Super Gals

May 28, 2011

Is there a difference between a girl and a gal? Apparently there is if you watch Super Gals. From what I can tell, being a gal means wearing trendy clothes with the latest and trendiest accessories and hanging out with your pals in busy-cum-crowded commercial districts. Sounds like a trend and a step to become a public nuisance or delinquent, eh? Unless you’re Ran Kotobuki, that’s a totally entirely different story. This 52 episode anime series may seem like a show about bratty girls going about and living their gal lives. However there is much more than to just these trouble teenage girls as viewers can learn some slice of life lessons, laugh out at some ridiculous comedic moments and endure the love pangs of the characters as each day passing by promises to be different and exciting. I’m not really going into my usual episode by episode blog (read: lazy) so those wanting to have a brief summary of the episode can go to TV.com or Enoki Films for it. There is the good ol’ Wikipedia too for some other information such as brief descriptions of the characters but just like many old anime shows, don’t expect much or to be brimming with lots of info. So my blog will be just listing down the memorable stuff from the series.

Ran Kotobuki – The main protagonist and the girl who ‘owns’ Shibuya. No, her father isn’t the mayor of this Tokyo ward but rather she is the number one gal in Shibuya. Literally everyone who walks in that town knows who she is. Like your typical gal who loves to party and have fun, Ran loves spending her time hanging out in the streets of Shibuya and goofing off rather than doing those boring stuff like studying. Something that athletic and iron-willed gal is weak at. Yeah, I guess nobody is perfect. However she isn’t all just fun and games as she also protects the street she loves by kicking ass of small time criminals like lady harassers or snatch thieves with her trademark platform boots boomerang kick. You really got to love how it really does fly back right back into her feet! Yeah, why do we need the police in Shibuya if we have Ran keeping it safe? But don’t be fooled that if you think Ran is totally a good hearted person all the time. Unless she wants to help you, don’t even bother coming to beg her for help because she isn’t going to do something that is troublesome (from her point of view). But there’s always a way around it. She’ll make a total u-turn and go all out to fulfil that request if you bribe her with fashion accessories like nail polish or best of all, free food. Beware though, she has a food grudge too and if you’re responsible for ruining her meal, you’d be regretting that you’re ever being born. Ever. This girl really does have a big appetite and ‘runs out of fuel’ when she’s hungry. She has winner’s complex and would get herself into any kind of competition no matter how silly the title is because she just loves to win. Yeah, a simpleton.

Police story – Ironically, Ran is the daughter of a family that holds its pride in its generation of being police officers. Local detective chief Dad Taizo whose wife, Kiyoka who is also a police officer, is always trying to persuade Ran to become an officer like her other siblings, Yamato and Sayo but Ran always boldly tells him straight that she isn’t interested in becoming an officer and will never be one! Oh, a father’s heartbreak. Not even Taizo’s Giant Swing (used as punishment) won’t change that gal’s mind.

Megumi Toyoguchi – The voice behind Ran. Due to Ran’s character and the first time I heard her being her typical loudmouth, it reminded me so much of Burn Up Scramble’s Rio Kinezono! See the similarities of both anime characters that she voiced? Ironically, Rio is a policewoman having love problems (as opposed to the Rio in the original Burn Up series in which she has money problems) and Ran here comes from a generation of police officers. It feels like they’re both the same character but in a different anime.

Case of a serial liar – As we all know by now how Ran isn’t good at school work and never finishes her homework on time. So much so when it is time to hand it up, she’ll cook up exaggerate long unbelievable stories like how she was abducted by aliens and her journey throughout the world that made her unable to complete it. I’m sure her homeroom teacher, Nakanishi has heard it plenty of times and each time having to whack her with a harisen (paper fan). Yeah, that harisen is even exclusively for Ran! And at the end of that tall tale, Ran will just spit out the real truth. Well, not much difference too because Nakanishi will still be pissed off and trying to reprimand Ran. Can she actually make it to the next grade?! She might be dumb in that sense, but she’s not that stupid. If she was, she probably wouldn’t know how to make up all those creative lies as it involves geographic locations and some common sense.

