Manga: Super Gals

(left to right) Miyu, Ran & Aya

The world's greatest Gal.

Super Gals (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 volumes.

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.
  • 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: In the earlier chapters, Ran is often dressed in a red longcoat, and kicks ass in them.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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: Before joining Ran's gang, Aya "work" as an Enjo Kosai who dates older men for money to rebel against her parents.
  • 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: On the surface, the series seem to be a comedy/slice-of-life about the ko-gal subculture of Japan, but it also delves into 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 (three, if Naoki (Tatsuki's younger brother) joins in) playing detective and snooping around.
  • 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ran has a minor version of this after she robbed Otohata's bag and realized that what she did was technically a crime. She later tried to give it back to him, though he told her to keep it.
  • Nice Hat: Sayo has a large collection of hats, and is almost never seen without them. According to one bonus chapter, her cute hats was the reason why Masato fell in love with her.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Otohata and Ran. They met each other in what looks like Meet Cute moment, and they've crossed paths since then. Otohata is the only one who can cool Ran down when she gets too wild, and Ran's enthusiasm all but defrosted him. Ran had also opened up emotionally to Otohata more than she has with other people. But Ran chose to date Tatsuki, and while Otohata briefly had a crush on Ran, he eventually ends up with Aya.
  • 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.
  • The Rival: Mami Honda is always trying to outdo Ran in almost everything, and she's the only other Gal whom Ran takes seriously as a threat (as opposed to the Tan Trio).
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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").
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: In volume 3's omake, Ran gets hit on the head and becomes a demure, hardworking, nice girl. Sayo, who believed that Ran was alien possessed, spent the whole episode trying to bring her back to normal, crying about how her rude, wild and Hot-Blooded self was the sister she loves best. In a subversion though, Sayo seemed to be the only one who is not happy with Ran's change. Everyone else either welcomes it or is indifferent to it.
  • 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.