (I used to read Shounen Jump every week when I was younger) and I have read almost all works by Kawashita Mizuki (another good series by her is Hatsukoi Limited, which I will write a review for soon). This is probably one of my favourite harem romance series (along with To LOVE-ru and Mahou Sensei Negima!) that I have both read and watched. I highly recommend this series if you love your romance anime and manga.
The Final Judgement:
Recommendation Level: 4.5/5 – Strongly Recommended
Final Score: 8.5/10