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Gals! is a shōjo manga written by mangaka Mihona Fujii. The manga was serialized in Ribon and published in the U.S. by CMX.

An anime adaptation, Super Gals! Kotobuki Ran (超GALS!寿蘭 Sūpā Gyaruzu! Kotobuki Ran?), aired in Japan on TV Tokyo between 2001 and 2003, running a length of 52 episodes. The anime series was produced by Studio Pierrot, and the first season (episodes 1-26) has been licensed and dubbed for North American distribution by ADV Films under the name Super Gals!. Distributor The Right Stuf International announced that they have licensed the second season (episodes 27-52) at Anime Expo 2006[2] and released a subtitled boxset containing all 26 episodes on January 10, 2007.

Plot

The series revolves around the kogal (also known as "gal") subculture in Japan. The title character, Kotobuki Ran (Ran Kotobuki in the English anime: CMX maintains the Japanese standard of family name first, while ADV follows the Western order), is the self-proclaimed "world's greatest gal." As a teenager in Shibuya, she's determined to live out the gal lifestyle for the rest of her life, and she has gained a reputation as the most respected gal in all of Shibuya. However, she comes from a family of police officers - her grandparents, her parents, and her older brother are all officers, and her younger sister is set on following in their footsteps. Ran has other dreams for her future, but as frequently shown, she has acquired the family's sense of justice and spirit.

Gals! doesn't always showcase Ran's point of view. It really consists of teenagers who live the same life as regular students and kogals in Japan. There's romance, troubles, drama and insecurities, especially Miyu and Aya's (since they take their relationships much more seriously than Ran).

As a result of its reference to this lifestyle, ADV has given the series a 15+ rating, since many Americans unfamiliar with Japanese culture might see the lifestyle, especially the part of it pertaining to "enjo kōsai" as nothing more than prostitution, which is illegal in Japan.

Songs

"A-I-TSU" by Dicot is the opening theme song of the anime, while "Dakishimetai" by Jungle Smile is the closing theme song.

Characters

Names are in Western order, with the surname. The Japanese order name (family, given) is used in the first nine volumes of CMX's manga release (save for volume 10), while the Western order name used in ADV's release.

