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In the latter half of the 21st century earth is threatened by creatures called WORMS, which are huge artificial life forms resembling the first thing they see--usually sea organisms. After a devastating war they seem to have been defeated, only to suddenly appear again.

To fight them, a special unit of MiniMecha has been devised: the Sonic Divers. Curiously, these can only be piloted by young females. The first unit consists of three teenaged girls, one of which is Otoha Sakurano, an avid kendo practicioner. The story focuses primarily on her plight, although the other girls get plenty of attention as well. In the TV series, the team gets expanded by one more [[ButNotTooForeign girl of German origin]].

The series started out with a {{Fanservice}}-laden episode, produced by Konami and released as an {{OVA}}. It later got adapted into a two-season series in which the service got somewhat toned down, although the girls still have to wear extremely skin-tight uniforms to make them "communicate" with their mecha. Despite the obvious appeal to adolescent males, the series still manages to have an engaging plot and a fair amount of character development.

For a show with a similar concept that began with an OVA and was later turned into an anime, see ''Anime/StrikeWitches''. Both shows share the same character designer, Humikane Shimada, which may further explain their similarities. See the entry below on CharacterDevelopment.

'''This page is for the TV series only'''

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!!This series contains examples of:

* AcePilot: Eika. She soundly defeated TWO [[CoolPlane Vic Vipers]] using an old model aircraft. The reason? "You two relied on it too much and let your skills down." Keep in mind that the people she fought weren't random strangers, but members of a friendly rival squad. ''Elite'' rival squad.
* AccidentalPervert: The entire cast, [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments at the same time]].
* AchillesInHisTent: Elise, after she joins the team and angsts a bunch.
* ACupAngst: Otoha. [[BerserkButton Don't point it out]].
* AfterTheEnd: The backstory has it that most of humanity has barely survived a war with a colony of rogue nanomachines called [=WORMs=], which required the united earth forces to NukeEm. This caused the sea levels to rise[[hottip:*:Somehow, the Antarctic ice cap got melted.]] and most settlements are trying to rebuild.
* AnAssKickingChristmas
* AnimeAccentAbsence: Elise's Japanese is impeccable. Explained that she is a TeenGenius who is TooCleverByHalf.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Plenty of examples, but especially the nanoskin gel and Delta Lock / Quadra Formation.
* ArtisticAge: Frequently criticized for portraying sixteen-year-old characters with...well, just see OlderThanTheyLook below.
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: Look closely at the maps shown with the adjusted coastlines. Somehow the sea level rose in such a way that it submerged the Andes while sparing most of the Amazon Basin, and flooded most of the central United States while leaving all of Florida above water. Check out [[http://merkel.zoneo.net/Topo/Applet/ this page]] for a couple of neat applets showing what the map would really look like.
* BarelyThereSwimwear: From Otoha's clothing of choice in the mentioned OVA to the pilot suits to... just about anything else the girls wear on and off duty. Karen is visibly distressed about the revealing clothes.
* BlandNameProduct: Camon cameras, among other things.
** Not a bland name product per se but apparently in the future Apple and Microsoft are working together. A blink and miss computer screen has Mac toolbars and Windows folder designs. So it's "Maplesoft"?
* BoobsOfSteel: Eika, befitting her "best pilot" status, has the largest bust of all the Sky Girls team, [[ACupAngst much to Otoha's displeasure]]. Eika herself doesn't actually like it since "it gets in the way". Subverted when taken outside the team, as Nanae has the ''largest'' bust of all female characters, and she's part MissionControl, part TeamMom.
* TheBrigadier: Rear Admiral Shima. He can never be relaxed around the antics of "those annoying kids". It is revealed later that he is anxious because he had seen so many of his men die during the first WORM War.
