Saint Tail

Alt title: Kaitou Saint Tail

TV (43 eps)
1995 - 1996
Fall 1995
3.786 out of 5 from 1,214 votes
Rank #2,377

Meimi Haneoka is a typical girl with a not-so-typical double life: by day she attends St. Paulia School, and by night she transforms into the phantom thief Saint Tail! Stealing only items that deserve to be stolen, Meimi takes her orders from the nun in training Seira Mimori. But even with the best of intentions, Meimi can't help but have a few enemies; her classmate, Asuka Jr., would love nothing more than to unmask Saint Tail's identity. However, Meimi can't help but be intrigued by her dashing opponent. Thievery galore and young love await the magical Saint Tail!

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Here's an anime that was very successful in Japan but whose success could not be repeated upon its release in North America. Is it because of the quality of the anime itself? It's not the case here at all as what we have is a solid anime with some charming attributes. I think its lack of success in America resides in the fact that when it was brought over, a certain show named Sailor Moon was still immensely popular and regarded as THE only magical girl people were taking notice to. As such this and some other shows (including Wedding Peach) were not nearly as popular as they might have been. Let's start with the animation of this little series. This is one of the best aspects of the show. Aesthetic wise, it looks something like a refined predecessor of Cardcaptor Sakura. This means the art is crisp and detailed. The series overall is very well animated and the character design is beautiful. This is also one of the most consistent titles I have seen as the show very rarely drops in animation quality. The repeated footage is thankfully never that frequent as it would take away from the show, and the transformation/attack scenes are never long enough to get on your nerves. The sound is something of a mix bag at first. For the first few episodes I felt like the only piece I liked in the show was the excellent outtro. As I kept watching though, I realised that the intro was also growing on me and that the background music was used very well for the corresponding scenes. Emotions are conveyed very successfully when need be and the sound overall is very good at switching gears (emotion wise) when required. The "It's ShowTime" music is also excellent and really feels like a magician's symphony. The story is interesting overall. In a broad way it is basically a magical girl Robin Hood. This is because Saint Tail only steals from bad guys and returns said stuff to the good guys who have been manipulated/blackmailed/stolen from. The ones in trouble go and confess what happened to a nun (Seira) and she in turn tell Saint Tail what has happened and then "It's Show Time!" Following this concept for most of the series dragged the overall effect of the series a little bit. However the secondary cast was interesting, and so were the backstories... That made this one quirk bearable but also necessary as it structures the anime successfully. The story really picks up towards the end when it loses its episodic nature and moves into a storyline that involves about 6 episodes to its conclusion. The characters in this are the show's strength as they are interesting enough to keep you entertained one episode after the next. Their respective storylines are never overplayed for emphasis and overall are successful. The most successful characters were Meimi and Asuka Jr as their storyline was the most interesting and dealt with very appropriately for their age. Secondary characters were used wisely in this as they very rarely are overused but rather are there to move the story along. This series has very good value for me as it is something I would not mind watching again but would rather enjoy it. If just for the detailed artwork or the fun story, it works very successfully to be in one's anime collection. It is also the only Magical Girl show I have seen where the lead does not use magical powers. Rather what Saint Tail uses are magic tricks. Her dad being a magician, she learns his tricks and uses them on her missions. And her transformation is actually just getting changed when you think about it since she does not get extra power from it. As a recommendation, I think this series has a very broad appeal that does not just lie with the Magical Girl genre. Aspects of it reminded me a lot of Cat's Eye (the thiefing theme, calling cards) and City Hunter (the episodic nature, dealing with one "customer" each episode). If you are a fan of either of these two titles and don't mind a bit of a magical girl spin on them, then give this a try.</div>


Oh. My. Fucking. God. What an ending. I hoped for a good, emotionally fulfilling ending that'd make me cry, because I knew all along that this romance had the potential for it. But that ending... totally surpassed my highest hopes. I replayed the two beautiful scenes at the end many times, crying ceaselessly for, like, 15 minutes. Until now, I have only cried like this for a story three times in my life: when I finished Love Hina manga for the first time, Maison Ikkoku manga for the first time, and the Ah My Goddess movie. It's not just the ending scene: the four last episodes, the final arc, are much better than the average level of the anime. It's been a while since I've seen such effort put into a romance ending, even the animators did their best. This might be the first time I've seen a set of finishing episodes so good that it'd raise my score for the anime this much. From the start this anime was rather succesful with the romance development. Both main characters are very likeable, the romance development is well paced and there are cute scenes scattered throughout the story just suitably, so it's neither too sweet not lacking in feeling. In that sense, this story surpasses everything I've seen in anime so far. In fact, it's a good rival to my two favourite romances, Maison Ikkoku and Love Hina (both as manga). As for the rest of the story, I can't give that much praise. Dialogue, comedy and characters are all fine, Meimi's dad especially is among my favourite supporting characters ever, but the story is completely episodic and rather repetitive all the way to the end, there's little in terms of character development for most characters, and our phantom thief's adventures are rather lacking in intelligence: she relies on magic way too much. Apparently that magic is supposed to be magician's tricks, but it goes totally overboard and breaks various laws of nature all the time. What's more, Meimi's novice nun friend has an amazing information gathering ability, far surpassing that of the police, and it's never quite explained. This could have been a very high class anime if there was true intelligence displayed in the duel between the thief and the detective. Also, the transformation scenes in each episode can start getting on your nerves very quickly (I just skipped them after the first time). Nevertheless, I had much fun with this series, even the less romantic episodes. Someone less fond of an episodic structure and simple, almost childish plots might have dropped this quickly, but I was hooked in three episodes. I got attached to the characters very quickly and I was drawn in by the budding romance between the main characters. Their interaction is enjoyable throughout the story, not least because of the female lead's double identity. Oh, and the ending song is very beautiful and fitting. In short, this anime is repetitive and simple, but it's cute, it's got good romance development, and it's got a god-tier ending. 9/10, two whole points for the last four episodes.


