With courage to despise evil and a loving heart, I can save everyone!
A fighting magical girl series that debuted in the height of the mid-Ninties Sailor Moon craze. Despite the young age (10-years-old) of the lead character, Ririka SOS courted the cross-demographic appeal of the genre through a down-to-earth atmosphere, a focus on drama, and a sense of dark-and-edginess that steadily built over its run. While great for audiences interested in a harder-hitting magical girl, it turned out to be not so great for the corporate sponsors or the show's longevity.The story follows fourth-grader Ririka Moriya, whose life gets turned upside down when super-cooltransfer student Nozomu Kanou (a.k.a. Kanou-senpai) gives her a birthday present all out of the blue. The gift is a magical cap that allows Ririka to transform into the heavenly guardian, Nurse Angel. Ririka soon learns that Kanou is actually an alien whose home world, Queen Earth, has been overrun by the evil organization Dark Joker. With help from Kanou and her friend and neighbor Seiya Uzaki, she soon learns to fight as Nurse Angel to keep Earth from sharing Queen Earth's misfortune.The franchise started out as a manga series by Koi Ikeno and Yasushi Akimoto; the anime, a 35 episode series directed by Akitaro Daichi, started airing about six months after the manga began and ran concurrently with it.
Call My Name: This is one of those shows where names tend to double as sentences.
Chekhov's Gift: "Happy Birthday, Ririka Moriya. Here is my present to you."
Could Have Been Messy: The characters frequently get roughed up, but blood is very rare. In a few episodes where the heroes sustain what are clearly meant to be grievous wounds, this can become somewhat jarring.
The Doll Episode: In episode 29, Dewey gets a pint-sized fan who remodels her favorite doll to resemble him. That's when things start getting creepy.
Elaborate University High: White Dove Academy, the school the main characters attend, is purportedly very elite. It certainly looks like it's elite — that tree-lined drive, the fountain, the picturesque bell tower...
Fusion Dance: As depicted in the second opening sequence, Ririka and Helena merge to form an alternate Nurse Angel...who dies in their place to save both of their worlds.
Growing Up Sucks: As the show opens, Ririka's life is great. Her family and friends are all wonderful and she lacks for nothing. Then she becomes a magical girl, and the contrast between her civilian life and the struggles and duties of her secret life get steadily wider...until finally she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Heroes Love Dogs: Ririka SOS depicts dogs more positively than cats. After all, Ririka loves her pet dog.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Kanon has the ability to erase the memories of normals to spare them the burden of involvement in the secret conflict. This is not shown to have any harmful effects, is inferred to work on groups, and probably gets more use than is shown on screen.
Living Battery: The Flower of Life is used to make both the Green Vaccine (Ririka's power source) and the Black Vaccine (Dark Joker's power source). The flowers are supposed to grow wherever living things exist, but the protagonists spend the whole show searching for the ones on Earth.
The Musical: Unlike fellow magical girl series Sailor Moon, though, this musical is obscure. Footage from this production was cobbled into episodes that filled the show's time slot for three weeks, but no one has bothered to subtitle them.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The crux of a big turning point in episode 26. Ririka defeats Buros once and for all! However, he was the personification of the Black Vaccine, and his last act was to disperse the Black Vaccine worldwide. Ririka can't fight Dark Joker everywhere.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Angel-ballerina-nurse! That's gotta be a winning combination for appealing to little girls, right?
Official Cosplay Gear: Merchandise for the series includes Angel Caps, Angel Batons, Angel Rings, and a full Nurse Angel dress. Only the baton has any chance actually working in cosplay.
Precocious Crush: There are many, but the main plot-driving example is Ririka's initial motivation for being Nurse Angel. She just wants praise from her idol, Kanou-senpai.
Parental Obliviousness: Neither Ririka's parents nor Seiya's suspect that their kids are up to anything dangerous, no matter what weird incidents go on around them.
Picnic Episode: In episode 18 the main characters are their families go on a hiking day-trip, but their picnic gets rained out on account of villainy. Ririka goes on to have an epic fight while everyone else is running back to the car.
Secret Identity: Zig-zagged. Ririka keeps her hero identity secret from her friends and family, but her enemies clearly know who her friends and family are. They just don't exploit it very effectively. They don't really seem to care.
Space Base: Dark Joker operates out of a weird starfish-asteroid-thing in Earth's orbit. Until Dewey breaks it in a fortunate accident. Buros then moves into Kanou-senpai's mansion.
Surprisingly Happy Ending: After trying so hard to get the audience to break down in tears from all the tragedy and noble sacrifice, the ending is pretty happy. Ririka succeeds and survives. The only question is if her friends remember her.
Total Eclipse of the Plot: Features in a couple of episodes, but most significantly the complete solar eclipse in ep. 16 used symbolize Ririka's mental state. Incidentally, an partial solar eclipse occurred in Japan not long before the episode first aired.
Yin-Yang Clash: The Green Vaccine and the Black Vaccine are antithetical to each other; one represents vitality and the other represents death and decay. However, both of them are made from the Flower of Life.