Happy New Year! It’s been an eventful year for animes and hopefully it will be an even more eventful year too. So what better way than to kick things of with an anime blog.
 
If this show reminds you of Ranma 1/2, then most probably it’s because of the gender-bender cross-dressing thingy. Yup, it’s I My Me – Strawberry Eggs that I’m talking about. Not so much on the love triangles, actually. Though, I’m not sure how the title is related to the storyline. Maybe it’s just for fun and to sound cute, that’s all.
 
So it’s your typical 13 episode approximately half hour series filled with drama, comedy, school-life and some romance. So it’s not so Ranma 1/2 like since it doesn’t last to over 100 episodes coupled in with several OVAs. Plus, there won’t be any of that confusing love triangle mayhem and various bunch of zany and wacko characters. And no martial arts too.
 
To start things off, it’s about this young guy called Amawa Hibiki, who’s just fresh out of college under the field of physical education. Yup, he’s quite energetic in a way that his quite positive and motivated and looks forward to life. I suppose that’s the kind of attitude all fresh grads should display, huh? Thus, he decides to be some sort of athletics teacher.
 
Of course it’s not easy to find a job. I mean, it’s not like where you apply and get the job all in one go. Yes, he’s been rejected several times. But this doesn’t damper his spirits. However, getting a job isn’t Hibiki’s only problem. He has to find a place to sleep, eat and all those other stuffs. And so for the time being, he’s renting a room at an inn called Gochisou, which is runned by an old lady named Lulu Sanjo. But since I’ve always heard people calling her oba-san (meaning grandma), which I’ll refer to her as such throughout the rest of this blog.
 
This grandma is quite and interesting character. No doubt she may look frail and short but you shouldn’t mess with her because she is one tough lady! Yeah, she carries a pistol with her and is quite a sharp shooter. Plus, she rides a Harley bike, making her look cool and macho for her age. Hey, I wonder who she can ride such a bike since she’s so short. If you know what I mean.
 
Also, she’s quite strict about her rental collection. Yup, never be late on that. As seen in the opening scenes of episode 1, grandma goes round collecting her usual monthly rent from her tenants. By the way, including Hibiki, there’re only 3 of them. Yeah, we see the other 2 tenants, Mori Koji, who’s some salaryman who’s always carrying his camera and… large mirror (??!!!) with him, and an old retired guy Tofu ‘Kochi’ Kofuchi, trying to make their escape or cook up with some excuse and scene (like pretend to commit suicide) in order to avoid paying. But grandma isn’t that stupid as she manage to catch them both and ‘retrieve’ their payments for the month. How sad for them. But like grandma says, meals are included too. Is that suppose to be a good thing?
 
But unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to get her payment from the new tenant Hibiki yet because he’s out already looking for a job as an athletics teacher. But throughout the series, she seems to be lenient to him in collecting his rent unlike from the other 2. Okay, maybe not that lenient. Yup, she’s holding Hibiki’s dog, Kura-ge, as some sort of a collateral. Failing which, she’ll turn it into some dog nabe. See, told ya’ don’t mess with this grandma.
 
Anyway, Hibiki gets his first rude shock in life when he applies for a teacher’s job at a high school Seitou Sannomiya Private High School, which is located quite nearby to Gochisou. Yeah, just walking distance. What’s so shocking? He finds out that the school’s headmistress, Chieko Sannomiya, is some sort of a female chauvinist. Yup, she really dislikes men and sees them as ‘useless’. Because of that, all the teachers in this school are females. Soon, she’ll be making this an all-girls school by slowly phasing out the boys by taking in less of the male gender year by year. And she’s got that bitchy (sorry for the language) and arrogant vice-principal Reiko Mukogawa to help her do things, who’s also another female chauvinist type.
 
Well, at first Hibiki got discouraged by it and of course went to have some talk with grandma. But grandma decides to help Hibiki out with his problem and has an idea. Yup, that is to cross-dress as a woman in order to get into that school. The thing is, why would she want to help him? That’s because, so that he can pay her what’s due to her. Ah, I knew there’s gonna be something done in return. Like they say, there’s no free lunch in this world. And wow. Grandma really did quite an impressive make-over on him. Dying his hair a different colour, putting on some female clothes, and even a neck choker so that he would sound like a she. Well, Hibiki does look like a women. I mean, if you take into fact that Japanese drawings have boys which looked like girls and vice versa. Plus, Hibiki’s hasn’t got that manly structure so I suppose nobody would notice that he’s a guy when he dresses up as a female. And does dying one’s hair too many times can have a detrimental effect on one’s health? Dunno. He does it several times and the dye can easily come off once he takes a shower or washes it off.
 
In the first episode too, we’re introduced to a bunch of students who we’re gonna see quite often throughout the series. They are the clumsy and slow but has a heart of gold girl, Fuuko Kuzuha, your typical tomboy and tough girl (okay, maybe not that tough) Fujio Himejima, the ‘one-with-boyfriend’ and typical ‘girl-talk’ Miho Umeda, and the rich but shy and conservative girl Seiko Kasuganomichi. As for the boys, they are Akira Fukae (he’s got this secret crush on Fuuko), who’s the quiet type, Kyosuke Aoki, the mischievous type and Iwaya Shyoyichi (to me who sounds like a girl at first! And I find his skin colour tone strange). Yup, and they’re all in the same class.
 