Main characters

  • Ran Kotobuki (寿 蘭 Kotobuki Ran?)
Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
She is the titular character of the series and its main protagonist. She is a very strong-willed, athletic, and attractive gal who rules the streets of Shibuya. Although she comes from a long line of police officers, she is ditzy and absent-minded when it comes to school and the only subject she gets good grades on is physical education and her poorest subjects are mathematics and literature and has trouble even solving problems from lower grade levels. When she was in elementary school, she was actually enthusiastic to become a police officer, but quit the ambition after learning that if she becomes one, she won't be able to wear her favorite accessories or dye her hair. She is usually obsessed with anything that is trendy or catches her eye, usually brown-nosing guys who find her cute to buy them, and is also quite gluttonous. But inside her heart, she has a strong sense of justice that runs in her blood and is extremely intimidating and tough when she's in combat mode. She is a role model to the junior students at Hounan High for her social status as a magnificent gal for justice and her very understanding nature for teens who are learning to cope, but there were some who looked upon her with jealousy and anger. Despite being an underachiever (barely being able to graduate in the manga), Ran is actually pretty smart and has a good memory on what she is interested in (like shopping). There is a running gag in the manga that some of her friends say, "If only she used that (memory, concentration, etc.) on studying...". Her boyfriend is Tatsuki Kuroi, who is as ditzy and dumb as she is. Their love life is complicated (but strangely comedic at times), since Ran gets embarrassed by intimacy and thus studiously avoids it, not even saying 'I love you' or kissing because of the how flustered she gets- but she does like her boyfriend, and holds hands with him, and once hugged and kissed him on the cheek (only in the manga's final volume). Also, she has a foreign friend, Vivian Lin, a Taiwanese celebrity who looks amazingly like her, whom she met during a school trip to Taiwan (only shown in two stories of the manga). After the series was over, Ran eventually did become a police officer and had three kids with Tatsuki (As was shown in Mihona Fujii's page in the KochiKame Anniversary Book). Random fact: Ran wishes that she has soft hair but, according to Rui-kun (Otahata Rei's cousion) is damaged and dry, due to the amount of bleach she pours on it.
  • Miyu Yamazaki (山咲 美由 Yamazaki Miyu?)
Voiced by: Haruna Ikezawa (Japanese), Kira Vincent-Davis (English)
Miyu is an independent, headstrong, and very kind classmate of Ran and one of her closest friends. However, behind her romantic and cute cover lies a dark past. When she was in third grade, her parents divorced (her father is currently remarried) and she lived with her mother, who paid more attention to looking for a new man rather than to see Miyu grow up (she despised Miyu because she reminded her of her divorced husband). She once was the leader of a street gang called the "Resistance", often wreaking mayhem and irritation during middle school and had a rough-mannered and threatening personality that Ran despised. One day, Yamato (by then a rookie cop) saved her from a tough situation, and his dedication to helping with Miyu's problems made her fall in love with him. Because of that, she left the life of crime and became a much more polite girl after Yamato told her his wish for her to be good and eventually became great friends with Ran. However, she remains an incredible fighter and can get back to her bullying self when someone completely upsets her and when she becomes uncharacteristically furious. In conversation, she has a habit of referring to herself in the third person, as many 'cutesy' characters tend to do. Ran often remarks how Miyu is "lovey-dovey" with her older brother and there is a running gag on both series when they are interrupted when they are trying to kiss, usually by Ran. When her mom eventually moved out, she moved into a new apartment and married Yamato in Hawaii in the manga.
  • Aya Hoshino (星野 綾 Hoshino Aya?)
Voiced by: Oma Ichimura (Japanese), Kim Prause (English)
Aya is one of the top students in Ran's class, but she was secretly doing enjo kōsai to earn money (only announced in the first chapter and episode), since her parents were very stringent about her being in number one in academics and wouldn't let her do any part-time jobs. Ran found out and confronted her about it, making her realize that she was doing the wrong thing (she insists she never "did it" with anybody) and, since then, Aya became good friends with Ran and Miyu. She is a shy but honest and studious individual who enjoys academics while also longing for excitement every now and then, which is thankfully provided by Ran. As the series progresses, she develops a huge crush on the popular but cold Rei and has a difficult and awkward time at attempting to confess her feelings to him. At the end of the series she is dating Rei, and succeeds in going to the same college with him in the manga. Aya also changes during the manga/anime. She's mostly a crybaby when it comes to sad or happy moments. But she grows braver and learns to stand on her own.
  • Yamato Kotobuki (寿 大和 Kotobuki Yamato?)
Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese), Paul Locklear (English)
Yamato is Ran and Sayo's older brother (Ran by nine years and Sayo by ten years) and unlike Ran, he has a sensitive and passionate personality that shows through his job as a cop, and is usually on duty at the Shibuya "koban". The only thing that annoys him is when Ran causes trouble in Shibuya and he has to bring her to the police station. His love interest is Ran's best friend, the much-younger Miyu Yamazaki, whom he first met when he was a rookie cop and when Miyu was a troubled and violent gangster. It was he that helped her to be good, since he was the only one who believed in her. In the end, he helped Miyu move into her new apartment and married her after high school graduation (the marriage was only seen in the manga).
  • Rei Otohata (乙幡 麗 Otohata Rei?)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya (Japanese), Chris Patton (English)
Rei is a student at Meisho Daichi High School (Champion High School in ADV's dub). He is also known as "#1", because he was featured in a magazine as being the coolest and most handsome teenage guy in the area. He rides a motorcycle and is good friends with Yuya. He has a cold and detached demeanor, and is constantly annoyed by Ran. He has trouble expressing his feelings towards others (especially Aya). Aya develops a strong crush on him. At first he seems sypathetic towards her probably dating her out of pity But near the end of the series, in vol. 8 he starts to reciprocate Aya's love and even tries to kiss her in vol. 9 but is interrupted by Naoki who also has a crush on Aya. However in the end those feelings seem to fade away as he starts falling for Aya.
