Special A – S.A.

S.A. or Special A is an anime series that first came from a shojo manga made by Maki Minami. The story mainly focuses on a school called Private Hakusen Academy which is the best in the prefecture. Top seven students were selected to be grouped and are called as the Special A.

In fact, episode one opens with Hikari training in martial arts. She is required to do a perfect drop kick before she could eat lunch, and she nails it.

These seven students are as mentioned in the following:

Kei Takishima

Kei Takishima is the top student of the S.A, being ranked 1st in the entire school. He is the son of the CEO of Takishima Group and grandson of the President of the Takishima Group. He is the boyfriend/fiance of Hikari. Kei developed a crush on Hikari from a young age, starting from the time he first met her at six years old. When asked how he fell in love with her, he said how after he first defeated her when they were just children, instead of avoiding him, Hikari kept coming back to try again no matter how many times she lost. It was this surprising and stubborn trait of hers that made him realize he loved her. It is implied she is the first girl Kei has genuinely liked, with his grandfather showing surprise that Kei has found a girl he actually likes upon hearing about the two.

Kei Takishima was the first person Hikari ever lost to. And then of course romance ensued. This smacks of classic 90s anime story tropes.

“Hikari, this boy can wrestle too.”

Hikari’s father, about Takishima.

He has a lot of confidence in his abilities.

“It’s better than having black stains under my nose.”

Takishima’s first words to Hikari.

Hikari Hanazono

Hikari Hanazono is the main protagonist of the story and is ranked 2nd in the school. She declared Kei Takishima as her rival because he is ranked 1st in the school and she is frequently unsuccessful in defeating him in any sort of competition. She becomes Kei’s girlfriend and, later, his fiancee. At the age of six, Hikari’s father used to train her in pro-wrestling. There was no one who could defeat her, that is, until she met Kei. When she fights him, he easily defeats her within seconds. She couldn’t stand the humiliation from that match and strives to beat him at everything, from academics to athletics.

“My father loves pro-wrestling. He trained me early since I was little. Because of that eventually I had no competition. I had become filled with confidence. It was then that I met Takishima.”

Hikari Hanazono

She simply oozes with confidence and smugness.

“The body you’ve trained is not just for show!”

Hikari Hanazono to her father.

Ryū Tsuji

Ryū Tsuji holds the 7th position in the school and is especially attracted to animals. Ryū is very fond of animals and even has a room in his house which is like a zoo. He is seen as an even-tempered and kind hearted person and has been close to Megumi and Jun since they were very young; it is evident that he cares for the twins very much and the three of them see each other as family. Ryū despises bullying and is seen to lose his composure when it is involved, especially if it jeopardizes the SA or Jun and Megumi. Ryū loves animals and is good with children. Every animal Ryu has come across appears to always love with him, even normally vicious animals, including guard dogs. They all want him to pet or play with them.

Megumi Yamamoto

Megumi Yamamoto holds the 4th position in the school and is the older twin sister of Jun. She and her brother are extremely close to Ryuu and often get jealous of the animals he takes care of when he doesn’t offer them enough attention. Megumi doesn’t speak in order to preserve her singing voice. In order to communicate, she writes what she wants to say on a notebook. When she sings, her voice is so devastatingly powerful that she knocks people out. She is only able to properly sing to people when Yahiro begins coaching and helping her with her singing.

Jun Yamamoto

Jun Yamamoto is ranked 3rd in school and is the son of a music producer and a talented vocalist and has an older twin sister Megumi. Like Megumi, Jun is very possessive of Ryuu and seems to worry Ryuu as much as he worries about the two of them. Jun is normally rather shy around girls. However, after watching a hypnotic TV show that had the viewer lose all shyness with women, it resulted in Jun gaining a split personality that allows him to charm almost all women effortlessly. His alter ego is initially triggered whenever he received a kiss, with it later being when he looked at or was touched by Sakura. He is shown to view his alter ego as a burden, doing anything he can to avoid triggering it. Unlike the rest of his friends, he tends to be quiet and rarely gets involved in any disputes.

Akira Tōdō

Akira Tōdō is ranked 6th in SA and is the daughter of the ownership of an airline company. She is very fond of Hikari and cute girls but does not get along with Kei in particular, often comparing him to a wild beast. The reason is that he is very close to Hikari due to them being rivals. Akira is hobbies are making tea for everyone in SA. Ever since childhood, Akira has had romantic feelings for Tadashi but hides them deep within her heart. She and Tadashi do confess to each other and become a couple towards the end of the series. Akira is someone to be enthusiastic and wild. She is generally very kind towards her good friends, but she does show some violence towards Tadashi. She loves everyone in SA and she’s especially over protective of Hikari. She’s relatively calm and an easy-going air, but when visiting a foreign place, she is in complete tourist mode. This is seen during the time when SA goes to Hawaii for a vacation and then to London to get Kei back into the SA.

Tadashi Karino

Tadashi Karino holds the 5th rank in school and is the son of the school’s director. If he gets below 5th rank, he will be punished by his mother with bungee jumping. He suffers from wanderlust and often disappears for weeks on end, returning tired and dirty from his adventures. Tadashi is often comically attacked by Akira for calling her things like “devilish woman”, “sadist”  and etc. He enjoys eating, especially the food that is made by Akira. Tadashi has had romantic feelings towards Akira since they were children and enjoys teasing her. Tadashi is actually smarter than he looks and acts, though is usually the character who is often comically attacked (frequently by Akira and Kei) because of his careless comments and/or reckless behavior. He is in love with Akira, but often makes rude, weird, stupid or inappropriate comments that provoke her to beat him up. Tadashi enjoys playing with puppets, and is fond of Akira’s cooking, and appears to enjoy provoking her. In the anime, he comments that he likes being hit by her.

Special A is one of the best anime when it comes to a school-type genre. It’s fun, adventurous, romantic & has that strong friendship vibes. If you haven’t seen it yet, why don’t you give it a try?

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