SaikanoSaikano, known in Japan as Saishū Heiki Kanojo (最終 兵器 彼女, Saishū HeikiKanojo, lit. "She, the Ultimate Weapon" or "My Girlfriend, the Ultimate Weapon") is a manga, anime, and OVA series by Shin Takahashi, creator of Iihito and Kimi no Kakera. Saikano was originally serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits magazine.
A live-action movie adaptation was released in Japan on 28 January 2006 with Aki Maeda starring as Chise.
The Saikano manga and anime series has been licensed and is being distributed by VIZ Media in English in North America and the anime series is distributed in the UK by Manga Entertainment (as "She, the Ultimate Weapon").
Many of the locations used in Saikano can be found in Otaru-shi, west of Sapporo. The train station, "Hell's Hill", the Asahi Observation Hill, and the school all exist within the city.
PlotThe story begins with Shuji (シュウジ, Shūji), a high school student in Hokkaidō, walking up to an observatory and reminiscing about his girlfriend, Chise (ちせ, Chise). He finds her exchange diaries that she purposefully left behind. The whole story is narrated by him through flashbacks while reading Chise's diary. Chise, a fellow student in his class, declares her love for Shuji at the beginning of the series. However, Chise is very shy and Shuji is insensitive. Neither know how to express their feelings very well, but they do indeed have feelings for each other.
One day, while Shuji is shopping in Sapporo, unknown bombers attack the city in broad daylight. He and his friends run for cover, but notice a fast and small flying object shoot down enemy bombers. Separated from his friends, Shuji wanders through the wreckage only to stumble upon Chise. She has metal wings and weapons apparently grafted onto her body. She tells him she has become the ultimate weapon, without her knowledge or consent. However, she is seen by the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) as the last hope for defending Japan from imminent invasion by unknown foreign forces. In the anime, it is not apparent why Chise was chosen to be the ultimate weapon or why the country is under attack. It is not until the OVA episodes were released that an explanation of Chise being chosen is offered: her body had the highest degree of compatibility with the weapon system. In fact, later in the OVA it is mentioned that Chise had been "over-developed" and was so much of a weapon that she would kill anyone regardless of what side they were on. (This fact is punctuated by Chise vaporizing the Special Forces building where she first became the ultimate weapon.)
This story, as suggested by the subtitle "The Last Love Song On This Little Planet", is primarily a love story. The story focuses primarily on Chise's reactions to her increasingly powerful destructive abilities, Shuji's reaction to the same, and the relationship between the two of them.
A number of minor characters who do not necessarily know of Chise's role in the war, have sub-plots that mostly concern everyday people in the context of war: a woman whose husband is constantly away from home, a school boy who joins the army to protect his girlfriend, a girl whose civilian boyfriend was killed in a bombing, and others.