Meanwhile, Hibiki now dressed as a female, tries to apply for the post once again. In order not to be confused, I’ll refer to Hibiki as a he unless mentioned. But the headmistress told him that in order to get the job as an athletic teacher, he has to pass a test she sets for him. And that is to make the clumsiest student in school to run a full 50 metres. Who is that clumsiest student? You’ve guessed it. It’s Fuuko, of course. But the thing is, it’s the PE uniform is a long skirt right down to the feet. How could anyone possibly run in those. Yeah, it’s the headmistress’s idea to cover them up so as not to arouse those perverted male hormones. Hey, wait a minute. If it’s like that, then why are the girl’s skirt so short as to reveal their thighs? Hypocrisy or she didn’t really notice. Or both.
 
So Hibiki tries his best to motivate Fuuko to run the distance in that long skirt but she trips everytime in each try. So after the usual words of encouragement from Hibiki, Fuuko gets her confidence, rolls and tucks up her skirt and manage to run further than before. She was nearly going to falter again as she approaches the finish line, but jumped and landed in the arms of Hibiki. She succeeded. And in a way. Hibiki also passed the test. And what’s this, Fuuko starting to have that crush on Hibiki? I felt a bit awkward here. Not because of the teacher-student relationship thing, but rather under Fuuko’s view, could it give rise to a lesbian relationship? But Hibiki’s a guy so… could it be… erm…  well, let’s just leave it there. But Fuuko doesn’t know that her feelings towards Hibiki is actually that ‘crush’ kinda feeling. Oh, by the way, Hibiki also becomes the homeroom teacher for those students mentioned above.
 
A perverted peeping-tom is on the loose in episode 2. Fuuko thought it was a ghost but the other girls doesn’t think so. To cut things short, there isn’t actually a peeping-tom, but instead TWO peeping-toms. Who could it be? It’s no other than Mori and Tofu! What the? Yeah, you’ll notice that from now on that these 2 guys are perverted. That’s what that Mori guy uses his camera for. And that Tofu guy has some sort of fetish on Fuuko because there’s lots of her pics (as well as other girls) in their rooms!
 
But before the culprits are discovered, the headmistress orders Hibiki to stay over at the girl’s dorm in case the perverts showed up again. Of course Hibiki’s in a bind. What if the students find out that Hibiki’s a guy. No choice though. To make things worse, Fuuko wants him to sleep with her because she still thinks it’s a ghost. Well, Fuuko managed to sleep well, but as for Hibiki, a lot must be going through his mind, all those worries and uneasiness. But that pervert showed up and when Hibiki saw him to be that Tofu guy, he ran away. But this time all the girls were alerted and they head down to Gochisou to face those culprits.
 
Hibiki dashes back and manages to reach back there first before the mob girls arrive and changed back into his male self. Yeah, this is to protect his identity. Can’t be at 2 places at once, huh. So as the girls arrive and found out about all those pictures, they proceeded to chase those 2 guys. Just then Hibiki walked out from that pretend sleepy look to see what’s going on when Fuuko saw something horrible on him. What is it? She saw him wearing a bra! Oh oh. Looks like he forgot to take off that one thing while changing. Identity busted? Nope, she calls him another pervert and dubs him bra-man and slams him to the wall. Yup, that’s what she’ll refer to the male Hibiki for the rest of the series. Tough luck now.
 
In episode 3, Fuuko bumps into that male Hibiki and still has that unfavourable perception about him. Yeah, she’s still freaking out about that incident. Who wouldn’t. The girls must be thinking all those males residing at Gochisou must be perverts. Meanwhile in class, the female Hibiki divides the class to do class chores but found out that Fuuko’s being volunteering to do them all. She ticks off the whole class for their selfish behaviour and soon enough after that, Fuuko’s classmates begins helping her in her chores.
 
Besides that, in this episode too, Hibiki tries to get her female students to wear bloomers, those shorts used in gyms and other sports. But the girls refused, giving that usual male pervertness excuse. Yeah, it seems they have a hard time trying to jump over that pommel horse too. Hibiki went to see the headmistress over this but the latter’s not giving in, much to Hibiki’s disappointment. But eventually, it’s Fuuko who tries to give it a shot as she trusts the female Hibiki. Soon she’s doing quite well in all her sports activities and after some convincing by her, all the other girls too tried it out and found out that it wasn’t that bad after all. Soon, the bloomers became the school’s official PE uniform for the girls, much to the headmistress’s and the vice-principal’s reluctance. But they had to accept it since the girls looked so much happier in them and enjoying it as well. Well, isn’t it practical too?
 
Episode 4 is that parents-teacher meeting kinda episode. No, not that sit and talk in the boardroom all day long with boring topics. The headmistress is dreading the moment to see ‘that horrible man’, which is supposed to be some director of the school. He’s expected to be blown away by work that men are useless at, much to the ire of the headmistress. And this time, the director’s gonna visit Hibiki’s class.
 
Well, Hibiki’s doing fine as a teacher as she’s distributing school chores evenly among the boys and girls. Especially that cleaning the swimming pool one. The girls are fretting that they have to clean the pool because they think it’s the boys’ job. But Hibiki mentioned that since they both used the pool then both parties should also help in cleaning it up. Besides that, this episode sees also how Fuuko pretty much spaces out and feeling depressed of this event because her mom died when she’s young and her dad’s working far away. Hibiki felt pity and tries to help her out.
 
Meanwhile Mori and Tofu are contemplating to go to the parents-teacher meeting. Why? Yeah, their usual perverted ideas. But it’s gonna be like this all the time. Mori will take some leave from his company. Then he and Tofu will plan to some perverted schemes. But grandma always intercepted their plans and leaving them high and dry and in you-deserve-that kinda situation. Yeah, in a way, grandma’s helping Hibiki’s in his cause, and partly because of his rent too. It’s quite funny to see Mori and Tofu ended up such situations in the end, but that provides some comic relief for the series.
 
