Characters: Kaitou Saint Tail
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Meimi Haneoka/Saint TailThe series' protagonist, shy middle school student by day, the people-helping thief Saint Tail by night.
Tropes related to Meimi:
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Asuka jr., to the point of giving a desperate run for their money to Ranma and Akane.
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Clark Kenting: While the only physical difference between Meimi and Saint Tail is that the latter wears her hair in a tail, Saint Tail takes extreme care into not showing her face and acts completely different, to the point that most people who do notice the resemblance ends up believing it's just a coincidence (Asuka Jr. went to the point of actually telling Saint Tail she looked like Meimi).
- Classy Cat-Burglar
- Generation Xerox: Just like her, Meimi's mother used to be a thief chased by Asuka jr.'s father.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: And quite appropriate when she's Saint Tail.
- Important Haircut: The last part of the last manga chapter and the final episode of the anime show that, eight years after being finally captured by Asuka Jr., Meimi has cut her hair short as a symbol that she's not Saint Tail anymore.
- Just Like Robin Hood: She stole for herself exactly twice (Ruby and Asuka jr.), and even then she was helping someone (Ruby's owner had just been jailed, and Asuka Jr. had been kidnapped).
- Large Ham: As Saint Tail.
- Incoming Ham: And how! In one occasion she even hijacked a beauty contest to make her entrance...
- Love Letter Lunacy: Saint Tail 'warning notes' double as love letters, but Saint Tail can't bring herself to deliver it in a normal way, to the point that, excluding two fakes, the tamest two are a note attached to the spare tire of a passing car and a note brought to him by Ruby (the note hidden in Asuka jr.'s English textbook should have been the tamest one, but Asuka jr. accidentally read it out loud to the class before noticing...).
- Magical Girl: Sort of, as her magic is explicitly stated to be stage magic. Not that you'd notice...
- Stage Magician: What she really is. Saint Tail's outfit started out as Meimi's outfit for when she would go professional.
- Master of Illusion: She usually uses her powers to create illusions, including but not limited to Faux Flame or generate a flying saucer out of balloons.
- Power Copying: She can easily copy her father's tricks after seeing them once.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Or understand how to do them after seeing part of them.
- Phantom Thief
- Refuge in Audacity: How she gets away with so many things: her tricks are so over the top that most people are reduced to stunned stupor until someone shouts to try and arrest her.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Seira.
- Secret Identity Identity: One of the reasons Asuka jr. concluded that Meimi and Saint Tail just look alike: as Saint Tail, Meimi completely loses her shyness and is much more direct and flirty.
- They Fight Crime: With Seira.
- Why Did It Have To Be Lizards?: Meimi is absolutely terrified by lizards. Hilarity Ensued when she found out the target of one of her capers was a very large one (by the description she was expecting a kitty).
Daiki Asuka jr.A classmate of Meimi, with whom has a formidable love-hate relationship. He was assigned by the mayor to try and arrest Saint Tail.
- Amateur Sleuth: Debuted like this, but ended up with formal recognition by the end of the first chapter of the manga and episode of the anime.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: After a while he started being able to partially anticipate her and deduce his way out of her tricks.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The one reason he comes so close to actually capturing Saint Tail: being relatively unconventional himself, he recovers pretty fast from her over the top acts, and has actually anticipated her a few times.
- Dating Catwoman: From the start of episode 40.
- Generation Xerox: His chase of Saint Tail mirrors the one his father was giving to Saint Tail's mother.
- Genre Savvy: Asuka jr.'s first instinct when he receives a warning note is to wonder if the target has been stolen or what, or how Saint Tail is planning to help someone by stealing it.
- Hot-Blooded: And how!
- Idiot Hero
- Missing Mom: What happened to his mother is not known (not even if she's still alive), only that she's not around.
- Oblivious to Love: To an unbelievable degree. Being oblivious to Meimi's unexpressed feelings? Understandable. Not realizing that Rina is in love with him when she could be the trope picture of Clingy Jealous Girl? Not so much. Being unable to realize that Saint Tail's warning notes double as unconventional love letters until pointed out by The Dragon? Oh boy... Taking almost two years, shouting them to Saint Tail, and brooding about it for another couple days before realizing he's in love with Meimi? He's threatening Son Goku for the trope picture, guys!