* ButNotTooForeign: Elise. Also later Aisha, [[spoiler: although this troper does not know any Indian girl named ''Aisha'' who wears a ''Cheongsam''...]]
** She's probably Indian Muslim (not all Indian Muslims migrated to Pakistan), and it's traditional Punjabi clothing she's wearing, not a cheongsam.
* TheCameo: As seen above, the cast has to compete against the [[{{Gradius}} Vic Viper]] in an air show.
* CharacterDevelopment: Which arguably sets it apart from similar shows like ''StrikeWitches''.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Due to the obvious fact that on OVA has only 30 minutes, the PowerTrio is depicted in a very stereotypical way, sometimes at odds with how the series portrayed them. While Otoha's character largely stays the same, Karen's trait as a Teen Genius is more accentuated by her spouting off [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness exact minutes and percentages]], while Eika comes off as a little narcissist by taking sunbathing {{serious|Business}}ly. Other subtler traits however, are used as basis to build their characters in the series, such as Karen's shyness with boys, Eika's seriousness as the only military girl, Otoha's chemistry with Ryohei, Ryohei's love of motorbikes (alluded in the ending theme), Takumi as the TeamChef, etc.
* ChekhovsGunman: That little ghost-boy on the hilltop in the first episode, and in the Oppama base, seems to look a lot like a certain someone's missing brother...
* ChekhovsSkill: Otoha is a great fisher(wo)man. This enables her to solve the hunger woes of the crew of Kouryuu. Also, she is apparently a survivalist; when the team gets stranded in an island, Otoha knows exactly which fruits are edible and the not-so-edible ones.
-->'''Eika''': What about this fruit...?\\
'''Otoha''': If you serve that, you'll send us all straight to heaven... in a bad way.\\
'''Eika''': *pales*
* ChildSoldiers: Justified by 90% of the male population between 20 and 30 being dead due to the first war and ensuing holocaust.
* CollapsingLair
* CoolShip: Kouryuu. Also the carrier that later arrives carrying the Big Vipers.
* CoolOldGuy: Nasty brigadiers aside, you have the maintenance chief, the Admiral, the chef, etc.
* CuteLittleFangs: Elise.
* CreatureHunterOrganization: The Sky Girls, with their nanocells suit for protection and Sonic Divers for offense they're the ones to call for fighting WORMS.
* {{Deconstruction}}: In a series like this, it ''should'' be unlikely. From the girls being OlderThanTheyLook (low ressources society means stunted growth) to Otoha's reaction of finding out about the fate of her brother to Karen's reaction to the clothes they wear on duty, this story has some fairly realistic and dark tones.
* DepopulationBomb
* {{Determinator}}: Otoha
* DisappearsIntoLight: [[spoiler:Yuuki. Twice, actually]].
* DistantFinale
* DoomedHometown: [[spoiler: Poor Elise has to be evacuated from West Germany base and had to witness it being bombed to kingdom come before her very eyes.]]
* EleventhHourRanger: Aisha.
* EmotionlessGirl: Also Aisha.
* EnergyWeapon
* {{Expy}}: Possible instance. The bratty German girl who joins partway into the series is a teen genius, an arrogant and hot-headed person on proving her skill, and has a rather traumatic past. Combined with the synch ratios, hairclips, inhuman enemy monsters with unknown motives, and post-apocalyptic setting, some fans see ''Evangelion'' in the series and Asuka in Elise. Thankfully, though, Elise learns to lose the arrogance before anything too bad happens to her, and this series is not the DysfunctionJunction that ''Evangelion'' is.
* {{Fanservice}}: More so in the OVA than the TV series version, though the Motion Slits don't leave a whole lot to the imagination.
* FashionableAsymmetry: In episodes 4 and 16, Otoha wears [[http://fabien.li/tvtropes/sky_girls.jpg one knee high under her right sock]].
* FighterLaunchingSequence: "Sonic Diver Team, launch!"
* FunWithAcronyms: [=WORMs=] are an abbreviation of "Weapons Of Raid Machines", [[GratuitousEnglish for all the sense it made...]]
* {{Gendercide}}: 90% of the male population of military age was killed off in the initial war.
* GenkiGirl: Otoha is always enthusiastic. [[spoiler:When her morale finally hits rock bottom at the end of the season, it takes a very serious effort to bring her up again]].
