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SYFY WIRE review

Super GALS! is chock-full of 'iron-clad' female friendships

By Brittany Vincent
Super GALS! Group Shot

Rule 1: Always win fairly at anything. Rule 2: Never run from a fight! Rule 3: Always get at least eight hours of sleep to prevent break-outs. These are just a few of the iron-clad rules for gals shared in the sassy anime Super GALS!

Okay, those rules aren't very deep or thoughtful. But the show's actual rules are much different than those the series preaches, especially when it comes to friendships between girls, its most important aspect.

Super GALS! is an intriguing series that centers on Ran Kotobuki, a strong-willed young woman who comes from a long line of police officers. Her family wants her to follow in their footsteps, but she’s not interested in that since she can’t wear her favorite accessories or dye her hair if she joins the force (for now). She knows what she wants out of life, even though she isn’t doing so well at school. She's infectiously positive, even if she can be a bit grating to some. 

She loves dressing up, karaoke, and hanging out with her friends, but despite all that, she’s not “boy crazy” or obsessed with men’s approval — she's interested in a wide variety of things, and if she finds a boyfriend along the way, so be it. She might be viewed as a ditz or another “valley girl," but she’s actually a level-headed, strong leader who’s always there for her friends, especially when it comes to saving them from precarious situations. Ran is also doggedly determined to live as a gal for the rest of her life, and it's worked out well for her so far!

Super GALS! is rife with feminist messages, and it’s a great series for young girls thanks to the way it props up female friendships and celebrates sticking together (and up) for each other, evidenced several times throughout the show. The show's name might seem outdated to its Western fans, but it's actually a reference to the "gal" subculture in Japan (cultural context is important!). 

Ran has been a pillar of support for her best friends over the course of the show, including stopping her newest best bud Aya Hoshino from going on “subsidates,” or paid dates (enjo kosai). In fact, that's how the pair began getting closer together after Hoshino transferred to her school — Aya felt pressured to sell her body to older men to earn money when she didn't have to do so. 

Ran made sure Aya knew her worth and would stop going on the dates immediately because she knew her friend was better than subjecting herself to things she didn't want to do in the name of money. In the end, Aya was able to earn the money she needed in a manner that didn't make her feel bad about herself, and the trio were able to get along as friends.

Our favorite gal's other friend Miyu was something of a delinquent when the pair met, and with Ran’s help she became a kindler, gentler person. Ran’s strong sense of justice (it's gotta be that police officer blood!) pushed her to take care of her loved ones, especially when they found themselves dabbling in some tense spots. It's easy to see how both girls have grown in light of Ran's infectious optimism and "go get 'em" attitude, and it makes you want to go out and do amazing things for the women in your own life.

Super GALS! is a series that feels like an approximation of your own high school days, when your best friends were your biggest support network, and you could always count on them for anything. And if you didn't have friends like that, the show lets you feel as though you did. Most importantly, it reminds us how beautiful it is when women support other women, through thick and thin. If you haven't seen the show, we highly recommend you start watching.

Go, go, Ran Kotobuki! The world's greatest gal is also an amazing feminist and supporter of women, and honestly, we stan.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.

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