Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan

Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan is an anime series in the Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan franchise
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An incredibly kawaii anime series created by Ken Akamatsu.

Japan's Self Defense Force has often been rolled out in anime and science fiction, instructed to save the world from all kinds of dangers, from Godzilla to the attacking angels of Evangelion. But not all alien menaces require the SDF's full level of firepower. Mao Onigawara, aka Mao-chan, is a cute preteen girl whose grandfather happens to be the Chief of Staff for the Land Defense Unit. Dressed inexplicably like drum majorettes, she and her fellow girls deal with the cuter forms of alien invasion. As insanely over-privileged military brats, they get to do so by flying 1:1-scale model kits into battle, although their foes often turn out to be incredibly cute, fluffy aliens, which can often be dealt with by the simple expedient of tapping them on the head with a baton.

Each comes down from space in a toy capsule, which breaks open once safely in the atmosphere; then the being inside floats down to Earth on a candy-colored parachute. So far, the invaders haven't actually done anything more evil than crowd out tourist spots, and there is minimal public support for the use of force against these endearing aliens; the authorities have to fight cute with cute. As in certain other shows that take themselves a little more seriously, the answer lies in using the aliens' own weaponry against them, mainly through badges made of retrieved alien material. Shaped like clovers with smiley faces, these "chibi SMA" items react to the power of the universe and the fighting spirit of the wearer, enabling her to transform.

A cheerful parody of anime's alien invasion excesses, this show also includes several walk-on cameos for cast members from creator Ken Akamatsu's earlier Love Hina, although their identity is often masked for copyright reasons. Where once anime sought to allegorize the trauma of Japan's defeat in a terrible war, it now sanitizes and homogenizes it all to look like a glorified treasure hunt out of Pokémon. The aliens, however, are smarter than they look and have infiltrated major positions of power and influence, like the student council presidency of Mao-chan's high school. However, since the aliens' reaction when found out and told how naughty it is to invade is to apologize and go away, a bloodbath is never in the cards. Even their supposedly evil emperor, Galaxy King, is a Pillsbury doughboy who just says "Oh!" and steams gently when defeated. Silly and sweet.
Series Credits
Person Name Episode Count
Ken Akamatsu

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan
Name: 陸上防衛隊まおちゃん
Romaji: Rikujō Bōetai Mao-chan
Publisher XEBEC
Start Year 2002
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Aliases Land Defense Force Mao-chan
Earth Defense Force Mao-chan
Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan
Earth Defender! Mao-chan
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