Anime: I My Me! Strawberry Eggs
The really weirdly named
story of a gym teacher who has to crossdress to get a job.I My Me! Strawberry Eggs
is a thirteen-episode Anime
series created by TNK and Pioneer and initally ran on Japanese TV in 2001. There is also a Manga
The series follows Hibiki Amawa, a young, idealistic man who has recently graduated from college with a degree in physical education. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to find an opening in his field, and is behind on his rent so far that his landlady Lulu holds his dog hostage. At last Hibiki finds an advertisement for a position at Seito Sannomiya Private School. But when he applies, Hibiki is turned down flat. While the school itself is co-educational, the principal refuses to hire male teachers.
Upon learning the situation, Lulu offers to help Hibiki out by disguising him as a woman. (Turns out that the landlady has a suspiciously field-ready assortment of gadgets for just such a purpose.) Sure enough, with this and some slightly altered paperwork, Hibiki is able to start work at the school.
Naturally, things don't go smoothly. Not only does Hibiki have to conceal his true gender from everyone at the school, but the misandrist attitude of the school administration is causing discipline problems with the male students and friction between the boys and girls. And when one of Hibiki's students, the Moe Moe
Fuko Kuzuha, starts getting a crush on "her"
But it isn't all bad news. Hibiki manages to connect with the students and mediate between them with some success, and even get the administration to ease off on some of their more blatantly stupid rules. In the end, though, the masquerade is revealed, and everything changes.
Tropes seen in this series include:
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Hibiki Amawa makes an extremely beautiful woman.
- Between My Legs: Episode 6 has one of these shots of Fuko for well over 30 seconds.
- Cool Old Lady: Lulu. Or is it?
- Crazy-Prepared: Batman levels. No matter the situation, Lulu has a cunning plan to deal with it.
- Deliberately Bad Example: Mori Kouji and Toufukuji, the lecherous renters at Lulu's inn, regularly provide some comic relief with all their crazy schemes for sneaking into Seito Sannomiya, including getting Disguised in Drag the same way Hibiki is doing. Were they in his shoes, neither of them would hesitate to take advantage of all these impressionable young schoolgirls in all their more vulnerable moments, which just goes to show us that Hibiki is not that kind of guy.
- Does Not Like Men: Principal Sannomiya and Vice-Principal Mukogawa both had horrific experiences with men that fuel their misandry.
- Dojikko: Fuko.
- Downer Ending: The misandrist principal and her equally male-hating stooge successfully drive Hibiki out. This anime bitterly subverts the usual Twelfth Night Adventure formula in that love, understanding and tolerance does not triumph over the tyranny of an establishment in the end.
- The last episode showed a slight silver lining; though he lost the job, he still got through to the students. Not exactly a complete loss, though still not ideal.
- And it's the students that deliver the greatest Crowning Moment of Heartwarming of the series in that episode, to boot. No wonder the finale is titled "Someday, I'll Fulfill My Promise", when you look at it.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: When Hibiki's actual gender is revealed, the school administration tries to use it to pressure the parents into letting them turn the school into a girls-only school, ignoring that this would not have prevented Hibiki's deception in the first place.
- Gender-Blender Name: The reason why Hibiki doesn't need to change his name when en femme.
- Gender Vocabulary Slip: Hibiki almost blows his cover on the first day of his job when he uses the masculine pronoun ore in his introduction to the entire school.
- Hot for Student: Averted. While Fuko does develop a crush on her teacher, neither of them moves further than that.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming The anime does this on two levels: Each episode title has something to do with makeup (appropriately enough), and each DVD volume is called a "Quarter".
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: Lulu has a motorbike that transforms into a firefighting mecha.
- Psychologist Teacher: Hibiki
- Reality Ensues: Except for the more than likely jail-time, this series shows the logical conclusion of what would really happen if an idealistic rebel-rousing teacher cross dressed to make a difference.
- Returning The Handkerchief: Fuko gives Fukae hers when he nicks his finger cutting vegetables.
- Strawberry Shorthand
- Straw Feminist: While the administration of the school claims to be "feminist", it's clear that they actually believe in a total and preferably permanent separation of the sexes. The gym uniform controversy in particular shows that they have no interest in empowering their female students, just punishing the male ones.
- Twelfth Night Adventure: An unusually bittersweet example of this genre.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Hibiki, natch.