Overall Rating: A
Summary: Created by Barasui, this comedy/slice of life manga follows Nobue and her younger sister Chika, Miu, Matsuri and Ana through their everyday lives. What separates Strawberry Marshmallow from other slice of life comedies like Azumanga Daioh or Lucky Star is that the 16-year-old Nobue drinks and smokes, and acts like an irresponsible adult. In many ways, she fills the adult role that teachers and parents usually fill in these types of series. In other words, she is dysfunctional and the younger characters (everyone else is 11-12) seem more mature at times.
Of course, the group also has it's requisite moe characters in the form of Matsuri and Ana. In one chapter, Nobue forces Matsuri to wear a cat hat and tail, and say "meow" after everything, including when trying to purchase a new hat from a salesperson. Ana (who isn't introduced until volume 2) is from England, but has lived in Japan for five years and has forgotten how to speak proper English. Nonetheless, she decides that she is only going to speak in English and pretend not to understand Japanese, which inevitably leads to hilarity.
In contrast, Chika is portrayed as being the most responsible girl in the group (including Nobue), and is usually the voice of reason and an excellent cook. Miu on the other hand is the "problem child" of the group, says weird things out of the blue, and tries to play pranks on Matsuri and Ana.
I really enjoy slice of life manga and anime, and so it's no surprise I like Strawberry Marshmallow. I've read the first two volumes so far, and 3-4 are on the nightstand. If you enjoy this style, this one is definitely up your alley, but if you have a cuteness allergy, you should probably stay away!