Miyu Yamazaki – Ran’s classmate and best friend. Another independent and strong girl as she comes from a broken family. She is in lovey-dovey relationship with Ran’s older brother, Yamato. Though she may look cute and nice upfront but she hides a dark past of being a leader of a gang called Resistance. A troubled kid then who always got into fights. When she and Ran first met, it’s not like they really like each other as Ran was of course bribed to change Miyu.  She changed over a new leaf and cast away her past when Yamato deeply cares for her after getting into a final recent fight with another gang, Eagles.

Aya Hoshino – Ran and Miyu’s latest close friend after Ran ‘saved’ this model student from compensation dating. Unlike Ran, Aya is a total opposite as she isn’t confident or honest of showing her true feelings. She is shy but studious so it doesn’t take a genius who Ran comes after for help when her homework deadline nears. You know, Ran is so unashamed of her unfinished work that she even has the cheek to ask other people to complete it for her!

Sayo Kotobuki and Masato Iwai – The pair of junior detectives obsessed with a famous cop movie called Run! Odaiba Cop and its lead character, Detective Kudou. They know every episode and have every darn merchandise and video on it. Both Sayo and Masato are so called dating (they have no qualms letting others know that they are a couple) and often role plays as detectives to keep Shibuya safe. But sometimes you wonder if a bunch of kids can really do the job as it seems that they’re just playing around (like those dramatic scenes in public that Sayo is going to ‘die’) so it’s hard to take them seriously. But they do take their investigation seriously and with pride. Yeah, they even have their own detective theme song! Either way, you can’t hate them and in fact love them all because that the one and only Rie Kugimiya is the voice behind Sayo. Datchu!

Yamato Kotobuki – Miyu’s responsible and mature cop boyfriend and Ran’s older brother who is being stationed at Shibuya. Oddly the girls usually use his police box as another one of their hangout places.

Odaiba Shark – The cool lead of the Odaiba Cop series, never seen without his shades off. He might be famous but that popularity comes into question when Ran comes into the picture. You could say that during one of those hotspring trips where he was on site for a film shot, since Ran was there, her legion of fans swamped over her and his presence was even hardly noticed! Otherwise he brings hope and happiness in the eyes of Sayo with some words of wisdoms and lines from the show. Odaiba Shark never sleeps!

Rei Otohata and Yuya Asou – Both are the top ranking boys of Meisho Daichi High School. The kind of good looking boys that every other girl would love to swoon over. Both guys are good friends though their personality may contrast. Perhaps Rei’s coolness can be attributed to his cold and indifferent attitude. Is it a surprise why he doesn’t have any girlfriend because he rejects them? He is best described as a person who is a pro at evading answering the obvious questions. You’re not going to get a simple yes or no, but an answer something like it is up to you to decide. Yuya is friendlier and because of his second placing behind Rei in the rankings, Ran and her pals always call him ‘Second Place’. Is that an insult or what? Ah well, get use to it.

The Ganguro Girls trio – Those annoying tanned girls of Shibuya are always locking horns with Ran. But you know who always ends up on the losing side. I can never tell them apart except for their different coloured hairstyles of red, yellow and blue. They are loyal followers of Rei and would go to great lengths to ‘protect’ other girls from coming close to him. Not that he cares or minds what they do anyway.

Gal lingo – Throughout the series, there will be short notices to inform viewers the slang that gals spout. Though I find that many are just abbreviated forms of the words. I guess it should be common knowledge if you want to be a gal. Trivial advice: “If you fall 7 times, get up 8 times”. Heck, don’t fall in the first place then.

Tatsuki Kuroi – The ‘monkey boy’ from the neighbouring prefecture of Machida is also known as Machida Black for his para-para dance moves. Uses English in some of his lines and everyone calls him Tatsukichi.

