The legends state"beware of Greeks baring gifts", but for junior high school student Tasuke Shichiri they should also include the postman. Especially since his father is a highly adventurous and slightly eccentric archeologist. While researching his way through China, Tarousuke Shichiri happens upon many wonders - the most unique and unusual of these ending up on his son s doorstep courtesy of express mail.
Tasuke
Shao After a less than soaring test of an ancient glider, the last thing Tasuke wanted was another surprise package. This one contained a strange ring-shaped object and a short letter. In this letter, his father writes that the ring is a "shitenrin" and has a mysterious legend concerning the light that shines within it. When he looks into the ring, a bright light bursts forth carrying a beautiful girl. She explains that her name is Shaolin and that she is a "shugogetten" - a guardian from the heaven around the moon who s purpose is to protect one who is pure of heart. Her vow is to protect her "Tasuke-sama" from any nearby enemy country or anyone who wishes harm upon him. The problem is, Shao has been sealed in the shitenrin for the past 4000 years. Due to her lack of experience with the modern world, the only things that she protects him from are his dinner, his lack of housekeeping skills, and his television. Sitting semi-conscious in what is left of his living room, Tasuke is consoled by Shao that the ones who threatened his life have been removed and that it's all over now. But Tasuke feels that something is just beginning...

Ruan And he is right. Soon, another package awaits Tasuke - another strange artifact and another letter from his father. He reads that the strange rod is called a "kokutentou" and, like the shitenrin, someone with a pure heart can see something in it if they wish to. Thinking that it would be impossible to receive TWO great things in a row from his father, Tasuke seems to dismiss it s potential. But when Shao recognizes it as a kokutentou, he takes a peek inside. Another bright light bursts from the rod and another person appears before him. This young woman introduces herself as Ruuan, a "Keikonitten". Like Shao, Ruuan is a spirit, but she is a sun spirit and her destiny is to make her "Ta-sama" happy. Ruuan is quite forward and insists that she cannot let him go until she makes him happy. The situation abruptly changes when Ruuan discovers that she is not Tasuke's one and only spirit. She is surprised to find her long-time opponent, Shaolin, as her rival once more. Having faced each other 1852 times, Ruuan swears that this time she will get her back for all that has happend in past. Shao, on the other hand, feels that they were forced to fight each other because of their master s wishes and that they should work together this time. When Ruuan appears to be less than convinced, Tasuke has a sinking feeling that things are going to get worse. With a moon spirit to protect him from bad luck and a sun spirit to bring good fortune, what could possibly go wrong?

Shaolin's power comes from the "hoshigami" (star gods) that she summons from the shitenrin. These spirits, some small and some large, each have their own special skill or ability. Their role is to help Shao fulfill her duty as Tasuke's protector.

RishuThe most unique and helpful of the hoshigami, as well as the overwhelming fan favorite, is Rishu. She is a small girl (2-3 inches tall) with pink hair who s job is to stay with Tasuke and look after him when Shao cannot. Traveling in his pocket, on his shoulder, or even hanging from the back of his hair, Rishu is Shao's eyes and ears in Tasuke's everyday life. Being intensely devoted to her work, she reports back to Shao telepathically, though with a slight speech impediment. Because Shao is the only one that can hear her words, this presents a problem if she has to communicate with others. To get her point across, she draws pictures or tries to act out what she is trying to say. Tasuke is not real quick to decipher her efforts, but usually ends up getting the general idea. Since she spends so much time with Tasuke, she ends up in many awkward and embarrassing situations.Rishu4





Other hoshigami that Shaolin can summon for help are:

 

Kenen

Kenen
a cute flying dragon who carries her on his back for transportation;

Shaki

Shaki
two small soldiers in an artillery tank that will attack anything that Shao thinks will harm Tasuke;

Uringun

Uringun
an army of 45 small construction workers who can build or disassemble anything at lightning speed;

Gunnanmon

Gunnanmon
a giant Chinese warrior who battles large monsters and moves heavy objects;

Kohon

Kohon
a small "super coach" who helps Tasuke with sports and looks like a human tiger;

Jogyo

Jogyo
2 small seamstresses who make different outfits for Shao and others, from kimonos to school uniforms;

and more yet to be seen.