* GirlfriendInCanada: Eika claims to have a boyfriend. She refuses to give details, to Elise's dismay.
-->'''Otoha''': What kind of guy is he?\\
'''Eika''': *[[BlatantLies ahem]]* [[GratuitousEnglish No comment.]]
* GratuitousEnglish: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IADVWJ8K-w opening theme]] [[http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/skygirlstv/virginshigh.htm lyrics]]. However, it's a MELL song, so would you expect anything else from her?
* HeroicBSOD: Otoha, after TheReveal.
* HairAntennae: Elise, though she has three rather than the more common two.
* HairDecorations: Somehow, the Motion Slit technology requires the pilots to wear some sort of a hair dec. Most of them look vaguely resembling a mechanical version of a droopy dog ears, while Elise's stand upright like rabbit ears. See petting zoo people below.
* HotSpringsEpisode
* HumongousMecha
* ImprobablyFemaleCast: The entire Sonic Diver team is female. The rest of the crew and the Big Viper squadron are much more mixed however.
* IneffectualLoner: Elise has ''zero'' concept of teamwork. It takes a good dose of several episodes and character development to mold her.
* KansaiRegionalAccent: The resident mechanics Haruko and Ranko have it. While Ranko is a stereotypical GenkiGirl, Haruko is much more calm, and in a true RedOniBlueOni fashion, they also are red and blue themed.
* {{Kimodameshi}}
* LatexSpaceSuit
* LuminescentBlush: Virtually the entire cast exhibits this given the proper situation.
* MeaningfulName: The "Rei" in Reijin means "Zero", which is why Otoha called it that. Also an allusion to the famous WWII Zero fighter.
** Chief mechanic Oto Seibi is this. "Seibi" is the homophone to a Japanese word meaning "maintenance".
* TheMedic: Aki Yuko, introduced when they move from Oppama to Kouryuu.
* MiniMecha: The Sonic Divers kinda [[{{Pun}} straddle]] the line between PowerArmor and MiniMecha. They're not much bigger than the girls, and the limbs respond as extensions of the pilots' limbs. But it's hard to call it armor, since the pilots are ''completely'' exposed at the front in the interest of {{Fanservice}}.
** Incidentally, the in-universe documents refer to it as "Powered Exoskeleton". Talk about classification hell.
* MissionControl: Takumi Hayami and Nanae Fujieda.
* MundaneUtility: Combined with a bit of ChekhovsSkill. When the ship's supply warehouse is damaged, forcing the crew to starve, Otoha uses her genius fishing skills to turn the Sonic Divers into fishing machines. No, they don't fish using a rod, they use ''nets attached to torpedos''.
* MoodWhiplash: As a general rule, expect a dark reveal of some sort to any "light" episodes. For example, the same episode that has Otoha running around the base to find the owner of a large bra is also the episode where Elise is introduced [[spoiler: by having her hastily evacuated from the destroyed West Europe base]]. Also, the real reason why Sky Girls are formed, during a HotSpringsEpisode.
* MrFixit: Tachibana Ryohei. He becomes very passionate about maintaining Otoha's Sonic Diver, which she affectionately call "Zero". His reason? He wants to make sure Otoha can fly, at any costs. Mildly hinted to be Otoha's LoveInterest. Also Oto Seibi, maintenance chief who is a CoolOldGuy.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Official ages of the pilots: Elise is 15, Karen and Otoha are 16, and Eika is 17. [[http://www.jcstaff.co.jp/sho-sai/skytv-shokai/skytv-index.htm You decide.]]
** And then there are twin mechanics Ranko and Haruko Mikagami, who are supposedly ''older'' than Ryohei?
* {{Omake}}: "Fishing Maniac Eika: Sky Girls Dynamite Fishing".
* OverprotectiveDad: Eika's father opposed her becoming a pilot.
** Justified in that, were it not for the PlotArmor, she could very easily have been killed.
* PettingZooPeople: Strangely enough, the Motion Slits include hair decorations that vaguely resemble animal ears and has a cable extension connecting their spine to the Sonic Divers resembling tails. This become even more pronounced at the second generation Rescue Sky Girls, whose hair decs are even more varying. Seems Fumikane decided to cut the middleman and made everyone in StrikeWitches magically sprout animal ears and tails without any other explanation other than [[AWizardDidIt their magic powers did it...]]
