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Anime / Miracle Shojo Limit-chan

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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 is mortally injured in an airplane crash (which also kills her mother), her scientist father saves her life by turning her into a cyborg. Now Satomi, now nicknamed Limit, 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 (but had been temporarily lost to Babel II), 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 while Limit fell into obscurity (except in Italy, where she became quite popular under the name "Cybernella"). Toei re-teamed with Hiromi Productions afterward for Majokko Meg-chan.

This show is noteworthy also for being one of the earliest productions to be outsourced by Toei to South Korean studios.

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.
  • Dub Name Change: Limit-chan is known as Cybernella in the Italian dub. Yet the title card for the Italian dub still reads "Limit, Miracle Girl," in English, under the word "Cybernella."
  • 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.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Nobuko
  • Gratuitous English: "Miracle Power!" "Change Face!" "Change Back!" Just to name a few of Limit's magical catch phrases, which are all in English.
    • 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.
  • Hot-Blooded 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.
  • Meaningful Name: In creator Shinji Nagashima's original proposal for the series, Limit would have had only a year to live after being reincarnated as a cyborg, hence the name "Limit." Toei and NET rejected this proposal as too dark, yet the name Limit stuck, although it has no meaning in the final version of the show.
  • Missing Mom: Limit's mother is killed in the same plane crash that necessitated Limit's cyborgification.
  • 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.
  • 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 throughout the show.
  • 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