Nurse Angel Ririka SOS (ナースエンジェルりりかSOS Nāsuenjeru Ririka Esuōesu?) is a magical girl series. The manga was written by novelist Yasushi Akimoto and illustrated by Koi Ikeno, and ran in Ribon Magazine. The anime based on it ran in the summer of 1995 and has 35 episodes, and is renowned director Daichi Akitaro's debut as a series director.
The heroine, Ririka Moriya, is a bubbly (but slightly clumsy) 4th grader who has a crush on Nozomu Kanō, a transfer student from England. On her 10th birthday, Kanō (whom Ririka always calls Kanō-senpai) gives her a magical cap, which allows Ririka to transform into the heavenly guardian, Nurse Angel. Kanō-senpai tells her that he is really named Kanon, and he comes from the planet Queen Earth, which has been overrun by the evil organization Dark Joker. Dark Joker has poisoned that world, and so he was sent to find the legendary Nurse Angel, who would save both Earth and Queen Earth from destruction by finding Flower of Life (命の花 Inochi no Hana). With help from Kanō-senpai and her friend and neighbor Seiya Uzaki, she soon learns to fight as Nurse Angel to protect her friends.
Ririka Moriya (森谷りりか Moriya Ririka?)
- A cheerful, outgoing girl who wants to be a nurse when she grows up. She is a 4th grade student at White Dove Academy (白鳩学園), a school of some repute. Ririka lives in a household of five, including her parents, grandmother, and her little brother. In the course of the series a dog, Herb, joins the family. She loves Kano-senpai. However, love to her of Seiya is not noticed at all.
- Ririka uses the magical phrase, "Holy Power, Holy Prayer, be here!" to transform into Nurse Angel. In the manga she both says this line and places the nurse cap on her head, while in the anime the cap simply appears. Ririka seems to become somewhat older after she transforms. Her hair is longer, and she has a more serious demeanor. Nurse Angel's primary weapon is a baton, and she can perform a wide variety of energy attacks. Her source of power for these attacks is a powerful healing agent called Green Vaccine, which is made from the Flower of Life. In the anime, she has a finite supply of Green Vaccine, and once it is gone there is very little she can do as Nurse Angel.
Seiya Uzaki (宇崎星夜 Uzaki Seiya?)
- Ririka's next-door neighbor and her childhood friend, is the son of a doctor, and aspires to follow in his father's footsteps. He is about the same age as Ririka, and in the same 4th grade class. Though he is not good at study and is the mood maker of the class, the turn of the head is fast. He is very much the mischievous young boy - he likes video games, playing sports, and teasing Ririka. On the other hand, he is honest with himself about his affection for Ririka, and will go to any length to protect her. While in the beginning of the series Ririka and Kanō-senpai hide their secret war from Seiya, he eventually finds out and is entrusted with power and a mission by Kanon and succeeds him and becomes Nurse Angel's number one supporter and grows up manlily. He uses Psionics and, his clothes do not change into a Battle costume. He uses a boomerang in the manga, has put on clothes of the Queen Earth only once. Seiya is the source of most of the show's one-liners and cool quotes.
Nozomu Kanō (Kanō Nozomu)/Kanon (加納望/カノン Kanon?)
- An emissary from Queen Earth who was sent by Princess Helena to search for the Flower of Life and the legendary Nurse Angel. He a uses sword and Psionics. In his earthly disguise he is a 6th grader at White Dove Academy. Kanon becomes Ririka's mentor after she accepts her duty as Nurse Angel, but he doubts whether she is capable of managing that task without him. In the anime he is a serious, duty-bound character - he rarely smiles, and mostly only at Ririka. Kanon was undermined in Black Vaccine and knows that one's life is short and One's Psionics is given to Seiya in hopes to defend Ririka and he suffers a fatal injury by Keto and refuses treatment of Green Vaccine and dies. He is later resurrected by Dark Joker and fights Nurse Angel, but she turns him back and he returns to Queen Earth and Princess Helena.
Princess Helena (ヘレナ王女 Herena Ōjo?)
- Voiced by: Yuri Amano
- The Queen Earth royal who sent Kanon to Earth in search of Nurse Angel, and occasionally supports Ririka by using telepathy. The state of Queen Earth is reflected in Helena, and thus she is gravely ill. Kanon is a childhood friend and her lover. Though she is holding off the Black Vaccine of Dark Joker's invasion to the Queen Earth somehow by her own power, her state also gradually becomes aggravated as long as the Flower of Life is not found...
Karin Mizuhara (水原花林 Mizuhara Karin?)
- A close friend and classmate of Ririka. At school, she often hangs out with Anna and Ririka. A spunky, rather temperamental girl, Karin has made it her purpose in life to visit popular eateries that are staffed by "cool guys".
Anna Kazami (風見安奈 Kazami Anna?)
- A close friend and classmate of Ririka. Anna is in many ways the opposite of Karin - she is a demure girl who speaks in a very polite fashion even to her friends. Together with Karin, she gives Ririka (and sometimes Seiya) relationship advice.
Miyuki Kuwano (桑野みゆき Kuwano Miyuki?)
