Strawberry sea mousse by Bryan Golden takes you to a magical and vibrant underwater world where Frasei, a young mermaid, attends the Delphic Academy. The colorful and vibrant art style and challenging character arcs will draw you in. The story incorporates familiar tropes from Japan’s magical girl genre, but the characters and story are too endearing to pass up.
In strawberry foam, Frasei’s dream of going to the Delphic Academy, where young mermaids like her hone their magical craft, turns into reality on her first day there. She befriends Rogue, Bijou, and Sage, who, like Frasei, gain the ability to transform into magical versions of themselves (Sage is a magical boy). Together, they protect their sea from the sea witch Delmare and her minions while keeping their new powers a secret at the Academy. But Delmare’s greatest threat has yet to arrive, and it seems that Frasei and his friends must prepare for it.
Strawberry sea mousse reminds me of magical girl anime like Marine Moon, princess tutuand Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. With its artistic style, it is adorable and uplifting at the same time. Young women (and men) teaming up to help others and themselves. Fight the villain’s henchman or monster of the week. An animal companion who guides them—in this case, a young dolphin carrying a float named Sun. With a good balance of humor and action, the story knows when to explore serious themes and issues.
The story touches on the themes of self-esteem and mental health. Snape, at first, appears to be gifted, at the top of the Academy. However, in reality, her parents push her to work harder. Rogue, depressed and struggling with her self-esteem, is cursed during Frasei’s first battle with Delmare’s minions. Rogue’s insecurities show up in an evil shadow of herself, and even after defeating her, the shadow returns. Sage attends the Mermaid Academy, but he possesses the rare power to give good or bad luck – a power usually inherited from mermaids. He initially doubts his chances of transferring to Delphic Academy, but later becomes confident in himself. Really, the characters are lovable and complicated, and even the villain becomes more than meets the eye.
A beautiful and layered story, Strawberry sea mousse celebrates friendship and self-esteem. It’s a webcomic with well-drawn transformation sequences (changing tails!) and a great soundtrack.
Strawberry sea mousse is available to read on WebToon.
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Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) with Mason Jar Press.
Location: DC Metro Area
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