The Girl in Twilight (Akanesasu Shoujo) is a multimedia franchise created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Animax television channel, with concept by Kotaro Uchikoshi and character designs by Masakazu Katsura and Hiroyuki Asada. It includes a 12-episode anime produced by Dandelion Animation Studio and Jūmonji, released during the Fall 2018 season, as well as a free-to-play mobile game released for iOS and Android.
Asuka Tsuchimiya is an Ordinary High-School Student known around town for her boundless energy and her love of chikuwa. She is also the founder of her school's Radio Research Society, along with her friends: uptight honor student Yuu Tounaka, tall yet shy Mia Silverstone, popular and rebellious Nana Nanase and the quiet bookworm Chloe Morisu. Every day after school, at 4:44 pm, Asuka and her friends go to their town's sacred tree, set their radios to a random frequency, and attempt to travel to other dimensions. It's all fun and games until the fateful day that their ritual succeeds and the girls find themselves in a golden wasteland. Here, they witness an alternate Asuka, here a hardened warrior, transform to fight invading monsters.
This Asuka tells them that they are in a world under siege by the Twilight, a dimensional plague that consumes alternate dimensions, and that she is an Equalizer, somebody who can manifest their personality into battle armor that lets them fight back against the Twilight. Despite this Asuka's warnings to not put themselves in danger, the Radio Research Society finds themselves traveling to parallel versions of the world they know and joining in the battle against the Twilight.
The anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks and is currently available for streaming on HiDive.
This series contains examples of the following tropes:
- Alternate Self: Each Fragment has their own versions everyone in the cast, including the Radio Research Club themselves. The one exception is the person who acts as a "Link" between the two Fragments, who takes over the body of their alternate self in that universe. Two specific alternates, Seriousuka and "Sexy" Yuu, are recurring characters. The Emissary of Twilight is another alternate of Asuka, albeit as a child.
- Alternate Universe: The different Fragments, which are represented as different frequencies on the Astral Modules, are different paths that the world could've taken. These include, but are not limited to:
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Yuu giving one to Asuka in Episode 11 is what allows her to become an Equalizer.
- Badass Adorable: Mia is seen by everyone as adorable, but she secretly idolizes the cool confidence of the heroes in Wild West films. Her Equalizer form certainly qualifies as this, giving her a desperado outfit with incredible firepower.
- Battle Ballgown: Nana's Equalizer form is an armored wedding dress, complete with a "bouquet" that can act as a shield or as a laser cannon.
- Beach Episode: Episodes 6 and 7 which take place on a group of islands in the middle of summer. The plot of those episodes is even triggered by Asuka saying that she wants to go the beach (despite it being the middle of winter).
- By the Power of Grayskull!: All Equalizers invoke the same phrase when transforming:"Come forth, my twilight self! Duplicate!"
- Five-Man Band:
- Genki Girl: Asuka could power an entire city with her cheerfulness. Episode 10 reveals that its at least partially a front.
- Gratuitous French: Chloe likes to insert French phrases in her speech and writing, as she spent much of her childhood in Paris. Also featured in the very title of Episode 7, "Tu n'es pas seule." note
- Just Like Robin Hood: The Chloe and Nana of the Wild West Fragment rob banks in order to provide for a group of orphans that they care for. After Bounty Hunter Asuka helps share the news of their situation, the large amount of donations that they receive allow them to give up their life of crime.
- Magical Girl Warrior: The Equalizers, people who can transform into super-powered warriors to repel the Twilight.
- Maybe Ever After: After Episode 11's unambiguous Love Confession, there's no clear follow-up in Episode 12 about whether Yuu and Asuka have become an Official Couple or not. However, in the epilogue Asuka, while blushing, declares that she wants to go to the same university as Yuu and become roommates. Another scene shows the two dancing together in their school's broadcasting room.
- The Multiverse: The "Fragments" are parallel universes that the girls can travel between.
- Nice Girl: Asuka. Her final conversation with the Emissary of Twilight fully cements this status.
- Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity: The phones provided by the White Goat AI in the Island Fragment cause Mia, Nana and Yuu to devolve into vapid, phone-obsessed zombies. They return to normal once they've been separated from the phones long enough.
- Punny Name:
- Nana's entire reason for changing her mind about marrying Tomoya in Episode 3 is her learning that his (and therefore her soon-to-be) last name is Chokoba. Meaning that her name would become Nana Chokoba, aka Chokoba Nana note
- Asuka comes to calling her alternate-universe self Seriousuka, which ends up sticking much to Seriousuka's annoyance. When she has to masquerade as a friend of Asuka's to her family in Episode 8, the first fake surname that she comes up with is Siri, which would make her "Siri Asuka."
- The handle that Asuka uses when calling radio stations is "Chikuwasuka."
- Schizo Tech: Invoked in the Wild West Fragment, where said aesthetic never went away (and spread to Japan somehow) and which features cars alongside horse-drawn wagons. At one point, Asuka and the Bandit Nana and Chloe make their getaway from a bank robbery via a covered wagon drawn by a motorcycle.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Sexy Yuu openly lusts after Asuka, much to the regular Yuu's embarrassment. In Episode 11 Yuu confesses her own love for Asuka, which Asuka appears to reciprocate.
- Sharing a Body: Happens to the two Yuus in Episode 9. Since "Sexy" Yuu is an Equalizer, she is able to remain conscious and shares control of her body with the regular Yuu, who is inhabiting her as the Link.
- Stepford Smiler: After Seriousuka seemingly perishes in Episode 9, Asuka turns her cheerfulness Up to Eleven, to the point where her friends realize that something is wrong. Yuu reveals to the other club members that Asuka acted similarly when Kyohei disappeared, and that since Asuka was the last person to see Kyohei alive, she blames herself for his disappearance, which she copes with by putting on a cheerful facade.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Asuka is obsessed with chikuwa, a type of fish cake, as well as the miso that her family sells. Seriousuka also loves Asuka's family miso, which Asuka often uses to bribe her into doing things.
- The Unfought: There is no final battle against the Emissary of Twilight, as Asuka manages to convince her to accept Kyohei's disappearance. The "King" of Twilight, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen and may not even exist as the Emissary describes the Twilight as a force of nature.
- Wham Episode: Episode 9. Asuka and co. follow Seriousuka back to her home Fragment, which is already being consumed by the Twilight. There, who they believe to be the King of Twilight makes his appearance and easily defeats the Equalizers, allowing him to complete the destruction of Seriousuka's fragment. Seriousuka stays behind to try and defeat the King of Twilight and is consumed along with her Fragment, and the other Equalizers alongside a heartbroken Asuka barely escape with their lives.
- Wham Line: Courtesy of Yuu in Episode 11:Yuu: "Asuka! I'm here! And I love you more than anyone else in the world!"
- World of Silence: Seriousuka describes worlds consumed by the Twilight as places where "nothing dies, but nothing is born either."