Entry updated 31 January 2023. Tagged: TV.
Japanese animated tv series (2022; vt 4-Nin wa Sorezore Uso o Tsuku). Studio Flad. Based on the Manga by Madoka Kashihara. Directed by Makoto Hoshino. Written by Megumi Shimizu. Voice cast includes Megumi Han, Natsumi Murakami, Hōchū Ōtsuka, Ayane Sakura and Chiemi Tanaka. Eleven 23-minute episodes. Colour.
Four friends at Kashihara Girls Academy each have a secret. Chiyo (Murakami) is a ninja who was sent to assassinate the school's principal but enjoyed being an ordinary girl so much she chose to stay – despite having to fight the ninjas now sent to kill her. Tsubasa (Han) is a boy (real name Tsuyoshi), persuaded by his identical twin sister to taker her place at Kashihara so she can go to his male academy, attended by a boy she fancies (the Anime avoids most of the problematic elements that might have arisen from this). Rikka (Tanaka) is an Alien, a colonel in the 1098th Brigade of the Galactic Revolutionary Alliance Army – her Spaceship, damaged in battle with the Empire, crashed into the school. Fortunately her memory control device (see Memory Edit) means people see nothing odd about a flying saucer (see UFOs) stuck in the Academy's tower; the device, disguised as a stuffed toy, also ensures everyone sees her as human despite her head tentacles – whilst also acting as a Universal Translator. The fourth friend is Sekine (Sakura), a level D superhuman (see Mutants) with some Telekinetic powers, such as the ability to occasionally hear people's thoughts (see Telepathy) ... including Rikka's. She assumes her slightly different biology means Rikka's mind control doesn't work properly on her – though she sometimes has problems remembering which memories are real and which are fake. Sekkine does wonder why she cannot read Tsubasa's (Han) mind – the laconic narrator (Ōtsuka) explains this is because she can only read girl's minds.
There are normally two stories per episode. When all but Sekine are being complimented for their looks the others try to boost her confidence in their own way: Tsubasa points out she has the largest breasts, so when older all the boys at parties will stare at her – confusing the others as to why Tsubasa thinks this is reassuring. Rikka's answer is to transform the rest of humanity into pigs so Sekine will be the prettiest girl – but all the male pigs now fancy pig Chiyo. Rikki's helping can be a little impetuous: to make the androgynous Tsubasa feel more feminine she turns all women into men (see Transgender SF); to help her pass an exam she boosts Chiyo's Intelligence – making her able to deduce everyone's secret. Rikka's alien mushroom pet escapes – a problem as it embeds spores in people's brains so they hallucinate it as their ideal partner (see Perception), thus allowing it to devour them. When her powers accidentally cause trouble whilst performing karaoke, Sekine is arrested by the institute that monitors superhumans. A mind wipe on the others doesn't work on alien Rikka; but when she asks them who whisks away people with special abilities at karaoke bars, their response – talent agencies looking for new idols – reassures her. The status quo is usually restored at the end of each story: in the final one, Rikka is about to leave Earth but her friends persuade her to stay, so she rewinds Time back to the episode's beginning. Though there are occasional flatter patches, on the whole this is an enjoyably silly and Humour-filled Anime series. [SP]
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