Ground Defense Force Mao-chan
Or, for you American pig-dogs, Mao-chan
Mao-chan is a delightful anime brought to us by the lovely people at Riku Mao Headquarters, original story by Ken Akamatsu of Love Hina fame. For sale in the US by Geneon/Pioneer.
Mao-chan is the 8 year old granddaughter of Onigawara Rikushiro, Chief of Staff for Japan's Ground Defense Force. Because of this, Mao-chan is selected to be a special-ops in the war against a mysterious, and ultra-cute, enemy only known as 'Cute Aliens.' No one seems to know why the Cute Aliens are invading. Together with her plastic-model tank (life-size, made of a plastic model kit), Mi-kun, and her friends Sky Defense Force special-op Tsukishima Misora, and Sea Defense Force special-op Maruyama Silvia, Mao-chan and company will defend Japan from the Cute Aliens no matter the cost! Even if it means blowing up half of Tokyo.
Onigawara Mao: Mao-chan is an 8 year old with ridiculously long pink pig-tails. She's soft-spoken, polite, and clumsy (completely incapable of running with out falling). All-in-all, a very cute little girl. She is selected by her grandfather to fight Cute Aliens because you can't have a big mean ol' army fighting Cute Aliens. No sir. She's willing to protect Japan's ground, or she'll sit there and cry (cutely) until she can.
Tsukishima Misora: Misora-chan is the granddaughter of the Chief of Staff of Japan's Air Defense Force. So it's only natural that she gets chosen to protect the skies of Japan. Best, friend of Mao-chan, Misora has long, straight blue hair and is even more polite than Mao-chan, and just as cute. With her harrier plastic-model jet, Hayate, she will defend Japan's skies. Or cry if she can't.
Maruyama Silvia: Silvia-chan is the granddaughter of the Chief of Staff of Japan's Sea Defense force. Cute and very casual, she always jokes around and teases the other two girls, so you never know when she's really serious; especially since she either gets things done by accident or considers the tasks boring. She and her submarine, Na-chan, will protect Japan's Seas, or Silvia-chan will cry.
Mishima Kagome: Teacher, body guard, and commanding officer of Mao-chan and company. She hates her job because it takes her away from her one true love in life... Chief Onigawara. She is known as the Defense Force Princess for her speedy completion of tasks, her IQ of 250, and her extreme hotness.
Onigawara Rikushiro: Chief of Staff of Japan's Ground Defense Force, he is a commanding old man with eccentric hair and a cape. He loves being popular, so he always manages to dazzle whoever's around with a smile and a pose. Whether it's Kagome or a screaming fan club of women.
Tsukishima Sorajiro: Chief of Staff of Japan's Sky Defense Force. Just as eccentric as his rival Onigawara, but more reserved, he never lets Onigawara get the better of him or his little stuffed dolly of himself.
Adalbert von Maruyama: Chief of Staff of Japan's Sea Defense Force. He is a tall, elegant man with slicked hair and a cigar in hand. He never lets Rikushiro or Sorajiro get the better of each other.
Opinions and Other things of Knowledge
Mao-chan is a horrendously cute show. It's so cute that you'll get a knot in your stomach because it's so cute. I almost threw up the first time I watched it, it's that cute. Even after being exposed to its vile-cuteness, I can't stand more than one episode a day. So it helps me that the episodes are only about 13 minutes long. Seriously though, Mao-chan must have some extreme deficiency in Vitamin C or something because it's that abhorredly cute. Even the background music is cute. The Cute Aliens alone are so cute as to set fangirls into a screaming frenzy. And so cute that you have to wonder why in the world the Defense Forces are so worked up about them. Their method of transportation is cute as well: little bubbles like the ones you get prizes out of from 25 cent vending machines in the grocery store.
If you like cute things, you'd love this anime. If big fuzzy kittens with parachutes frighten you, maybe you want to stay away. The cuteness is definitely the deciding factor on whether this is a good anime or not, and it is certainly a good anime. Its characters are simple, but the girls' cuteness makes up for it. There isn't any real action, per say, unless you count bopping bunnies on the head
. And there isn't a lot of comedy. There is, surprisingly, a very strong plot
and storyline. The plot, combined with the cuteness, make Mao-chan a delightfully sickening fluffy little anime. Luckily, fluffy and pink
are kept to a minimum. Or else I would have been driven to murder.