Mami Honda – The daughter of the wealthiest and famous family in Japan. Not to be fooled by her debutante looks, proud and prideful Mami is also a gal and is the queen of Ikebukuro. She meets her rival in the form of Ran but in each challenge (whether it’s a ping pong match or snowboarding duel), she always loses out. If not, the match ends in a draw. How can you beat that girl and even on her own home turf? Mami’s dad has always told her daughter to be the best in everything so each flashback sees her undergoing ridiculous uncanny training for whatever ridiculous subject to be the best. She may be the best in everything (from tennis to racing and even play performances) but when it comes to just Ran, she can never come out tops. And is it fate to be cruel to her for Ran to always show up or bump into Mami at times when she doesn’t want to see that idiotic hyper active gal? Mami has a follower, Harue Kudou who was an ex-member of the gang Eagles. She holds a grudge against Miyu as the reason for making her ex-boyfriend breaking up with her but it’s actually that guy who is being a jerk.

Mami’s ridiculously long limousine – Seriously, how can that car even turn?! To house her clothing wardrobe? Why the heck does she need lots of sophisticated doors and locks too? Who wants to steal them?!

Mami’s ridiculously large mansion – Believe me, it covers a skiing resort and even a space shuttle launching pad. WTF?!

Para-para dance – I don’t know if this move was the craze many years back. Remember para-para sakura? Some of the scene changers see the characters in chibi form doing their own para-para dance (except for Yuya’s, which seems lot like a panic move) with an equally catchy para-para techno music. I also tried to imitate the para-para moves in the opening credits but found myself to be laughing at the end because it felt funny (not to mention how much I sucked). Hey, even Hachiko is doing it!

Hachiko – Remember that famous loyal dog? Shibuya has erected a statue to commemorate Hachiko but the odd part is how we see Ran and Tatsuki ‘using’ it by sitting on it to have a better view to search something or even seek solace by talking to it about their problems! Even if it’s an inanimate object, can’t help that even Hachiko would get upset about it, eh? On another note, an owl statue is erected for Ikebukuro because ‘fukuro’ means owl in Japanese (but I guess it’s just wordplay because it could also mean envelope). So when it comes down to the battle of Shibuya’s Ran and Ikebukuro’s Mami, it’s always dog against owl.

Ran’s first disciple – A girl named Maki from Hokkaido goes all the way to Shibuya to be Ran’s disciple since she idolizes her very much. Seems that got to her head as she uses her newfound fame to have guys treat her. Till they realize her ploy and are going to get back at her, Ran steps in to prove that Maki is just more than her disciple, but her friend. Maki goes home and hopes to work hard to become a full fledge gal like her.

Love matters – As we all know Sayo-Masato and Miyu-Yamato are inseparable couples. Yuya has a crush on Ran ever since they first met but due to her rambunctious nature and his own nervousness, he doesn’t pretty much get the chance. Till Tatsuki comes in and proclaims out loud that he wants to become her boyfriend (because they both do the para-para). To Yuya’s dismay, Ran actually finds Tatsuki amusing and agrees! They really seem to suit each other seeing that they both act like idiotic simpletons. Bakappuru (combination of baka couple)! Yuya tries several attempts to make himself look cooler and that ‘show boy’ Tatsuki an idiot but it always seems to backfire. Worse, Tatsuki calls him ‘brother’ and thinks Yuya is testing them to see the strength of their love. Later in the series, Yuya becomes Mami’s boyfriend due to some misunderstanding. He has to put up with it all as the rest think they’re going steady as a couple. He is going to take some time off Shibuya for a while. Mami has her fair share of failed relationship with boys who are just in for her family status but she really fell for Yuya because he sees Mami as Mami herself. On the other hand, Aya too has a crush on Rei but we all know the shy person she is and the cold jerk he is. Aya was once set up to confess to Rei but that guy bluntly rejected her. Poor Aya. Yeah, we know he’s trying to give her a heads up that he can’t make her happy so better get disappointed now than regret it later. But she kept persevering until Rei becomes her boyfriend. Well, actually it isn’t official that Rei accepted her. He’d just let her do what she wishes and did mention he prefer to see her smile. I know this may sound a little odd but you know, when you’re totally in love with a person, even if Rei warned he will end up hurting her if she continues to love him, Aya accepted that.

