If I had to summarize Shugo Chara! in one commentary, it’d be this: it’s the best thing since Totally Spies. Remember them? Three badass girls with cool gadgets who capture bad guys by being smooth AF (kind of)? Well, Shugo Chara! is kind of the same, except all three badass girls are within one girl…
Amu Hinamori was trying to lead a normal life when, much like her predecessor Sakura Kinomoto, she found herself knee-deep in a magical mess. In Amu’s case, the problem started when she grew uneasy with her “cool and spicy” reputation at Seiyo Elementary. Amu is losing patience with herself because she knows that beneath the front she puts up to survive in school, she’s diffident and jittery. Fed up with her inability to shed her true shy girl skin, Amu wishes to be reborn as the self she pretends to be. The next morning, Amu finds three eggs colored red, blue, and green respectively on her bed. Did she lay those overnight? Who knows. But the thing is that the eggs hatch Amu’s Guardian Characters, Ran, Miki, and Su.
Each Guardian Character embodies a different part of Amu’s ideal self. When in need, the guardians will lend their powers to Amu. When summoning Ran, the red guardian, Amu becomes extremely hyperactive, runs around carrying pom-poms, and becomes assertive and confident. The blue guardian Miki (my favorite) gives Amu artistic abilities and turns her into a fashionista. Miki also acts upon Amu’s love interests, but not in a crazy way, since Miki also keeps Amu levelheaded. Finally, the green guardian Su is the ultimate housewife and brings about all of Amu’s domestic abilities. You know, part of being a well-rounded individual and all.
Of course, Amu isn’t the only guardian holder around. She’s soon recruited by the Seiyo Elementary Guardians, who disguise themselves as a student council group, when in reality their job is hunting down X eggs and X characters to seal them. What are x eggs and characters, you ask? Guardian Characters are summoned from people’s dreams, and when these become corrupt, the eggs or guardians become negative forces. Will Amu and her friends be able to seal them all, or would other guardian holders get in their way?
Why You Should Watch It
In my humble opinion, Shugo Chara! is an anime that truly makes the most of its shoujo condition. While it is cutesy and at times overpoweringly cheesy, Shugo Chara! ultimately seeks to the inner child hidden in all of us that might feel neglected. Amu’s main love interest is an older delinquent by the name of Ikuto Tsukiyomi. Through her interactions with him, Amu is exposed to the perils of “lost children,” or what happens when you grow up in an environment shy of nurturing.
The lightheartedness and comedy might be there to get you hooked on the show, but what makes the anime worth watching is its brutally honest take on a child’s journey into teenagehood. After all, it is at this age that we become conscious of our own personalities and realize that so many things can keep us from ascending to our highest self. But more importantly, what do you do with the knowledge that the biggest roadblock is your own self-doubt?