- A 4th grader at White Dove Academy and the daughter of the head of Kuwano General Hospital. Though she often boasts of that, In reality she feels lonely that her father can rarely care of her because of work. She has a strong dislike of dogs.
- She also has formed a shin'eitai (親衛隊 - fan club/official guard) for Kanō with a couple of her flunkies. Because Senpai and Ririka are intimate with each other, she is ignored. She approach Senpai single-mindedly. Making atmosphere of the sacred school into pride, she often turn on Ririka and Seiya spoiling the atmosphere and she call Ririka "barbarian". However, she likes Ririka on some pretext or other. She is a girl with whom power overflows who never kicks rivals down by using unfair means.
- Voiced by: Noriko Namiki
- Princess Helena's younger sister, who decides to come to Earth posing as Kanō's little sister in order to chastise Ririka for not doing a good enough job. Mimina develops a crush on Seiya. In the anime Mimina is accompanied by Maruru, who serves as her advisor/servant.
- Voiced by: Junko Shimakata
- A creature from Queen Earth that resembles a stuffed animal. It has a more significant role in the manga than the anime.
- A former Dark Joker. In order to beat a Nurse Angel, he is made into "the body which does not feel pain" by Bross and thrown away as a tool. He is saved by Ririka with a Green Vaccine of the remaining few. Afterwards, he appears as a surprising helper for the purpose of returning a debt(?) and he destroys the container which Black Vaccine is, in the castle that Bross is in, and put the vaccine in the capsule which he borrowed from Ririka and handed it to Ririka. He is helped by Ririka and Seiya and he is a betrayed by Bross. He changes gradually touching Ririka and Seiya, with the warmth of people surrounding him. He becomes a reassuring companion who fights with Ririka and Seiya against the Dark Joker. He appears in the sequel of the manga as a Commander of Imperial Guards of Princess Helena and close friend of Kanon.
"Inchō" Akasegawa ("院長" 赤瀬川?)
- An inpatient at Uzaki Hospital, a comical character who only appears in the anime. Akasegawa-san has been hospitalized for so long he has the nickname Inchō, or Inpatient Chief. Despite this, he seems to be in very good health.
"Shijin" Nishitokorozawa ("詩人" 西所沢?)
- Voiced by: Tsutomu Kashiwakura
- He is a member of the anime-exclusive inpatient trio. He earned his nickname Shijin, or poet, because he tends to wax poetic... or more often than not, melodramatic. Long-haired and a bit too thin, he is the very image of a starving artist.
"Great" Yamazaki ("グレート" 山崎?)
- Voiced by: Hidehiro Kikuchi
He is a member of the anime-exclusive inpatient trio. He is a beefy fellow who is often seen with a barbell in one hand and an IV stand in the other. His nickname seems to be inspired by his tough-guy talk, but he's really a fraidy-cat.
Buros/Bross (ブロス Burosu?)
- The leader of Dark Joker. A remorseless, imposing being who dwells in a strange, amorphous palace in Earth's orbit, Buros' goal is to eliminate all life in the universe.
Dewey (デューイ Dyūi?)
- He is one of Buros' lackeys - primarily an anime character, though he appears in a manga gaiden. He seems to be about the same age as Kanon, and thinks of the battle for Earth in the terms of a game. Dewey is a skilled swordsman, and prefers simple contests of might over elaborate schemes. He and Keto are bitter rivals.
Keto (ケトー Ketō?)
- He is one of Buros' lackeys. He is a plotter, often employing disguises and taking advantage of innocents in order to catch his enemies in an unguarded moment. He is often accompanied by a black cat. He is dedicated to winning Buros' favor by outdoing Dewey.
Legi/Regi (レギ Regi?)
- He is a character who appears only in the manga. Buros' younger brother, Legi is handsome, and a bit of a casanova.
The manga is generally a more comical and light-hearted affair in comparison to the anime. Some of the differences include:
- Kanon is less somber, and is involved in more gag sequences.
- Queen Earth is openly stated as being a parallel Earth, while the anime only implies it.
- Ririka is also a parallel existence to Princess Helena. However, if Helena dies, so will Ririka.
- Green Vaccine is more plentiful, and is supplied by Maruru.
- Nurse Angel can easily convert Black Vaccine into Green Vaccine.
- Nurse Angel receives increasingly powerful batons, ending with one that resembles that of the anime.
- The Flower of Life is found much more easily.
- There is elaboration on Kanon and Helena's past together.
For three weeks after the anime completed, footage of the Nurse Angel Ririka SOS musical was shown in its timeslot. Actress Kanako Irie (入絵加奈子 Irie Kanako?) stars as Rirka - she also appears in the film Kamikaze Girls. The three episodes are as follows:
- Where is the Flower of Life? (命の花はどこに Inochi no Hana wa Doko ni?)
- Say, Please Remember (ねえ 思い出して Nee Omoidashite?)
- Because You're Always at My Side (いつもそばにいるから Itsumo Soba ni Iru kara?)
- Nurse Angel Ririka SOS (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Nurse Angel Ririka SOS (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopediako:리리카 SOS