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I My Me! Strawberry Eggs (あぃまぃみぃ!ストロベリー・エッグ Ai Mai Mi! Sutoroberī Eggu?), occasionally shortened to Strawberry Eggs, is a 2001 Japanese anime series animated by TNK with co-production by Pioneer, LDC. The series aired from July 4 to September 26, 2001 by WOWOW and in August 2002 was licensed by Geneon Entertainment to Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. to publish a DVD release. American English dubbing was produced by New Generation Pictures at recording studio The Post Office, LLC.

Plot

Hibiki Amawa is an enthusiastic young man whose dream career is to be a professional teacher, having graduated from college with a certificate in athletics. When he is unable to pay his landlady, Lulu Sanjo, the monthly rent for his apartment, he rushes off to the nearby (fictional) Seito Sannomiya Private School to apply for a position that is open, but is summarily denied employment because of his gender. Offended, and more determined than ever to have his way, Hibiki vows to demonstrate the merits of his educational philosophy to his detractors, and with offered help from Lulu, agrees to disguise himself by cross-dressing in order to deceive the school's misandrist administration. With assistance from some gadgets Lulu engineered for this purpose, he disguises himself very convincingly. Following an initial demonstration of his merits as an educator, he is hired.

Unfortunately for Hibiki, however, life as a gym teacher at this school does not go completely smoothly. With interpersonal conflicts among students causing fights and occasional mild missteps endangering his disguise, Hibiki must not only mediate his class, but also keep up appearances and come to terms with what his disguise might imply about his sexuality.

Themes and Controversy

Cross-dressing and a taboo teacher-student romance are the main engines of conflict in this story, although the various characters' other concerns (such as the students' various romantic interests in each other) serve to complicate the story with many significant subplots. In spite of the many possible gender-bending implications of cross-dressing, there is no actual lesbianism or homosexuality in this story, other than a few characters mistakenly believing they have identified it in others and/or themselves. The teacher-student romance develops within this context, and is resolved along with it at the end.

Characters

Primary characters

Hibiki Amawa (天和 響 Amawa Hibiki?)
Voiced by: Yūji Kishi (male-Japanese), Yuki Masuda (female-Japanese), Crispin Freeman (male-English), Sally Dana (female-English)
The central protagonist of the series, Hibiki Amawa is a fairly typical college graduate whose goal is to become a professional school teacher. His life takes an unexpected turn in the process when, in order to pay off his apartment rent, he is forced to cross-dress in order to gain employment at the misandrist Seito Sannomiya Private School. His situation only gets more complicated when the school board grows suspicious of him, students take to fighting with each other, and one of the girls of his class develops romantic feelings for him. In spite of all the difficulties he faces on the job, however, Hibiki proves to be a very competent and focused young man who proves that, as a man or a woman, he is quite proficient at teaching physical fitness and at social counseling.
Lulu Sanjo (三条 るる Sanjō Ruru?)
Voiced by: Kujira (Japanese), J.E. Jaress (English)
Lulu Sanjo, more often referred to as "Baa-chan" ("Granny") by her tenants, is the tough-as-nails, pistol-packing landlady of the Gochiso apartments, which double as a school supply store that she also owns. Impressed by Hibiki's strong determination, she offers to help him in his mission, helping him disguise himself as a woman and maintain the disguise throughout his time on campus. In the final episode, it is heavily implied that Lulu is a crossdresser as well.
Fuko Kuzuha (樟葉 楓子 Kuzuha Fūko?)
Voiced by: Akeno Watanabe (Japanese), Carrie Savage (English)
Clumsy but selfless, Fuko Kuzuha is a student at the Seito Sannomiya Private School. Despite being accident prone, mild-mannered, and easily flustered, Fuko is a very strong-willed girl. Much to her personal anxiety, she starts admiring Hibiki's (still very masculine) personality in drag, and this admiration develops into a powerful romantic attraction, bringing her considerable gender confusion and shame. Her mother died when she was six years old and her widower father is a traveling businessman. Fuko resides at the school dormitories.

