Satoshi Yabe has become an elementary school teacher, assigned to class 6-3. The school nurse is cute and the job shouldn't be too much of a problem. Except that he got the class with the most troublesome sisters in the whole school - the Marui triplets. All of them are perverted, rambunctious and prone to causing trouble, and it's his job to teach them. Though the rest of the class is only slightly less insane...Based on the manga of the same name, Mitsudomoenote Three-Way Struggle was adapted into a 13-episode anime which was simulcast on Crunchyroll. The 14th episode is only available on DVD. A second season, Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!note Three-Way Struggle - Getting Bigger!, aired in January 2011, although it only had eight episodes due to low ratings and DVD sales. It is, however, a fair bit more popular in America.
And You Were There — Gachiranger has a few interestingly shared roles. Gachi Red and Yabecchi, Gachi Pink and Kuriyama-sensei, the Big Bad and Soujirou, and the Gachirangers' monster friend and Yuudai.
April Fools' Plot — Hitoha gets a nasty case of paranoia one April Fools', worried she's going to get pranked.
Art Evolution — The manga's art style is rather sketchy in the original chapters but becomes much more professional as the series progresses. The students are also rather twiggy in the first few chapters but gradually round out into the Puni Plush designs seen in the anime, which probably decided (for the best) to go with the later art.
Interestingly, one aspect of it is actually noticed in-universe: In the manga, Mitsuba originally has much longer bangs until chapter 9, when her bangs get cut evenly. Mitsuba then permanently switches to this hairstyle in subsequent chapters, with her original style never being seen again (contrast with Futaba, who copies the hairstyle for the rest of the chapter, but immediately goes back to normal in later chapters). In the anime, Mitsuba always has her even-bangs haircut, even in stories where she had longer bangs in the manga.
Break the Cutie — Yabe suffers from this after episode two of Zouryouchuu. After having the worst Christmas ever by getting rejected by Kuriyama, sitting alone in his apartment while wearing a Santa outfit with a mannequin with glasses wearing a female Santa outfit in front of him, having his beloved mannequin fall face first onto his Christmas cake and then catch on fire, becoming Santa for Futaba when Soujirou is running late, getting the crap beat out of him by Soujirou after a misunderstanding and finally walking home in the freezing snow in nothing but a Santa hat and his boxers, his personality changes in the next episodes, becoming easily irritated, resigned and unsurprised of the weird attitude of his classmates.
It happened earlier than that. In episode 2, after Futaba gave her a bloody lump on her head during a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, Mitsuba cried out with "How many times are you going to try to kill me in this anime?!"
Cast Herd — The classroom is divided into certain cliques. Team Sugisaki (Miku, Yuki, Miyashita and Sakiko), Shinya and Yuudai (and Shinya's fangirls), the triplets and the rest. Though they overlap frequently.
Cat Girl — After not finding the stray cat they wanted to bring home, Mitsuba gets the bright idea of having Futaba be a substitute cat. She gets really into the role...
Characterization Marches On — During the panty incident at the swimming pool, in the manga, Futaba hates her dad as much as her sisters, which doesn't fit with her being the only one who really loves him shown later on. The anime actually brings this scene in line with Futaba's later characterization, making her the only one not to be punished.
Color Failure — Happens quite often, with hilarious results. A good example is episode 13: after Hitoha discovers that the cat she and Futaba were caring for had supposedly left them (and after their father said that they could keep it and they bought cat food and toys for it too, no less), she loses all color and repeatedly fills the cat's food dish with kibble, empties the kibble back into the bag, and repeats it.
Everybody Knew Already — When Miku is trying to find Mitsuba's weakness, she goes straight for the Goofy Print Underwear. Which doesn't work, since the entire class knows about it already, to the surprise of Miku and Mitsuba.
When convinced that Shinya likes panties more than anything (Thank you, Futaba...) Oga from the Hopeless Trio removes hers on the spot, kicks them into the stratosphere, and swears to never wear them again.
Goofy Print Underwear — A running gag is that Mitsuba tends to wear animal-print panties, despite being the oldest of the triplets. She has a collection of Zodiac animals, too!
Groin Attack — Actually the focus of an entire story. The triplets try this, under the logic that if Yabe got hurt, Kuriyama-sensei would have to look at his crotch, immediately fall in love, and then he'd get laid.
Image Song — In order: The triplets, Sakiko, Miku, the Hopelessly in Love with Satou-kun Trio and... Nipples. The hamster has a character song. It's 4 minutes of Momoko Saito making squeaking sounds. Yabe has one as a B-side on the second season's opening, and the show's best album adds songs for Miyashita and a duet for Yuudai and Shinya. Yuki is the only major character without a song.