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Any lesser thief would have been caught by now.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist
Seira MimoriMeimi's best friend, and accomplice in the whole Saint Tail thing. She's also a nun-in-training.
Tropes associated with Seira:
- Instant Sedation: She can, and has, prepared sprays with this effect. It's mentioned she learned it from her family.
- Middle School Hustler: A well-intentioned one, but still one.
- Naughty Nun: Defied: the end of the manga and a chapter set after Saint Tail's retirement imply she may have feelings for Sawatari, and clearly show she'll squash them as soon as she realizes them.
- Nice Girl
- Nuns Are Miko: Due the author not doing the research beforehand and assuming things that are true only about miko.
- Nun Too Holy: For starters, Saint Tail was her idea. Then there's her knowingly aiding and abetting a thief, violating confessional secret, mooching off Meimi for food because a nun can't buy snacks just like that but having a friend sharing with them is OK...
- Oblivious to Love: Took her months, and a barely veiled confession, to realize Sawatari is in love for her, and she's refusing to admit she has romantic feelings for him.
- Only Sane Woman: She's the one with the less crazy antics.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Meimi.
- They Fight Crime: With Meimi.
Asuka sr.Asuka's father, and a capable police officer.
Tropes associated with Asuka sr.:
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: Sometimes.
- Ascended Extra: In the anime. In the manga he was shown for one panel, and in the prequel chapter published after the series' end to boot.
- Bumbling Dad
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Genre Savvy: Whenever his son tells him about Saint Tail's warning notes, he starts investigating on the target, and has an arrest warrant ready by the time Saint Tail has escaped.
- The Ghost: In the manga.
- Hot-Blooded: It's in the blood.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He's a very capable cop. It's just that Saint Tail is too good for him...
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist
Rina TakamiyaA transfer student who immediately falls in love for Asuka jr., and tries to tackle Saint Tail both out of a sense of justice and because she doesn't want her to get with Asuka jr..
Tropes associated with Rina:
- Break the Haughty: Twice. First she nearly die of fear and disgust and gets in an Heroic BSOD when Saint Tail makes her believe she's actually a man in a drag, and later, after realizing that Saint Tail is a girl after all, her attempt at separating them ends up with a failure that really scared her of losing Asuka jr.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Her main reason to help chasing Saint Tail is because she pegged her as a romantic rival.
- Cry Cute: Surprisingly enough, she's capable of this too.
- Fair Cop: The final part of the last episode, set a few years after the end of the chase, shows she'll become one.
- Huge Schoolgirl: She has the height (she's the second or third-tallest of the class, beaten only by Sawatari and, after his growth spurt, Asuka jr.), and enough self-esteem to become the class' idol upon enrolling and actually transform her height in a charm point.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Her reaction to Meimi and Asuka jr. getting together is to complain it took them so long, and when Asuka disappears she's the one who encourages Meimi.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's arrogant, violent, and has a genuine sense of justice and a well hidden niceness.
- Jerkass Fašade: At least part of her act is just that: an act to hide her insecurity.
- Megaton Punch: Are you in her way? Are you Sawatari doing something that irks her sense of justice? She'll send you flying, no matter who you are. In fact her first victims were two cops.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: As a student she's already more competent than most cops and has fought a super detective on even terms, but Saint Tail is way out of her league.
- She's the first to realize that Meimi may be Saint Tail, but is unable to prove it, and ends up believing Saint Tail is a man in a drag (at least until she gets another close look).
- The Rival: Romantic rival for Meimi.
- The Scrappy: At least to the original fanbase.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: As the niece of the mayor, Rina got permission to intrude in the Saint Tail investigation. She also used her influence on her uncle to almost get Asuka off the case, and in another occasion tried to get Asuka jr. back on the case (Saint Tail humiliating his replacement and getting her in a fight with Rina was more efficient).
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Has a tendency to punch her way in any situation where there's a crime. In fact her original motivation to chase Saint Tail, before falling for Asuka jr. (and promptly forgotten after seeing him in action and falling for him), was that a thief sending warnings before her capers just made her furious, and Asuka jr. seemed too incompetent to actually deal with her.
- Why Did It Have To Be Bagworms?
Manato SawatariA classmate of Meimi and Asuka, and a member of the school's journalism club. Tends to know a lot of things.
Tropes associated with Sawatari:
- Butt Monkey: Whenever he starts rambling about something, people take and leave mid-speech as soon as he told them what they asked him. Rina takes the habit of giving him a Megaton Punch whenever he does something irritating or he's in the way, and at one point Seira ceased stopping Rina from beating him up whenever he pulls one of his tricks. Asuka jr. calls him a monkey whenever he pisses him off, and even starts doing it when Sawatari did nothing bad. Poor guy...
- Casanova Wannabe: His looks make him rather successful with girls, but his original love interest, Meimi, just isn't interested in him, and the other one, being Seira, is just not interested in boys.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Large Ham
- Paparazzi: Has a tendency to 'embellish' his stories. It usually earns him a Megaton Punch from Rina.
- School Newspaper News Hound
Hideo MorinakaThe mayor of Seika, and the one who assigned Asuka jr. to the Saint Tail case.
Tropes associated to mayor Morinaka:
- Ascended Extra: His role didn't change much in the animated adaptation, but he appeared much sooner.
- Canon Immigrant: And when he appeared in the manga, it was with his anime design.
- Nepotism: Why he assigned Rina to help Asuka jr.: she had asked him, and he just can't say no to her.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
Eimi Haneoka/Phantom Thief LuciferMeimi's mother, and a former thief herself.
Tropes associated with Eimi:
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Why she fell for Genichiro. That and he hid her in a mountain of roses...
- Berserk Button: Hypnosis. Justified because of Rosemary's fondness for it.
- Challenge Seeker: Why she originally started stealing: She wanted to test her physical abilities. Then she met Rosemary.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: Formerly.
- Happily Married
- High Heel-Face Turn: When she met Genichiro she decided to retire as a thief and gave back all her loot.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns
- Large Ham: In her Lucifer days. She was so hammy one of her warning notes was a blimp.
- Evil Is Hammy: By her own admission.
- Meet Cute: She met Genichiro when she was about to be caught by the police and he decided to hide her.
- Parents as People
- Phantom Thief: Formerly. She admits she was a really mean one.
- Secret Keeper: It's implied she knows, or at least suspects, that Meimi is Saint Tail.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Genichiro.
- Women Are Wiser: Not that's too hard with Genichiro...
- You Are What You Hate: It's pointed out, again and again, her personality is identical to Rosemary's. Yet they loathe each other.
Genichiro HaneokaMeimi's father, and her teacher in the ways of the stage magic.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Happily Married
- Meet Cute: He met Eimi by hiding her from the police.
- Nice Guy: So nice that the cold Phantom Thief Lucifer melt in five minutes since meeting him.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He's really good as a Stage Magician. It's just that Meimi is way better...
- Parents as People
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Eimi.
- Stage Magician: His job.
- Magicians Are Wizards: Many of his tricks defy logical explanations, and are functionally undistinguishable from actual magic.
RubyMeimi's pet hedgehog, whose previous owner was arrested for stealing a diamond and making Ruby eat it.
Tropes associated with Ruby:
- A Day in the Limelight: Its debut chapter.
- It Makes Sense in Context: Most of what he does.
- Nearly Normal Animal: Really intelligent for an hedgehog, and easy to understand even if it doesn't talk.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter
Ryoko and KyokoMeimi and Seira's friends from the class.
Tropes associated with Ryoko and Kyoko:
- A Day in the Limelight: Anime episode 38, in which their criticism prompts Asuka to dare them to catch Saint Tail... And they accept. Hilarity Ensues.
- Ascended Extra: The anime gives them a larger role, an episode dedicated to them, and their names.
- Hot-Blooded: Ryoko.
- Those Two Girls
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In the second season Ryoko has very dark blue hair, verging on black.
Yasuhiro and ChibaAsuka jr.'s friends from the class.
Tropes associated with Yasuhiro and Chiba:
Okajima and YabeOkajima is the mayor of the city of Sakuraoka, who lent Seika's town a crystal sculpture and then had it stolen by Yabe to sell it. Due Rina's attempt at getting Asuka jr. off Saint Tail's case at the same time, they nearly succeeded in interrupting the chase.