On the day itself, as the parents and their child gather, Hibiki wants them all to put on their gym clothes as they’re gonna have some sort of work out with their kid, much to the annoyance of the headmistress. And it’s gonna be some jogging as the parents and their child jogged through the trek, through the city, some slow, some already out of breath, some managing it coolly and some just hanging in there. Yeah, you can see all kinds of characters there. Some like parent and child, and some just the total opposite.
 
By the end of the day, the director was very pleased of this parent-teacher meeting and views it as a unique way for a parent to bond with their child. But the headmistress and vice-principal isn’t too pleased, though they’re shock to see how happy the director was. Wow. Did they all jog till sunset? Anyway, Hibiki and Fuuko had their private moment together when Hibiki brought Fuuko to her mom’s grave where she ‘showed’ her what she learned during PE class. She seems quite happy. And in the end, Hibiki piggy-backs a sleeping Fuuko on his back as they head back home.
 
It’s the physical exams in episode 6. Yup, all the girls are going to undergo it but are worried because last year somebody posted their ‘personal data’ on the bulletin board. Besides having that worry of having large breasts (what is it with girls and having to want large breasts) and whose is bigger (see, didn’t I told you. I thought they didn’t like boys ogling at them), the vice-principal is explaining to them how they’ll take their physical exam in private and without their privacy being invaded by the boys.
 
But if you leave it to the boys, they’ll definitely find a way to do so. Kyosuke and Iwaya are using some sort of walkie-talkie and spy-like hearing gadgets placed in the room where the girls are going to take their physical exam. Yup, they borrowed those gadgets from Akira, since his dad is some detective. But as the 3 boys were plotting their scheme, Hibiki who saw them from above while she’s in the female restroom, decides to play a prank on them. Yeah, she takes off her voice choker and yells below what they’re doing. Of course the boys got a little frightened and wondered where the voice came from. As Hibiki puts it back on and leaves, we see that the vice-principal coming out from the cubicle and wondering that Hibiki’s a man. Yup, throughout the series she’ll be suspicious of Hibiki and will try to expose Hibiki as a man, though she isn’t really that sure.
 
While the girls are taking their physical exams and the boys overhearing those ‘juicy’ details in joy (yeah, some ‘nice body contest’), except Akira, when it’s Fuuko’s turn, he switched the device off. Oh this guy, he seems to ‘care’ for Fuuko in a way, though he doesn’t show it openly. Meanwhile, the vice-principal orders Hibiki to take a physical exam herself, much to Hibiki’s horror. Yeah, her first attempt into exposing Hibiki as a man. So as Hibiki undresses, a doctor comes in to examine. Later when the doctor reveals to the headmistress and the vice-principal that Hibiki’s a fine woman with a nice body, the vice-principal’s in shock and couldn’t believe what she’s just heard. It’s later revealed that the doctor is one of grandma’s friends and he told the doctor the situation so as not to get Hibiki fired. You know why lah. So a close call there for Hibiki. And as for those 2 perverts, yeah, they’ve been planning to watch the girls taking their physical exam. But you also know what happened lah. They arrived too late after misinterpreting the time of the exam.
 
Hibiki’s students are fighting among themselves in episode 6. No, it hasn’t escalated into that boys vs girls thing yet. But more like the guys fighting among themselves over some disagreement as well as the girls (about that boyfriend and jealousy thing). Of course Hibiki tries to calm the situation and one of them by hearing each and everyone of them out. Hmm… it’s like a one-to-one interrogation but the students are voicing their displeasure over the other person they don’t like about his/her bad habits. But the situation didn’t improve as you could feel the tension even during class.
 
Meanwhile since Hibiki’s class is gonna have their first PE lesson using the pool, the vice-principal sees this as another opportunity to expose Hibiki and allows him to take both the boys and girls in 1 class. And initially, she was against this. Because so, Hibiki has to get into a swimsuit. Would that be too revealing? Yeah, earlier on, Hibiki’s shopping by himself when he noticed himself staring and admiring at women’s lingerie and swimsuits. Is he turning into a woman or becoming a pervert? Or both? Anyway, with some help from grandma, I’m not sure how all that padding helps to conceal Hibiki’s a man. But it did the job.
 
At the pool, Hibiki instructs his students to take out all their frustrations as this would be the perfect chance. And that’s what they did. So some fighting here and there but nothing really serious. Some blurting out such as ‘you’re such a ~’ and such. The vice-principal who’s watching didn’t approve of the situation but Hibiki says it’s okay for them to take out their frustrations. In her fury as she’s gonna expose Hibiki’s fake boobs, she slipped and fell into the pool. Because it ruined her make-up she got out and ran away. Well, I guess her plans been delayed again.
 
The whole bunch stopped fighting when Fuuko grabs everyone’s swimming caps and says she’d one because she’s the last one standing as everyone breaks into laughter. But Aoki accidentally got knocked off and doesn’t seem to resurfaced. It’s revealed that Aoki doesn’t know how to swim as Akira dives down to grab and rescue him. Once over, we see them all apologizing to each other and admitting their faults and mistakes and they all become friends again. What a relief.
 
Oh yes. Mori and Tofu were up to their no good again as they tried to dig their way from the beach to the school’s swimming pool. But grandma misled them using some magnetic thing to lead them astray. And the funny part was when the 2 thought they’ve reached the school’s pool area, they realized and found grandma in her bathing suit in some inflatable pool bathing at some construction site with that cheeky look. Yeah, they both fainted. Hahaha. Another failure.
 