Saint Tail:   ANIME- REVIEW By: BlackAngel Reinae (UPDATE NOTICE: I was able to figure out a few little improvements to this review, which i have now updated! editied update on 2/6/2015) NOTE TO THE AUDIENCE: This review might have some really discussed topics and lots of ranting topics, due to this being a Tokyo Pop anime with a lot of issues in it. Viewer discretion is advised (as an otaku anime reviewer…) -----So, as I am writing this, I am just informing the audience that even though this isn’t on my list of anime’s to do, but it’s a short series for me, until I finish up the rough drafts of the ones on my list. So anyway, I still hope you enjoy the review. ^-^ (oh and I almost forgot to tell you all my name. You guys can call me Reinae, or my otaku critic’s nickname: “The Anime Vampire” or Black Angel Reinae (as per my username).)…. -   -   -   -   - Well, as I am sitting on my couch, trying to find something to watch, I start to look through my anime collections for something good or at least good enough to watch and write a review on. After taking a few minutes of searching, I find one that I haven’t watched since I was a kid. So, to being this review, we start off with this… The lights go out as tons of balloons fly into the room and turn into what look like anime like girls, as a young girl moves into the room and steals the jewel from the restricted area….   Wait a minute!..who is that suppose to be? Some weird Sailor Moon wannabe?! No, that’s actually Saint Tail… WAIT, WHO’S SAINT TAIL?!     Well, there’s two reasons for that: 1-it’s an anime that I watch and 2-it’s the anime that’s I’m gonna review. …. So, now that the intro is said and done, let’s get started the anime that I am reviewing, which I just said is: SAINT TAIL( JAP: “Kaito Saint Tail”. ) Yes, Saint Tail. An oldies type anime’s that should have stay in the past and be in the past…. … …at least, that’s what I think, but other anime watchers could say something different about it. But be frank, this was made in the 1990’s so it’s not anyone’s fault, and it was done by Tokyo Pop, but it does have lots of cheesy class and too childish content that just makes you feel like you’re watching a very weird little kids program. And as most of us can say, a lot it does look a lot like a weird little kids program… But that depends on mostly on who’s watching it and how they think it is… Anyway, let’s continue, shall we? So, to being again, we will start with a little information. . . .    Based on the manga by Megumi Tachigawa, this original 43 episodes series ran two seasons, from October 12, 1995 to September 12, 1996, on Japanese television, with the title: “Kaito Saint Tail”.   The american version was called “Saint Tail” and was dubbed by Tokyo Pop, but they had a little bit of what you might call ‘difficulty’ releasing the episodes. Originally a twenty-four part manga by Megumi Tachikawa, the story was adapted into an anime television series by producer Tokyo Movie Shinsha, with forty-three episodes and one short, broadcast by ABC. Tokyopop translated the manga series, and subtitled and partially dubbed the anime series. Video Games were released for the Sega Saturn and Sega Game Gear in Japan, and are considered collector’s items by Saint Tail fans. But sadly, the North American audience was never giving the video game releases, for some unknown reason we will never know. well, enough of the regular info, let’s here about the show information…   this should be…   very…   funnn…*ugrhhhh…* Meimi may look like your adverage private school student, but this eight grader is a well-meaning thief. *reminds me of someone else I kinda know… a bit…(lol)* utilizing the skills passed on from her father, the magician, and her mother, the acrobat, Meimi proves to be as elusive as Robin Hood. Well, kinda like Robin Hood, but I bet Robin hood never used a lot of flash tricks in his work like Saint Tail does….  At night, Meimi Haneoka transforms into the mysterious thief Saint Tail, and steals back what was stolen or taken dishonestly. *for some reason, I am getting a very bad feeling, the feeling of: ANIME: RIP…OFFF…*      While Durning the day, she spends all her time avoiding her classmate (and young detective) Asuka Jr, who doesn’t seem to be able to figure out that Saint tail and Meimi are the same person. Then when night comes again, she gets ready to do some stealing, with a little help from her virtuous friend Seira Mimori,… who is not only her classmate and friend, but also a sister-in-training. Seira has a position in the church and after school each day allows her to hear the troubles of those who have been wronged and have come to pray to God. But as Saint Tail does steal things, she only has a certain rule that she follows when she steals: Saint Tail will only steal, while she returns elegant treasures to their true owners. *AGAIN…RIP-OFF FEELING…* Well, basically, I could almost compare this anime to two different things: and that is…this anime/manga is almost like Robin Hood and Sailor Moon mixed together…. and the result: you have Saint tail. So, back to the anime outline- While Saint Tail steals to right the wrongs done to innocent people, she's a thief and a bit of nuseince to the police force. Her classmate Daiki Asuka Jr., called Asuka Jr. as we mentioned before, and son of Detective Asuka, is hot on her trail. He always says that he will be the one to catch Saint Tail, but she always manages to slip away every time.   