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Manga / Gals!
aka: Super Gals

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L - R: Aya, Ran & Miyu

The world's greatest Gal.

Gals! is a Shōjo manga written and drawn by Mihona Fujii, which was serialized in Ribon magazine from 1998 to 2002 and collected into 10 volumes, and adapted into a 52-episode shoujo anime series titled Super Gals (2001-2002) by Studio Pierrot.

It mainly revolves around three high school "kogals": Ran Kotobuki, Miyu Yamazaki and Aya Hoshino, and their "adventures" around Shibuya, Japan.

For the series' 20th anniversary, a one-shot chapter where the girls are transported to Shibuya in The New '10s was made. Later in 2019, the series announced a sequel picking up where the series left off. The sequel manga would eventually conclude on 20 December 2022.

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 is 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.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Rei and Aya in Chapter 36.
  • 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.
  • Balloon Belly: Towa in episode 31 after eating a bunch of giveaway food.
  • Bland-Name Product: With inverted McDonald's arches and Burger Queens.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Miyu is blonde, Aya has brown hair note , 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...
  • 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.
  • Circling Saw: One of the ways Kasumi Tsukino tries to ruin Ran's reputation as the #1 Gal in Shibuya is to try sawing a circle underneath her while Ran is on stage during a contest at the school festival. Kasumi succeeds in making Ran fall through the circle, however, Kasumi realizes at the last minute that all she did was make Ran and the wooden floor circle land on herself, squishing her underneath without anyone noticing (and it doesn't succeed in ruining Ran's reputation, either).
  • 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, thanks to her whole family being made up of police officers and her father giving her a rather extreme training so she could become one.
  • Delusions of Beauty: The gonguro sisters, while not that ugly, are drawn with Gag Lips that makes them look less conveniently pretty than the other female characters. They still think that they're more attractive than the main girls (one of them even calls Ran "plain" at one point), and don't understand why Ran and the others are more popular with guys than they are.
  • Dramedy: 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.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first chapters, one member of the Tan Trio wasn't tan, and they mocked Ran on the fact she was still a virgin instead for not being tan.
  • Education Mama: Aya's parents expect their daughter to earn high grades and get accepted in a top university. They later pressure her to give up her friends in favor of more studying.
  • Gyaru Girl: The main focus of this series is how the three girls enjoy engaging in Gyaru lifestyles. The series provides one of the page images.
  • Happily Married: Taizo and Kiyako Kotobuki, Ran's parents.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: Miyu in Episode 31 steams from embarrassment when she barges in on Yamato and Towa working in the Cafe.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although he's an absolute douche about it, Otohata actually does have a point when it comes to how he sees Aya and their relationship. Neither of them should be engaged in it if it's out of obligation or if it's an uneven relationship where one person feels like a burden to the other. He also makes the very good point that Aya needs to start taking more control of her life and making decisions to do the things she actually wants to do rather than what she thinks others expect of her.
  • 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series spends most of its time on wacky Slice of Life antics, so when the drama bombs hit, they hit hard.
  • 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.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Otohata and Ran. They meet each other in what looks like a Meet Cute moment, and they frequently cross paths ever since. Otohata is the only one who can cool Ran down when she gets too wild, and Ran's enthusiasm all but defrosted him. Ran has also opened up emotionally to Otohata more than she has with other people. But in the end, Ran shows no romantic interest in Otohata and becomes an Official Couple with Tatsuki, and while Otohata briefly had a crush on Ran, he finally reciprocates Aya's feelings in the last three manga volumes.
  • Ocular Gushers: Happens often to Aya and Tatsuki, and sometimes Ran and Miyu.
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The last few episodes of the anime involves a BAD case of this. Rumors start swirling about a Love Triangle involving Ran, Aya and Otohata. Aya, already dealing with the stress from Otohata admiting point-blank that he does like Ran, begins pulling away from Ran without telling her what's going on while Otohata flat-out doesn't give enough of a shit to say anything either way to disuade the rumors. By the time word gets to Ran about what's going on, her friendship with Aya is in a tailspin and she has to make a mad dash across Shibuya to find Aya and set things straight.
  • Real Dreams are Weirder: Aya has a pretty trippy dream in the start of Episode 35.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech:
  • 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.
  • Serial Romeo: Tatsuki's brother Naoki easily falls in love and has repeatedly found "soulmates" in girls who are otherwise unavailable, i.e. Ran, Miyu, Sayo and Aya.
  • 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.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Happens to Yuya in Episode 5 after going down a waterslide on his stomach.
  • 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 English dub Ran, though the Japanese version of Ran is often 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.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Gals are notoriously known for their promiscuity, but Ran proudly declares herself as a virgin, to the amusement of her rivals.
  • 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 and Tatsuki seem to be the only ones who are 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.

Alternative Title(s): Super Gals


Watermelon Gals

The Gals get into a watermelon competition

How well does it match the trope?

4.4 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SmashingWatermelons

Media sources: