General Information
- Alias: She, The Ultimate Weapon
- Kanji: 最終兵器彼女
- Episodes: 13
- Genre(s): Romance, Drama, School, SciFi, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction
- Year(s): 2002
- People/Companies: Gonzo Digimation
- Licensed By: Viz Communications Inc.
Shuji (シュウジ, Shūji?), a high school student in Hokkaidō, is the main character and the story is narrated by him through flashbacks. Chise (ちせ, Chise?), a fellow student, 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 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 for reasons that are not apparent.[clarify]
This story, as suggested by the subtitle "The Last Love Song On This Little Planet", is primarily a love story. Although war is the backdrop for the show, we are not drawn into the war by extravagant battle scenes, or the intricate details of national politics. 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 sweetheart, a girl whose civilian boyfriend was killed in a bombing, and others.
- Chise (ちせ)She’s the main female character of the story. Chise is a shy, clumsy girl with very little self-esteem and has poor grades in everything except for World History. She was constantly hospitalized in Tokyo during her elementary years, and thus, has very few friends (except for Akemi). She starts dating Shuji, with Akemi’s help, and tries to make her relationship work with him despite his apparently aloof personality. However, Chise is very inexperienced and does not know much about relationships, to the point she reads shoujo manga for advice. She was turned into the ultimate weapon against her will, and the series revolves around her and her fading humanity. Chise tries to come to terms with her new weapon body by convincing herself that she’s protecting the one she loves, but comes to admit to herself that the only thing she can do is to destroy. She feels horribly guilty of all the pain and death she has caused and shies away from Shuji, believing she doesn’t deserve any happiness. As Chise’s weapon side starts to take over, her hearts stops beating, her body lacks warmth and her sense of taste and touch are dulled but other senses (especially sight) are accentuated and she’s basically immortal. However, a second darker persona starts to emerge halfway through the series, a cold, ruthless machine that delights in her growing, destructive powers and killing people without mercy. In the end, her love for Shuuji is the last of her humanity she can cling onto.[Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese), Melissa Hutchinson (English)]
- Shuji (シュウジ, Shūji?): He’s the main male character of the story and narrator of the series. He is a somewhat antisocial 17-year old high school student who gets higher than average grades and used to be on his school’s track team. Shuji is very unsure of his initial feelings for Chise and feels that their relationship is more trouble than its worth, though his feelings deepen as the story progresses. At first, he wanted to break things off with Chise, but he then changes his mind and wants to give the relationship another try. However, things get complicated when his old love, Fuyumi, reappears in town. He’s the only person who knows Chise is the ultimate weapon and promises that he’ll never divulge her secret. Shuji is torn by this side of Chise, he loves her deeply, but he is terrified of her weapon capabilities. This causes a very noticeable strain on their relationship, and he finally succumbs to Fuyumi’s advances because of this. Shuji is feeling constantly guilty and useless, because of his irresponsible actions that tend to hurt Chise, and because all his loved ones keep dying around him. Later on in the series, he comes to accept his love for Chise and vows to protect her at all costs. He’s the only human being left in a devastated Earth thanks to Chise’s sacrifice, and they both live on in the memories of his past.Voiced by: Shiro Ishimoda (Japanese), Mark Atherlay (English)
- Akemi (アケミ, Akemi?): She’s a childhood friend and classmate of both Chise and Shuji. Akemi is also Chise's best friend, and usually gives her advice on love. A typical tomboy, she always comes to Chise’s defense whenever Shuji inadvertently hurts Chise verbally. She harbors a secret love for Shuji since she was young, which he is oblivious of, but still encourages Chise to confess to him. She later starts dating Atsushi, knowing that her love for Shuji is unrequited. Akemi gets fatally injured (due to massive internal bleeding) during an earthquake that hits their little town, and with her dying breath, she tells Shuji her real feelings.
- Atsushi (アツシ, Atsushi?): Shuji’s best friend. Atsushi is a mature, open, down-to-earth guy who holds a fascination for the military. Atsushi always looks out for others, as can be seen during the Sapporo raid where he's desperately trying to keep his friends out of harm's way. He decides to join the JSDF to protect the girl he loves, Akemi, despite being aware that she will never love him back. When he’s finally in the army, he’s appalled at the bad state the country is in, and never knows what exactly the weapon “Chise” is since the other soldiers never gave him a clear answer. He dies when Chise destroys the city he’s in, holding Akemi’s photo in his hand.Voiced by: Tetsu Shiratori (Japanese), Joe Wyka (English)
- Tetsu (テツ, Tetsu?): Regime leader, Fuyumi’s husband, and the sole survivor of Chise’s first platoon. He’s very much like Shuji in terms of looks and personality, and that’s why Chise is initially attracted by him. He treats Chise like an ordinary girl, not a monstrosity, and even goes shopping with her; this makes Chise like him even more, and finds understanding and compassion in Tetsu. Later on, he gets injured during a fight and staggers to his quarters to hide, but four enemy soldiers were waiting for him and open fire. He dies shortly from his wounds (due to a major hemorrhage), but manages to tell Chise that he loves her, mistaking her for Fuyumi.Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (Japanese), Abie Hadjitarkhani (English)
- Fuyumi (ふゆみ, Fuyumi?): Shuji’s first lover and Tetsu’s wife. She used to train the track team when she was younger and her students called her “Fuyumi-senpai” because of the close age difference. She had an intimate relationship with Shuuji when they were younger, and keeps bringing this up when she seduces him. She hates feeling lonely since her husband, Tetsu, is never home since he’s always away in the army so she decides to take comfort in Shuji, who has a remarkable similarity with Tetsu. Shuji finally stops her advances after Tetsu dies, saying that the only person he wants to protect isn’t Fuyumi. She slaps him and rides her bike to her parents’ house, never to be seen again. In the manga version, she is seen in her parents' house, helping her sick father and reminiscing about Tetsu.Voiced by: Miki Ito (Japanese), Elaine Clark (English)
Voiced by: Yu Sugimoto (Japanese), Amy Provenzano (English)