Grand Prix Race – There was this one episode whereby Yuya challenged Tatsuki to a race over Ran. Soon every other guy pops up and wants to join in to claim Ran as their boyfriend. Ran finds it interesting and approves it as the guys go through lots of challenge and in the end, only 4 of them remain. Yuya and Tatsuki are among them and the other 2 are actually underlings of Mami. Her idea of having them enter the race is so that when they win, they will proclaim their love to Ran and dump her for Mami. Seems great until halfway through the final climbing obstacle, the guys betrayed her and wanted to truly claim Ran for their own because they don’t want to have anything to do with that bossy psycho b*tch anymore! Though they falter, Yuya and Tatsuki were just inches away from the goal but failed to cross it due to Yuya’s realization of fear of heights. Nobody wins and they had to disperse before the police take them in.

Towa Himeji – The owner of a cafe called Palm Tree that was in danger of being shut down but Ran and her pals helped out and managed to keep the cafe open. Seems Towa is the only person that Ran can’t stand up too because Towa threatens to spill embarrassing details of Ran if she doesn’t do as she is told (Ran and Towa know each other since childhood days). Towa is also close friends with that Odaiba Shark guy. Later Miyu works part time at Palm Tree to supplement her income.

Kasumi Tsukino – When rumours that Ran is turning into a nasty gal, it actually turns out to be a bratty kid that is sullying Ran’s name and even went to great lengths pulling nasty pranks on her friends like destroying Miyu’s precious handphone and ripping Aya’s train pass. Seems Kasumi wants to be the number one gal in Shibuya and like they say, this place isn’t big enough for the both of them. But you know, all her silly attempts to embarrass Ran and make her leave Shibuya flops big time. She is so annoying (even much more than Mami) and uses so many dirty tactics in her lame attempts, I was hoping she would be killed off somehow. However towards the end of the series, seems she isn’t all that b*tch when she competes in a flea market sale with Ran to buy a coat that she believes is the gal idol she adores. Though Kasumi lost out (she had to refund a kid who bought her defective toy) and was to admit defeat, she receives the coat from Towa and from the way things show, Towa may be just that gal whom Kasumi admired.

Naoki Kuroi – This skateboard kid is Tatsuki’s little brother and easily falls in love with almost any girl he sees. It all started after seeing a sticker from Tatsuki bearing Ran’s face and tries to take Ran as his girlfriend. Ultimately he loses out in some ramen battle with Tatsuki and probably he did all this was just to remind his brother about taking over their dad’s ramen business. Just like Ran, Tatsuki would prefer to do as he wishes to. Naoki becomes part of the junior detectives, joining Sayo and Masato’s detective role plays. Naoki’s falling-in-love trend continues with other girls like Miyu, Towa and Sayo. All ending up in heartbreak of course. In the final episode, he seems to have fallen for Kasumi.

Those guys – Why is it that the guys in Shibuya do not have any second thoughts about being rough with a lady or gal? Maybe Shibuya is a tough place so they’re exercising gender equality? Not. What about those guys who just easily come up to a girl and try to hit on them even though they really don’t want their company? Thank goodness we have Ran around.

Love hurts – What is love without its fair share of pangs and problems. There are quite a few of them. There was an episode whereby Ran believed some handphone fortune telling because it was quite accurate. Part of its advice to avoid disaster befalling on her was to avoid certain circumstances and it seems to point towards Tatsuki. Poor Tatsuki thought Ran was avoiding him and to make things worse, he saw her hanging out with Yuya. Once he manages to discover the root of the mystery, they’re back to being the bakappuru they happily are. Don’t believe everything you read, girl. Towards the end of the series, Tatsuki feels that his love with Ran hasn’t advanced to the next stage (not even kissed? Not even holding hands?) and questions if Ran really does love him. Of course Ran has her own gal pride so it’s obvious Tatsuki tells her straight that there is a girl who cares for him back in Machida so he’s not going to be in Shibuya for a while. Though this caused Ran to be a little alarmed, nevertheless she plays it down. Turns out that girl Tatsuki was referring to was his teacher who was supposed to guide him to pass his exams. Phew. After being around Mami for too long and seeing how Tatsuki and Ran are perfect for each other, Yuya is ready to confess that he is ready to leave Ran in Tatsuki’s hands and happy to settle with Mami. Before he could speak any further, Mami misinterprets this as his attempt to confess his love for Ran. Mami challenges Ran to another ultimate life-and-death battle over Yuya. Both girls give it their best shot but there seems to be no end. Till Yuya finally intervened and accepted Mami. To her, he’ll always be number one in her heart. Aw… We all know how cruel Rei can be as he seems to be ‘neglecting’ Aya. So much so Aya has that Otohata Syndrome. She feels distant from Rei as each passing day. A senior classmate, Kazuki Katase notices Aya’s suffering, comforts and helps her out. In no time, Aya and Katase start dating and Rei doesn’t seem fazed because well, it was her decision. There are even times Katase confronts Rei about him mistreating Aya but the latter doesn’t even bat an eyelid. Aya and Katase seem to fit each other since they’re both studious. Aya spends more time with him studying and less time with her gal pals. However it seemed forced. Each time she talks about her pals, Katase would shrug it off and that they’re from different worlds. The last straw came when he mocks her pals. It is later revealed that Katase did a despicable act by trying to steal exam questions due to pressure from his family’s expectations. He thought Aya and him were the same but thinks their difference is that Aya is more true to herself. Katase soon leaves to study overseas and I guess this case opens the door to Aya’s heart that Rei is still the only one for her. Though it may seem that Aya and Rei are back but trouble starts brewing again when Aya asks Rei personally if he likes Ran. It’s like opening Pandora Box even if Rei warned her it would not be at her advantage to do so. Since she is persistent, Rei answers yes, confirming Aya’s fears. Hey girl, didn’t you remember making that promise that you’ll be okay even if you get hurt by him? See, play with fire lah. Aya falls into depression but to make things worse, rumours are spreading that Rei and Ran are dating since they were spotted together at a cafe (she was just asking him to do her homework, what else?). To add salt to wounds, many believed that Ran stole Rei from Aya. And what does that indifferent jerk do about it? Nothing really. Ran was of course oblivious even if Aya was acting real strange. Their relationship is strained as Aya avoids Ran, even taking the honours class instead of continuing in the same class with her pals. But all is back to normal when Ran manages to give her usual reprimanding advice once more. This time Aya isn’t going to run away but try her best. Sure, it’s not like Rei did acknowledge her to be his girlfriend (“Do as you wish” line again) but in the final episode, I think they become a couple because I believe we haven’t see Rei’s face as close to Aya’s before.

It’s not the Ran I know! – There are a couple of episodes whereby Ran ditched her gal outlook and shockingly became a different person! In one episode, due to some wish on an arcade machine, Ran turns into a debutante! Such good and polite manners! Unbelievable! But I guess the gang rather have the old Ran back as they frantically search for the machine before it is being scrapped. Magically, Ran is turned back to normal. In another episode, Ran turns into a proper detective protecting the peace of Shibuya after sleeping on some weird pillow! Oh, Taizo must be so proud of this moment. Yeah, she even threw away all her gal stuff. Too bad it isn’t going to last since after sleeping on that pillow, she’s back to her gal self. Finally an episode whereby due to some ball Sayo got at some lottery, the ball violently bounced back and forth on Sayo and Ran’s face, causing them to switch bodies! Nobody is going to believe them so they have to act as each other for the time being. They both find out how each other have their own responsibilities and weren’t just goofing around. But they switch back at the end (that same ball bouncing effect) but this time Yuya and Rei switch bodies. Mami mistakes Rei for Yuya and drags him away! Man, that’s the first time I see that guy in a pinch but too bad it ends here and I would have loved to see how things played out.

Maru-Q Moon – Sailormoon parody. In one of Kasumi’s attempts to make Ran leave Shibuya by badmouthing her to the Ganguro trio, she gets into all sorts of trouble and ultimately dresses up as a magical girl but inadvertently saves others from danger. Soon she becomes a hot topic and everyone wants to find out her true identity. Well, even if she did, nobody would believe that kid. Hey, anybody could buy that outfit and don it.  In the end, due to some confusion, Ran ends up being revealed as Maru-Q Moon.

I am Zero. I have returned! – There was an episode whereby Ran was framed as the perpetrator disguised as her and does bad things. The local police believe it is Ran but her loyal fans do not. To prove that anybody could just dress as Shibuya’s number one, the fans all dress up as Ran simultaneously (how and where they get the wig and dress still beats me). At that point, it reminded me of how much this scene looked like Code Geass! Of course Ran is innocent and the culprit turns out to be the boyfriend of one of the fans, fearing that he would ‘lose’ her if she becomes too much of a gal.