And also, as what I would say to another ‘anime refence’ I l know very well, Saint Tail delivers notices of her planned capers to Asuka Jr., to give him a fair chance to catch her. And mostly, that’s how the entire series storyline plot is, with Saint Tail stealing stuff and Asuka chasing after her. Really kinda boring cat and mouse scenerio… gets old, really pretty quick. - - - - - - (info and discussion) Only the first five volumes (15 episodes) were dubbed to English. Volumes 6-8 were released onDVDwith English subtitles only. The first two volumes (seven episodes) of the English dub removed references to God in a possible anticipation of a TV broadcast. This is especially awkward, "considering Seira Mimori spends half of the time in a nun's habit, one wonders why they thought they could do Saint Tail without references to God". According to producer Kenneth Lee, who took over starting with Volume 3, the remaining episodes will not have this restriction. While the show did appear in other countries, there were some differences that they chose to use…. For example (on the wiki site) In the Italian dub, when Asuka Jr. reads a notice from Saint Tail, rather than display the notice written in Japanese, a short scene of Saint Tail running in the dark is shown while her voice reads out the notice's message. The notice scenes are cut from the Korean dub, presumably due to the Japanese text. In Korea, several episodes were cut entirely (they had not been broadcast) because there was so much content with Japanese culture or text. The 12th episode was broadcast just after 3rd episode to match with the real Christmas season when it was broadcast in Korea. Also, this series was translated into many different versions in different country settings. Here on this chart that I found from wiki, is what saint tail was called in different countries: Language-Title-lit. translation *English-Saint Tail (Saint Tail) *Italian-Lisa e Seya, un solo cuore per lo stesso segreto (Lisa and Seya, a single heart for the same secret) *Japanese-『怪盗 セイント・テール』(かいとう せいんと・てーる)(Kaitō Seinto Tēru)-(Mysterious Thief Saint Tail) *Philippines-Sweet Tales of Saint Tail  *Portuguese-A Ladra Meimi (Thief Meimi) *Russian-Грабительница Святой Хвост  *Spanish-Las Aventuras de Saint Tail (The Adventures of Saint Tail) Spanish Re-dubbing (In process)- La Misteriosa Ladrona Saint Tail (Mysterious Thief Saint Tail) Korean천사 소녀 네티(cheonsa sonyeo neti)-(Angel Girl Neti) Chinese-怪盗 St. Tail(guài dào St. Tail)-(Mysterious Thief St. Tail) As you can see, when I looked up the show on wiki for more information, there wasn’t a lot to look for or to write for research. So I couldn’t write a lot for this review… But I was able to write up, with whatever info I could find, so I hope this helps… - - - Now, the conclusion of this review:  so, as for my rating and points about this anime, I would have to give it between a 2.5-3.5, for ‘unexperinced dubbing voice work’ and too childish like episode working, that makes the show look like it was done in a rushing job time session. I got really bored with the first few episodes and it just kept going downhill from there. Also, the dubbing and Japanese voicing work doesn’t seem to match a lot with the animation or the voices just seem way off or don’t fit the characters very well. Basically, both versions aren’t very good, in my opinion. Even though the manga was kinda okay, the anime was not a very good one for me. So, even though that I used to watch it when I was a kid, I wouldn’t want to watch this again, anytime soon. And as for my advice to the audience about this anime, I would have to say…. If you want to watch a kid type anime, I wouldn’t recommend this one and this is one anime that should stay on the shelf for a very good reason. So, with all that said, I hope you enjoyed this review and I hope it was full of information and points to help in future choosing of anime watching. Until next time, my friends….. ~Stay Cool and Stay Otaku People!~  ~Black Angel Reinae, The Anime Vampire, is out and will catch you on the flip side!~

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