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It's Japan in the 1920s, only not the one we know from our history — the politics are familiar, but steam-powered mechanisms are everywhere. And there's more... When 12-year-old Nakahito Kagura, brother of an Onmyouji priest and himself a priest-in-training, allows himself to be talked into trespassing in an allegedly "haunted" house, he accidentally activates Kurumi, a busty pink-haired battle android of incredibly advanced design. Because he awoke her, the innocent (and powerful) Kurumi regards Nakahito as her undisputed master, fawning over him and hanging on his every word. And defending him from harm — such as the bullies who sent him into the haunted house, or the steam-powered mecha of the Imperial Japanese Army...
When her creator Dr. Ayanokoji (who can't figure out why Nakahito could activate Kurumi when he couldn't) shows up, he is promptly kidnapped by an agent of an even more dangerous force than the Army, the mysterious group of scientists responsible for the anachronistic technology flooding Japan. With the help of Ayanokoji's former assistant Dr. Amagi and a second steel angel named Saki (initially sent to capture Kurumi but subverted), Nakahito and Kurumi begin a pursuit of her kidnapped creator. In the process they acquire more allies, battle the forces of their enemies, and learn the secret origin and purpose of the steel angels — and the dangerous secret hidden within Kurumi herself.
Kurumi was originally part of an anthology series in Japan, so each individual episode is not quite 15 minutes in length. The North American dub by ADV Films iincludes an extensive set of interviews with the English voice actresses; especially noteworthy is the presence of Claudia "Aeryn Sun" Black of Farscape fame in a surprise role.
Steel Angel Kurumi has proven to be quite popular. Four extra "epilogue" episodes were made for the original series. A sequel series (Steel Angel Kurumi 2, also available in the US from ADV) set in the 1990s and featuring Mark II models of all the android characters followed it. A prequel series (Steel Angel Kurumi Zero) is also available; it is set in the future and features the human girls on whom the androids apparently were based, but unlike the previous two series it is a low-key romance-oriented Shojo story.
The subbed version can be viewed legally at Crunchyroll here.
- Accidental Kiss
- Anime Theme Song
- Celebrity Is Overrated
- Cipher Scything: In the OAV Zero, Kurumi gets to moon over a male character who we only hear about from her secondhand account.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Kurumi
- Cherry Blossoms
- Curb Stomp Battle: When Saki first meets Karinka.
- Cute Shotaro Boy: Nakahito
- Demonic Invaders (via flashback)
- Dirty Old Man: The general — see Lolicon, below
- It's more than that. Consider the following dialogue, after the general finds out that Saki is incapable of disobeying orders after she is partially activated (Ep. 3):
General: "Then, would she do things like... And things like..."
- The Ditz
- The End of the World as We Know It (in the far distant future)
- Facial Markings
- Fan Service
- Festival Episode
- First Girl Wins
- First Kiss
- Furo Scene
- Goldfish Scooping Game
- Happiness in Slavery: Kurumi tells Nakahito that he's her Master and she'll happily do anything he wants.
- Heel Face Turn: Karinka, although the opening sequence kind of ruins the surprise.
- Hey, It's That Voice!
- Humongous Mecha
- The Kid with the Remote Control
- Lolicon: The general's obsession with Karinka
- Magical Girlfriend
- Marshmallow Hell: Kurumi hugs Nakahito on a regular basis
- Ms. Fanservice: pretty much every Steel Angel, who make up more than half the cast
- Pastel-Chalked Freeze-Frame
- Panty Shot
- Perpetual Molt
- Puppy Dog Eyes
- Robot Girl
- Roof Hopping
- Schizo-Tech (albeit somewhat justified)
- Schoolgirl Lesbians
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Well-Intentioned Extremist antagonists, wanted to deactivate Kurumi because of the dangerous secret in the Angel Heart Mark II. Due to all the fighting that they needlessly caused, that dangerous secret activates and it nearly destroyed the world without Nakahito's intervention and a needed "miracle".
- Shotacon: the one female spy's obsession with Nakahito. Also, if you think about it, Nakahito's romance with the titular Robot Girl.
- Squeaky Eyes
- Stealth Pun - The opening ends with the phrase "Mi ra Kurumi." This doesn't mean anything, until you realize "Mirakuru" is the Japanese pronunciation of "miracle." Considering miracles are a big theme throughout the show...
- Sweetheart Sipping: Appears in one of Kurumi's fantasies.
- The Unwanted Harem
- Token Yuri Girls: Because of the circumstances of her activation, Saki, a female android, has a romantic fixation on the titular character, another female android. The sequel series Steel Angel Kurumi 2, tops that with what is either an oversized Love Triangle or a small Love Dodecahedron: Kurumi Mk. II is fixated upon young cellist Nako, who activated her. Nako's friend Uruka also has a crush on her, and out of jealousy activates Saki Mk. II in order to battle Kurumi; Saki, however, ends up pining for both Kurumi and Uruka. Eventually, Nako comes to return Kurumi's feelings.
- Verbal Tic: Kurumi puts "desu" behind every sentence, which is seemingly cute enough to be imitated.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Kurumi's pink hair.