Alone again, naturally – Miyu has never had a good relationship with her mom. They don’t even really have a proper talk. Not that Miyu doesn’t want to but rather her mom prefers to be out of the time doing other things and leave her daughter all to herself. Not that Miyu is complaining either. Now, Miyu’s mom is the kind of character everyone would love to hate. She is very irresponsible and her being a mother of Miyu is definitely unfit and unsuitable. When she defaults on her apartment’s rental for 3 months, she decides to pack up and leave, not caring for what happens to Miyu. This place may not be much to Miyu, but at least she has a place to go home. Now with it gone, where will she go? Heartless mom even told Miyu to survive on her own, perhaps going into the flesh industry. That’s it. Out of the door, she has left the building. Whether or not they’ll meet is another story. Miyu’s cry at that time was the most heartbreaking one ever. Thankfully she has kind Yamato she could lean on as he listens to her problem. Miyu temporarily stays in Ran’s room before moving to Palm Tree and then with enough strength to stand on her own, her own little apartment.

Fillers? – There are some episodes that focus on other minor characters. For example, Ran befriends a kendo girl named Shiori. She heard she is suddenly transferring overseas and goes to work hard to buy her a farewell gift and misses her kendo tournament. Turns out she wasn’t leaving but her brother. The gym teacher, Mr Gunjo seems to have a gold leaf exterior. He has been making his students to avoid talking with one of his classmates, Takazawa, as he blames her for their class failure and loss to Nakanishi’s class during the recent sports festival. Ran’s actions and words soon made Gunjo’s classmates to stand forth and reveal the truth about his nature and results him to be suspended. Ran’s friend, Rie seems to have a crush on a guy, Junichi from 5 years ago when she meets him at a place they’re both working part time as. Rie thinks Junichi and Ran like each other since Junichi is avoiding her. Turns out during their younger days when Junichi saved Rie from bullies, it wasn’t Junichi who beat them up. It was Ran instead as he turned into a cry-baby. In the end, they both reconciled their love for each other.

Other adventures – Sayo being ‘kidnapped’ so Ran and Kiyoka drag Yamato to rescue her as it turns out she was just accompanying a single father trying to meet up with his estranged daughter, a visit to a giant indoor ski park, a visit to the beach, Tatsuki thought Ran was working to buy him a birthday present but it was to go on a shopping spree (I guess her luck at a raffle to win him a monkey doll at the last minute still made him happy), Ran burning up to win the sports festival for her class because Nakanishi may overlook her undone homework (yeah, even working up her classmates to go all out because she lied that Nakanishi is dying!), invited to Meisho’s school cultural festival (yeah, the para-para competition between Ran and Mami is getting real long and tiring… More lasting than Duracell), Yamato introducing Miyu to his family and this means he has proposed to her for marriage (headache for Ran because this means her best friend will be her sister-in-law. Confused?), Tatsuki and Yuya going all out to find Ran’s lost wallet to prove who is manlier and the right to be Ran’s girlfriend, an ex-boyfriend of Mami returning to see her after many years abroad so debutante Mami takes her to some grand hotel with everything inside (yes, everything) but her rotten luck has her trying to evade being seen by Ran and co (who somehow won tickets to entire this pricey place) and in the end Mami shows her true gal character to that guy when several punks besiege on them and leaves him (how many ex-boyfriends does she have anyway?), Mami getting a weird hair accessory gift from Yuya (because it’s the cheapest) and goes to great lengths to protect it from people who wants to steal it (turns out to be some guy’s fake moustache!), Ran accompanying Nakanishi to patrol the school (because that old geezer is afraid of ghosts), a visit to Mami’s mansion, an invitation to Maki’s hotspring in Hokkaido, trying to catch a monkey on the loose during Christmas (Tatsuki could really communicate with it), a flashback how Taizo trained Ran to be a police officer (yeah, she was really enthusiastic back then) but his plans backfired after a series of tests (aliens in animal costumes?) when he accidentally ruined her lunch (yeah, Ran even remembers that food grudge till today), Odaiba Shark’s character is to be killed off due to some backdoor argument with the director so our Kudou actor is in danger of being out of a job and is set up by Towa to go on a date with Sayo so as not to crush her dreams (of course his role gets reinstated again), Aya working hard to make Rei a handmade Valentine’s Day chocolate (I thought she knew that guy dislike sweet things?) but was stolen by the Ganguro trio (in the end they gave it back to her after realizing how much effort she put in. See, they’ve got hearts too), a big ramen battle between Tatsuki and Naoki against a popular ramen chain (the former won because the latter’s management uses dirty tactics and the rival chef didn’t acknowledge to that) and Ran trying her best to study not because she fears of not making to the next grade but her allowance cut.

