Miyu, Kanata, Wannya, and RuuUFO Baby
, known originally as Daa! Daa! Daa!
(Japanese onomatopeia for baby talk), is a shojo comedy manga by Mika Kawamura, serialized in Nakayoshi magazine between February 1998 and March 2002, and collected in nine bound volumes. The series was adapted as a 78-episode anime TV series, produced by NHK and animated by J.C.Staff, broadcast between March 2000 and February 2002 on NHK's BS2 broadcast satellite network. The series was one of the top-rated anime series during its initial broadcast.
Miyu Kozuki is your everyday Japanese girl, studying in eighth grade, whose parents suddenly leave her in the care of family friend Hosho Saionji, a Buddhist monk, in order to work at NASA in the United States. Soon after getting to know him and his son Kanata (with the mandatory Naked First Impression
) that Bumbling Dad
of a monk goes on his own journey to India, leaving the two teenagers alone. That very night a UFO crash-lands on the Saionji Shrine's grounds and out comes an alien baby named Ruu and his 'babysitter pet,' a cross between a cat and a dog aptly called Wannya (Bow Meow, in English) which can shapeshift. Stranded until the rescue ship comes for them, they have no other option than start living with Miyu and Kanata, thus forming an accurate explanation of the episode title: Suddenly, a family of four!
. And chaos begins.
This sweet shojo gets more and more convoluted the more characters get added to The Masquerade
: Miyu's first friends in school are Aya, the half-french ojou Nanami
, and pink-haired Rich Girl
Christine. The former is obsessed with plays (which Luu often takes part in), and the latter with everything Kanata. Also present are Santa Kurosu, a Fanboy
with a Punny Name
, and pretty boy Nozomu (second season only). The creator makes frequent appearances as Author Avatar
Mikan Kawamura, who is a bit of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander
and always thinking about deadlines. Heck, even more aliens join the fest: Seiya Yaboshi, 'nother pretty boy and minor 'villain', and the Waru Waru Dan
, which are essentially Team Rocket
! Each and all of them are as memorable as can get, and will make you enjoy this comedy up to the final, final Grand Finale
...or until the sequel.
The anime and manga provide examples of:
- Alien Autopsy: In an early episode, Miyu tries to call her mother (working overseas for NASA) for advice on what to do with the suddenly-arrived alien baby, but is discouraged when her mother starts enthusiastically (and graphically) describing the alien autopsy video she's watching.
- Anime Hair: Curiously, Christine's is the only one that's impossible to obtain in real life.
- Author Avatar: Mikan proper, appearing in her own manga as well.
- Balloon Belly: Miyu in episode 61.
- Battle Aura: Black colored for Evil Chris, to better show her mental status.
- Beach Episode: A two-parter set in Florida.
- Big Eater: Pepo, alien mascot of Ruu's in the second season. Also Wanya, if there is some mitarashi dango (dumplings in a skewer) nearby.
- Butt Monkey: Santa is portrayed as such, for liking the stupidest things (face-shaped stains in the wall?)
- Chivalrous Pervert: Nozomu, also a second season addition, to the point of giving a daily rose to each and every girl he has met.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Christine, or should I say Yami Christine. Yes, its her evil hidden personality who wants to 1-Kill Miyu, and 2-Rape Kanata. In no particular order.
- Crazy-Prepared: Chris brings her own tools just in case she breaks things.
- Doorstop Baby
- Every Episode Ending: Wannya writes something on his electronic diary.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Such is the Principal's lifestyle.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: A saying Nozomu has taken to heart, spinning around being his favored 'walking animation'. Sometimes Mikan too.
She Cleans Up Nicely
- Excited Show Title!
- Expansion Pack Past: Miss Mizuno's, homeroom teacher for the main characters.
- Eyes Always Shut: Mikan again, but not when having a serious conversation (which is like two times in 70 episodes)
- Facefault: It's a Japanese comedy. Need I say more?
- Filler Villain: Seiya may qualify, as he tried to kidnap Ruu for the same reason the Waru Waru Dan try it in many an episode of the second season.
- First Girl Wins: Aversion. Chris has known Kanata for a long time, and one-shot girl Akira was an Unlucky Childhood Friend of Kanata's (had to move away) but is Miyu the one he most...tolerates.
- Forgotten Birthday: Wannya gets one, although no one knows when it's his birthday, even him.
- Forgotten Childhood Friend: As the plot unfolds and we learn more of Miyu and Kanata's backstories they will discover that they weren't exactly strangers to each other back in the first episode.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Waru Waru Dan's leader seems to have a thing for making weird inventions.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When Chris is seen with glowy eyes her dark side erupts shortly after.
- Hammerspace: Usually used by Mikan, and oftentimes Regular Chris, to fix whatever the Evil One has destroyed in her 'absence'.