Fuuko’s devastated in Episode 7. Why? Because she heard that her beloved Hibiki is gonna get engaged! What the? Who, what, when, where, why. It seems that the director has arranged some sort of omiai (a formal arrangement where 2 people who’re gonna get engaged and married meet) between Hibiki and his nephew, Yoshio Tokugawa. Though Hibiki says he isn’t looking for a husband (it’s kinda awkward position for him, isn’t it) but the director really insists and so Hibiki’s got no choice though.
 
So there’s a lot of spacing out and uncertainty from Fuuko as well as Hibiki. And this time grandma doesn’t seem to be interested to help Hibiki with his problems because you know why lah. And she even thinks that the director’s nephew has lots of money and if Hibiki marries him, he could use that money and pay his dues. Uh-huh.
 
Meanwhile Fuuko plans on spying on Yoshio as her other friends tag along. As they hid and spy on his every move, at the park, Yoshio met the male Hibiki and had a chat. Actually the former was driving his car when he nearly collided with Hibiki. And at first you might that’s blood on his shirt, actually it’s just the juice he spilled from the vending machine. Then Fuuko and the rest may be thinking that he is gay because he’s talking with that bra-man. Well, their fears confirmed as Yoshio hugs Hibiki in joy after their chat. Oh no! More misinterpretation. And Fuuko’s feeling bad for the female Hibiki that Yoshio is cheating on ‘her’ with this male Hibiki (don’t you just feel the weirdness).
 
On the day of the omiai, not only the director, Yoshio and the female Hibiki were there but the headmistress and the vice-principal as well. Okay, so are Hibiki’s ‘concerned’ students, who’re in the next room spying and eavesdropping their conversation. Another one of vice-principal’s scheme to expose Hibiki as a man by asking Hibiki to take off his voice choker as it is rude to wear such accessories during an omiai. No choice he has to take it off. Now he can’t speak or else. So he’s stuffing his mouth with food so as not to say a single word.
 
Meanwhile, because those kids were eavesdropping so intensely that the wall barrier between the room collapsed and they all fell onto the lunch. Aww man, wasted food. What do you expect if everybody’s leaning against the wall. Just then Hibiki puts back his choker and says whose idea was it to ruin ‘her’ omiai. Fuuko admits and apologizes but Hibiki wasn’t mad at her and just smiles. Looks like he’s grateful in a way. And it seems that Yoshio admits that he has fallen in love with another girl and wants to marry her (yeah, that talk in the park earlier on was something about this and be true to his feelings kinda thing). Well, I supposed that the director felt since if his nephew was going to be happy that way, so be it.
 
What about Mori and Tofu, you asked? And since grandma didn’t intervene in this one, do you think they got away scot-free? Nope. They made a blunder by themselves. They’re supposed to watch Hibiki’s omiai as window cleaners but they got the wrong building instead. Hahaha.
 
In episode 8, one of Hibiki’s male students, Naruo Shiro, is being accused of taking one of the teacher’s pay. Well, since this isn’t your high-tech school so the salary isn’t really credited into their accounts. And I suppose they don’t know what a cheque is so they didn’t write one. And even if they did it’ll be tiring and long, don’t you think? So the teacher’s salary is paid in cash. Yes, cold hard cash. And Hibiki’s always relishing this moment.
 
How did it happened? Well, Hibiki forgot to take her attendance book to class so he sent Naruo to go get it. But in the teacher’s room (nobody’s there except him) after Naruo retrieved it, he saw that envelope with money in it on one of the teacher’s desk, lying there. Oh those eyes and the way they portray the scene. Makes you think that Naruo was the one that did it. Or did he not. Well, we won’t find out so soon because the scene changed right after that. Plus, the vice-principal saw Naruo walking out from that room and she became suspicious.
 
Later, the vice-principal calls Naruo to her office and accuses him of stealing the money, but Naruo say he’s not aware of what’s going on. Hibiki tries to reason with them but it seems that the headmistress and the vice-principal isn’t going to listen any further. Aoki who overheard this, rushes back to class and told the boys about it. But the girls think that it’s the boys fault since they’re being mischievous. Yup, earlier on too the boys accidentally left some rag on some statue of the headmistress’s grandma and the latter ticked them off for not showing respect. Hmm… Probably no wonder why the headmistress wants to accuse the boys. Yeah, you know her character.
 
So there’s lots of resistance from the boys as they defend Naruo. No doubt that they’re not sure he did it or not but they felt that the female teacher’s actions and the way they treat Naruo isn’t fair. Yeah, so much so that the boys formed some sort of protest group. You know that typical, wear the headband, lots of banners and signs of protest and shouting words of equality and such. Firstly they want the headmistress to stop suspecting Naruo and apologize to him and secondly they want equality between the boys and girls. Uh, it’s quite rare to see guys fighting for gender equality as it’s always the other way round.
 
But the headmistress is threatening to call the police and take those boys into custody. But what’s stopping her? Looks like the boys has taken that statue ‘hostage’. And the headmistress faints when they use a red marker and draw on it. To her horror, she has no choice but to back down for now. And the boys are pretty adamant and they’re not quitting until they get what they’ve achieved. Looks like the school’s been temporarily closed. And Fuuko felt a little pity and went to the school at night to give the boys some food.
 
Later Naruo meets Hibiki at the teacher’s room and apologizes for everything. Is this what I think it is? Yeah, he admitted he wanted to give the vice-principal a hard time but says he didn’t stole it as he just hid it nearby. Unfortunately, the place he hid it was sent to the garbage incinerator. Akira and Fuuko who happened to pass by and heard this of course felt mad since the truth is out. But it’s no use. So how? Hibiki went home to get some help from grandma.
 
