Anime / Beautiful Fighter Geheim
Start with one shojo series. Throw in a batch of Humongous Mecha
with a dash of proto-Evangelion flavor. Stir well, then carefully mix in some side helpings of Lyrical Nanoha
, Revolutionary Girl Utena
, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica
and bake for 26 episodes and two 4-episode OVA specials. The result: Bishoujo Faita Gehaimu—or, Beautiful Fighter GEHEIM, a forgotten gem of a series that mashes up the Magical Girl Warrior
and Humongous Mecha
genres while gleefully turning both on their heads. Serves one small but loyal cult-following.
Enter Yoko Yanagita
, a dreamy but clumsy 15-year-old schoolgirl who is running late to class one morning when she falls down an open manhole
. The fall transports her to the otherworldly kingdom of Spaetzle, where she encounters a giant bio-mechanical creature
named Goethe. After offering her a magic key, Goethe reveals to Yoko that she has been chosen to become a Geheim, one of an elite class of young female warriors who share an empathic bond with these immense creatures—the Kernigs—and are the only ones who can pilot them in battle against the forces of darkness.
Turns out that ever since the princess of Spaetzle disappeared, a handful of Geheim and their Kernigs went rogue and declared war on the kingdom—and now poor Yoko is caught in the middle of it all. Will Yoko, Goethe, and their newfound Nakama overcome the odds?
Despite its bold and ambitious handling of tropes in multiple genres, this 1994 swan song of reclusive mangaka Masahiko Mizutani proved to be significantly less successful in Japan than later Deconstructions such as Neon Genesis Evangelion
and Puella Magi Madoka Magica
. The series remains practically unknown elsewhere; the only official North American release was a Macekred
dub called Princess Fighter
, which briefly aired on Canada's YTV in 1998, only to be cancelled after 12 episodes. Even in Japan, home video releases are limited to out-of-print and extremely rare collections on VHS and VCD... so Keep Circulating the Tapes
- The Baroness: Faustina has shades of this. She's even got the glasses!
- Boisterous Bruiser: Astrid
- Break the Cutie: Poor Yoko isn't at all prepared to be a soldier.
- Worse still is Katrinka, who Jumped at the Call and... had things go about as well for her as you'd expect for an eleven-year-old piloting a war machine.
- Broken Bird: Faustina
- Duality Motif: Faustina has one brown eye and one blue eye, hinting at her conflicting loyalties and ambitions.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Yoko to a T.
- Five-Man Band
- Gainax Ending: It all gets cleared up in the OVA, but still.
- Gratuitous German: Geheim, Spaetzle, König, etc.
- Lady of War: Tsao and Faustina, among others
- Meganekko: Faustina wears stylish half-moon glasses that highlight her Mismatched Eyes.
- Mouthy Kid: Katrinka
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Fifi Lamour is prone to fits of these when she steals Derrida from Hermes.
- Redemption Equals Death: Faustina's ultimate fate in the OVA, revealed after a more ambiguous ending in the TV series
- Spell My Name with an "S": Early fansubbers didn't catch onto the Theme Naming with Goethe and came up with some really interesting spellings: Gursa, Gruta, Gruth, Gorth... And is it Kernig or König?
- Don't forget Kierkegaado!
- Theme Naming: All the Kernigs are named after famous philosophers.
- Trapped in Another World
- White and Grey Morality: As Yoko matures and learns more about the world she's entered, she discovers that the Geheim war is much more complex than she originally thought, with even the worst antagonists being Well Intentioned Extremists.
- Wutai: Tsao wields a Blade on a Stick and wears a dress similar to a qipao.