(left to right) Miyu, Ran & Aya
The world's greatest Gal.
(2001-2002) is a 52-episode shoujo anime series, based on the manga Gals!
(1999-2002) by Mihona Fuji, serialzed in Ribbon
magazine that eventually collected into 10 tankoubon
It mainly revolves around three high school "kogals": Ran Kotobuki
, Miyu Yamazaki
and Aya Hoshino
, and their "adventures" around Shibuya, Japan.
Tropes used in this series include:
- Abusive Parent: Miyu's mother blames Miyu for her divorce and barely acknowledges Miyu's presence. She gives Miyu enough to live on until the second series where she outright abandons Miyu.
- Action Girl: A number of Gals are very good fighters, and could easily beat up men. Ran is probably the best, but Miyu, Mami and Harue aren't bad either.
- Action Mom: Ran's mother is a police officer.
- Alleged Lookalikes: When the group visits Taiwan for a study tour, Ran was frequently mistaken by the locals for artist Vivian Lin. However, due to their different hairstyle and perpetual expressions, they look no more alike than the rest of the main cast.
- Always Second Best: Half of the time, Ran doesn't even remember that Yuuya's name is in fact "Yuuya" and not "Second Place". Also, Mami can never beat Ran at anything even if it's something she's trained to be the best at.
- Art Evolution: The way Ran's face was drawn was different in the first chapter, giving her more Tsurime Eyes. Subsequent chapters improved until about the fourth chapter, where the iconic Only Six Faces began to regulate itself.
- Art Shift: When Sayo and Masato really get into pretending to be detectives.
- Badass Longcoat: Ran, when she is wearing her signature long red coat.
- Beach Episode: Technically, it was an indoor swimming pool... decorated to look like the beach. With sand and everything!
- Beware of the Nice Ones: Miyu. It took a very stressful period and sexual harassment, but the one time she snapped, the harasser was on his knees begging for his life in less than ten seconds. And he was lucky enough that Ran was there to Bright Slap Miyu, or else...
- Bland-Name Product: With inverted McDonald's arches and Burger Queens.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Miyu is blonde, Aya has brown hair, while Ran has her signature red highlight. The blonde and red hair come from bottles, but still.
- Brainy Brunette: Aya, who has brown hair, is the smartest of the gang, being an honour student, and is trying to get into Tokyo University.
- Broken Bird: Miyu was this in her gang years, a tough trouble maker due to her parent's divorce and her mom's lack of affection to her.
- Butt Monkey: The Tan Trio appear only to be humiliated by Ran. Even more notable because Ran would normally ignore them, but they always try to compete with her...
- Calling Your Attacks: Ran does this on a number of occasions
- Casanova Wannabe: Tatsuki's younger brother, Naoki, is very quick to fall in love with someone and declare them his "soulmate". Unfortunately, he tends to go after girls who are already taken (first Ran, then Miyu, Sayo, and finally Aya), so none of his pursuits ever work out for him.
- Compensated Dating: What Aya was doing in the first episode.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ran, to some extent. Might be because of the fact that her whole family is made up of police officers.
- Hidden Depths: Despite it's bright and shiny exterior, the show talked about seriously heavy issues like crime, broken families, gang violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Kid Detective: What Sayo and Masato imagine themselves as. In truth they are just two kids playing detective and snooping around
- There's three of them when Naoki (Tatsuki's younger brother) joins in, appearing in their detective song.
- Lucky Charms Title: Each one of the episode titles has a heart and an arrow in it somewhere.
- Megaton Punch: Ran does this numerous times throughout the show to various men.
- Nice Hat: Sayo's hat.
- Ojou: Mami Honda. Ran also gets turned into one for an episode.
- Only Six Faces: When it comes down to it, the girls all have two faces, with the difference being that some have Tsurime Eyes and others don't.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: In Volume 6 of the manga, a student is busted for copying answer keys for exams. Said student flat out calls the teachers of the Honan Highschool "stupid" because the password for the computers? Honan2.
- Retired Outlaw: Miyu used to be a violent gang leader, whose behaviour is far worse than Ran's. Now, she's one of the nicest, most modest, and hardworking of the main characters.
- The Rival: Mami Honda. Kasumi in the second series.
- Romantic False Lead: After Aya's relationship with Otohata begins to fall apart in volume 6, we are introduced to Katase. He's Aya's classmate in the special class, who also leads the student council, and seems very kind, caring and supportive towards Aya. However, Aya still loves Otohata (even though the latter is still very cold towards her), and is reluctant to return Katase's feelings. Later, Katase turns out to be rather controlling (he tries to get Aya leave her friends, whom he deems are bad influence to her), and revealed to be a cheat who steals exam questions to achieve high grades.
- Sadist Teacher: Gunjou. He pushes his students to achieve in sports, antagonizes Ran when she defeated his class in the sports festival, and was eventually fired for actually hitting Ran during an argument.
- Satellite Character: Mami's sidekick Harue doesn't seem to have any other personality other than being, well, Mami's sidekick. She briefly gets more focus when it was revealed that she used to be a member of Miyu's rival gang — the eagles, but the issue gets quickly resolved by Mami reminding her that she is now an Ikebukuro gal, and she reverts to being Mami's friend, with no visible change in her overall behaviour.
- Second Love: Yuya fell for Ran at first sight but he ends up with Mami in season two.
- Second Place Is for Losers: Gunjou's attitude towards the athletic fest.
- Show Within a Show:
- In one episode they're able to solve a case by comparing it to episodes of said television show where the main actor of Odaiba Shark says it's similar to one episode where the villian was hiding in a factory outside of town and by freak chance they were...
- Also, the action show Pink Panther X, of which Ran is a great fan... And has taken the place of the main actor in two different occasions (and cosplayed the main character once). The fact it's a kid show doesn't matter anything to her.
- Stalker with a Crush: Miyu runs into one of these.
- Stock Footage: the "Junior Detectives" theme song.
- Third-Person Person: Miyu talks like this. Serves as a noticeable difference between Present!Miyu and Past!Miyu.
- Those Two Girls: Ran's childhood friends, Rie and Satsuki, is rarely given any focus or significant character development. Only appearing very occasionally to join in Ran's weirder antics, complain about their lack of boyfriends, and swooning over Otohata.
- Totally Radical: most present in the English dub, though the Japanese version is probably like this as well.
- Un-Cancelled: The North American DVD release went through this. After ADV Films released the first 26 episodes over six volumes in 2003-04, they didn't release any more due to lackluster sales. A few years later, Right Stuf licensed the second season and released it as a single boxed set, although without English audio.
- Verbal Tic: Sayo peppers her sentences with "datchu" ("you bet").
- Welcome Episode: Aya wasn't initially a part of Ran's group, but finally becomes one of her best friends in the second chapter, and is now closer to her than her two old friends — Rie and Satsuki.
- Your Secret's Safe With Me, Superman: Sayo and co. believe the main actor in the show Odaiba Shark is the actual character. Whenever they meet up he pretends to be him so not to break their dreams. Later when he's written temporarily out of the show he plays a coach in a Kid's Show, Sayo shakes him (the character) as a look-a-like.