The next day, the vice-principal along with the director has brought many policemen to arrest the boys. And what do you know. Mori and Tofu in some Ultraman mask launches some fake attack on the policemen and a huge brawl ensues. Fuuko calls everybody she knows and asks them to come to school. Yeah, everybody just did that. Meanwhile Hibiki uses his salary and pretends that it’s the stolen money and admits that it’s her male students that has taken them and gives it back to the headmistress. So would she forgive them? Of course not but Hibiki blames her male-hating character and says that it’s her fault.
 
At the same time, once the brawl is over, the policemen along with the vice-principal and the director head to where the protest is only to find the place being cleaned up and all the students sitting nicely in their class room, as though a protest never took place. So those adults got confused and the vice-principal thinks she’s really getting old. While Hibiki’s glad that nobody got punished, we see Mori and Tofu sitting in prison crying. Hahaha. Looks like the 2 are paying their dues of what they owed to grandma.
 
Episode 9 is a little light-hearted. The whole school takes some camping trip to Hokkaido. This episode is mainly on the love and crushes of some of the characters in this series. Actually, there’ve been hints of certain characters who like a certain boy/girl through their body language and the way they talk when they’re near their loved one. Things like that. But I didn’t bother to blog them because it may seem trivial for that particular episode. However, such small trivial matters help in the build-up of the storyline.
 
So it’s like this. Aoki likes Hibiki and plans to confess to ‘her’ during the trip. Yeah, he looked like a mad psycho perverted bull, trying to confess to Hibiki. And Hibiki’s frantically running away from Aoki’s ‘advances’. Other love-birds include Iwaya and Seiko, and Fujio having a crush on Akira though the latter doesn’t realize it. And just like in this case, we know deep down in Akira’s heart, he likes Fuuko but she doesn’t know of it either. I wonder why would such a guy like such a clumsy girl. Maybe it’s her selflessness. In addition, Fujio doesn’t know Fuuko’s the person that Akira has his eyes on, though she knows that he likes somebody else other than her. Well, Miho’s got her own boyfriend already so no need to think further than that.
 
Thus, a lot of that blush blush, shy shy, talking in riddles, want to say but cannot say kinda situation. Makes you feel frustrated. But I’ve got to learn to be patient, this things take time. Other than some private moments between Akira and Fujio, there were also some between Fuuko and Hibiki. Yeah, it’s kinda awkward a student trying to tell her teacher how much she loves her and it’s not that student-teacher kinda love. But the thing is, Hibiki too seems to take a liking for Fuuko. Yeah, he’s starting to fall for her but didn’t realized it. And they’re about to kiss when grandma comes busting in with her bike and interrupted them. What the? It seems she there’s a branch of Gochisou in the mountains too and she owns the whole area!
 
At the same time it’s starting to rain, Akira and Fujio took refuge in a hut near the lake. Well, they had to spend the night there since it’s dark and they may get lost if they try to find their way back to camp. The next morning when the 2 finally does, the vice-principal is mad at them for doing such a shameful thing. But Hibiki told her that it’s a natural thing to do when 2 people are in love, much to her shock.
 
The next morning at some assembly, the vice-principal’s giving her speech on the camping trip and mentioned nothing has happened. But Hibiki quickly took the microphone from her and starts talking about love and all those kinda stuffs. Yeah, some love realizing lecture like sharing your dreams, be true to your feelings. We’ve all heard this many times before, right? I think Hibiki’s trying to do this because he thinks the vice-principal is trying to control the student’s love life and making them hate each other. I think. And everyone in the hall seems to be confused. What’s the sudden outburst of this topic? And it seems the vice-president frantically tries to get back to microphone but her efforts were in vain.
 
Then grandma comes in by saying that Akira and Fujio are innocent and that they did nothing suspicious or wrong. Oh well, in a way the good news is that at least there’s a witness to clear their name. But the bad news is, it’s confirmed everybody knew that they’re together. Why would everyone believed that grandma? I guess it’s better than believing some arrogant bitchy (sorry again) vice-principal. Soon they packed their bags and prepared to leave for home. And there’s some spacing out and sad look from Fujio. And Akira’s still got his mind on Fuuko. Though, Fuuko finally wanted to confess to Hibiki in the end, but she didn’t manage to finish her sentence as that near-kissing flashback stopped her.
 
Oh yeah, what happened to those 2 perverted blokes, you ask? Well, at first they decided to hitch a ride to Hokkaido. And several pretty girls picked them up in some convertible. But because those 2 were enjoying their company so much that they forgot where they were headed and they ended up somewhere else far far away. Dumb guys. They should’ve just stayed with those pretty ladies. Unless… don’t tell me they like school girls. Oh, those paedophile perverts.
 
Episode 10 is a little grim. Well, at least at the end of it. This episode mainly focuses on Akira and Fujio. Well, I’ve said it before, blush blush, shy shy and all those other I-want-to-say-it-but-I-can’t kinda body language. To cut things real short, Miho decides to set up Akira and Fujio together by writing some note saying to meet at the school’s rooftop.
 
Once the 2 met they had some chat here and there. You don’t want to hear all those lovey-dovey details. Well, actually I wasn’t paying attention either. Looks like Miho instead of being a busybody decided to just leave those 2 alone to settle things themselves. So finally Fujio confesses to Akira that she loves him. Finally. She also asked that would it be all right if he’d become her boyfriend. But Akira told her he’s sorry because there’s another person that he’s in love with and left. Fujio’s been dumped! Oh, the heartbreak. It must be very painful. Of course lah. Quite sad to just see her standing there with those tears in her eyes, staring blankly.
 
As Akira made his way downstairs, he bumps into Fuuko. And it’s deja vu again. Yup, it’s Akira’s turn. He confessed to her that he loves her and wonders if she could be his girlfriend. Fuuko’s in a shock to hear those words from Akira. But to make things worse, Fujio who’s coming downstairs too, overheard this. And now she knows that the person Akira likes is no other than her friend. Oh the double shock! How many of us have been through the same similar situation like this? Fujio runs back upstairs to find another exit.
 