Ruuan's sun spirit power is bringing objects to life. From vacuum cleaners to school gymnasiums, a call of "Youtenshin Shourai" and a wave of her kokutentou brings them to life and under her control. Their main objective is to bring about her ultimate goal of becoming Tasuke's number one spirit.

Takashi Koichirou


Both being beautiful goddesses, Shao and Ruuan also end up catching the eyes of many people they meet. Their charms are not lost on Tasuke s two best friends, classmates Takashi Nomura and Koichirou Endou.

Takashi is continually being rejected by girls, but not for a lack trying. One look at Shaolin when she shows up at school as a foreign exchange student is enough to capture his heart. His ultimate goal is to one day go out on a date with Shao, and is constantly trying to impress her.


Koichirou, on the other hand, is rather sweet and shy. When he catches a fleeting glimpse of Ruuan during one of her many "disagreements" with Shao, he is captivated by her beauty. His love for her becomes apparent when Ruuan maneuvers herself into the job of teacher at their school. His devotion to her is unshakable and he is willing to defend her from any harm.



Shouko Izumo



Tasuke Shichiri's instant popularity with Shao and Ruuan does not escape the notice of the socially coarse and perpetually absent Shouko Yamanobe. Branded the class delinquent due to her aggressive attitude and tomboyish wardrobe, Shouko sees an opportunity to take advantage of Shao s ability to summon hoshigami. However, Shao sees through her rough exterior and brings out the kindness that Shouko keeps hidden. Much to Tasuke's chagrin, Shouko becomes a friend and a some-what reliable source of modern life information for Shao.


Never one to miss an opportunity is Izumo Miyauchi, the 20-year-old priest at the local temple. His blatant womanizing and inflated ego are unnoticed by the naive Shaolin, making her his number one obsession. He constantly competes with Tasuke for her affections, unable to grasp why she would choose such a complete loser over his own personal magnificence.

Kaori




Later in the series, another rival for Tasuke s affections arrives in the form of Kaori Aihara. An underclassman who has developed a huge crush on Tasuke, she is jealous of the attention that he receives from Shao and Ruuan. Kaori is continually scheming to get some time alone with "Tasuke-sempai", but her plans always seem to have unexpected results.







Rishu3



With the main story revolving around a somewhat normal guy and two spirits from the past, it is inevitably compared to Oh My Goddess! , but that is where the similarity ends. Mamotte Shugogetten veers more toward the "comedy" portion of "romantic comedy" and the character designs are aimed toward a younger audience. The fact that Shao and Tasuke appear to be the same age emotionally keeps her character from becoming a substute for his absent mother. This is refreshing, considering the relative immaturity of the more adult characters in the show.


MangaThis anime series is based on the manga written by Minene Sakurano and serialized in the "Shounen GanGan", a monthly magazine. The 22 episode series, produced by Toei Animation aired from 10/17/98 to 04/03/99. With a 6 PM time slot, the focus of the anime version is slanted more toward comedy, while the manga is a bit more serious and delves deeper into the relationship between Shao and Tasuke.

MineneThe popularity of the manga and the TV anime has led to many spin-offs. Twelve volumes of manga have been compiled, including omake stories that feature a characterization of the author (shown at the right) interacting with the other members of the cast. A radio drama program was hosted by the voice actors for Shao and Tasuke, where they answered listener questions, read suggestions for new hoshigami, and concluded each program by playing a song with "moon" in the title. Drama CDs, soundtracks, art books, and numerous merchandise for all ages were also produced, many available through anime stores here in the US. A new OAV series consisting of 5 30-minute episodes is currently being released and is considered to be more true to the manga stories. As of yet, no companies in the US have purchased the rights to either the TV anime or the OAVs.



Rishu2 Shao4


English web pages containing more information on Mamotte Shugogetten can be found on the Anime Web Turnpike at www.anipike.com


(Translation notes: There are variances in the English spellings of original Japanese words and names. For example: many merchandise items show the English spellings as Syugogetten and Luan, where translations in other media use Shugogetten and Ruuan.)