Saint Tail (full title "Kaitou Saint Tail"/"Mysterious Thief Saint
Tail"), started as a magical girl shoujo manga
that ran in the monthly magazine Nakayoshi, and was written by
Megumi Tachikawa; it is available in English from Chix Comix
under the title Saint Tail. It was later adapted to anime,
which is only available in English via fansubs.
Meimi Haneoko is a cute and cheerful 14 year old girl who goes to
the Saint Paulia Academy Catholic school. Following in the
footsteps of both her father, a famous stage magician, and her
mother, a master thief turned house wife, she uses her magical
powers as Saint Tail to steal items which have been
swindled/stolen, and return them to their rightful owners. She
finds out who to help through her best friend Seira Mimori, a
nun in training who listens to the troubles of people who come
to the church attached to the school.
Meimi's classmate, Asuka Jr., wants to be a police detective,
and is determined to start his career by catching Saint Tail.
Thus begins the love/hate relationship between Meimi and Asuka: he
either says something bad about Saint Tail, or says something
good about her (sort of implying that Saint Tail is cooler
than Meimi), Meimi gets pissed at him, Asuka acts like a jerk in
return, but she's still in love with him, and so on.
Soon after he starts his quest to capture Saint Tail (with the
full and official blessing of the town's mayor), he challenges her
to leave him a calling card before she goes to steal something.
This she does (mainly because it's more fun that way), and does it
in very strange and amusing ways, like writing it on his face
while he's asleep, delivering it with giant helium balloons, and
so on. Even though he always has at least several hours in which
to prepare for one of her heists, he never catches her.
This is partially because he is determined to catch her in a
"sportsman" like manner: except for laying traps, he refuses to
use any trickery to catch her, and he refuses (or tries to refuse)
any help. The rest of it is due to the fact that Saint Tail's
magic is very versatile and flexible, unlike the powers of most
other magical girls, which is limited to a few different tricks
which they use over and over and over again.
Early in the series the final main character arrives, Rina (Lina)
Takamiya. Very forthright and having a tendency towards
overkill, Rina also wants to be a police detective, and
also plans to start her career by catching Saint Tail, and
does so with the full blessings of her uncle, the mayor. She
immediately falls in love with Asuka, thus forming a love triangle
and giving Meimi a rival, in addition to another person trying to
The obligatory cute anime animal in this series is Ruby,
Meimi's pet hedgehog; it is completely ordinary, and stays in