  • Yuya Aso (麻生 裕也 Asō Yūya?)
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)
Yuya is also a student at Meisho Daichi High School, and he is known as "#2" or "second place"; (he was the runner-up to Rei, but is friends with him). He develops a crush on Ran, but she is oblivious to the fact. Although he considers Tatsuki as a rival, they are sometimes as close as brothers and is pretty good friends with Aya. In the manga, after seeing as how Ran and Tatsuki were so close together, he finally decided to give up and move along in his relationship with Mami. At the end of series, he is still with Mami, and from the way things are said in the anime, he might be marrying Mami in the future.
  • Sayo Kotobuki (寿 沙夜 Kotobuki Sayo?)
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya (Japanese), Hilary Haag (English)
Sayo is Ran's younger sister. She dreams of being a detective like the hero of her favorite television show, Detective Kudou of Odaiba Cop. Sayo and her boyfriend Masato often roleplay as conspicuous detectives, drawing the attention of onlookers and inciting frustration from Ran who is bothered by their antics. She is very energetic and enthusiatic about everything she does- however, she is slightly accident prone and often falls face down when she tries to run away or exit in a dramatic fashion. She tends to add the phrase "You bet" (or datchu だっちゅ in the Japanese version) into her statements. In the end of the series she is still with Masato and they both go the same high school that Ran goes to.
  • Taizo Kotobuki (寿 泰三 Kotobuki Taizō?)
Voiced by: Ginzō Matsuo, Fumihiko Tachiki (Japanese), John Gremillion (English)
Taizo is Ran's father. He is the local Chief of Detectives. He disapproves of his daughter's lifestyle. He tries his best to make Ran say that she wants to be a police officer, and often tries various tactics to get her to do various jobs helping the people (like not giving her money). He is also famous for employing a tecnique called "Taizo's Giant Swing of Fury" on Ran when he loses patience with her and once on Sayo.
  • Kiyoka Kotobuki (寿 清香 Kotobuki Kiyoka?)
Voiced by: Yuko Kobayashi (Japanese), Christine Auten (English)
Kiyoka is Ran's mother. She is also a police officer. It is a running gag throughout the series about her mysterious age, as she appears to be much younger than her husband. She is much more patient with Ran and the entire family in general- she never seems upset by Ran's choice to be a Gal as is very supportive of her children. Towards the end of the manga, she tells Miyu "I already think of you as my daughter", showing just how nurturing she can be.
  • Mami Honda (本多 マミ Honda Mami?)
Voiced by: Aya Ishizu (Japanese), Allison Sumrall (English)
Mami is a rival of Ran, known as the "Queen of Ikebukuro". Later on in the series, Mami falls in love with Yuya. She also develops a truce with Ran in Volume 5 of GALS!; It's okay to have a change of heart. In the anime, she comes from a very rich family. She seem sto have a split personality, as in one of the episodes she is at a tea party when she gets a call gossiping that Ran has a boyfriend.
  • Harue Kudou (工藤 ハルエ Kudō Harue?)
Voiced by: Reiko Takagi (Japanese), Cynthia Martinez (English)
Harue is Mami's best friend. She was once a member of a "team" called the "Eagles", which was broken up by Miyu (when she was still part of "Resistance"). She once sent in a nasty email about Miyu and her past. Her name means "owl" in Japanese.
  • Tatsuki Kuroi (黒井 直樹 Kuroi Tatsuki?)
Voiced by: Yukimasa Obi (Japanese), Jason Douglas (English)
Tatsuki (known as Tatsukichi to Ran) is a wild and kind student at Machida West High School, and he calls himself "the parapara king of Machida" (also known as "Machida Black", since the "kuro" in his last name means "black"). In the manga he is also called Blackwell (the literal translation of his surname). He is often nicknamed "Monkey Boy" since his personality is very similar to that of a monkey. He becomes Ran's boyfriend, although she studiously avoids anything remotely approaching intimacy other than hugging or holding hands. Because of this, at times Tatsuki wonders if he is 'okay' as Ran's boyfriend and wonders whether she truly likes him the way he does her; when he wants to leave Shibuya because of his doubts Ran confronts him, demanding who he is to say what she should and shouldn't have in her life and that she gets embarrassed saying things like 'I love you' and he is not 'okay', but 'great' as her boyfriend, thus calming his doubts. He likes to use English words and phrases in his conversations. Sometimes he says a phrase in English then he will say then same phrase in Japanese, or he will say a phrase that the first part is in Japanese, and then the second part in English, and then he will say the same phrase again, but switch what is in Japanese and what is in English (example: "Black nichiyōbi", "Black Sunday", and then "Kuroi Sunday"). He also likes to call Yuya "brother" in English.
  • Naoki Kuroi (黒井 直樹 Kuroi Naoki?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi
Tatsuki's little brother, who appeared later in the season. He's a street-smart, outgoing, but good-hearted boy who like his brother, thinks of himself as a ladies man. He used to have a crush on Ran, then Miyu, and then to Sayo, until he found out that Sayo and Masato had been dating ever since the beginning of junior high! At the end of the TV series, he has a crush on Kasumi. In the manga, he was so optimistic that he had crushes on Ran, then Sayo, then Miyu, then Aya! He's a pro skateboarder and carries around a skateboard all the time. Nevertheless, he's cool yet a bit weird, just like his brother. He works at their father's ramen shop every now and then, and someday wants to run the business. At first Naoki is upset that Tatsuki will not take over the business but Tatsuki tells Naoki that he wants to follow his own path.
  • Masato Iwai (祝 匡人 Iwai Masato?)
Voiced by: Kouki Miyata (Japanese), Clint Bickham (English)
Sayo's partner/boyfriend ever since the beginning of junior high. He fell in love with her as "the cute girl who always wore a hat" (she actually wore hats to school because she cut her bangs too short). From then on, they were a steady couple. He's a bit fun-loving and kind of weird like Sayo and imitates as a junior cop with her, but very just and gallant, especially to Sayo. At the end of the series, he goes to the same high school as Sayo, and they are still a couple.

Anime only characters

  • Kasumi Tsukino (月野 霞 Tsukino Kasumi?)
Voiced by: Yuko Sasamoto
A young girl who comes on the show around the later part of the series (start of 2nd Season). At first, she appears to be in Ran's fan club. Her dream is to be the number one gal in Shibuya and overthrow Ran. Her reasons for becoming a gal is because, when she was younger, she was picked on by some guys. A gal (who appears to have been Towa) saves her from being bullied. Her and Ran have a strong rivalry and she tries her hardest to do something that would cause Ran to leave Shibuya and thus pave the way for her to be number 1. This usually involves using a disguise. However all of her plans against Ran usually fail, and either she says who she is, or Ran and her friends figure out her disguise. She also finds out Ran's secret from Towa, although it's never revealed what Ran's secret is. She also has a strong sense of right, when needed. When her and Ran where trying to save up enough money to buy a jacket that each of them want badly. Kasumi sells items at a flea market in order to raise money, but when a boy wants a refund for a toy that does not work, she gives back the money to the boy. In the end she goes to the same High School as Ran. Also Naoki falls for her, when she tells him not to cry.
  • Towa Himejima (姫島 永久 Himejima Towa?)
Voiced by: Eri Saito
A young woman who runs the Palm Tree Cafe. She is friends with Yamato and the actor who plays Detective Kudoh. She has known Ran since Ran was just a little girl, and they used to play together. Towa was the one of the first gals in Shibuya, and was the number one gal back in the day, before Towa passed the title to Ran. She overreacts at times, and when Ran upsets her, she says that she will tell her friends her secret (which is never revealed in the show, but according to Kasumi isn't actually very interesting). She also has a black belt in Karate, and is also kind hearted. When Miyu needs a place to stay, she lives in the empty room at the Palm Tree Cafe. At the end of the series she gives the manager job to the actor who plays "Detective Kudoh", as she quits her job.