As Miho was waiting outside and getting ready for her big success reaction and treat, instead it was Fujio in tears. Oh well, so much for the treat. Miho comforts Fujio as she hugged her. While Akira and Fuuko are still staring at each other, Hibiki, who just happen to come out of the teacher’s room and saw them both. And it looks like as if Hibiki’s got that shocking reaction whereby it’s saying something like ‘the one I like has somebody else in mind’ as Hibiki also ran off. Haih… But as Akira presses Fuuko for an answer, she told him that she’s sorry. You know what that means. Yup, one bad/good deed deserves another. So Akira, it means you’re being dumped too.
 
The beginning of episode 11 sees that uneasy tension and spacing out between Fuuko and Fujio. Yup, those 2 couldn’t see each other eye to eye, though they haven’t really talked about that incident. I guess they’re assuming it like that. Yeah, ASS-U-ME. Hahaha. Also, Hibiki seems spaced out and uncertain about his feelings. As for Mori, he seems to be sad because he lost his job as he took too many leaves. Serves him right. He’s also sad because he won’t get to see his female colleagues in short skirts. But Tofu comforts him and says that there’ll be plenty of other girls around. Yeah, even at such times those 2 can be so care-free.
 
Other than that, at the school assembly, the vice-principal is making an announcement to all the students to take extra precaution as there’s a kidnapping spree going on recently. Thus, Hibiki forms and divides his class into groups. Meaning when the students come and leave school, they have to come in a group of 3 or so.
 
But one day, Fuuko didn’t manage to arrive for the first period of Hibiki’s class. According to Miho, she told Hibiki that she had something to do first and went ahead. Of course, Hibiki told her that would defeat the meaning of having the group system. As time passes, Fuuko didn’t turn up and those who noticed it are starting to get worried. When thoughts that Fuuko may have been kidnapped, they pushed the panic button and started frantically to search for her. Hibiki then asks grandma for her help too.
 
A change of scene sees Fuuko sitting on a chair in some dark room filled with candles and a guy dressed like KKK approaches her, telling her not to be afraid. Meanwhile, grandma sends Kura-ge to help Hibiki, much to his disappointment. I wonder how the taxi driver knows where to go. Yeah, grandma send that dog through a cab. Huh? Anyway, Hibiki lets Kura-ge smell Fuuko’s keychain that he found in some alley. And after some sniffing, off they go as Hibiki follows Kura-ge.
 
At the same time, Fujio and Akira noticed some black van and heard rumours about it stalking women. But when they opened the doors, to their surprise it’s Mori and Tofu! Ah, those 2 are up to no good again. But the thing is, they didn’t kidnap Fuuko as she’s no where to be seen.
 
Finally when Kura-ge arrived at some building and starts barking at it, Hibiki rushes in to see Fuuko and that KKK man there. Hibiki, thinking that he’s the kidnapper starts to grab him. As confused and surprised Fuuko was to see Hibiki there, she eventually explained that she wasn’t kidnapped. She came here on her own to seek advice over her fortune. Yup, there’s a sign in front of the building saying ‘House Of Psychic Reading’. Therefore, Fuuko didn’t meant to be late as she tried to wake up that man earlier on. Huh? That desperate is it? But during the tussle, that man dropped some candle and the tent inside caught fire.
 
But as the fire spread rapidly, a ceiling plank is threatening to drop on Fuuko. Hibiki grabs her, and used his body to protect Fuuko, as he soon passes out. Outside, Akira and Fujio as well as Mori and Tofu arrived to see the building in flames. And then here’s the exaggerated part. Grandma arrives in her bike and then just like Transformers, her bike transformed into some sort of mecha and gushes water to put out the flames. What the?! Okay, at least it did put the fire out. Then to everyone’s relief, they saw Fuuko coming out carrying an unconscious Hibiki. Yup, looks like she saved him as she’s smiling. Yup, she affirmed herself that she’s in love with her teacher, and it doesn’t matter if she’s a female.
 
In episode 12, while Hibiki (who’s still in female dress) is recuperating in hospital gets a visit by Fuuko. But before that, the vice-principal is up again with another one of her schemes, holding a camera in hand. Just as she arrived at Hibiki’s room, Mori and Tofu sweeps her away and locks her in another room far far away. Looks like now they’re on Hibiki’s side. But this isn’t the end yet. The vice-principal noticed that she can see Hibiki’s room across from where she is now. Oh oh.
 
So Fuuko’s visit has some of that ‘hesitating talk’ with Hibiki. Then as Fuuko tries to reach out to Hibiki and her hand touches his, Hibiki moved and caused Fuuko to drop on top of him on the bed. Some staring there before Hibiki raises his hand to Fuuko’s face and leans forward. Yup, they’re gonna KISS AGAIN!!! But before that could happen, Akira comes in. Has he ever heard of knocking first? But did he saw that? Maybe. He looks kinda shocked as Fuuko and Hibiki pulled away from each other quickly and recomposed themselves. And after some short chat, Akira and Fuuko walked home together. Another round of those ‘hesitating talk’.
 
Back at the hospital, while Hibiki reflects over things like being in love with one of his students and that awkward position of being a man and a women, we see the vice-principal happily snapping her photographs. Oh no. The start of things to come. Yup, you can say that this is the turning point.
 
