"Massugu, GO!"Manabi Straight!
, occasionally given in full as Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!
, originated in 2005 as a manga serialised in Dengeki Daioh
. In 2007, it was adapted into Twelve Episode Anime
(plus an OVA
) by ufotable
(later of Kara no Kyoukai
fame).In the year 2035
, a sharp drop in the birth rate and social mores making it more acceptable for teenagers to start their careers early have emptied schools across Japan. Seiou Gakuen is a prestigious old private school that is slowly succumbing to the lack of students, and morale is at an all-time low among both the faculty and the students. Even the Student Council can't get anyone interested in joining, and its only member was practically shanghaied into the post.
Enter Manami "Manabi" Amamiya, a Genki Girl
so genki that she's practically an unstoppable force of nature
. She gets herself elected Student Council President
on her first day after transferring in, and proceeds to turn the whole school upside down with fun. Hilarity Ensues
Provides examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: In the earlier part of the series, the adults in the school mostly just sit there saying "ooh" and "ahh" a lot, while Manabi revitalizes the school.
- Alphabetical Theme Naming - Manabi, Mika, Mutsuki, Mei, Momoha
- Artistic Age: See Puni Plush.
- Which makes it rather strange to watch Mei driving in the finale.
- As You Know: In the first episode, the principal explains the demographic changes of the past decades in a speech.
- Big "NO!": Manabi, upon Momo inspecting a "lucky pencil" of hers and finding a "Made in China" label.
- Blithe Spirit: Manabi.
- Broken Bird: Mei.
- Camera Fiend: Momo.
- Cat Smile: Mikan, frequently.
- Catch Phrase: Manabi's "Massugu, GO!" ("Forward, GO!"), which quickly catches on with the rest of the girls.
- Chekhov's Gun: A few, including most of the footage that Momo keeps shooting of the rest of the girls and the old dormitory building.
- Christmas Cake: Kyouko Kibukawa, Aikoh's superintendent.
- Coming-of-Age Story - The girls move onto their callings after having a proper highschool time and leaving aside their childhood shortcomings and hang-ups.
- Compelling Voice - Mei's shouting can make cicadas stop crying.
- Crash into Hello - Manabi's introduction to the rest of the school.
- Deuteragonist: There is as much focus put on Mikan as in Manabi.
- Distant Finale - The last episode jumps to the girls' graduation. And then to a year and a half later.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set - An small scale example, courtesy of Momo, of course, when she takes over the school broadcast system.
- Dope Slap: Mikan apparently serious suggestion that fairies finished the elaborated computer presentation makes Mutsuki slap her.
- Dynamic Entry - Mutsuki to Shimoji-sensei on one occasion, as well as to some random miscreants during the School Festival.
- Elaborate University High - Two of 'em, but minus most of the students.
- Eyes Always Shut - Shimoji-sensei.
- The Fake Cutie - Aikoh's superintendent around her boyfriend who just happens to be Manabi's brother.
- Five-Man Band
- Fourth Wall Psych - In episode 2, Manabi climbs up to the point on the wall where the camera should be and acts like she's reaching for it. She instead grabs a camera that's hidden from view.
- Genki Girl - Manabi, natch.
- Hair Decorations: Mutsuki wears an X-shaped hairclip, Manami wears a cherry blossom-inspired scrunchie and Mika wears both a ribbon and a green hairclip.
- Hey, It's That Voice!
- High School Rocks - Manabi's goal is to make high school unforgettable for her school mates. Grade school, OTOH, sucks. And the school principal and Shimojima-sensei fondly remembers their times there, too.
- Hot-Blooded - Manabi faces everything enthusiastically. She can't stay put, any time is good for a speech.
- Hover Board - To make sure the viewer realizes the show is set in the future, Manabi has one of these. In the finale, it upgrades to a jet bike.
- In-Series Nickname: Everyone calls Mika "Mikan" (tangerine). Manabi is a portmanteau of her name, Manami, and manabu (to learn).
- Les Yay - Mutsuki is popular among her kouhai, and she's teased In-Universe by the rest of the girls because of this.
- Madness Mantra - Turns out that summer heat really gets to the girls.
- Magic Skirt: The camera has a tendency to be shot from very low angles, yet their modesty is still preserved. This is especially the case whenever Manabi kicks her legs around either in excitement or a tantrum.
- Mundane Made Awesome - Mei's Big Damn Heroes arrival and takeover of the presentation about the school festival). Manabi's outlook turns anything she does into an event, even eating jelly.
- New Transfer Student - Manabi.
- Old School Building - The student council move in here when their room in the clock tower is destroyed by lightning.
- Opening Shoutout - The opening of the series is actually the finale.
- Plucky Girl - You can't stop Manabi for long.
- Ponzi - Mei once proposes starting a Ponzi scheme in order to collect enough signatures for the petition to save the school festival.
- Power Walk - Comes up often enough that one wonders if this is one of the special skills of the 82nd Seioh Student Council.
- Puni Plush - The main cast look like they're 11 or so, but are supposedly in high school. In the opening the girls are supposedly 19-20 years old.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship - Mikan with just about everyone, and Mei with just about everyone.
- Rousing Speech - Manabi is the master of these. On one occasion, she even wakes up the rest of the girls in the middle of the night just to give one.
- Saving The School Festival: The main conflict in the series.
- School Festival - Around two-thirds of the show is a build-up to this.
- School Newspaper Newshound - Momo.
- Sensei-chan - Shimoji-sensei takes being dive-kicked by his students suprisingly well.
- Shout-Out - In episode eight, the characters are all wearing yellow construction helmets. Mikan's helmet has a few markings subtly added to make it the same as the one worn by the Metool enemy in Mega Man.
- Another to Paranoia Agent of all things: Lil' Slugger's bat and a pink plush doll resembling Maromi can be found in the Student Council room.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender - They even do a The Three Stooges number in Episode 7.
- Sneeze Cut - Momo mentions that she wasn't punished for the Do Not Adjust Your Set incident above due to "super-regulatory measures". Cue shot of the principal...
- Spoiler Opening: The OP is actually the final scene of the series.
- Standing in the Hall - Manabi, during the election in episode 1.
- Stop Motion - The ED.
- Student Council President - Manabi, of course; also Takako Kakuzawa from Aikoh High School.
- Time Skip - The last episode jumps to the girls' graduation and then to a year and a half later.
- Tomboy - Mutsuki.
- True Companions — The student council.
- Tsundere - Mei, as lampshaded by Momo on one occasion.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future - Interestingly, just about everything futuristic that's shown (other than Manabi's Hover Board) is technologically feasible.
- Waif-Fu - Mutsuki exhibits this on a few occasions; just ask those thugs who try to crash the festival.
- Welcome Episode: In the first episode Manabi stumbles upon all the members of her future groups of friends.
- Wrestler in All of Us - Mutsuki to Shimoji-sensei for failing to warn them of the school festival's imminent cancellation.
- Zettai Ryouiki - Momo.