Lethal Chef — Subverted by Futaba. It is likely that, due to her ridiculous strength, she tends to make food that comes out looking like it was crushed thoroughly (or in the case of the Valentine's chocolate she made, looked misleadingly like dog poo). Anyone who takes a first glance at her cooking may think "Is that even food?"; however, it actually tastes delicious, according to those who have tried it.
Limited Wardrobe — While most characters avert this, Futaba is always seen wearing either a dogi or, after she cuts that up to make pencil cases, the blue top seen in the page image.
Locked in a Room — Mitsuba and Hitoha get trapped in the gym storage shed when a game of cops and robbers goes astray.
And then later on in Zouryouchuu episode six, they wind up being in their home's bathroom after Mitsuba crash lands on their side's doorknob while their dad's out cold from drinking too much.
No Name Given — Miyashita is the only major student in the class who's never given anything beyond a last name. A handful of background characters get the same treatment (like Amikawa, that girl with the really shiny forehead).
Nonstandard Character Design — Soujirou Marui is drawn in a much rougher art style with thicker lines compared to everyone else on the show.
Also Yuki's dad is drawn in the same fashion.
Also there's that kid whose face looks like a dog and his mother.
Not Allowed to Grow Up — There are several stories that feature the same yearly holiday (usually Valentine's Day and Christmas), yet the kids are always in sixth grade.
Panty Shot — Futaba does it willingly to Shinya, with no shame whatsoever. This gets the idea in the school that letting Shinya see one's panties means he'll date them. Though it's hardly the only time panties are used for humor.
If you pay attention, you'll notice that, for all the panty jokes and seeing panties being tossed around, we never see a traditional up-the-skirt style panty shot.
Pet the Dog — Hitoha is manipulative, scary and cruel to almost everybody. But she does care for Nipples (and later, the cat), so there's some compassion in her.
Despite she is cruel and manipulative to Yabe, deep down, Hitoha cares for him.
Unfortunately, everytime she shows compassion to him, he thinks the wrong idea from her.
She is also surprisingly mild toward Sakiko, who she seems to have taken a bit of a liking to.
She actually hates her (Especially when Sakiko spoils her Gachiranger moment in ep 7 and burns her Gachi Red photograph in Zouryouchuu ep 2.) but does not show it out of courtesy.
This is subverted in Chapter 221 of the manga in which it seems that she has come to care about her, such as when Hitoha called her "Sacchan" when Matsuoka was blank and later becomes embarrassed for doing it so.
Porn Stash — Yabe has one out in the open, but then it is his apartment. He just wasn't expecting Hitoha to make a duplicate key and break in...and that's not even saying anything about Hitoha's massive stash. Yabe's stash turns out to be Futaba's undoing in the cockroach-smashing episode.
Potty Emergency — Episode 2-6, when the girls eat bad oranges and Mitsuba refuses to let them in.
Sound Effect Bleep — When Hitoha calls Mitsuba a "*** pig," the asteriked word is represented as pig noises.
Special Edition Title — Episode four of Zouryouchuu! ends with a version of "Nearer My God to Thee" sung by the Marui triplets, played over stained glass windows depicting the events of the last sketch. Hitoha breaks the screen at the end, furious.
Hitoha: Don't make endings where I die.
In episode 1-7 (and only episode 1-7 for some reason), the opening has sound effects added for events such as Futaba breaking things, people popping up from the sides of the screen, and Yuudai getting a Nose Bleed.
Episode 1-9 with Futaba ice-sliding to Blue Danube.
Super Window Jump — Futaba leaps out a fourth story window to retrieve her dad's picture, much to the surprise of Shinya's fangirls.
Talking with Signs — Futaba, temporarily after losing her voice in episode 7 of Zouryouchuu!
Teacher/Student Romance — Hitoha wanting to apologize to Yabe about insulting his love of Gachiranger leads to Yuki assuming that Hitoha's a Stalker with a Crush. Yet it's Yuki herself who makes Yabe actually think that when he walks in at the wrong moment.
Hitoha and Yabe's being (or accidentally getting) unusually close is also reiterated throughout the show, even though there is no apparent sign of romantic attraction. The main example is Hitoha spending her entire time in the school under Yabe's desk, both in the classroom and in the teachers' room. Other examples include Hitoha helping Matsuoka undress Yabe, Hitoha seemingly allowing Yabe to feel her "breast tumor", Hitoha having Yabe's home phone number and calling him over, and the continuation of the misunderstanding about Gachiranger (climaxing with Hitoha clenching Yabe's hand to tell him she loves them).
This only happens in the anime, since their relationship is slightly distant in the manga.
Theme Triplet Naming — The sisters' names go [number]-[kanji for leaf], starting from three and working down to one.
Thirteen Episode Anime — The first season. Zouryouchuu! takes it even further, consisting of only eight episodes.
Throw the Dog a Bone — Episode 13 is the first time Mitsuba does something selfless that doesn't come back to bite her in the butt.