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Characters / Strawberry Marshmallow

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Tropes (and other stuff) about the main girls of Barasui's Slice of Life comedy, Strawberry Marshmallow.

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    In General 
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • For Nobue, lack or grey are her usual clothing colors of choice.
    • Blue is the primary clothing color for Chika.
    • Miu prefers her clothes to be Pink/Red.
    • Matsuri wears primarily green clothing.
    • Ana's clothes are either Lavender or White.
  • Kiddie Kid: The younger girls are 11 and 12 years old, but tend to act more like eight-year-olds.
  • Meaningful Name: In the dictionary episode, the girls look up the meaning of their own names - Nobue means "increase faith," Chika implies "thousands of skills" - basically being good at lots of things, Miu means "beautiful wings", (and she's very proud of it), and Matsuri means "festival", and it's also a type of flower.
    • Ana is furious when Miu spells her name in kanji to mean "hole", "bone", and "cave", which becomes a Running Gag.

    Nobue Ito 

Nobue Ito

Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (Japanese), Carol Anne Day (English)

The oldest of the bunch, at 16 years old (20 in the anime). Elder sister to Chika, whom she loves to mess with when in need of money to feed her smoking habit.

  • Age Lift: Goes from 16 in the manga to 20 in the anime in order to keep from displaying underage smoking and drinking (in the animé, she at first claims to be 16, but then admits, that it was a lie).
  • Audience Surrogate: Arguably.
  • Berserk Button: Don't make jokes about her age or weight, or else she'll kick your ass, or at least scribble nonsense on your face.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Frequently exhibits a protective attitude towards Matsuri and Ana, hardly ever to her actual sister, however.
  • Cool Big Sis: She nominally functions as one to Chika, but acts more like this toward Chika's not-Miu friends.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Her trigger is Ana and Matsuri.
  • Evil Chef: One time, when Miu kept dragging the rest of the crew to the café, where Nobue worked part-time and repeatedly extorted fancy ice cream from her, she spiked Miu's ice cream with hot sauce. This escalated to a big food fight between Miu and Nobue, which got Nobue fired and not only without pay for the days she worked there, but even with debts to the café for cleaning and damages.
  • Gallows Humor:
    Nobue: "Matsuri! it's Miu! She's dead!"
  • Woman Child: She's definitely not above playing pranks on the girls...
  • Must Have Nicotine
  • Tomboy: She's deeply embarrassed by the frilly skirt and pinny she has to wear for her part-time job at a family restaurant - the girls can't believe what she's wearing.

    Chika Ito 

Chika Ito

Voiced by: Saeko Chiba (Japanese), Wendy Morrison (English)

Nobue's younger sister, a laid-back 6th grader. Described by her as the "normal" one of the group.

    Miu Matsuoka 

Miu Matsuoka

Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese), Caitlynne Medrek (English)

Nobue and Chika's neighbor, who seems to spend a lot more time at the Ito house than her own. She is in the same grade as Chika, and has been friends with Chika since they were little.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Though Chika doesn't like to admit it, she does secretly find some of Miu's pranks funny.
  • Attention Whore: Miu does everything she can to "act cute" to try to get Nobue to notice her over Ana and Matsuri, often resulting in Miu getting bonked on the head.
  • Black Comedy Rape: As seen when Ana needs a yukata:
    Nobue: "Miu, take off your clothes."
    Miu: "Oh please no, Lord Magistrate!"
    Nobue: "Idiot..."
  • The Chew Toy: She has it coming, since she's often a pain in other people's asses and gets faceplanted by Nobue and the others for this.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander
    Miu (whilst dressed as a doctor): "I'd describe your condition as "clenchy".
  • Cute Little Fangs: Occasionally flashes these in moments of mischief.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Tries to use this to her advantage, but fails repeatedly.

    Matsuri Sakuragi 

Matsuri Sakuragi

Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Kylie Beaven (English)

A 5th grader who is friends with Chika and Miu. She is timid and tends to scare (and fall down) easily. Nevertheless, Nobue seems to be attracted to her particular brand of cuteness for some reason.

  • Cat Girl: Ashamed of her odd hair, she invests in a cute hat with cat-ears attached. Bizarrely, she spontaneously sprouts a cat tail as well. Nobue, quite taken with her new look, insists she add a little "Nyah" (meow!) to the end of every sentence...
    Matsuri: "Konnichi-nyah~"
  • Skunk Stripe: A very curious example, Matsuri's hair grows out greyish white from the roots, leaving only about half her hair length a natural brown colour.

    Ana Coppola 

Ana Coppola

Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Katie Rowan (English)

Originally from Cornwall, England, Ana is one of Matsuri's classmates. She loves Japanese culture, but tries to disguise this fact in front of her peers even though her family has lived in Japan for a while and, as a result, don't speak English as much anymore.

Ana first appears in Episode 2 of the anime, and chapter 11 of the manga.

  • Big Fancy House: Ana's house is huge by Japanese comparison, and actually has a proper lawn (as well as a fancy gate-buzzer), which is a rarity reserved for only the very wealthy.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Her dog, Frusciante (dubbed "Fu-chan" by Miu).
  • British Stuffiness / Japanese Politeness: She presents a curious blend of both, and is often seen to be very flustered and confounded by the mayhem surrounding her.
  • Fauxreigner: Zig-zagged: Although she is a foreigner (she and both of her parents are British), she lived in Japan from a young age and only spoke only Japanese even at home, resulting in her almost entirely forgetting her own mother tongue. She tried to feign ignorance of Japanese language and customs and proficiency in the English language, but failed at both tasks (the Japanese language and culture were too deeply ingrained in her for that, her Japanese classmates speak English better than her and she has a better command of the Japanese language than her native Japanese classmates have). That bothers and embarrasses her very much, since she wants to keep her cultural identity and connection with her country of birth and even tries to re-learn English with her friend Matsuri's help.
  • Gorgeous Gaijin: In-universe example - when Nobue meets Ana for the first time (whilst a little tipsy), she's instantly smitten with her.
    Nobue (thinking): "Smooth, blond hair, clear blue eyes, skin as white as porcelain, slender long legs..."
    Nobue: "She's mine!!!" *Glomp*
  • Gratuitous English: Having lived in Japan for so long has seriously impaired her ability to speak her native tongue, so when she actually does try to speak English, it comes out like this.
  • Heritage Disconnect: She has lived in Japan so long she's more Japanese than her Japanese peers, culturally speaking. This bothers her enough to ramp up the "foreignness" at school and work with Matsuri to re-learn English.
  • Keigo: Ironically, Ana speaks in a much more formal tone of Japanese than the rest of the girls, especially Nobue....
  • New Transfer Student
  • Occidental Otaku: Though she'd never admit it of course, as she's a proud Brit.
  • Ojou
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Blue eyes? Check. Golden hair? Check. Originally from an English-speaking country? Check.
    • It's fairly justified where Ana is concerned, as England (being in Northern Europe) is a nation with a relatively high occurrence of fair-hair, especially amongst children.
  • Token White: She's the only non-Japanese member of the main cast.
  • The West Country: Her origin, before the move to Japan.

Alternative Title(s): Ichigo Mashimaro


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