Strawberry Panic! (ストロベリー・パニック!, Sutoroberī Panikku!) is a series of Japanese fictional illustrated short stories written by Sakurako Kimino. The original artist was Chitose Maki, who was succeeded by Namuchi Takumi when production of the manga and light novels began.
The series became sufficiently popular for Los Angeles-based company Seven Seas Entertainment to license the manga series and light novels for English language distribution. Strawberry Panic! is one of the debut titles on the company's Light Novel and Strawberry (for yuri manga) production lines. An anime series was produced in 2006 by Madhouse and is licensed by Media Blasters. A visual novel was produced in 2006 by MediaWorks for the PlayStation 2.
There is a slight difference in the title of the series between media and national affiliation. The original short stories, manga, light novels, and video game used the exclamation mark in the title; the anime excluded it. When the manga and light novel series were licensed for English language distribution, Seven Seas Entertainment did not use the exclamation mark in the title. The appearance of the logo for Strawberry Panic! has changed four times. The subtitle Girls' School in Fullbloom was added during the short stories stage, and later appeared on the Japanese covers of the light novels, manga, and video game version, but was excluded from the anime adaptation and the English covers of the light novels and manga.
The setting for Strawberry Panic! is Astraea Hill (アストラエアの丘, Asutoraea no Oka), a very large hilltop where the three affiliated schools of Miator, Spica and Lulim, are located. Each school has its own student council, which governs the matters of each respective school. Periodically the three student councils, along with the Etoiles, meet in the Astraea Joint Student Council. The Astraea Hill school system employs the Scottish system of grade numbering. Students are ranged from grades one through six, the equivalent of the three years of junior-high and high school in Japan, and seventh through twelfth grade in North America.
The hill is known as a sacred area which no men are allowed to enter. A prominent feature is a very large Catholic church in the center of the hill near a small lake; the church can be seen from a long distance away. There is a horse ranch at Spica. The students may go and study for their classes at a library on the lake's shore. Although only implied in the anime, the manga explains that the library building has another name, "The Secret Garden". It is well-known on campus as a rendezvous for secret lovers.
Students living on campus occupy a dormitory referred to as the "Strawberry Dorms" (いちご舎, Ichigo Sha; lit. "Strawberry House"), although its correct name is Astraea Dormitory, named after Astraea Hill. The building is a triangular shape, allowing for the segregation of students from the three schools; each section is about the same size. It was built about 100 years before the story begins, around the same time that Miator was established, for students whose homes are far away. Each student is assigned a roommate in their year until graduation. If there is an odd number of students enrolled in a given year, one of the new students must live alone until a student in their year transfers into their school. The building's name is based on its similarity to the cross-section of a strawberry viewed from above. When Strawberry Panic! was initially created, the three schools were arranged in a triangle, with the Strawberry Dorms in the center, and the dormitory was not a single building but three separate dormitories also arranged in a triangle around a central courtyard.