That’s because the next day when Hibiki’s been discharged, back at school the vice-principal calls the entire school and even the director himself for a special announcement. She then invites Hibiki up to the stage to make her speech. But before Hibiki could say a word, the vice-principal then starts saying about that all-female teacher’s philosophy and points out that Hibiki isn’t qualified to teach because ‘she’ IS A MAN!!! Everyone’s in real shock. But they think that she’s joking. The vice-principal then lowers a large screen and proceeds to show the assembly of the photos she took whereby Hibiki removes his make-up. Now the crowd is starting to sweat.
 
The vice-principal continues saying that Hibiki’s doing all this so that he can perform filthy acts on his students, as she shows the photo where Hibiki and Fuuko nearly kissed. DOUBLE SHOCKER!!! Fuuko’s devastated as she drops the cookies she baked for Hibiki. Oh dear. The person she loves is also the person she hates. It’s like loving the angel who’s the devil and vice versa. And those who know the bra-man now knows it’s the female Hibiki teacher as well. Oh, please stop, please stop. Hibiki then unplugs the power to the screen and says that Fuuko has got nothing to do with it.
 
As the director says that Hibiki really does sound like a female, the vice-principal then snatches away Hibiki’s choker and asks him to speak through the mike. Now he’s really in a pinch as everyone watched in great unbelievability (if there’s such a word). Then from the rooftop, Hibiki saw grandma putting up some banner saying that the mike has got that voice choker in it too. But Hibiki didn’t say a word. Instead he just bowed and left the stage. Everyone is still stunned except for the vice-principal who’s smiling as though as she’d won.
 
So there’s this tension and doubtfulness between the students especially those in Hibiki’s class. They’re all saying how if they thought that if they knew ‘she’s’ a he that they won’t probably go near him. Yeah, it seems that a gender war is about to ensue as the girls now doesn’t trust the boys and back to the thinking that they’re nothing but perverts, much to the boys anger.
 
Back at the headmistress’s office, now her ideals of forming an all-girls school will soon be realized as she proposed it to the director. Looks like even the director has no choice after witnessing such event, though he seems reluctant. While Fuuko’s picking up those cookies, several boys came along and teased her. But Fuuko didn’t do anything and continues picking up the crumbs. Akira got mad at them and started to bash them properly but Fujio tries to stop him. And then he said something like how they don’t know what it feels like when your love is not returned and why Hibiki has to betray Fuuko like this, surprising Fujio a little. Fuuko’s still picking up her cookies like as though her feeling’s numb already. Akira then runs off.
 
Back at Gochisou, Hibiki is packing his bags and decides he’ll leave town soon. Grandma asks why he didn’t use the mike, he says that he couldn’t deceive them anymore. Looks like he’s overcome with guilt. You could see it through his eyes and body language. Maybe in a way too, it’s all wrong.
 
So the grim final episode 13 starts off with Fuuko and Hibiki summarizing how it ended up like this. While the school is handling lots of incoming calls about a male dressed as a female teacher, a lot of that uneasy atmosphere too even though school is going on normally. Mostly, the students are still reeling from that shock. And they give ‘that look’ to Hibiki everytime they pass or see him.
 
The tension between the boys and girls are starting to heat up but it’s all just lip service and doesn’t turn into a fist fight. They all couldn’t believe it. They all couldn’t forgive for what has happened. A demoralized Hibiki’s packing the last of his stuff as grandma tries to talk to him. Grandma even asked him to at least go collect his final payment. Can’t she think anything else other than money? However, I’m sure she has some other plans when she said that. Yeah, later she went over to the headmistress’s office to collect the payment on his behalf and at the same time had some chat with her. But Hibiki’s quite adamant on his decision not to go as her feels he doesn’t deserve it. And then some last farewell celebration with Mori and Tofu which doesn’t seem like a celebration at all to Hibiki.
 
The next day as the headmistress calls each and every parent and the students for a special assembly, she’s gonna make the school into an all-girls school now and replays that photo scene again and goes over what silly things Hibiki has introduced during her term like asking the girls to wear bloomers. All the parents seem to agree and may even pass a unanimous vote to turn the school into that. But then, grandma came in and interrupted the vice-principal’s speech and tells the crowd that even though Hibiki has deceived them as a female, have they forgotten about the lessons that he thought them, was his lessons all lies? It made the students realized that they’re wrong to just judge him by his outlook. I mean look at it this way too. If the entire school was made into an all-girls school, who’d do all those chores, right?
 
Fuuko then stood up and heads for the stage and grabs the mike and goes on telling them all how much she has achieved because of Hibiki, how she wouldn’t got this far if not for him. As the vice-principal tries to take the mike back from Fuuko, all the students and parents in the hall stood up in agreement over Fuuko’s speech. Yeah, they all finally realized all the good Hibiki’s done for them and that they’ve let this gender thing blinded them and prejudiced him. All of Hibiki’s class then rush up on stage and tries to have their say. It’s like a mad scramble for the mike as they poured out their true thoughts and feelings.
 
The vice-principal then instructs the policemen to stop and remove them. But before they can do it, they heard a female Hibiki voice like from a far away PA system thanking them for everything and such. They all rushed out to the rooftop and saw from the direction of Gochisou, Hibiki with the help of Mori and Tofu delivering her message there. The students seemed quite sad and repent as Hibiki delivers his last speech and proceeds to remove all those female make-up and clothing and revealing his male self. Then he goes off. Even Mori and Tofu were so sad and crying.
 
With that the students then try to go after Hibiki and think that they can still catch him. What’s this. Akira taking Fuuko’s hand as they ran with Fujio looking on happily. Did she accept him? Or is it just a friendly gesture thing? Anyway, as they raced down through the streets, Hibiki’s already boarding the train. Wah so fast reached there already ah. Fujio stops an old man on his bicycle and says that she needs to borrow it for awhile. She gives it to Akira as he peddles with all his might with Fuuko sitting behind.
 
