Goldfish Warning! is a Shoujo Manga by Neko Nekobe, which ran in Nakayoshi from 1989 to 1993. It follows the adventures of Chitose Fujinomiya, a snobbish young girl, who's been orphaned and impoverished by the death of her father. Thrown out of her exclusive, ritzy private school ("Tokaino Gakuen", a pun which can be read as "Big City High School"), she and her only remaining possession (a strange pink goldfish named "Gyopi") find themselves at Inakano Chugakko (another pun — "Out in the Country Junior High"). Inakano is not exactly what she's used to — it's dilapidated and farm animals wander both the grounds and the classrooms. Despite their rough manners, though, the students are good-hearted, and Chitose soon makes several friends (whether she wants them or not), including pink-haired semi-ditz Wapiko, good boy Shu and token delinquent Aoi (who despite their apparent differences all hang out together).
Then her late father's lawyer shows up, seeking to steal Gyopi. Gyopi, it turns out, is an extremely rare and valuable fish, and just about the only thing from the estate of Chitose's father that the lawyer hasn't already plundered. But the school's guard chicken (yes, guard chicken) catches him in the act and raises an alarm. He is caught and in the process drops a key to a safe-deposit box in which Chitose finds her lost inheritance — billions of yen in stocks, bonds, deeds and other documents.
With the money Chitose could return to Tokaino Gakuen, but instead she chooses to remain at and rebuild Inakano Chugakko. She then installs herself as head of the student council, and tries to "elevate" the school and its student body, while at the same time getting revenge on Tokaino. Most of the subsequent episodes deal with her efforts at sophisticating her classmates, and how her own snobbishness both sabotages her efforts and keeps her from enjoying herself the way her friends do.
This is a strange, high-energy series where the characters spend almost half their time Super-Deformed. Chitose plots and yells at people, there are a lot of random cows and chickens in almost every scene, and the principal of the school has antennae. If you don't expect things to make a lot of sense, but do like off-the-wall, slapstick-style comedy, you'll enjoy this show.
A 54-episode animated adaptation, produced by Toei Animation and directed by Junichi Sato, aired from 1991 to 1992. Both the anime series and its successor, Sailor Moon, aired Saturdays on TV Asahi at 7:00 pm.
Goldfish Warning! provides examples of:
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Justified, in this case, as Chitose is student council president and also owns the school.
- Amusing Injuries: Between the cartoon violence, talking animals, & school setting, it's not too much of a stretch to call this the anime equivalent of Tiny Toon Adventures.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Completely averted, with Chitose showing a surprising degree of Genre Savvy for a character who usually has no sense of self-awareness. Her former love interest, who quickly dumped her when she briefly became poor, discovers she's rich again and wants to get back with her. She's having none of it.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Episode 44, Chitose tells Aoi that the point of the episode was a fan request to see him in tights.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Tanakayama was Chitose's lawyer & he often wears rabbit ears for no reason.
- Butt-Monkey: Aoi may be Chitose's uninterested love interest, but he's also her personal punching bag.
- Mizoguchi-sensei gets absolutely no respect from his students.
- Cloudcuckoolander: All but 3 in the student body of the joint junior high/farm. Wapiko is their queen, Shuu is the only sane man, Aoi rolls with it, & Chitose is her own special breed of frustration & madness.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: Averted. Aoi only pretends not to notice Chitose or Yurika because he thinks they're horrible people.
- Crocodile Tears: While Shuu & Aoi find Chitose & Yurika to be utterly transparent, Wapiko falls for the crying act every time.
- Destination Defenestration: Every so many episodes, someone will chuck Tanaka through a window.
- Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The Inakano bell rings a part of the opening theme.
- Distressed Dude: Gyoupi is constantly under threat of being kidnapped & sold. Shark was once a target for a special food item.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Women are masochists, men are punching bags.
- Drama Queen: Chitose & Yurika eat, breathe, & sleep melodrama.
- Dumb Is Good: Ignorance is heavenly bliss.
- Every Man Has His Price: Moral grounds are as thin & crumbly as potato chips; absolutely everyone can & will bribe everyone else with food.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Tanakayama is ordered by Yurika to get pictures of Aoi without the sunglasses he never ever takes off, so he bribes the entire school with Yakisoba Pan to forcibly remove them.
- Ignored Aesop: It wouldn't be much of a comedy if Chitose & Yurika ever learned to stop repeating the same mistakes over & over.
- Interspecies Romance: A running gag played for laughs. Wapiko wants to date a penguin, a cat fell in love with an oxen, & the school spread rumors about Shuu dating one of the cows.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Chitose. It seems not a day goes by when she isn't trampled by a herd of cows. Tanakayama to the extreme.
- It Only Works Once: Bad Ox is given a plot convenient Weaksauce Weakness of carrots, which is resolved same episode & never brought up again.
- It's All About Me: Chitose will step on the happiness of her friends if she can sell whatever makes them happy for a new wardrobe.
- Jerkass: Tanakayama; frequently fired for incompetency, will do anything for cash, lives to freeload & steal, will play double agent because he has no loyalties.
- Laser-Guided Karma: All of Yurika's & Chitose's selfish plans come back to bite them in the ass swiftly.
- Long-Lost Relative: In episode 8B, Yurika founds out that Chitose is her sister, and starts having a change of heart because of this. It turns out to be a lie by Tanakayama, who was angry because of how she treats him. Once finding out, Chitose starts to shamelessly use this to her advantage.
- One of the Kids: The principal is just as childish and playful as the school's students.
- Only Sane Man: Shuu. Everyone else is out of their gourd.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: She almost always wears pink, but when fantasizing about life as a princess, she is often sporting a dress remarkably similar to Princess Peach's in Super Mario Brothers.
- Proper Lady: Chitose & Yurika. Chitose also uses this as an excuse to avoid unladylike things that involve dirt & manual labor.
- Pygmalion Plot: Albeit a doomed enterprise from the start. Chitose tries and fails to "refine" Inakano's students.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Chitose makes up school rules at will, while also breaking them.
- Shark Pool: Home of the school's pet shark, also where the kids like to play.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: In part, though the rivalry between Inakano and Tokaino is manufactured almost entirely by Chitose. Inakano's students have little interest in competing with their rich counterparts.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: While everyone understands cow, only Wapiko can speak to all animals.
- Speech-Impaired Animal: Gyopi, possibly; it's hard to tell when you don't speak the language.
- Super-Deformed: Characters spend so long in this mode that the animators developed three distinct levels of super-deformedness for each main character. While many anime will change all of the characters in a scene to super-deformed for a gag moment, this show routinely features interactions between normal-sized characters and super-deformed characters, leading to bizarre situations such as a super-deformed character running between the legs of someone who would usually be the same height as them.
- Voodoo Doll: In episode 8A, Takapi makes a voodoo doll of Wapiko so she can love him. However, it flies away in all directions, causing madness.