Tropes related to Okajima and Yabe:
- Evil Knockoff: Sort of: Yabe impersonates Saint Tail to commit his theft.
- Evil Laugh: Yabe.
- Mayor Pain: Okajima is the corrupt variant, having the sculpture stolen in Seika so they'll have pay his town a lot of money and he won't have to resign while selling it to make money.
- Phantom Thief: Yabe is one for hire.
Kabako Sendo/RosemaryA rival of Eimi in her Phantom Thief days, that came to town to get her revenge on her.
Tropes associated with Rosemary:
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: Adopted parent, but her reaction to cute people embarrasses Maju anyway.
- Big Bad: Of the final part of the series.
- Cuteness Proximity: She does it all the time. And used to do it with Eimi.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Using her Embarrassing First Name in public is hardly ground for trying and ruining the speaker's life.
- Embarrassing First Name: Kabako can be translated as Miss Hippopotamus.
- Berserk Button: Tell it in front of her, and she'll shout at you. Make it public, and she'll make you suffer.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She's genuinely puzzled at Meimi preferring Asuka jr. to the chance of getting rich.
- The Fagin: Why she took in Maju: to steal together. She still loves her as a daughter.
- She also tries to recruit Saint Tail, and is rebuffed.
- Faux Affably Evil
- Femme Fatalons
- Insane Troll Logic: How she justifies going after Meimi after she used her Embarrassing First Name in private.
- Karma Houdini: She gets away with everything she pulled.
- Kick the Dog: Revealing Saint Tail's identity to Asuka jr.
- Mind Control: An extremely powerful hypnotist: by showing people some of a shiny powder she identifies as jade dust (even if it's purple and not green), she can briefly take control of the mind of an unaware victim, knock people out until she decides to awaken them, or create such realistic hallucinations they can kill (nearly strangled Saint Tail this way).
- My God, What Have I Done?: Had this expression when she saw Asuka jr.'s reaction to Saint Tail's identity.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: A subdued variant.
- Not So Different: It's pointed out, again and again, her personality is identical to Eimi's, and the only real difference is that Eimi met Genichiro. Yet they loathe each other.
- Pet the Dog: She really loves Maju as a daughter, and is willing to offer Saint Tail a chance to join her in spite of her having pressed her Berserk Button.
- Also, she renounces her revenge when she sees Meimi and Asuka jr. together.
- Phantom Thief: An unusual one, as her main tactic is to hypnotize her victim into giving her the loot.
- Phony Psychic: She and Pandora pose as fortune tellers to commit their capers, supporting the normal tricks with hypnosis.
- Revenge by Proxy: Why she goes after Meimi: to make her mother suffer. That and going after a retired theft wasn't as funny.
- The Rival: To Eimi when she was a thief.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: She seems fairly nice most of the time, but has terrifying mood swings.
- What Could Have Been: Invoked when she muses at how things could have been different had she met a good man herself.
Maju Sendo/PandoraRosemary's adopted daughter and accomplice.
Tropes associated with Maju:
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When working as a fortune teller.
- The Dragon
- Faux Affably Evil
- Jerkass Has a Point: In her opinion, Asuka jr. and Meimi's relationship was doomed to failure because the latter was hiding something big from him. She's quickly proved right, and it's only because she points out Meimi-as-Saint Tail's Love Letter Lunacy that it doesn't crash down.
- Karma Houdini
- Meaningful Name: Her nom de guerre Pandora, as she brings unhappiness (theft through hypnosis, and the involvement in Asuka jr. finding out Saint Tail's identity) with some hope (breaking through Asuka's inability to recognize love).
- Mind Control: Of the hypnotic brand, capable of briefly controlling an unaware victim or causing hallucinations with the help of some lavender scent. Still not as good as Rosemary, though.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Had she not called Asuka jr. an idiot for not recognizing an obvious love letter, his relationship with Meimi would have stayed wrecked by The Reveal of her being Saint Tail.
- Only Sane Woman: As she's usually seen around Meimi, Asuka jr. and Rosemary, it's a given.
- Phantom Thief: Of the same type as Rosemary.
- Phony Psychic: She and Rosemary pose as fortune tellers to commit their capers, supporting the normal tricks with hypnosis.
- Why Did It Have To Be Ghosts?