[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mapaimageneswu9.jpg]]

Youta Moteuchi is an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent whose father is always working abroad. Due to his bad luck with girls, he's nicknamed "Motenai" -- "Dateless", and even worse for him, he's in love with a girl pretty much deemed as perfect, the beautiful and sweet Moemi Hayakawa. During a meeting, she tells him she likes Youta's best friend Takashi Niimai... and then Youta, instead of sulking or revealing her feelings, [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy promises to help her get Takashi's love]].

After making said promise and feeling like crap about it, Youta finds himself in front of [[TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday a video rental store he has not seen before]]. The man in charge of the store says that, since Youta truly meant what he told Moemi, he deserves a prize... like borrowing one of the videos of the store. Its name is "I'll comfort you!" and has a beautiful girl on the cover.

Youta goes back to his CoolHouse, plays the video on his VCR... and then the girl pops out from the TV! Her name is Ai Amano, and she's come to help him with his woes. Unfortunately, Youta's VCR was broken, therefore Ai-chan's programming is seriously messed up. She [[ACupAngst lost a few cup sizes]], [[LethalChef she can barely cook]], she's [[{{Dojikko}} clumsy]], [[SayingTooMuch she puts her feet in her mouth]], she [[{{Tsundere}} teases Youta mercilessly]]... and for better or for worse, [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove she develops feelings for him]], when she's supposed to just counsel and console the boy. ''And this is just the start''.

''Video Girl Ai'' (電影少女,Den'ei Shojo?, lit. "Video Girl") is a manga series created by MasakazuKatsura and published by Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump. It also has an anime adaptation. The manga is published in English by Creator/VizMedia. It was formerly published in the anthology Animerica Extra by Viz. It was started in 1990 and continued until 1993, and fifteen manga volumes were produced. The first 13 volumes tell Ai Amano's story. The last two volumes, which came years later, focus on a new video girl named Len, hence the new name for these two volumes ''Video Girl Len''.

The Video Girl Ai anime is a six part OVA series which was produced by I.G. Tatsunoko. The series was released in 1992 by Jump Video. It roughly covers most of the material found in volumes 1 and 3 of the manga (and some of Volume 2). An obscure live-action movie was also made.

Has a [[Characters/VideoGirlAi Character Sheet]] that is in need of your love.
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!![=Video Girl Ai=] has examples of:

* ADateWithRosiePalms: Yota does this to relieve himself after spending a long and tense night sharing the bed with Moemi, who was completely naked except for a long jersey. To explain things out: [[spoiler: A [[HeroicBSOD emotionally smashed]] Moemi was deliberately trying to excite and then reject Yota to make him forget about Ai, but Yota was desperately resisting and controlling himself because poor Moemi's NearRapeExperience was still fresh on her memory. (Moemi was also counting on this to manipulate Yota, no matter how much she disliked the idea of playing dirty against Ai -- she was THAT out of it and desperate.) The next morning, when Moemi prepared herself to return to her home, Yota asked his penis to "Withstand just until Moemi were out of sight and then he would give him his reward"]]
* AGodAmI: Rolex. He is a "Creator"! He has many traits in common with the Deniurge of {{Usefulnotes/Gnosticism}}!
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Pretty much everyone.
* AnimeThemeSong: Noriko Sakai's "Ureshii Namida"
* ArtificialHuman: the Video Girls
** RobotGirl: Ai, Len, [[spoiler: Mai]]
* BigBrotherMentor: [[spoiler: The adult, more mature Youta]] for Hiromu in ''Video Girl Len''.
* BigFancyHouse: Youta, as the son of a famous and rich artist, lives in an ''incredible'' one.
* {{Bokukko}}: Invoked by [[spoiler: Moemi, who in an attempt to get Youta tied to shed her YamatoNadeshiko exterior and become one of these.]] [[spoiler: It fails anyway; she returns to her YamatoNadeshiko behavior, only keeping her short hair.]]
* BrokenBird: Natsumi Yamaguchi, Ayumi Shirakawa from ''Video Girl Len''. [[spoiler: Moemi]] almost becomes one.
* CoolHouse: Youta's place is awesome, a far cry from so many prefab houses in Japanese cities, with stuff like a spacious living room, a lounge with a lowered pit in the floor, and skylights. Justified in that it was likely designed by his architect father.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: [[spoiler: Ai ends up strapped in this position by cable and other video equipment after being forced back into the Video world, as punishment for having fallen in love with Youta.]]
* DeclarationOfProtection: Youta says "I will protect you, no matter what!" as he's trying to protect Ai from [[spoiler: being destroyed by Mai.]]
* DespairEventHorizon: [[spoiler: Moemi]] comes dangerously close in the manga, after [[spoiler: her NearRapeExperience.]] Ai and Yota also approach it at different points.
** In Video Girl Len, [[spoiler: Ayumi. ''Poor'' Ayumi.]]
* DoggedNiceGuy: Youta, only that he chooses the IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy route rather than pursuing Moemi.
* DontYouDarePityMe: Mai's stance against Yota and Ai.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler: Of course it ends happily after Youta nearly slices himself to ribbons climbing a collapsing glass staircase in his attempt to rescue Ai. Oh wait, no it doesn't - in the OVA, it cuts to an open ending and in the manga it sets the stage for several more volumes of strife. Youta eventually has to fight through a brain block and sever Ai's connection with the physical world in order to save her from reverting back to a plain Video Girl. Only in the epilogue do you get a truly happy ending.]]
* {{Fartillery}}: Len tries this to shatter Hiromu's unnatural and idealistic concept of women. It backfires, though.
* GenkiGirl: Ai, Len
* IllGirl: [[spoiler: Natsumi, who has a weak heart [[TearJerker and later dies]]. And for worse, according to her doctors, her fragile heart was the lesser of her problems.]]
* ImportantHaircut: [[spoiler: Nobuko and later Moemi cut their hair short to imitate Ai, as a last desperate effort to keep Yota with them- Moemi goes so far as dressing like a tomboy and using a rude language, which counts as a 180 for her. Unfortunately, not even this worked. ]]
* JapanesePronouns: Ai [[{{Bokukko}} uses "ore" to refer to herself]] -- yet another side effect of Youta's awful VCR.
* JerkAss: Ayumi's handsome yet rotten ex-boyfriend in ''Video Girl Len''.
** Takashi purposely [[JerkAssFacade tries to look like one]], so Moemi would stop liking him and start paying attention to Yota. Unfortunately, this idea went horribly wrong.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Toshiki Karukawa is an irresponsible pervert who dates and dumps girls just like that and is constantly trying to peek at Len's panties or naked body. He would give his life for his friend Hiromu, shed tears of blood when Hiromu's initial crush went sour, [[spoiler: took a good beating to save Hiromu and Ayumi from a gang, politely rejected Len when she felt she HAD to have sex with him to make her mission easier, etc.]] There's a reason for why this ''extremely'' lecherous boy was still capable to see the Neo Gokuraku, after all ([[FridgeBrilliance and it shows quite the difference between "sex" and "emotions" as well]]).
* KissMeImVirtual
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Happens twice to Ai and once to Yota as part of Rolex's manipulations.
* LethalChef: Ai was supposed to be a GREAT chef, but since she was played in a broken VCR... well, yeah. Youta still eats her cooking out of affection.
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in the anime, where only her ''first'' meal was terrible. She then overcame her instincts and was able to prepare much better food slowly and carefully.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Moemi thinks of Youta like a brother, and so she knows she can tell him that she's got a crush on his best friend. Pity he was about to confess his own feelings for her. [[spoiler: He gets in a similar situation later where he admits that he loves Ai, but isn't necessarily ''in love'' with her.]]
* LighterAndSofter: Video Girl Len uses less drama and more comedy that Ai.
* TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday - In fact, you can't even ''see'' the Gokuraku store if you're not a genuinely good person. Youta saw it for his selflesness regarding Moemi; the LovableSexManiac Toshiki found the Neo Gokuraku along with Hiromu because he truly cared for his best friend, despite his lecherousness.
** Of course, Manga/VideoGirlAi's [[PlayingWithATrope toying with this trope]] is a pretty important plot point in the manga. For instance, Gokuraku Video's real role [[spoiler:is to use Video Girls to obliterate their renter's ability to love. The pure hearted are, in the opinion of [[KnightTemplar the people behind it]], too vulnerable and good to deal with [[LoveHurts the harsh realities of love]], and destroying their ability to do so through the loveless Video Girls is the only way to protect them. This was ''supposed'' to be Ai's purpose, but the broken VCR did for that.]] Later on, [[spoiler: a rival TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday opens up across the road from Gokuraku Video named Neo Gokuraku, run by Gokuraku Video's old clerk after he resigned out of disgust, aiming to get to the Pure Hearted first, and give them Video Girls (apparently allowed to have emotions of their own, unlike the Gokuraku girls) who can help them through love's tribulations.]]
* LoveHurts: Like, ''WHOA.'' This is Rolex's main motivation for the creation of Video Girls, [[spoiler: as he considered love as a disease.]]
