Short Notes on “Memories”

 
What is there really to say about "Memories?" We learn that Nagisa is easily frightened by scary stories, and when she retreats into Tamao’s bed at night for comfort, we see how much a child she is, and how her relationship with Tamao is bound up with this immaturity. Sleeping with Tamao is not intimacy. The sequence in which the animation focuses upon her hand, as it clutches Tamao’s for support, releasing it when she sleeps, or later, when they hear the strange noises, and Nagisa clutches Tamao again, only to release her hand when they realize the to-do is about a cat, shows us that her fear is essentially self-concern, not a connection with Tamao.
 
In terms of the narrative, the episode delays any movement toward resolution of the romances, by covering staples of school life (this time it is scary stories, in the upcoming episodes it will be final exams and summer camp, and so on) and by filling in the backstory (Shizuma and Miyuki in their first year) and the sidestory (Tamao’s interest in Nagisa). The game of romance in Strawberry Panic is to bring the romance closer to fulfillment and to delay it simultaneously. So far as this strategy succeeds in intensifying our interest in the denoument, the episode works–or not. Some are more successful than others. Since this episode for the most part pushes Nagisa back, toward childishness and away from Shizuma, I include it with the less compelling ones.
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