Anime and Poison: Japan’s love of Strawberries!

Why does poison have to taste so good? I still remember the day I tasted the most delicious poison in the world. I was still in preschool and my mom made an extra special dessert to celebrate my older sister getting an award at school. She put a special ingredient that I had never tasted before in red jello and topped it with a blob of fluffy whip cream. Strawberries! I was in heaven! The treat looked so cute! My mom had sliced the berries so they looked like little hearts floating in red jiggliness, and it tasted sooo good! I might have only been about 4 years old, but I decided there and then that this was my favorite dessert! And then after a few more bites, my head started feeling kind of funny. My mouth started hurting and I remember my mom saying with alarm that I had turned bright red. I don’t remember what happened after that, but I woke up in the hospital. Surprise, surprise I was allergic to strawberries. Not kind of sort of allergic, like if I take one bite of a strawberry someone better call an ambulance, because I need to get to an emergency room Now! Over the years I’ve developed a grudge against strawberries. They might look cute and smell so sweet, but that’s just to lure you in. Then, Bam! They up and poison you!

angry berries
They’re out to get me!

Though I love many things about Japan, why oh why does Japan love strawberries so much!? They are in everything. Pink Kitkats from Japan look cute right? Non! Those things are full of strawberry-ness. Fruit filled mochi sound tempting don’t they? Nein! There be strawberries lurking in those depths. Frothy pink macha latte in a can seems like a great treat right? Nay! There’s strawberries in there too! Think Japan’s love of strawberries ends at food, think again. Strawberries aren’t just in everything, they are on everything too. Buying some fluffy slippers from Japan? Expect there to be strawberries embroidered on the toes. Get a Hello Kitty plushy, she will probably be hugging a fuzzy strawberry. Looking for a rice cooker? Don’t worry, there are plenty with strawberry decals all over them too. Strawberries can even be found in anime.

They might look cute but . . .

Ichigo -Bleach


Many of you might already know this, but the Japanese word for strawberry is Ichigo. Though this is the first name of the main character of the anime Bleach, his name doesn’t actually mean strawberry it just kind of sounds like it. I know, it’s a bit confusing, but the Japanese language has a lot of homonyms. To make things even more confusing, Ichigo’s (strawberry but not strawberry’s) hair is strawberry blond/orangey colored!

For anyone that doesn’t know, the anime Bleach is about a teenage hooligan type named Ichigo (not strawberry) and he can see ghosts. One night a weird girl wearing samurai clothes (Rukia) floats into Ichigo’s bed room and is startled by Ichigo actually seeing her. One thing leads to another and Ichigo learns that Rukia is a “Soul Reaper” a warrior that fights evil spirits. Well, Rukia finds a really big and bad evil spirit in Ichigo’s neighborhood and ends up getting hurt. To defeat the evil spirit she shares some of her spirit power with Ichigo and he turns into a Soul Reaper shinigami with a giant spirit sword. He chops up the bad guy and saves everyone in the neighborhood. Yay, he’s a hero! One little problem. She wasn’t supposed to share her powers with anyone, she wasn’t even supposed to tell anyone about herself. What she did was actually a crime in her culture. So now she has to train up Ichigo to be a full fledged Soul Reaper and she needs to regain her power so no one notices what she did and she doesn’t go to Soul Reaper jail!

Giant spirit swords do wonders as bad guy repellent!

So, for all the fans of Bleach who are still a little confused at this point, it’s official from the creator of the Bleach manga, that Ichigo is not named strawberry. . . but he kind of is.

Ichigo is not strawberry, but kind of is!

Strawberry picking -Card Captor Sakura

sakura and tomoyo
I would be crying too if I had to go on a strawberry field trip!

Card Captor Sakura is an adorable anime about an elementary school girl (Sakura) who finds a magic book in her dad’s library and accidentally releases a bunch of magical cards from it. Now with the help of the magical beast that was supposed to be guarding the book, she has to track down and capture the cards before they can run a muck.

picking strawberries
If I even touch strawberries, I break out in hives!

There are so many ultra cute episodes in the Card Captor Sakura anime, why did there have to be an episode about picking strawberries?! In episode 38 of the series, Sakura and all of her adorable classmates are on a field trip to a strawberry farm to pick berries. Unfortunately, half way through their field trip the kids are informed that one of the events, making poison cakes (ahem) strawberry short cakes has been canceled because the kitchen door is stuck closed. When Sakura and friends go to investigate they find that the door opens just fine, but once they enter the room the door slams shut and won’t open! It ends up it’s the Lock card causing trouble. Nothing a magic girl like Sakura can’t handle! Now if only Sakura could wack strawberries with her magic wand and make them disappear.

Beware strawberries, she’s armed and dangerous!

Sharing Strawberries -Ouran High school Host Club

cast of ouran high school host club

Ouran High School Host Club is an anime about a sloppily dressed Haruhi, who was looking for someplace quiet to study, but instead stumbled into the school’s host club. While there she accidentally broke a precariously placed vase, so now she has to work off the debt by helping out at the host club.

In episode 10 of Ouran High School Host Club, everyone from the Host Club is enjoying some tea and strawberry cake over at Haruhi’s home. Mori being a gentleman, of course shares his extra strawberries with Haruhi because she especially likes them. Though it’s a sweet moment when we get to see a rare softer side of Mori, I can’t help but think that if I was Haruhi, that gesture would be an assassination attempt rather than generosity.

Strawberry Cake -Every Cute Anime Ever!

strawberry cake
In every cute anime ever!

Yes, without any exception that I’ve seen, every cute anime will have at least one episode that features strawberry cake in some way. Whhyyy! Strawberries aren’t even that easy to draw!

strawberry cake
Really, what’s with all the strawberry cakes?
strawberry cake
They are everywhere!
strawberry cake
It’s like no one in anime can have tea without it!
strawberry cake
Uhg, why!?

2 thoughts on “Anime and Poison: Japan’s love of Strawberries!

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