- Incest Is Relative: Nevermind that Miyu and Kanata are posing as cousins to keep the 'living alone' rumors down, Kissing Cousins clicks Christine's Berserk Button just the same.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: The Mini-Mini Set, a toy Wannya uses to miniaturize items and carry them around a la Mary Poppins, malfunctions and shrinks the Love Triangle. Hilarity Ensues.
- Also, props on Kanata for being able to masterfully use Operation Jealousy to trick Evil Chris into pushing the then-gigantic Reset Button with her superhuman strength.
- Is That Cute Kid Yours?: Ruu calling Miyu and Kanata 'Mama' and 'Papa' certainly doesn't help.
- Late for School: A staple of shojo anime.
- Lethal Chef: Miyu's attempts at cooking pumpkin to appease Kanata...don't go well.
- Little Miss Snarker: Momoka, whose introduction has her berating Miyu for not recycling and aiding global warming. From her tricycle.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Happened to Nozomu with an alien lotus.
- Lucky Bastard: Kanata is pursued by many of his girl classmates, including one who's literally crazy for him.
- The Masquerade: Gets more and more difficult to maintain as more characters are involved, and culminating in the Beach Episode in which Ruu and Wannya were three or four different people depending on who you asked. Miyu's little brother? Christine's little brother? Or Mr. Dumpling's baby?
- Men Don't Cry: Momoka's catchphrase.
- Mecha-Mooks: Built once by the Waru Waru Dan, to try to impersonate Wannya.
- Motor Mouth: Aya Konichi, who seems to be on the same league as Shiho Kubota of Pretty Cure fame.
- Naked First Impression: Though Genre Savvy Miyu was foreseeing it, it happened on cue.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Westerners have really long noses and dots for eyes.
- Oddly Named Sequel: Shin Daa Daa Daa!
- Only In Miami: The aptly named "Everyone but Santa goes to Florida" episode.
- Open Minded Parent: Hosho is this, when The Masquerade is revealed to him (accidentally). Thank god. Or maybe thank Buddha?
- Overtook the Manga: The anime had a different ending than the manga, but coincided in essence.
- Parental Abandonment: Seriously, who leaves two kids in a big, spooky temple all alone?
- Parental Obliviousness: Stems from the above. Said parents fail to see the Hidden in Plain Sight aliens living at Saionji's, even with a frickin' alien detector.
- Power Incontinence: Wanya gets this in one episode when he runs out of the shampoo that allows him to control his powers.
- Psychic Powers: All babies on Ruu's planet have them, apparently. Wanya gets mystified when Miyu and Kanata inform him that, no, those don't come standard on Earth.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pepo, the aforementioned alien mascot of Ruu. Wanya can border this sometimes as well.
- The Rival: Nozomu likes to think of Kanata as his rival in love affairs. Kanata doesn't care.
- Running Gag: Whenever nothing's happening, a little angel-like chibi will cross the screen. Sometimes points out places or people, serving as a fourth-wall painter.
- Serial Escalation: What superhuman feats will Evil Chris manage to do today? (including uprooting and flailing very big trees and punching through concrete walls...repeteadly.)
- Shrines and Temples: Obviously, Saionji Shrine, which seems to have become a Weirdness Magnet.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Really, the antics of Regular Chris (not the mad one) really border this. Towards Miyu. Talk about internal conflict.
- School Play: Happened a couple times, first getting Ruu to act and later Wannya. In a white whale form.
- She's All Grown Up: Momoka in the anime finale.
- Shout Out: Probably not intended, but Kanata in a monk garb is a dead ringer to InuYasha's lecherous monk, Miroku.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Regular Chris is this, just pink instead of blue. She can't for the love of God confess directly to Kanata. That would trigger her Superpowered Evil Side, and nobody wants that, right?
- Spell My Name with an S: Is it Ruu or Luu?
- Surprise Santa Encounter: To fulfill Momoka's Christmas wish, the main characters wanted to dress up their classmate Santa (Kurosu) as the chubby, bearded reindeer rider. Punny Name indeed.
- Terrible Trio: The Waru Waru (Evil-Evil) Gang, trying to kidnap Ruu once every few episodes.
- This and That: Often appears as one of Evil Chris' battle mantras...'Miyu and Kanata, alone in a shrine, doing this and that...GROAAAR!!' You get the idea.
- Those Two Guys: Aya and Nanami.
- Time Travel: served to reunite the principal with his monkey pet, and to briefly see Kanata's mom months before disease struck her dead.
- Token Mini Moe: Momoka, Christine's little cousin, is as smitten with Ruu as her older cousin is to the Saionji boy. It's funny because they are three and one-year old, respectively.
- Trademark Favorite Food: What was said about Wannya and skewered dumplings.
- Two-Teacher School: Complete with wacky, monkey-obsessed principal (is everyone obsessed!?)
- Unflappable Guardian: Christine's all-purpose butler, Mr. Deerfield. He is the one containing Evil Chris when her fits get out of hand, serving as a reverse Berserk Button.
- Yandere: Chris. Sweet Jesus, Chris.