* LovingForce: [[spoiler: Manga only: Yota attempts this as a final resort to save Ai from Rolex's control by making her a "real woman". It doesn't ends well, as Ai doesn't knows what Yota is trying to do and pushes him away [[GroinAttack by squeezing his testicles until the pain makes him stop.]] It takes her a while to put two and two together and realize that Yota tried to accomplish one of the abusive conditions that Rolex secretely had imposed upon Ai.]]
* MadeOfIron: Ai fell from a huge fall, tumbled down a concrete slope filled with sharp objects and ended crashing through a wall, suffering nothing but light bruises: even Ai herself was surprised for this.
* MamaBear: Ayumi's best female friend is ''fiercely'' protective of her. She hits Len when she tries to talk to her and carelessly mentions her bad rep, then yells at her it's all a lie. [[spoiler: Later, when Len approaches her directly, the girl sees Len is really trying to help and explains the deal with Ayumi and her JerkAss ex-boyfriend.]]
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Ai
* ManipulativeBastard: Rolex, [[spoiler: the owner of the Gokuraku store]]. Mixes it with KnightTemplar, to a degree.
* MatchmakerCrush: Youta, for Moemi and Takashi. Ai, for Youta and Moemi.
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: In ''Video Girl Len'', Ayumi's bad rep comes from ''nasty'' rumors about her sexual experience. [[spoiler: She's so distraught over it that at some point she even gives in and tells Hiromu to do whatever he wants with her. He panicks and runs off, and Ayumi collapses in tears.]]
* NamesToKnowInAnime: Both CD drama and OAV had famous seiyuu in their casts:
** CD drama: Creator/MinamiTakayama (Ai), Creator/NozomuSasaki (Yota), Creator/KazuhikoInoue (Takashi), Creator/KotonoMitsuishi (Moemi).
** OAV: MegumiHayashibara (Ai), Creator/TakeshiKusao (Yota), KoujiTsujitani (Takashi), Creator/YuriAmano (Moemi), Creator/HirotakaSuzuoki (Rolex), KenichiOgata (the Gokuraku old man).
* NearRapeExperience: [[spoiler: Moemi, in the manga]]
* OffModel: ''Especially'' in the second episode of the anime.
* ParentalAbandonment: Youta's father is never seen and his mother is explicitly said to be dead. Natsumi ran away from home at some point.
* PoorCommunicationKills: All. The. Time.
* ThePowerOfLove: Played with: When Natsumi is about to succumb to her illness and even loses the will to live, Ai and Takashi do the impossible to find her missing boyfriend and bring him to her hospital bed. Against all odds, they succeed, and being reunited with her boyfriend makes Natsumi recover the will to live: she is happy again, her vital signs quickly start to stabilize, much for the doctor's surprise for her miraculous recovery. Still crying tears of pure happiness, Natsumi thanks Ai... [[spoiler: and '''then''', she dies.]]
** Youta is able to overcome [[spoiler: the memory erase drug he's been given]] because ThePowerOfLove is stronger than anything Rolex is capable of.
** It's also a big part of [[spoiler: Ai coming back as human at the very end.]]
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: '''I! WONT! QUIT LOVING! AI, ANYMORE!'''
* PurityPersonified: [[DeconstructedTrope Played as a problem]] for Hiromu on Video Girl Len: his concept of women was so overly idealized that he refused to believe that girls of his age would do things like burping, smelling, stuffing themselves or even going to the bathroom, so Len's first task was trampling over these twisted concepts and making Hiromu see women as what they really were: just plain, normal human beings.
** When Hiromu believes that Ayumi isn't a virgin anymore, he quickly gives up on her, claiming "she's on a different level now." Understandably, [[BerserkButton Len]] goes red with rage and [[spoiler: tries to have sex with Toshiki to show Hiromu that losing her virginity wasn't going to make her less human than before, or much less planting a wall between them (he doesn't go through with it, though). Eventually she manages to open his eyes, which was only the first step...]]
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Mai Kamio (manga only) and Ai herself at the end of the manga.]]
* SecondLove: Ai, for Youta
* SexSlave: What Video Girls ''could'' be if they weren't given to a boy with a pure heart. To make an experiment, [[spoiler: Rolex gives Video Girl Mai to a boy who, unlike Yota, doesn't have a pure heart (and happened to be Nobuko's DoggedNiceGuy, too). He locks himself with Mai and spends a week having non-stop sex with her, without even bothering to eat or drink, until he collapses. Unfortunately, this horrible treatment was the base for Mai's FaceHeelTurn and her hatred against Ai.]]
* ShadowArchetype: [[spoiler: Ai Amano and Mai Kamio]]
** Technically, Ai herself is the ultimate shadow archetype for all Video Girls.
* ShrinkingViolet: Moemi
* StarCrossedLovers: Youta and Ai
* SuicideAttack: [[spoiler: Mai can release her magnetic energy as powerful energy bolts to attack and kill people if it's needed, but doing this drastically reduces her own lifespan until she is reduced to nothing. Ai copied her technique to save Yota and Natsumi from Mai's wrath, destroying Mai on the spot, but losing her own life as well. Rolex forced her to live again to continue studying her, though.]]
* TechnologyMarchesOn: If this manga was ever rebooted, Ai would be coming out of a DVD or a Blu-Ray disc, not a VHS tape.
* {{Tsundere}}: Ai is a Type B aka Type Dere
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Nobuko, Natsumi
* WellExcuseMePrincess: Ai twists this trope, in that [[spoiler: she wasn't supposed to be the girlfriend, but fell for the lovable loser she was trying to improve]].
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Rolex truly believes he's saving mankind by trying to exterminate such a painful feeling as love.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Interestingly [[DiscussedTrope discussed here.]] Are video girls supposed to only obey orders and programming? Or do they have right to their own minds and feelings?
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler:Video Girl Mai]] becomes this, [[spoiler:after ending up as a SexSlave to a boy without a pure heart and going mad as a result.]]
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