Towa’s leaving? – You heard that right. I’m not sure why, but she left her Palm Tree cafe to that Kudou guy and due to some misinterpretation, he accepts it. We see many of the main and supporting characters in this episode trying to get Towa a farewell gift but Ran is nowhere to be seen and time is running out. Tatsuki and Rei search the streets and it turns out she was hungry and couldn’t move. Oh yes, Sayo and Masato are first year students in Ran’s school, not to mention bratty Kasumi. Finally the Ganguro trio have their own boyfriends, but they get scared after seeing their aggressive nature. Come back, my love!

Ultimate Gal
So yeah, it was fun while it lasted. Many of the episode’s adventures aren’t complicated but straightforward so much so that the tension and drama of that particular episode makes it simple for the issue to be solved. Because of so, some are pretty predictable. Of course the main star of the show still definitely falls on Ran. She is the kind of character whom you’ll have mixed feelings with. It’s hard to hate her but at the same time not totally love her. Her boisterous attitude sometimes really annoys you but because she’s a simpleton, it makes a lot of things easier. She may not be the kind of girl who comforts you with kind and soft words but instead with her typical firebrand reality down-to-earth phrases to make you realize that if you’re going to spend time sulking, might as well you go do something about it.

The other characters are lovable at their own pace too. They each have their own set of problems and fears to confront to but with each other’s support, they’ll get by.  The length of the series is reasonable enough to flesh out the personalities of some of the characters though they generally remain the same character that we are all familiar to. So the police force can think of cutting down their cost to station more personnel at Shibuya because Ran is doing such a fine job keeping the place safe. Maybe not. There’s always something she’s in when she’s doing something. Ah, just give her a free designer’s bag or shoes or free meal vouchers each time she’s at it.

This is trivial stuff but due to the recent trend in animes, for series that lasts more than a single season, there will be multiple ending themes. For this one, however there is only one! Yeah, quite a ‘rare feat’, if I should say. Entitled Dakishimetai by Jungle Smile, it is a moderate ballad. Of course the opening theme, Aitsu by Dicot is catchy itself to the para-para flow.

The art and drawing lean towards bishoujo style. Well, cute girls with big bright eyes, that says it all, doesn’t it? Sometimes in the show they have a lot of other drawing such as hearts in crayons across the screen. At times they also use different background shades when the producers are too lazy, oops I mean for a change in scenery to draw the actual backgrounds. I think it will be tough to draw every detail to the billboards and posters that are hanged around the Shibuya area.

I can say that this series is the first series that made me a little interested in doing a little online research on the different prefectural areas and wards in Japan. I may not remember them all, at least I know where Shibuya and Ikebukuro are. Along with Akihabara. Heheh. It was interesting for the time being that I discovered a few geographical locations in Japan. Maybe if Ran showed a little more interest in Japanese history, I may even have looked it up.

So being a gal isn’t just about the outside, it is the inside of your heart and how you live your life and what you do as a gal (with some ironclad gal rule of course). I was a loner back in school so I can’t pretty say much about my social life. Heck, I’m even close to being a hikikomori otaku, shutting myself in only watching animes. Maybe I should take a step out into the city once in a while and socialize. Then again, I just don’t want to expose myself to any danger of being mugged or extorted. I think I’ll let the police do their job in my area. Super otaku Ming! Keeping it safe while watching anime in your own room is uber cool. That is an ironclad rule for an otaku!