* PhenotypeStereotype: Elise, being German, has blond hair and blue eyes. Aisha, being Indian, is dark-skinned and has a mark that resembles a Tilak.
* PhlebotinumOverload: Aisha can't pilot for too long, since her 118% synchronization rate is [[ExplosiveOverclocking incredibly taxing.]] Just a few minutes is enough to put her in a coma.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Admiral Kadowaki from Kouryuu. Heck, he even authorized the fishing expedition. At first, he tries to give them a reason to sortie in grounds of "training", but later...
--> '''Admiral''': *stomach growls* ...ahem. Sometimes, we must put our principles aside.
* RedOniBlueOni: Played very straight with Ranko and Haruko. They provide the trope image.
* RetiredBadass: [[spoiler:Soya Togo is one; he was an AcePilot retiring due to a nasty injury and instead becomes CoolTeacher to the girls.]]
* TheReveal: The origin of the WORMS. [[spoiler:Also why Otoha's brother went missing: He has been "synchronized" with the WORMS, giving them a close equivalent of a leader.]]
* RousingSpeech: Aisha gives one to Otoha.
---> '''Aisha''': Whatever happens, always put your trust in me, your TrueCompanions, and [[ICallItVera Zero]]. If you do that, you can fly.
* SchizoTech: it seems there are technologies still reliant on oil.
* ShoutOut:
** Obviously, [[spoiler:the appearance of [[{{Gradius}} Big Vipers]]]]. This IS an anime made by Konami after all...
** [[{{Gradius}} That core totally got destroyed at the end of the show.]]
* SixthRanger: Fourth for Elise, fifth for Aisha (even if she doesn't technically fight).
* TheSquad: The entire anime revolves around how a Squad is formed, how it fights, and how it finally ends.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: The normally shy Karen cannot bear to go outside the changing room with her Motion Slit on, to which Eika flatly told her that she can wear something else over it (which became the norm; when the pilots are on standby, they wear a jacket over their Motion Slits).
* SuperPrototype: Subverted: Although Reijin, Fuujin, and Raijin are prototypes, the mass-produced Bachstelze performs just as well. The catch? [[spoiler: The production plant got bombed to kingdom come just after one model is built]]
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Especially during [[spoiler:the final assault on the Nest]].
* TeamChef: Takumi Hayami, when he's not being the MissionControl - however, he's the ''assistant'' chef. (The head chef is Gen, who later [[spoiler: adopts Elise after the war]].)
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: when the Sky Girls launch on their final mission from Kouryuu, the ''second verse'' of the opening theme plays.
* TechnoBabble: Quite numerous, but legible. This is the reason why the girls have to go around in a latex swimsuit with a 20 minute time limit in every battle.
** Speaking of swimsuits, even Karen notes how Motion Slits are even thinner than swimsuits.
* TeenGenius: Karen Sonomiya and Elise von Dietrich. The former is a top authority concerning nanomachine physics; while Elise is at the very least a gifted polyglot.
* TenMinuteRetirement: [[spoiler:Otoha]], although it takes much more than just 10 minutes for her to completely recover. To be fair, TheReveal was [[BreakTheCutie a little cruel]].
* ThirdPersonPerson: Elise.
* TransformingMecha: The Sonic Divers can shift from G Mode (flight mode) and A mode (walker mode).
* TraumaInducedAmnesia: A side effect of piloting the Sonic Diver for Aisha.
* TrueCompanions: See Rousing Speech entry.
* {{Tsundere}}:
** Eika is a textbook type A.
** Otoha is a mild type B towards Ryohei.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: It's kind of easy to understand after such a war.
* TwiceShy: [[spoiler:Karen and Takumi. Nanae and Hiroharu]].
* WrenchWench: Two of them, [[RedOniBlueOni Ranko and Haruko]] Mikagami.
* XMeetsY: Sky Girls is like ''StrikeWitches'' meets ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' meets [[SuperDimensionFortressMacross Variable Fighters]] (minus the GERWALK Mode).
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Is it possible for a single series to invoke both this and OlderThanTheyLook? Yes. But only at the end, and due to a strange and spoileriffic reason.

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