Thursday, August 26, 2010
According to the announcement in Ribon magazine (click to enlarge), the new series will be set several years after the current one, when the lead character, Ichigo, is no longer a 14-year-old girl but a young woman, and some new characters will enter the scene.
The original series will reach its 50th episode by the end of September, and the new series will start Sunday 3 October. I expect the new series will be scheduled to last a full year, as well.
A post on 2channel today calls the series worthy of the classic World Masterpiece Theatre animes, and says Japan can be proud of it across the world. That might be going too far, but it is definitely a fine show, and one that I myself look forward to every week. It may be aimed mainly at pre-teen girls, but its quality, intelligence, and cuteness give it broad appeal.
It is definitely clean and wholesome, and has good character educational aspects, as well as giving some culinary education. It is a 7:30 am Sunday morning show designed to help sell a line of baking toys and games to young girls, but that doesn't mean it can't be a good anime, too.
The writing is good, and the voice acting is excellent, especially from the star, Yuuki Aoi, who plays Ichigo, a clumsy girl with no talents but an excellent palate and a love of patisseries. In season one, her palate is discovered and she gets the chance to attend a school for aspiring pastry-cooks, where she meets three "sweets princes," the top students in her year, and finds her "sweets spirit," Vanilla, who with other magical spirits helps her and the others create great desserts.
The show is from a manga running in Ribon magazine, adapted by Yamada Takashi, who has been responsible for Ojamajo Doremi, Onegai My Melody Kirara, Shion No Ou, Marie and Gali, and Heartcatch Precure, among other shows.
The director is Suzuki Iku, who has done shows like DearS, Moonlight Mile, and Weiss Survive. Whether the same staff will continue for the second series is not yet known. Animation is by Studio Hibari, which has done Major, Moonlight Mile, Sumomomo Momomo, and other shows.
There is also excellent seiyuu work from Taketatsu Ayana, who plays Vanilla; from Yahagi Sayuri, who plays Ichigo's rival; from Okamoto Nobuhiko, Hamazoe Shinya, and Yonaga Tsubasa, who play the sweets princes; from Kitamura Eri, who plays the school's top student; and from young Iino Mayu, who plays the sweets spirit Caramel.