Miracle Shojo Limit-chan is an early Magical Girl anime, also known as Cybernella in Italy. It aired from October 1973 to March 1974 on NET (now TV Asahi).
When 11-year-old Satomi Nishiyama (nicknamed Limit) is critically injured in an airplane crash, her scientist father saves her life by turning her into a cyborg. Now she has a number of superpowers at her disposal, but she must also keep her robotic nature a secret from her peers.
Limit-chan was created by Toei Animation from an original idea by Hiromi Productions. She got the time slot on NET that had been reserved for Magical Girl series since Sally the Witch, while another Magical Girl cyborg - the same animation studio/broadcaster's Cutey Honey - was retooled as a more action-oriented series and got a different time slot. It was Honey, however, who proved more popular.
This show is noteworthy also for being the first production on which Toei outsourced some of the animation work to a Korean studio.
This anime provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Actually gets averted most of the time. Limit has the powers, but she will usually find a non-violent solution to whatever problem is confronting her and very rarely ends up in a fight.
- Alpha Bitch: Mitsuko, although her Girl Posse is unusual in that they all suffer from some serious Gonk.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "Change Face!"
- Calling Your Attacks: Although they're actions rather than attacks. For example, Limit cries "Miracle Jump" when she does a superhuman jump, "Miracle Run" when she uses her super-speed, and "Miracle Power" when she uses her super-strength. And always in English to boot.
- Crash-Into Hello/Meet Cute: Subverted for laughs in the ice-skating episode when Nobuko crashes into a guy on the ice rink and looks up to discover that he's very handsome... and then his girlfriend immediately appears and pointedly pulls him away.
- Flying Broomstick: Actually it's her book-bag, but it serves the same purpose.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Limit's ring has this power.
- Ghibli Hills: Kazuo Komatsubara, who did the character designs for the series and animation-directed several episodes, later worked with Hayao Miyazaki on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
- Girlish Pigtails: Nobuko
- Gratuitous English: "Miracle Power!" "Change Face!" "Change Back!" Just to name a few of Limit's magical catch phrases.
- In addition, Limit's family housekeeper, who also serves as Limit's nanny and mother figure since her actual mother is dead, lived in Hawaii for a time and is fluent in both Japanese and English.
- Green-Eyed Monster: In one episode, Limit and Nobuko's friendship gets strained because Nobuko is jealous of Limit's talent at ice-skating.
- Hotblooded Sideburns: Limit
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Limit's reaction to becoming a cyborg.
- Magical Incantation: Limit has a very simple one whenever she wants to use her magical pendant to transform - she calls out, "Change face!" to transform, and "Change back!" to return to her normal self.
- Missing Mom: Limit's mother is killed in the same plane crash that necessitated Limit's cyborg-ification.
- Muggle Best Friend: Nobuko
- Musical Pastiche: The theme song for the Italian version closely resembles the Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da".
- Nerd Glasses: Nobuko
- Nice Hat: Limit's does double duty as a walkie-talkie.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Go, the robot-dog.
- Replacement Goldfish: Averted - the only way to keep Limit alive after the plane crash that nearly took her life was to make her a cyborg. Limit is well aware that she is a cyborg and it is a major source of insecurity for her.
- Ring of Power: Limit's ring can emit a scent that calms people down.
- Super Speed: One of Limit's powers.
- Super Strength: Another of her powers.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Nobuko and Limit, respectively.
- Transformation Sequence: A very short one whenever Limit uses her disguise power.
- Transformation Trinket: Limit's pendant, which she also uses to activate her other powers.
- Umbrella of Togetherness: Limit and Nobuko share an umbrella in episode 18, though in this case it doesn't seem to have any romantic implications.
- We Can Rebuild Him