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Dear Lord, forgive our deception. One, two... three~!
Kaitou Saint Tail, translated as Phantom Thief Saint Tail, Mysterious Thief Saint Tail, Saint Tail or, as known by Tokyo Pop, Sweet Tales of Saint Tail. Based on the manga by Tachikawa Megumi.
The titular thief is a 14-year-old Magical Girl named Haneoka Meimi, daughter of a magician and a Kaitou-turned-housewife, who goes to a Catholic school. One of her classmates, and her Secret Keeper, is a trainee nun named Mimori Seira; on duty, she listens to the troubles of the people that visit her church. If someone's been the victim of larceny, Seira tells Meimi all the details, both from the testimony and from her own sneaking around. Meimi transforms into Saint Tail, uses a combination of her father's magic tricks and her mother's stealth, and steals the stuff back. Saint Tail is idolized as a hero by the girls at school, but the police have an obligation to catch her, even if all she's doing is returning things to their rightful owners. In comes Meimi's classmate, detective-in-training and on-off crush Asuka Jr., who becomes obsessed with catching Saint Tail.
Asuka begins to fall for both Meimi and Saint Tail, and Meimi becomes jealous of her own alter ego. A few other characters are introduced that have it in for Saint Tail, and Seira continues to remind her that even if she does have feelings for Asuka, she can't let her identity slip. Meanwhile, although Meimi's mother, who had far less altruistic motives than Meimi does, was never captured, her past as a phantom thief is catching up with her.
Compare and contrast Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne.
- Anime Catholicism
- Christmas Episode
- Christianity Is Catholic: And so is the whole town, apparently, despite being in a predominantly Shinto country.
- Clark Kenting: Subverted. The only differences between Meimi and St. Tail are the clothes and St. Tail's ponytail, but St. Tail takes care to keep people from seeing her face. Meimi and St. Tail also act differently, and Meimi doesn't show how good an athlete and magician she is to avoid suspicion.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Rina.
- Cuteness Proximity: Rosemary gets this in presence of both Meimi and Asuka Jr. She also mentions that Meimi was just as cute as her mother in the past
- Dark Magical Girl: Kaitou Lucifer, i.e. Meimi's mother Eimi, before Meimi's father convinced Eimi to turn good and they married.
- Determinator: Asuka Jr doesn't give up on catching Saint Tail for pretty much the whole series no matter how many times he fails
- Did Not Do the Research: The author admits to this when she was told that girls training to be nuns aren't allowed to wear a habit until they graduate a university; meaning Seira shouldn't be wearing one. She asked readers to view the work with an open mind.
- Dueling Shows: Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, a darker and more depressing version of the Saint Tail premise, came out four years later.
- Generation Xerox: Religious-themed phantom thief runs from chief detective Asuka, who dedicates his life to unmasking her. Now are we talking about Eimi and Asuka Sr. or Meimi and Asuka Jr.? One big exception, though: Meimi steals from thieves and gives to the rightful owners, but Eimi stole from the rich and gave to herself.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Plenty of it, Tomo Sakurai is Meimi, Kikuko Inoue is Seira, Satomi Koroogi is Ruby and Kosuke Okano is Asuka, Jr. and Junko Iwao shows up all over the place, however in the TOKYOPOP dub, Mela Lee (known nowadays as Rin Tohsaka and Yuki Cross) is Meimi, Joshua Seth is Asuka, Jr., Brianne Siddall is Ruby, and Steve Blum is Meimi's father, Gen'ichiro.
- Important Haircut: At the end of the manga series, after the skip forward in time, it is revealed that Meimi cut her hair. Symbolically, it points out that she is no longer Saint Tail.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Once Meimi and Asuka Jr. gets together, Rina, previously the Clingy Jealous Girl of the series, starts supporting them, even helping Meimi to recover her courage when Asuka Jr. disappears.
- Just Like Robin Hood: Saint Tail steals from thieves and gives them back to their owners.
- Karma Houdini: Rosemary kidnaps Asuka Jr., puts Meimi through hell, and threatens both of their lives. In the end, she simply walks away after seeing their love for one another and goes on to rob people in other towns.
- Magical Girl
- Market-Based Title: The first release of the anime and manga, from Tokyo Pop, called it Sweet Tales of Saint Tail, because the phantom thief genre on its own wouldn't attract young girls.
- Mission From God: It's never outwardly stated, but Meimi seems to have been given her powers from God. Her In the Name of the Moon speech indicates that at least she thinks so.
- Mysterious Parent: Mysterious to us; Meimi knew all along, and it's strongly hinted from the beginning.
- Nuns Are Mikos: Tachikawa Megumi freely admits that she assumed things about nuns when creating Seira that are only true of miko.
- Oblivious to Love: Asuka Jr. is this about not only Meimi's feelings, but also the much more evident ones of Rina and Meimi as Saint Tail. Lampshaded by Pandora when Asuka Jr. receives as promised the warning Saint Tail would steal him and calls it a burglary warning and she corrects him as it's an obvious love letter.
- Only Six Faces: As with all Tachikawa works, even now though her drawing style has changed over the years.
- Phantom Thief (Meimi/Saint Tail)
- The Rival: Rina to Meimi for Asuka's affections. Rosemary to Eimi/Kaito Lucifer in the past.
- Roof Hopping: Used often by Saint Tail.
- School Newspaper Newshound: Sawatari.
- Slap Slap Kiss: Meimi and Asuka Jr. Oh boy...out of all magical shoujo, they should be FAMOUS for this.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Asuka Jr.