Episode list

  1. The World's Greatest Gal♥Go, Go→Ran Kotobuki
  2. Shibuya♥Thrilling→Great Dragnet
  3. A Girl's Feelings♥Heart Pounding→Red Streak
  4. Have It?♥Don't Have It?→Luck With Guys?
  5. Heart♥In Pieces→Is It Over With Aya!?
  6. Pool♥Exciting→Junior Detectives!
  7. Black Shadow♥Creeping Up→Targeted Miyu
  8. Heart♥Guilty→Miyu's Past
  9. Memories♥Tearful→Sayo's Been Kidnapped?
  10. Yuya♥Nervous→A Rival Appears!
  11. Crossing Shibuya♥Fun-Fun→Grand Prix
  12. Promise♥Bye-Bye→Kendo Girl
  13. Super Debutante♥Goody-Goody→Ran Kotobuki
  14. Maki♥Shiny New→First Year Gal!
  15. Revenge♥Burning→Snowboard Battle!
  16. Dappled Sunlight♥Sparkling→Romantic Anniversary
  17. Feelings of Love♥Wavering→Aya Confesses!?
  18. Odaiba♥Crackling→Great Final Battle!
  19. Sun♥Sun-Sun→Summer Girl!
  20. Mami-rin♥Dreamy-Eyed→Her First Love
  21. Certain Victory♥Go! Go!→Sports Fest
  22. School Culture Fest♥Para-Para→Meisho Queen
  23. Tear It Off♥Rip, Rip→Teacher's Gold Plate Exterior
  24. Off to Machida♥The Monkey Leaves→Tatsukichi Gets Dumped!?
  25. Yamato♥Dead Serious→Proposes!?
  26. Super Cop♥Hard-Working→Ran Kotobuki
  27. Brother♥Kichi-kichi→Naokichi Appears!
  28. Yuya♥Crying→Talks About Being a Man
  29. Mami-rin♥Lovey-Dovey→Falls For Yuya
  30. Bukuro♥In Circles→Mystery of the Extension
  31. Welcome♥Exciting→Palm Tree Grand Opening
  32. Ran-pyon♥Irritated→A New Rival!?
  33. Kasumi♥Pissed→The Great Plot for Revenge!
  34. Aya-ppe♥Teary-Eyed→Otohata Syndrome
  35. Romantic Forecast♥Unclear→Otohata then Katase!?
  36. Hot Springs♥Viva Viva→The Gal Incident in the Northern Steam Clouds
  37. Secret♥Revealed→Mami-rin in Danger!
  38. Heart♥Aching→Otohata's Words
  39. Christmas Eve♥Jingle-Jingle→Emergency Bell of Love
  40. Ran-pyon♥Dizzy→Becomes Sayo!?
  41. Shibuya Soldier♥Mystery→Maru-Q Moon
  42. Taizo♥Enthusiastic→Police Training Project!
  43. Pure Love♥Nervous→Rie's Love Tale
  44. Killed in the Line of Duty♥Weeping→Odaiba Shark's Final Day!
  45. Signs of Love♥Various→Valentine's Day
  46. Clash♥Slurp Slurp→Ramen Battle!
  47. Kasumi♥Toasty Warm→Her Dream Coat
  48. Gal Battle♥Fierce→Mami-rin Finished!?
  49. Heartbreak♥Painful→Miyu's Place to Call Home
  50. Misgivings of the Heart♥Stirring→Cold Spring Breeze
  51. Friendship♥Smiles→ID Tags of the Heart
  52. Goodbye♥Ran-ran→The Skies of Shibuya Remain Unchanging

Trivia

  • On one of the episodes, a place called Neo Dio Land is a parody of Neo Geo Land.
  • In one episode you see Otohata holding a record of a popular band, Dream Theater.
  • Episode 41 parodies Sailor Moon.
  • In episode 47, a doll that looks similar to the heroine of Ask Dr. Rin! is showed.
  • In many episodes you see on top of a big building a sign saying 10Q, this is actually a fashion shop is Shibuya called 109 or otherwise known as "ichi maru kyu" which translates into "one zero nine", so the author converted the "kyu" into Q as a glimpse to the people of Shibuya.

See also

  • Para Para, a dance often seen in this series, is a type of dancing where the dancers perform preset movements, usually unique to the song.

References

External links

hr:Superklinke id:Gals! it:Gals!tl:Gals! zh:辣妹當家

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