Secondary characters

Mori Koji
Voiced by: Katashi Ishizuka (Japanese), Taliesin Jaffe (English)
Mori Koji is a salaryman who is a tenant at the Gochiso apartments; room 101. He has a peculiar fascination with photographing schoolgirls' uniforms with his camera and unusually large mirror; frequently strapped on his back. He is good friends with Tofu Tofukuji.
Tofu "Kochi" Tofukuji
Voiced by: Yūji Ueda (Japanese), William Frederick Knight (English)
Tofu Tofukuji is a retired, elderly man lodging at the Gochiso apartments. He harbors a hebephilic interest in Fuko Kuzuha, shown by his photograph collection littered on his apartment walls. A (mostly) harmless, kind-hearted man, Tofukuji is often willing to sacrifice his own safety and freedom to help Hibiki; or otherwise satisfy his craving for upskirts. He is good friends with Mori Koji.
Kura Ge
Voiced by: Mae Yoshida
Hibiki's pet dog. Lulu ends up using Kura Ge as motivational collateral for the unpaid rent. While the breed of Kura Ge is never mentioned, he seems to resemble a Bichon. Kura Ge can usually be seen with a wooden sign hung around his neck that read feeble pointers or, more often than not, comedic statements.
Chieko Sannomiya
Voiced by: Rika Taniguchi (Japanese), Noelle DePaula (English)
Chieko Sannomiya is the eponymous principal of the Seito Sannomiya Private School. She was appointed office a decade prior to the story and carries herself in a conceited, yet formal, aristocratic manner. As a radical misandric, Sannomiya heavily supports feminism and irrationally views males as barbaric. At the conclusion of the series it is revealed that an incident between a man (hinted by Lulu) and her lead to her sexist ideology.
Reiko Mukogawa
Voiced by: Eriko Kawasaki (Japanese), Erica Shaffer (English)
Vice-principal of the Seito Sannomiya Private School. She works closely with Chieko Sannomiya, and like her, is a stern man-hater, resulting from a failed marriage. Mukogawa grows suspicious of Hibiki early into his career and tries debunking his identity several times. She has one child who is never mentioned to both the staff or students of the institution.
Fujio Himejima (姫島 藤緒 Himejima Fujio?)
Voiced by: Mikako Takahashi (Japanese), Jennifer Sekiguchi (English)
An aggressive tomboy, Fujio Himejima is a student at the school. She wears her hair in two loose pigtails, tied by her signature green bows. She has a black belt in Aikido and develops a crush on fellow student Akira Fukae, who unfortunately, does not reciprocate. Fujio resides in the dormitories.
Miho Umeda (梅田 美保 Umeda Miho?)
Voiced by: Omi Minami (Japanese), Suzy Harbulak (English)
Miho Umeda is a student at the school and is Fujio's closest friend. Her maturity is considerably more developed than her friends and this at times makes her behave in an arrogant manner; especially when it comes to her past and current experiences with boys. As a result, the other girls tend to look up to her and this prompts her to act like a role model for them. Miho resides in the dormitories. She is a foil to Seiko Kasuganomichi.
Seiko Kasuganomichi (春日野道 聖子 Kasuganomichi Seiko?)
Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese), Sienna Canyon (English)
Seiko Kasuganomichi is a fairly quiet student. Her family is wealthy and she is often seen as being sheltered. She is well known for getting uncomfortable, in some cases fainting, at the sight of naked men; photographic or physical. Fujio resides in the dormitories. She is a foil to Miho Umeda.
Akira Fukae (深江 晃 Fukae Akira?)
Voiced by: Yūji Ueda (Japanese), Ted Sroka (English)
Quiet and composed, Akira Fukae is one of the primary male students on campus. Even though he usually tends to be level-headed, Akira is not afraid to speak his mind or take a stand for what he believes he is fair and just. His father is a private investigator. He occasionally teases Fuko Kuzuha in a rude and hostile way, but despite this, he harbors a strong crush on her.
Kyosuke Aoki
Voiced by: Takayuki Yamaguchi (Japanese), Josh Phillips (English)
Kyosuki Aoki is another one of the few male students at the school, arguably the most energetic and is also the tallest; comparable to Miho Umeda to the girls. He is takes the biggest interest in Hibiki's drag and frequently proclaims it to her and the others. Is good friends with Akira Fukae.
Shoichi Iwaya
Voiced by: U-ko Tachibana (Japanese), Jaime Gallardo (English)
Another enrolled male student at the school and a close friend of Kyosuke Aoki. He is the most lecherous of the group.
Shiro Naruo
Voiced by: Norihisa Naruo (Japanese), Jonas Ball (English)
Another of the few male students. He is a gentle and quiet boy, who in episode eight is unjustly accused of stealing Reiko Mukogawa's salary when he is asked by Hibiki to visit the teacher's lounge and retrieve his grade book.

Production

The anime series is produced by TNK, with co-production by Pioneer, LDC, and is directed by Yuji Yamaguchi. The series aired in Japan on WOWOW between July 4 and September 26, 2001 containing thirteen episodes. The anime's original concept was by Yom who was assisted by Kenichi Murakami. The series structure and screenplay was written by Yasuko Kobayashi. The series was licensed by Geneon Entertainment in August 2002 to Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. to publish a DVD release. American English dubbing was produced by New Generation Pictures at recording studio The Post Office, LLC. A DVD box release with French subtitles was published on May 15, 2008 by Anima.

Two pieces of theme music were used for the anime; one opening theme and one ending theme. The opening theme is "Dearest" sung by Hitomi Nozaki, with lyrics by Syoko Sawada, and arrangement by Masala Nishida. The ending theme is "White Station" by Acefile composed of Mae Yoshikawa, Marina Kushi, Asagi Kudo, Saori Nara, with lyrics by Rei Yoshii, and arrangement by Masala Nishida. Other music was provided by Masala Nishida.

Episodes

# Title Original air date
01 Desperate First Lipstick
"Haisui no Fāsuto Rūju" (背水のファーストルージュ)
July 4, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Hibiki Amawa moves into the Gochiso apartments, only to find out that rent is supposed to be paid in advance. Unable to meet the quota, he rushes to get a job at the nearby Seito Sannomiya Private School to apply for a position. He is rejected employment because of his sex, so with the help of his landlady Lulu Sanjo, Hibiki disguises himself as a woman to get the job.
02 Forbidden Narrow Eyeliner
"Kindan no Giri Giri Airain" (禁断のギリギリアイライン)
July 11, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A mysterious voyeur begins to frequently appear on the dormitory property so to keep the girls safe, Hibiki is instructed to temporarily live with them.
03 Selfish Blush Magic
"Migatte na Chīku Majikku" (身勝手なチークマジック)
July 18, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Dissatisfied with the long pleated skirts the girls wear during athletics class, Hibiki tries to introduce buruma as an alternative.
04 Delicate Tear Concealer
"Bimyō na Tia Konshīrā" (微妙なティアコンシーラー)
July 25, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
It's parents weekend and when it's Hibiki's turn, the parents are asked to join the class. But who will be there for Fuko? Mori and Tofu attempt to enter the school as parents.
05 Wicked Dream Foundation
"Ja na Dorīmu Fande" (邪なドリームファンデ)
August 1, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The school schedules a physical examination of all students, and suspicious of Hibiki's identity, Vice-principal Reiko Mukogawa makes him take one too.
06 Fragile Powder Puzzle
"Garasu Tachi no Paudā Pazuru" (硝子たちのパウダーパズル)
August 8, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Hibiki is worried that he's become more of a woman since he's disguised as a woman. A fight starts between the children. But who started it? Meanwhile Tofu and Mori try to dig under the school.
07 Longed For Complexion Toner
"Akogare Iro no Feisu Karā Chūn" (憧れ色のフェイスカラーチューン)
August 22, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The school's director wants Hibiki to marry his nephew. The students hear about this and decide to spy on his nephew. Can Hibiki stop this marriage in time?
08 Rebellious Eyelash Curler Boys
"Hangyaku no Byūrā Bōizu" (反逆のビューラーボーイズ)
August 29, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The male students become very unhappy when Shiro Naruo, a friend, is accused of stealing Reiko Mukogawa's salary. They rebel against the school and protest by threatening the safety of a priceless statute in exchange for equal rights.
09 A Midsummer's Night Sexy Gloss
"Manatsu no Yoru no Sekushī Gurosu" (真夏の夜のセクシーグロス)
September 5, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Hibiki's class goes on a camping trip where affections blossom between students; including Hibiki who has an admirer himself.
10 Bemusing Love Palette
"Konwaku no Rabu Paretto" (困惑のラブパレット)
September 12, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Fujio Himejima tries to confess her feelings to Akira Fukae with the help of Miho Umeda, but things do not go as planned.
11 Fragrance Heart to Adulthood
"Otona e no Fureguransu Hāto" (大人へのフレグランスハート)
September 19, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Still affected about the events of yesterday Fuko feels confused and worried about her feelings and goes missing from school. This prompts everyone to search for her.
12 Cleansing Shock of Deception
"Itsuwari no Kurenjingu Shokku" (偽りのクレンジングショック)
September 25, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
When Hibiki is taken to a hospital to recover from burns the day before, Fuko and Akira visit him. Reiko Mukogawa visits too, hoping to photograph Hibiki out of drag.
13 Someday, Without Make-up As Promised
"Itsuka Yakusoku no Nō Meiku" (いつか約束のノーメイク)
September 26, 2001 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Reiko Mukogawa exposes Hibiki's identity with photographs from her visit to the hospital. With this evidence she calls upon the parents and students of the school to promote its change to an all-girls institution. Fuko Kuzuha takes a stand against this and rushes after Hibiki who is shamefully departing from the city. At the end, it is hinted that Lulu is a man that was the last male teacher at their school. It also is hinted that Akira Fukae is starting to accept Fujio Himejima as a friend.

Adaptations

Manga

A manga adaption was serialized in MediaWorks' Dengeki Daioh magazine between December 21, 2001 to February 25, 2002.

References

External links

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