How can a bicycle run as fast as a train? But it’s good to know the shortcuts in the city because you can get ahead of the train at certain points when needed. Well, that’s what Akira did but in the last stretch, the bike tripped and they both fell off and tumbled. Akira asked Fuuko to run as the train’s passing the bridge soon. As Fuuko rushes there, the train passes by and Hibiki manage to catch a glimpse of Fuuko, who suddenly tripped. But they smiled to each other before the train leaves town and her sight.
 
Then as the director leaves the school, we see grandma talking to the headmistress that long ago there’s a male teacher who was like that too, the one that abandoned her and left school and says that one who’s been watching over her all these years in a disguise. The headmistress was taken aback a little with those words. Could it mean that? Could it be that grandma’s A HE TOO???!!! Oh my, another cross-dresser. And I would never have guessed it. But looks like that all-girls school thing has been put off. Finally as Fuuko stood there smiling she mentions that one day Hibiki will definitely come back. And when he does, he’ll come back in his true form. Well, I certainly hope he will.
 
Overall, I kinda like this series. It’s quite a heart warming one especially towards the end. I was having goosebumps and I nearly felt like crying while watching the last episode. It was sad that it didn’t turn out the way that I wanted but I suppose it’s for the best. Not to say that the ending is bad, but I wished that Hibiki could stay on and continue teaching his fellow students.
 
As usual, the drawing, art and animation are pretty okay. Not the best drawing in the world, but it’s not like that all of the characters here looked super pretty nor do they look super ugly. Just in between. The voice acting too is kinda ok. So probably it’s the storyline and the character developments which drives me to watch the series. Yeah, with some few comical moments here and there, maybe there isn’t much for some of the other characters to develop in this short series but at least I could say there are for the main ones. I felt that the love triangles weren’t the main focus of the series and it just serves as a build-up to the storyline.
 
As for the characters, I would say that grandma’s character and her role is quite the coolest one. Especially when she shoots with her pistols, though she rarely uses them. I also like Mori and Tofu’s character not because they’re perverted but because they’re funny (okay, maybe it’s because of the pervertness, but that’s not the point). The headmistress and the vice-principal are characters that I you would love to hate.
 
I kinda find that the mid-intermissions a little weird, though there’s nothing wrong with it actually. It’s just the series’ logo rotating and some voice saying "I My Me, Strawberry Eggs". And I still don’t know how the title’s related. Also the titles of each episode are somewhat named after women’s make-up or accessories or things like that, making it in a way, unique and ‘fitting’.
 
But the main thing are the lessons that you could learn from this series. Such as the usual, do not judge a book by its cover and forgiveness. It’s amazing that if a person does 100 good deeds, nobody remembers them. But it just take 1 bad deed for that person to be remembered and probably for a long time too. Just like in real life. Also the series touched a little bit on homosexuality and cross-dressing, which I don’t think it’s a big thing here. But remember it’s still the inside that counts.
 
So I would surely recommend those of you to watch this series mainly for those life lessons and maybe for some laughs here and there. Hmmm… Maybe the ending isn’t that bad after all.

Dearest

August 25, 2006

  Tsyuake mae no aozora wa,
  Hitoashi hayaky kokoro wo odoraseru,
  Kotoshi mo mou sugu natsu ga kuru,
  Machi mo hito mo ukarekibun de zawamekidasu
 
Mmm… Here’s another song that I fell in love instantly after just hearing the opening lines. Yup, it’s the opening theme song of I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs, Dearest and it’s sung by Mieno Hitomi.
 
  Watashi wo to ieba anata no omoi,
  Kono machi de atarashii kaze ni fukarete,
  Sukoshi no fuan mo dakishime nagara,
  Kanaetai ashita dake wo mitsumete ikiru
 
I like the opening part where there’s some acoustic guitar playing. Overall, the entire song has a relatively moderate pace, not too fast nor too slow. Therefore, in my opinion, this song is also suitable for easy listening.
 
  Shounen no kokoro no mama otona ni natta hito,
  Futari deatta ano hi ni wo modorenai kedo
 
When I first tried to sing this song along with the singer, most of the time, my timing of the words doesn’t match the singer’s. Yeah, the timing of when to sing those lyrics is a little irregular, sometimes early sometimes later, rather than the usual predictable a-word-for-a-note kinda song. Since I’ve heard it several times already, by now I’ve already gotten used to it and have a general idea of the timing of those words, though I still make a few mistakes here and there.
 
  Hitomi wo tojireba hohoemu kao ga mieru,
  Daisuki na ano uta ima mo utatte masu ka,
 
Furthermore, singing this song too isn’t really that stressful or too hard. That’s partly because the singer herself isn’t the one of those with squeaky high pitch voices. Although, there are certain lines where she has to go a higher note but that’s still managable. Speaking of which, sometimes when I sing that part, it’s like a ‘yo-yo syndrome’. Meaning that sometimes I could get the pitch right but at other times I would really miss it, therefore going a little out of tune. *Sighs*.
 
  Watashi ni wa kikoeru yasashii koe to MELODDY,
  Yoaki na toki hodo, Anata wo omoidasu
 
At first the lyrics seems a little long-winded to me. What do you expect if the song is 5 minutes plus long rather than the usual 4 minute plus. Huh… 1 minute can say a lot of things. But that isn’t exactly it, both the chorus too repeats itself at the end of the song. Maybe it’s because of the timing problem earlier on, that made it hard for me to remember the lyircs. Conclusion, I still currently love singing this song and will continue to do so… that is, until I get some craze to sing another song. Hehehe.
 
  Anata wo wasurenai…